The use of this Old Testament illustration is an example of a form of reasoning known as ad hominem argument. Should the patient be given an abortion? Breaking it down Of course, it is true that the decisions we make and the actions we take do not occur in a vacuum; there are circumstances surrounding everything we do. I wish I could give this book 5 stars. An action is good only in so far as it brings about agape. That is why most men dread it. Never mind how perverted his thinking was, the issue is if he believed he was acting in love, was his conduct moral? Love people, not things 50.
In the face of a moral dilemma, one tends to leave logic aside and turn towards the conscience for an appropriate answer. In that case, only God could be a utilitarian and he is not. I was surprised to finish the book and realise that the book had nothing to do with what I was hoping for. Yet, this is materially the same thing as P1. He stated that Legalism was a conservative, rule-based morality focused on unalterable laws. Many situationists take things further than even Fletcher argued for — they fail to respect the laws and principles of their society and just follow personal inclinations. In 1944 Fletcher accepted the Robert Treat Paine Chair in Social Ethics at the Episcopal Theological School of Harvard University, where he taught Christian social ethics.
Following rules without regard for the consequences is both immoral and an abdication of personal responsibility. Fletcher's attempt at articulating the grand Christian ethic, falls short both in grandeur and Christianity. This is a real problem for situation ethics, since the entire theory depends on agape. Therefore, his argument runs: P1 P2 Therefore, P1 13 Fletcher openly ridicules Middle-Class America 137. Ordained as an priest, he later identified himself as an. She was mindful about the ramifications of her act, but the yearning for her family ensured that she committed a sin as an act of love. Second, the narrative in Matthew 12 does not provide support for the dogma of situation ethics.
Love and justice are the same, he says, so to be moral you must give each man his due. In exodus the midwives were commanded by the Pharoah to kill all the newborn Hebrew sons. Still, this books pros far outweigh its cons. Subjectivity can never be the standard for human conduct. These are examples of a lack of love. We can be swayed by emotion or fear and persuade ourselves that we are doing the most loving thing when really we are doing the thing that suits ourselves the most.
Only when one views life through the lens of the Bible can one arrive at a worldview based on truth. Joseph Fletcher was an American professor who founded the theory of Situation Ethics in the 1960s. In fact, he has a very perceptive critique of Tolstoyanism: they want love but deny order. Conclusion When one conducts his or her life strictly by situation ethics, the logical result will be anarchy. Paul Tillich 1886-1965 , for example, wrote a short book in 1963 called Morality and Beyond in which he argued that if there were no rules, people would always have to work out time and again what was the right thing for them to do, and that in practical terms this would be impossible.
A circumstance to one, may not be to another. It is clear from the witness of the Bible as a whole that truthfulness is pleasing to God. Situation Ethics recognises that love is the most important thing when making a moral choice and echoes the sentiments of the Bible. He even goes so far as to say that any of the rights previously mentioned can be revoked in the name of this ideal. This makes it flexible and allows adaptation to different circumstances. For example, ethical theories like graded absolutism do not see deception in war as lying.
Situation Ethics is a teleological theory that identifies the end outcome of an action as the means of assessing its moral worth. New York: Doubleday and Company Discusses eugenic cloning. Robert Driskell Hi Jessica, This is indeed an important, and sometimes confusing, topic. This is because human beings, being flawed themselves, cannot be universally expected to understand and apply the concept of unconditional love. He used examples including the burning house and time to only save one person, your father or a doctor with the formulae for a cure for a killer disease in his head alone.
Positivism - The whole of situational ethics relies upon the fact that the person freely chooses to believe in agape love as described by Christianity. Fletcher tells the story: A young woman, jilted by her lover, is in a state of great depression. Article by received a Bachelor of Arts degree in both Pastoral Ministries and Biblical Studies from Mid-America Christian University in 1995. Two significant things happened during his second year in college: he met his future wife, fellow student and poet Forrest Hatfield of the famous feuding Hatfields , and he became an active Christian in the Episcopal Church. But the distribution is now extremely unequal. First Proposition: Only love is intrinsically good 57.
Although written within the context of Christianity, the theory was and is independent of Christian presuppositions. Is it ever right to do wrong? The biblical record paints a clear picture of the wicked heart of man without God Genesis 6:5, 8:21; Jeremiah 17:9; Matthew 15:9; Romans 3:23. Therefore, logic holds that the breaking of the commandment was not done in Love. Here are a couple more articles to help shed some light on this topic: Yours in Christ, Robert. He believed that all people could live with love as their primary motivating guide. Mrs B persuaded a guard to sleep with her; she conceived a child and was packed off home to Germany. He argued that it is hard for individuals to make their own moral decisions in every situation.