Moral Decisions are when you have to decide what is the right or wrong this to do.
Why the Bible has authority for Christians when ma
- Bible is the word of God
- Contains God's teachings eg. The Ten Commandments
- Contains teachings of Jesus on how to live eg, the Sermon on the Mount
- Contains teachings of Christians leaders like St Peter
- The Bible is inspired by God
Differences among Christians about the authority o
Some christians would only use the bible to make a moral decision because they beleive that it is the exact words of God.
Other Christians think that the Bible was written by humans and so is only a guide for making moral decisions. They think the Bible needs interpreting to fit what the world is like today.
The authority of the Church.
Most Christians believe that the Church needs to explain what the Bible means.
Churches like the Roman Catholic Church have leaders to make moral decisions. Eg, the Pope and the Council of Bishops (the MAGISTERIUM) give teachings on moral issues to Catholic Christians.
- The Church is the Body of Christ. The Church is how Jesus works in the world so it must have the same autority as Christ.
- God speaks to the world today through the Church.
- The Church is the community of Christian beleivers so it must be guided by God.
The Role of Conscience
Your conscience is a feeling inside you that tells you wether an action is right or wrong.
The Catholic Church says that Christians should use their conscience as the final part of moral decision making.
- Christians believe that the voice of conscience seems to be the same as the voice of God and so they should follow it.
- The Church says they should follow it.
Why some Christians think they shouldn't follow their conscience:
- People have been mistaken about the voice of God. Eg, the Yorkshir Ripper claimed that God told him to kill prostitutes.
- If they follow the words of the Bible and the Church then they know they are doing the right thing instead of just guessing.
Situation Ethics are a Christian idea from Joseph Fletcher. Fletcher said that Christians should base their moral decisions on Jesus' commandments to love our neighbour as yourself and on the situation.
Those who agree, agree because:
- Jesus seemed to follow situation ethics. For example, he healed people on the Sabbath.
- They think that you should only good what will produce good results.
- Jesus' statement that the only laws are to love God and love your neighbour means that Christians should alwasys do what will have the most loving results.
Some think Situation Ethics are wrong because:
- God would not have given rules if they weren't to be followed
- You can never know all the facts about a situation so what might seem the most loving thing might not be is you knew all the facts.