Part i) Identify the Key Features of Situation Ethics (21 Marks)
(This was a timed essay completed in class without any notes or essay plans. I had 35 minutes to answer parts (i) and (ii). My mark for question (i) was 17/21 and for part (ii) was 9/9)
Situation ethics is a teleological theory which developed during the 1960s due to the changes that were taking place in society. Key scholars include Robinson and Fletcher. It focuses on agape as the most important thing and Barclay described it as "unconquerable good will".
During the 1960s, there was great change including religious beliefs and the breaking away from the Church. In addition to this, the invention of the contraceptive pill led to the sexual revolution and the idea of free love. Also, great changes in politics and music were taking place and the age of "teens" greatly influenced culture and the idea of free love.
During the 1960s, the British Council of Churches were becoming more and more concerned about the changing attitudes towards the Church. People were moving away from the idea of God and Divine Command Ethics such as the 10 Commandments. As a result, a Working Party was set up in order to try and ensure that old Christian principles and ideas were followed.
During the 1960s, Robinson wrote his very controversial book "Honest to God" which challenged the key fundamental ideas of Christianity and the existence of God. He suggested that man had come of age. This idea suggests that over the years, man has grown in intelligence and knowledge. As a result, we should therefore make our own decisions about whether we believe in God or not rather than following the Church's beliefs. He also questioned the divorce law. He believed that marriage was an old supernatural ideal. He suggested that we should decide for ourselves rather than look to the Church for the beliefs about marriage. He also said that if marriage does not work between a couple, they should be allowed to divorce instead of looking to the Church for moral guidance.
William Barclay suggested that love was the only good thing and that love is "unconquerable good will". Furthermore, Robinson suggested that we should look to the Bible for Jesus acting situationally. He said that love should be considered in every act we…