• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Defenders of situation ethics would argue that one of its key strengths is its flexibility; it allows for pragmatic decisions to be made where rule-based ethical systems follow their own absolute commandments.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

(ii) How far do the weaknesses lead to a rejection of the theory? 9 marks Defenders of situation ethics would argue that one of its key strengths is its flexibility; it allows for pragmatic decisions to be made where rule-based ethical systems follow their own absolute commandments. It takes the circumstances into account where they ignore them, disallowing some actions 'whatever the circumstances.' The frequent attempts to sidestep them are a tacit acknowledgment that this is the case, and can lead to some very confused situations. For example, the removal of the Fallopian tube, with its indirect result of the death of a foetus which would otherwise cause the mother's death, is ...read more.

Middle

This is a gut reaction, not in itself a reason for saying that killing is automatically wrong any more than the fact that some people are instinctively racist shows that racism is right. Its supporters would also claim that situation ethics focuses on humans rather than what amounts to a worship of laws and abstract principles. These only have ultimate value to the extent that they help people. The argument is that the only basis for something being morally good can be the resulting feelings of human beings, and situationalists like Joseph Fletcher have argued that because Christianity's God is a personal one, its moral approach should be centred around human beings too. ...read more.

Conclusion

Also, it is often very hard for someone to individually judge what is loving, as they are bound to see things from their perspective. Some selfishness can easily creep in with no firm rules, and love can also lead to favouritism. But a strong argument against situation ethics is that it tends to assume that just because an act is well motivated, it is automatically right. This is clearly not the case. Just because you wouldn't blame someone who accidentally killed two kids while trying to save his neighbour's dog, doesn't mean that his action was, with hindsight, objectively right. It could be argued that the motives did not love. ?? ?? ?? ?? Kerrie Freeman ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Philosophy section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Here's what a teacher thought of this essay

3 star(s)

3/5

The essay lands a couple of good points in favour of situation ethics. Nevertheless, it is held back by the absence of a clear conclusion, and indeed, argument in general, that addresses the question. Given the question, a little more focus on the weaknesses of the approach would be good here, even if it is ultimately argued that they do not overcome its strengths. While good points are made pro and con situation ethics more consideration is needed in terms of weighing these up, rather than just listing them.

Marked by teacher David Moss 31/03/2012

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Philosophy essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    Situation ethics

    3 star(s)

    An example of this is that people can say they have nothing against Black people but they can deny them simple justice but then that would not be following the guideline of 'love thy neighbor.' Overall, Fletcher feels that the best moral decision is made when love, not law is applied to a situation.

  2. The verification principle offers no real challenge to religious belief. Discuss

    Ayer suggested that something is "directly verifiable if it is either itself an observation- statement, or is such that in conjunction with one or more observation- statements it entails at least one observation- statement which is not deducible from these premises alone.

  1. Describe the main strengths and weaknesses of the cosmological argument for the existence of ...

    Ockham queried whether there was any necessary link between cause and effect - the cosmological argument depends on there being a necessary link between cause and effect. Some scientists today believe there are uncaused causes - certain fundamental particles come into existence without any apparent explanation.

  2. Explain Plato's Theory of Forms

    Within this theory it is assumed that particular examples of, e.g. good behaviour, are simply individual instances of the form of good. AO2 How convincing is his Theory's? Plato's Theory of Forms has had many criticisms; one being that it is not really a theory.

  1. Plato's Theory of Forms.

    All these 'particulars' are in a process of change, and are therefore imperfect. For Plato, this meant they must be inferior copies of some permanent universal object or quality. The permanent or universal objects and qualities could be found in the Real World - where everything was perfect, or ideal, and can be named the realm of Forms.

  2. Analyze the distinctive features of the Ontological Argument

    The fool is right to demand proof that God is in fact, and not just by definition, the greatest conceivable being.Anselm stated in response that "there are necessary beings -things that cannot not exist - and contingent beings- things that may exist but whose existence is not needed".

  1. Evaluate the claim that the soul is distinct from the body:

    Bertrand Russell agreed and gave the examples of football to illustrate this point. He suggested that football couldn?t exists without footballers and in turn, the colour red, could not exist without red objects. As such, the soul cannot exist without a body to function in.

  2. The Concept of Life After Death is Incoherent - Discuss.

    - Corinthians 15:42-44. Judaism does not present much evidence in belief of the afterlife. When 'apocalyptic prophecy' became more mainstream, imagery of the afterlife was used to illustrate the prophet's point about the fate of the Hebrew people. In the latter periods of history, many Jews believed that the souls

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work