Situation Ethics - The 6 Fundamental Principles

The 6 fundamental principles developed by Joseph Fletcher.

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  • Created by: Hannah
  • Created on: 06-05-12 15:57

First proposition

"Only one thing is intrinsically good; namely love: nothing else at all."

Meaning: There is no action or moral rule that is good in itself.

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Second proposition

"The ruling norm of Christian decision is love: nothing else."

Meaning: Fletcher understood a norm to be a rule and appealed to Jesus' teaching that the most important commandment is to love God and your neighbour.

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Third proposition

"Love and justice are the same, for justice is love distributed, nothing else".

Meaning: Justice is the giving to every person what is their due, and that as the one thing due to everyone is love - love and justice are the same.

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Fourth proposition

"Love wills the neighbour's good, whether we like him or not".

Meaning: Because agape love involves sacrifice, people should give love without expecting a return.

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Fifth proposition

"Only the end justifies the means, nothing else."

Meaning: Situation ethics suggests that anything might be done if it brings about the most loving outcome.

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Sixth proposition

"Love's decisions are made situationally, not prescriptively."

Meaning: Because there is no way of knowing in advance whether something is right or wrong, the situationist has to be prepared to make moral decisions afresh.

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