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

Explain What Is Meant By Situation Ethics.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

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.

Middle

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.

Conclusion

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.

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 Practical Questions section.

Found what you're looking for?

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

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 Practical Questions essays

  1. Describe and explain the distinctive features of 'natural law' and 'situation ethics'.

    However, Fletcher's beliefs derive directly from the New Testament, and particularly Jesus' idea of "Love thy neighbour as thyself." For Fletcher, every decision should be made with this principle in mind: he saw 'agape,' or unconditional love, as the 'absolute good.'

  2. Examine what is meant by natural law with reference to morality and analyse and ...

    Natural law appeals to the sense we have that morality is more than just a matter of what people's personal preferences and inclinations might be. GJ Warnock argues that the conditions of life are likely to go badly unless the moral virtues are encouraged; therefore, for example, without moral virtues, egoism (self-centredness)

  1. Free essay

    Explain What Is Meant By natural law

    The fundamental primary principles of natural law are of great importance to Aquinas's theory. They are always true and always apply to everyone. They are: the preservation of life, continuation of species, educating children, lives in society and worshiping God, which is the most important.

  2. Business Ethics

    In today's society, advertising has a reflective impact on how people understand life, the world and themselves, especially in regard to their values and their ways of choosing and behaving. In general terms, an advertisement is simply a public notice meant to convey information and invite sales or some other response.

  1. The Ethical Debate Concerning Cloning.

    The scope and arena of decision making has widened enormously since the days when being one's brother's keeper and loving one's neighbor was a direct matter between you and a handful of people you know personally, often by name. The pastoral, rural-agrarian and village society in the Bible, for example, no longer exists in this country.

  2. The Ethics of Stealing

    ?greater good? one can argue that by having a little impact on the shop owner and a big one on the starving man, this would benefit the most people e.g. the family, children of starving man, etc. Utilitarianism is based on what causes pleasure and pain and therefore using those we can make moral decisions.

  1. Explain what is meant by a Natural Law approach to ethics

    An interior act is the intention and an exterior act is the action. This makes us question why we do wrong, Aquinas says that we never intentionally choose evil as this is against our rational nature; it is simply an error of our reason.

  2. Medical Ethics And Organ Transplants

    For they may not lead a good quality of life due, but does this make them any less worthy of an organ? Peter Vardy argued that he could be a criminal but because he was young he in this case would receive the organ over someone who has had a

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