• 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'.

    Fletcher's aim was to overcome the problems of legalistic and antinomian ethics. Legalistic ethics are those traditionally followed by Christians, and involve precepts that are literally interpreted. Fletcher believed that this caused problems because it meant the implications of each commandment had to be decided by non-deistic influences.

  2. Examine the key features of situation ethics, and the main criticisms of it, and ...

    that the most important commandment is to love God and love your neighbour. Hr also said that love and justice are the same, and love is justice distributed, that love is not liking and always wills the neighbour's good and that situation ethics is a teleological theory that identifies the

  1. Free essay

    Explain What Is Meant By natural law

    'Natural law is unjust' Discuss In my opinion there is no ethical theory that pleases everyone, there is bound to one or more flaws. Such theories that have been worked on very many years ago prove hard to search for answers concerning our modern world.

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

    The idea that there is a natural law of morality, just as there is a law of gravity is reasonable. Even though different cultures and individuals may reach different conclusions on the rightness or wrongness of a moral action, there is a general sense that some things are of intrinsic value.

  1. Business Ethics

    Advertising also has an indirect but powerful impact on society through its influence on media. Many publications and broadcasting operations depend on advertising revenue for survival. Some unethical advertising misrepresent without relevant facts, promote harmful or useless goods, and mislead consumers based on irrational buying decisions.

  2. The founder of situation ethics, Joseph Fletcher felt that the individual should be of ...

    Bishop John Robinson of Woolwich published his book, "Honest to God" in Britain and he argued that man has come to age and therefore does not need the authority of any holy scriptures all that is require is love. Christians in particular would favour situation ethics because if follows one

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

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