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

Situation Ethics 3.a) Give an account of Fletcher's Theory of Situation Ethics. Joseph Fletcher published his book on Situation Ethics in 1963. It was called 'Situation Ethics, The New Morality'. The 'swinging sixties' as it was known brought about a great deal of social change. There was an opposition to traditional values such as the role of women, so it was a good year to bring about new ideas. Fletcher was an American Anglican Theologian, so his theory had a sense of Christian morality. Fletcher said there are three ways one can make a decision. The first one is legalism. This is where someone obeys the law, always sticks to what the rules say. The second is antinomianism, when people ignore or go against the law or rules. This theory lies in-between the two, this is known as Situationism. Each situation should be dealt with individually, you should remember the rules but be prepared to put them aside, it allows people to think for themselves. He believed that if one was to always to stick to the rules, it produces the 'immorality of morality'. This means that in some situations, if you go by what the law says, the outcome will be immoral. For example if a mother killed someone to defend her children and she was condemned for it, this would be immoral. A situationist would look at the outcome and not see this as an immoral action as the woman was doing the loving thing

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  • Level: AS and A Level
  • Subject: Religious Studies & Philosophy
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