Situation Ethics

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Joseph Fletcher
"The morality of an action depends on the situation"
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Situation Ethics
Relativist - looks at each situation as unique || Teleological - decides an action by looking ta consequences
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Relgion & Morality
Religious belivers think morality is deontoligcal as they belive in absolout rules
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Fletcher's alternative
Moral principles can be put aside in some cituations to have a more loving approach || "love is the ultimate law" || One absolute law - AGAPE LOVE
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Agape Love
A christian approach where lwas can be broken to provide a more loving result || Meaning it is a teleological idea, that looks to the consequences
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Legalism
Absoloutist approach to decison making, follows one set of fixed rules || IE 10 Commandments/ Gov || Flethcer says this can be problamatic, no murder - but what about abortion/ war?
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Antinomianism
Means 'against law', A relativist approach that follows NO rules || Fletcher syas "it is unprinciples, purely ad hac & casual"
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Situation Ethics - The mid point
Sit. Ethics is the mid point between Legalism & antinomianism because it has ONE set rule & as an individual are guided with the other rules || Which can be broken if for a loving cause || The situation is the main factor
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Religion & Situation Ethics
Mark || Luke || Matthew || Galations
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Mark 2.23
Jesus was wokring on the Sabbath to feed those in need || Supports Sit.Ethics as it is more loving to feed and work on Sabbath than not to
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Luke 13.10
Jesus healed a cripled lady on the Sabbath || Supports Sit.Ethics as it is better to prevent her from having to suffer another day, it is a more lving thing to do
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Matthew 22.35
Jesus said greatest rules where: "Love your lord with all your heart" and "Love your neighbour as yourself" || Supports Sit.Ethics as agape love is the fundamental rule
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Galations 5.13
Entire law is summed up in one rule = Love your neighbour as yourself || The 10 C's are based on agape love
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CASE STUDY: Mrs Bergmeier - Sacrifical Adultery
Mrs B was stuck in a Russian army camp, the only way to get back to her family is to be ill or impregnated. She asks a russian officer to impregnate her, he does and she is sent home to her husbund & children. They all loved the child.
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Agape Love Explained!
God shown sacrifical love throught the death of Jesus || Meaning we need to show love to all members of the community || As well as self sacrife if necessary
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Principle of Overridingness
R.M Hare || Rules are not absolout
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Strengths so far!
Flexible, compatible for any situation || Simple only one rule, most lving thing || Changes for each individual and personal comittments
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Weaknesses so far!
Could justify anything, as long as you can describe it as loving || Who should you be loving toward? || Can not predict future **moral of the story case study-house burning**
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Principles of Situation Ethics
6 Fundamental Principles || 4 Presumptions
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6 Fundamental Principles
1) Love = only intrinsic good || 2) Love replaces law || 3) Love & justoce can't be seperated || 4) ALWAYS "love thy neighbour" || 5) consequence must be most loving || 6) Base decision on the situation
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4 Presumtions
Or 'Working Principles' || Pragmatism || Relativism || Positivism || Personalsim
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Pragmatism
A theory && result must be practical || For Fletcher this is love || "to be correct a thought or action must work"
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Relativism
No fixed rules || We should avoid syaing "never/always" || Rules are always different depending what society you live in ||
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Positivism
Reason is not the basis for faith, it works from faith
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Personalism
Humans come first || A situationist puts people rather than rules first
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Fletcher & the meaning of conscience
Some say our consciene is the voice of God || Fletcher syas that it is a verb, a process which helps us make decisions
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Fletcher's situations
Never said his final opinion, just based on real life
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Sacrifical Adultery
Mrs B. Imprisions and asked to be impregnated to go back to her family
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Abortion: A situation
A mentally ill girl is impregnated and her father wants her to have an abortion
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Catholic Cloak and Dagger
Should a spy use sex to gain information to help her county?
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Strengths Of Sit. Ethics
Flexible, based on the situation || Only requires common sense || Looks toward the consequences - only natural || Practical, easy to use
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Weaknesses Of Sit. Ethics
Rules make decisons easier || Too much freedom, can justify anything as long as its 'loving' || Love can be different for different people || Some people are sleifsh and do things for themselves
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Contextual Ethics
Paul Lehmann - Concerned with the lack of community when making decsions- linked with Jesus' work for others
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Compatibility with Christianity
Jesus biblical texts look at the situation also || Both are based on morals and follow agape love as the most important
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Compatibility with Christianity
Can follow Sit. Ethics without being religious || Does not always follow morals, abortion could be seen as most loving but breaking the rule of not to murder
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Dan Gatlin: Compatibility with Christianity
Says Sti. Ethics is NOT compatible with christianity || Sit. Ethics is a philosophical way to make decisons for those who do not have faith
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Proportionalism
Situation Ethics opposes Natural Moral Law [NML: actions are intrinsically/extrinsically good | NML: Deontological Sit.Ethics: Teleological
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Proportionalism & SItuation Ethics
Situation Ethics is the mid point between Nat.Moral Law & Situation Ethics
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Proportionalism explained
Proposed by BERNARD HOOSE "It is never right to go against an action unless htere is a proportionate reason to go against it" || Ie Contraception - an objective wrong but can prevent over population
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Ethical Issues: IVF
More loving to have potenital of a child? Or more loving to prevent the chance of dissapointment? ||Sit. Ethics is person based, so IVF is the best option as it is more compassionate
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Other cards in this set

Card 2

Front

Relativist - looks at each situation as unique || Teleological - decides an action by looking ta consequences

Back

Situation Ethics

Card 3

Front

Religious belivers think morality is deontoligcal as they belive in absolout rules

Back

Preview of the back of card 3

Card 4

Front

Moral principles can be put aside in some cituations to have a more loving approach || "love is the ultimate law" || One absolute law - AGAPE LOVE

Back

Preview of the back of card 4

Card 5

Front

A christian approach where lwas can be broken to provide a more loving result || Meaning it is a teleological idea, that looks to the consequences

Back

Preview of the back of card 5
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