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Explain What Is Meant By Situation Ethics.

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Explain What Is Meant By Situation Ethics. Religion has for a long time been a source of moral rules for many people. Probably the most famous set of rules is the 10 Commandments. An alternative view of moral rules is known as Situation Ethics. Situation ethics is an idea that was first developed by Joseph Fletcher. What Fletcher attempted to do was to create a compromise between having too many rules and no rules at all. Fletcher rejected the idea that everyone should follow a whole series of rules. Instead of a whole number of rules, Fletcher suggested that there is only one rule that everyone should follow. This rule is about love and was called 'the law of love'. Fletcher defines what people should do in terms of love: the right course of action is to do the most loving thing. Christian love is not based on desire; it is self-giving love or agape. ...read more.


Is one rule too general? It has been argued that Fletcher does not really give any real instructions about what morally ought to be done. If ethics can be reduced to one moral rule, which Fletcher believes it can, then this rule must be very general. The rule must be able to cover every eventuality. Another criticism is what about God? The traditional Christian view is whatever God does is love and essentially humans should try to follow this. However, Fletcher goes against this idea because, for Fletcher, it is the situation that determines what love is. Situation Ethics has been criticised on a number of important points. For example, in order to 'do the most loving thing' in every situation one must look to the long term consequences of one's actions in the present moment. But this is a difficult thing to do. We do not know if our actions will lead to heartache or joy but the promotion of love for the Situationist requires us to do so ...read more.


In this way one could take the 'primary precepts' of the Natural Law (for example, killing, stealing, lying and cheating) as foundations which should be adhered to unless there are good reasons not to. Despite accepting the Situationist's notion of love as the highest principle Proportionalists do not accept the view that love can make a wrong action right. However Proportionalists also face the same difficulties as Situationists do in trying to determine the outcome of an action committed in the name of trying to 'do the most loving thing' and the possibility of making a decision based on selfish reasons. In conclusion I think that Situation Ethics is too general a rule to follow. I think that it would be very hard to follow just one rule that is 'To do the most loving thing'. In a situation there may be three consequences and possible out comes, two out of those out comes may be the most loving thing to do, What do you do then. ...read more.

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