The Theory of Situation Ethics

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  • Three kinds of ethical theory
  • Fletcher says that there are essentially three main ways of making moral decisions.
  • LEGALISTIC ETHICS - has a set of prefabricated moral rules and regulations
  • christianity and judaism have lagalistic ethical traditions
  • christianity has been based on natural law or biblical commandments
  • according to fletcher legalistic ethics runs into problems when life's complexities require additional laws
  • for example once murder has been prohibited you have to then clarify killing in self defence/ war/ unborn human beings and so on...
  • the lagalist must include all of those alternatives into the one rule or create new laws in order to cover the results.
  • this can produce a choking web of laws
  • textbook morality, requiring people to check a manual before they decide what is right or wrong
  • for fletcher this has been a mistake made by catholics through their adhearance to natural law.
  • fletcher rejects lagalistic ethics.
  • ANTINOMIAN ETHICS - is quite the reverse to legalistic ethics.
  • 'antinomian' really means 'against law'
  • a person using antinomianism doesnt use an…


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