Another distinctive characteristic of situation ethics is the golden rule, ‘So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them’. Christian ethics is expressed in terms of divine command and the main examples can be found in the Bible. These are the 10 Commandments and Jesus' Sermon on the Mount about love of neighbor and the Golden rule. The golden rule is univesralisable. (We should treat other people in the way in which we would like to be treated ourselves). This is where humans have been given reason, because God is a purposive creator. But, Fletcher argued that Jesus did not intend to introduce a system of absolute ethics because each situation is unique.
John Robinson, who was the Bishop of Woolwich, threw the Church into turmoil by arguing that Christianity needed to embrace the “new morality” and that the only law in Ethics should be “the law of love”. Robinson was in support of Situation Ethics and wanted to attempt applying a Christian moral view to changing society.
In Situation Ethics, Fletcher offers different ethical principles that he maintains are true to Christian beliefs. His work is rejected by traditional Christian moralists for his belief that there are no absolute laws.
ii.) To a limited extent situation ethics helps clarify the relationship between religion and morality. Fletcher rejects legalistic ethics, he says the error made by Catholics is their adherence and devotion to natural law, and by Protestants the strict obedience of religious principles. Therefore, situation ethics is more concerned with people and love rather than rules. Like Jesus on the Sabbath Day, Jesus also confronted the Pharisees over what the day was intended for. Jesus wanted people to follow the spirit in which God had given the law rather than following it to the letter and acting immorally in some cases. A Situationist enters into a moral dilemma with the ethics, rules and principles or their community however they are prepared to set those aside in the situation love seems better served doing so. “The Situationist follows a moral law or violates it according to love’s need”. Divine Command Ethics is similar to Situation ethics in the sense that God is the source of moral authority, and the ethical theory maintains that actions are right or wrong depending on whether or not they correspond to God’s commands. However the difference is, Situation Ethics not only uses God as a source of moral authority, Situation ethics also uses agape to determine whether or not an action is morally good.
To conclude, I do not think that situation ethics helps clarify the relationship between religion and morality because situation ethics is based on Christian teaching, and although it rejects legalism, it follows the principle of ‘love your neighbour’. Therefore, to a limited extent does situation ethics clarify the relationship between religion and morality.