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

What is Christian ethics?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

What is Christian ethics? The term ethics deals with what is morally 'right' or 'wrong'. Christian ethics therefore, deals with what is morally right or wrong for a Christian. There are several distinguishing characteristics of Christian ethics, each of which play a vital role to its analysis. Some Christians will base their ethics solely on the Bible and its teachings, others will base their ethics on the biblical teachings but also on Church tradition and Natural Law, others will follow a Situation or virtue ethics approach and others will look to their conscience as a guide. Christian ethics is based on God's will and is a form of divine command position. However, God never wills anything contrary to his unchanging moral character. The ethical imperatives that God gives are in accord with his unchangeable moral character. That is, God wills what is right in accordance with his own morals - 'Be Holy because I am Holy'. ...read more.

Middle

Temple said, "In its nature, the moral judgement is quite wholly independent of religion." The Roman Catholic Church accounts for the majority of Christians in the world, and is the largest religious organisation of any religion. Within Catholic theology, Natural Law holds a dominant position. Aquinas has emphasised reason as a tool for showing that certain acts are intrinsically right or wrong, as they go against true purpose; certain absolutes, such as sanctity of life, cannot be changed by the circumstances. The Church encourages a range of different approaches, but when it comes to official church teaching, the vast majority of statements, encyclicals etc. are strongly in-line with Natural Law. Within other denominations, Natural Law theology still has a significant impact. Many Christians adopt deontological positions and think we should act according to God's design or purpose for our lives. They may be less influenced by Aquinas in this, and Protestants tend to be less sure about moral absolutes. ...read more.

Conclusion

Instead of focusing on acts or ends, virtue theory holds that people should think about becoming better people, and prescribes qualities which constitute goodness. So while a utilitarian seeks to bring about the end with the greatest good for the greatest number, and Aquinas encouraged people to do actions which accorded with the natural law and avoid those which didn't, virtue theorists encourage people to look to self-improvement. This links to love as being the highest of all virtues and also the rationale for all virtues but just in different circumstances. The virtues, for Christian ethics point towards the goal for which we aim, even if we do not achieve it in life. In conclusion, it is evident that Christians set out to follow the Will of God. They use various sources of authority to discover what the Will of God is and I have mentioned these different types of foundations of the religion in my essay which has proved that whilst most Christians would recognise them as sources of authority, they are likely to place a different emphasis on their relative importance. ?? ?? ?? ?? ...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. In this essay I will be looking at Ethics and the importance of using ...

    The ethical response is to acknowledge the feeling to yourself and to consult your supervisor" (Bond.1998:113) You as a counsellor need to consider whether or not you could counsel this person effectively owing to your own attraction to them (Unconditional Positive Regard)

  2. Utilitarianism VS Kantian Deontological Ethics

    Another dilemma would be a situation in which a philosophy essay is due in for the next day, but it is 11:30PM, so trying to finish it would cause mild suffering on your behalf because you would have to stay up for a large portion of the night.

  1. Evaluate the claim that conscience is a reliable guide to ethical decision making.

    idea that the quality of conscience must be relate to the quality of knowledge the conscience is presented with, accounts for a 'potentially infallible' conscience while admitting basic flaws in the Universe. Cardinal Newman differs from all of the previous scholars in that he believes that the starting point for all conscience is God.

  2. Discuss critically the belief that conscience is the voice of God.

    They will be guided by the teachings of Jesus, by their understanding of the Bible, and by the teachings of their church; but they must make up their own mind. Conscience has been defined as "an inner sense that knows the difference between right and wrong".

  1. Business Ethics

    the consumer and organizational decision making but in fact, a misleading questionnaire could create a false research figure and lead to wrong marketing decision. When a marketer or marketing based organization failed to behave social responsibility or ethical manner, it could bought negative impact in social.

  2. The Ethical Debate Concerning Cloning.

    decision making about many things which once were outside our powers to control, ameliorate, avoid, or cure. The real question, however, is which God or whose God we are playing? It used to be thought that God has a monopoly control over life and health and death.

  1. Duties and Deontological Ethics

    most immediately follows the mandate of natural law that we are to be sociable. Concerning our duties towards God, he argues that there are two kinds: (1) a theoretical duty to know the existence and nature of God, and (2) a practical duty to both inwardly and outwardly worship God.

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

    It provides an alternative Christian ethic that aligns with the Gospel representation of Jesus. Protestants in particular would favour situation ethics. Regardless of what has happed in the past, cases are judged on their own merit individually. For example a teenager may have committed the crime of theft in the

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