Situation Ethics and Christianity

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SE is not compatible with Christianity #1

Gives the decision maker permission to break moral laws as several of 10C are broken when using SE, such as 'do not commit adultery.'

E.g. Mrs Bergmeier committed sacrificial adultery to escape a POW camp and reuinte with her family.

Under moral/church law this is wrong, however, under SE it is right bc it produces most love.

This shows how SE is not acceptable from a Christian viewpoint to make moral decisions bc it breaks moral laws.

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SE is not compatible with Christianity #2

Challenges natural law which is the ethical theory used by the Catholic Church to make moral decisions.

Pope Pius XII SE is 'going against natural law and God's revealed will.'

When using natural law to make moral decisions we should follow the moral laws bc they have been revealed to us by God.

E.g. moral law of 'do not murder' tells us that life is sacred.

E.g. the mother's act of smothering her crying baby to ensure their groups hiding place is not discovered by Nazis...

... is not accepted by CC bc life is sacred.

SE not acceptable way of making moral decisions from a Christian point of view bc it contradicts natural law.

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SE is not compatible with Christianity

SE bases its moral decision making on each individual situation which is the opposite to the CC's approach to making moral decisions.

CC (deontological approach) - an action is right or wrong.

SE (teleological approach) - only the ends justify the means.

E.g. stem cell research involves discarding embryos.

CC argue it is X bc it is an act of murder.

SE argues it is R bc the consequence could be a cure for cancer.

SE is not an acceptable way to make moral decisions from a Christian point of view bc they both have different approaches to making moral decisions.

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SE is compatible with Christianity #1

In the NT, Jesus set the rules aside to do the most loving thing like in SE which follows the rule unless it would produce more love if the rules were set aside.

E.g. Jesus heals the man with the paralysed hand on the Sabbath.

Jesus put agape at the heart of his decision making.

SE is acceptable way of making moral decisions from a Christian point of view bc it follows Jesus' example of putting love first.

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SE is compatible with Christianity #2

Love and compassion is stressed throughout the NT through what J said and did.

E.g. Jesus said the greatest commandment was to 'love God and love your neighbour.'

Love is what comes first when making moral decisions even if that means setting the rules aside, like in SE.

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SE is compatible with Christianity #3

If we have a legalistic approach to making moral decisions in Christianity it is the same approach that  thePharisees had who Jesus was so critical of.

E.g. when Jesus healed a man on the Sabbath the Pharisees criticised him bc they did not understand why people were at the heart of moral decisions.

Jesus said 'The Sabbath was made for man, not man made for the Sabbath.'

Jesus believed people are more important than the laws - moral decision making should be about individual.

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