Essay about Situation Ethics

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Situation Ethics
An Anglican theologian Joseph Fletcher developed situation Ethics.
Legalism is the idea that there are fixed moral laws which are to be
obeyed at all times. Antinomianism is the idea that there are no fixed
moral principles but that one acts morally spontaneously. Fletcher
rejects Legalism because it cannot accommodate 'exceptions to the
rule'. If you reject one aspect of the law you surely reject it all.
He also rejects Antinomianism on the basis of existentialist ethics
which argues that reality is composed of singular events and moments
in time.

In advocating a
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Situation ethics would argue that one of its key strengths is its
flexibility; it allows for practical decisions to be made where
rule-based ethical systems follow their own absolute commandments. It
takes the circumstances into account where they ignore them,
prescribing some actions 'whatever the circumstances.'

Opponents would say that doing something like murdering Hitler brings
you down to his level, and point out that it is against our
consciences. However the phrase 'bringing you down to the same level'
is an essentially blank one, which disguises the fact that most people
just find killing uncomfortable. This is a gut reaction, not in itself
a reason for saying that killing is automatically wrong any more than
the fact that some people are instinctively racist shows that racism
is right. Situation ethics is not based on the idea of a conscience,
and as it says that we should make love rather than divine revelation
or intuition the basis of our action, our gut reactions aren't seen as
being the best moral guides.

Its advocates would also claim that situation ethics focuses on humans
rather than what amounts to a worship of laws and abstract principles.
These only have ultimate value to the extent that they help people.
The argument is that the only basis for…

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