re- situaton ethics

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  • Created by: chinwe
  • Created on: 16-04-15 15:56

Examine the key characteristics of situation ethics (21marks)

Situation ethics emerged in the 1960's, a time of social and cultural change, where freedom and self expression was encouraged. Social events included; womens liberation and the hippies subcultre. There was also a rise in secularisation as memers of the christian church argued that the traditional rules were too dogmatic and inflexibe. This lead to the 'new morality', based on the idea that jesus had no ethics, for example he disobeyed the laws of the jewish and healed on the the sabbath day. Situation ethis is a relativistic moral theory as there are no absolute moral rules. It is also a consequentialist theory as it focuses ont the consequeces of the actions. It is a teleological theory as it focuses on the end result of our actions, which shuold always be love.

American theologian John Fletcher deleops 3 approaches to situation ethics. The first is legalism, he describes this as a kind of text-book morality and belives it is uneffective for people to follow a set of prefabricated rules for the sake of following them. He argues that legalistic ethics cannot be used during complex situations as more rules only end up being created, producing a 'choking web of laws'. Another approach is is antinomianism, where there is simply no ethical system and actions change with every situation. Fletcher is against this as he argues it is 'unprincipled', and people should have some sort of rules to base their…



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