• 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

    when you want/need to'. This undermines itself, destroying the rational expectation of trust upon which it depends. Therefore, this dilemma cannot be resolved under Kant's ontology by lying, because this would create an instant contradiction, resulting in immorality as discussed above.

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

    Thus the application of knoweldge to actions must always be morally directed in one way or another. While this view is intrinsically very similar to that of Butler, the crucial difference is that, while Butler's conscience is a heady mix of logic and emotion, the logic of Aquinas' conscience brings us into contact with the voice of God.

  2. Business Ethics

    There are three essential components of managing ethically: integrity, morality, and principle. Integrity as a manager involves developing and maintaining trust and mutual respect between the manager and those managed. Morality is a bit broader term and is based on a foundation of ethical goals, motives, and standards.

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

    Yet to make conscience into God is a highly dangerous thing to do. Firstly, conscience is by no means an infallible guide and secondly, it is unlikely that we shall be moved to worship, love and serve a nagging inner voice that at worst spoils our pleasure and at best keeps us rather negatively on the path of virtue.

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

    For what reasons in this open to criticism [7] This essay shall discuss the reasons why situation ethics is open to criticism. Firstly it shall begin by criticizing Fletcher the founder of situation ethics and his ideas. Secondly it shall analyse the negative effects of applying situation ethics.

  1. Business Ethics

    which introduced human rights and ethical thinking in all domains of activity, from politics to business. Especially after the end of the Cold War, and with the development of technology and expansion of capitalism, ethics and responsibility became more important in developed countries.

  2. The Ethical Debate Concerning Cloning.

    The success of modern medicine and medical care is a result of the interdependence of medical specialties; its secret ties in the "division of labor" and complex referral system between the primary care physician and his many medical colleagues. Medicine can no longer be practiced out of a little black bag.

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