Situation Ethics Keywords (AQA)

All the keywords required for the unit 1 paper on ethics. (AQA Specification)

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  • Created on: 30-03-12 20:45
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KEYWORD DEFINITION
Legalistic ethics (legalism) Ethical system that contains rules for every situation and/or the
association of doing good with simply following those rules
Antinomian ethics (antinomianism) View that there are no moral principles or rules at all
Extrinsic Not part of the essential nature of someone or something;
coming or operating from outside
Justice Not principles underpinning law & their relationship to those
laws
Agape love (Christian term) unconditional love that must be shown to
neighbours
Pragmatism Any theory of ethics must be practical & work towards the end
that is love
Relativism View that there are no moral absolutes so our moral judgements
relate to upbringing, milieu, psychology, society etc.
Philosophers justify relativism culturally, meta ethically &
normatively. Cultural relativism notes that moral values vary
between societies & so assume this reflects the fact that moral
values are relative. Meta ethical relativism argues that the
discussion about moral language cannot reach an agreed
conclusion between the competing theories of naturalism,
non-naturalism & non-cognitivism so in the absence of such an
agreement one could conclude that this is because values are
relative and not factual.
Normative relativism is the view that right & wrong are defined
by the situation
Positivism Situational principle that Christians freely choose to believe that
God is love & then act in a way reasonable with this faith
statement
Personalism Ethic that demands that human beings come 1st & are not treated
as `means'
Conscience Used in a special sense in situation ethics. Fletcher rejects the
idea that conscience is (1) intuition (2) a channel for divine
guidance (3) the internalised values of the individual's culture or
(4) the part of reason that makes value judgements, because all
these treat conscience as a thing, which Fletcher believes is a
mistake. For him conscience is a verb rather than noun;
something you do when you make decisions `creatively'
Proportionalism Modification of natural law ethics seeking to take account of
consequences of actions. Suggests moral rules may sometimes
be broken if there is a proportionate reason. Act remains
objectively wrong but is morally right e.g.
contraception-objective wrong but can be morally right i.e. to
prevent over-population

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