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

Outline the Six Fundamental Principles of Joseph Fletchers Situation Ethics

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Outline the Six Fundamental Principles of Joseph Fletcher?s Situation Ethics (30 Marks) Joseph Fletcher (1905-1991) is the father of Situation Ethics. He explains his theory in his book ?Situation Ethics: The New Morality? which was published in 1966. He said that we should always use the principle of agape when faced with a moral dilemma as this will lead us to the most moral decision. He said we should always apply this principle in everyday life and treat no two situations as identical. Situation Ethics is therefore both a relativistic and consequentialist theory. It is seen as a radical Christian approach to ethics as it goes against the legalistic approach that Christians had followed before, the theory also ?suggests? that Jesus was a situationist as many stories in the bible tell us of how he made decisions based on each individual situation and was not lead by the rules set out in the Old Testament; ?The Ten Commandments?. ...read more.

Middle

This rejected the obligation that one must rest on the Sabbath day, showing that the Ten Commandments are not absolute and can be broken when love demands it. Therefore this proposition says that love should replace any moral code, religious or state law. ?Love and Justice are the same, for justice is love distributed, nothing else.? This is the third proposition and explains that love and justice cannot be separated and within Christianity ?justice is Christian love using its head, calculating its duties, obligations, opportunities, resources ? Justice is love coping with situations where distribution is called for.? (Fletcher 1966) In other words we cannot act lovingly without an action also being fair on most or all parties. The fourth proposition suggests that: ? Love wills the neighbours good, whether we like him or not.? In other words this is repeating one of the Ten Commandments ?Love thy neighbour.? They both mean the same thing; both are referring to the principle of agape which is unconditional love rather than sentimental or erotic. ...read more.

Conclusion

Jesus however said to her prosecutors that the first man to throw the stone should be that who has never sinned. None of the men threw the stones because they had all committed some sort of sin within their life and therefore the woman?s life was also spared. This shows us that each individual should be approached with a fresh mind and not based upon any rule but that of love. The six fundamental propositions or principles give a clear indication that Fletcher?s theory was radical in its difference to the traditional form of Christian Ethics. The theory is relativistic in its approach towards ethics because within Situation Ethics an action is not intrinsically right or wrong until the result of a particular action is known. The theory is again very different as it does not ask a person to follow any written rule apart from the principle of agape love. It was particularly radical as it was written during the sexual revolution which explains this example that Fletcher gives in his book to explain the first proposition: ?Whether any form of sex is good or evil depends on whether love is fully served? ...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. Peer reviewed

    Give an account of Fletcher's Theory of Situation Ethics.

    4 star(s)

    In any given situation, the right thing to do was what love required'. When making a moral decision, you must look at the outcome to decide the correct choice. One can do whatever he seems appropriate as long as the end result is love.

  2. In this essay I will be looking at Ethics and the importance of using ...

    However, if we decide to counsel the client we must feel confident and competent enough to be able to put our attraction to one side to enable us to stay with the client. A counsellor should make it clear what their role is when setting the contract with the client,

  1. Explain Fletcher's theory of Situation Ethics (13) and Assess the strengths and weaknesses of ...

    Karl Rahner (A Catholic) also argued for objective norms. Fletcher's explanation has been subject to examination by a variety of critics who might be categorised as defenders of an approach based on principles. Fletcher attacks emphasis given to law in decision making. The decision should be taken here and now according to him.

  2. Kant's theory of Ethics

    Kant seems to lay absolute primacy on the faculty of human reason and as a consequence can seem to lack the 'Emotion' aspect of human nature which has led to his theory being dubbed as an elitist theory, meaning that only those people with enough intellectual intelligence can abide by Kant's categorical imperative.

  1. Essay on Law vs. Justice

    Upholding the law is always important. Law should not be influenced by the thousands of different moral codes out there, each with a different meaning for justice.

  2. How useful is Joseph Fletcher's "Situation Ethics"as a guide to human behaviour?

    (Fletcher quoted by Jenkins) Fletcher pointed out that even Jesus broke Jewish law if love was better served by doing so. "Christ Jesus ... abolished the law with its commandments and legal claims." Ephesians 2:13-15 Christians of all denominations can use Fletcher's theory, which is an advantage as religious disputes

  1. Business Ethics

    the result may not be captured, proper target group may not be identified, or methodology bias applies on the final result. Besides that, unethical marketing research does affect the social and organization. For example, a Malaysian medication firm was interested to establish their business plan in Africa; they obtained market

  2. Explain the approach of Situation Ethics to moral decision making.

    The real question is what counts as being in someone's best interests. This is where a Christian ethics will include the idea that God created us, instructed us to reproduce etc.

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