Situation Ethics

Mind Map by Sumahlor, updated more than 1 year ago
Created by Sumahlor over 6 years ago


A-Level Ethics Mind Map on Situation Ethics, created by Sumahlor on 05/05/2015.

Resource summary

Situation Ethics
  1. The theory of Joseph Fletcher
    1. A type of relativist theory
      1. Made in 1966 - a time of plenty of radical ideas
        1. A response to antinomianism (idea that there is no moral code except what arises from spontaneous acts) and legalism (the idea that everyone must follow a fixed moral code)
          1. Midway between the two
            1. Avoids the chaos of antinomianism and the 'manual-checking' of legalism
            2. Based on the Bible (Fletcher was originally a Christian but became an atheist)
              1. Because the Bible doesn't allow us to know exactly what God is thinking, we should try to follow the rule of unconditional love - 'agape'
                1. Love is the only thing which is intrinsically good
                  1. All love must be for others - you must be unselfish
                  2. We must consider the consequences of our actions
                    1. Do what you believe to be most loving in every individual situatoin
                2. Principles
                  1. Four Working Principles
                    1. Positivism
                      1. Love comes first
                      2. Pragmatism
                        1. Looks to practical, reasonable answers
                        2. Relativism
                          1. No objective values except love
                          2. Personalism
                            1. People, not rules or ideals, come first
                          3. Six Fundamental Principles
                            1. I use the WIELDS anagram
                              1. Love WILLS the good
                                1. Love is INTRINSICALLY good
                                  1. Love is an END, not a means
                                    1. LOVE is justice
                                      1. Love is DEONTOLOGICAL (it doesn't depend on the situation)
                                        1. What is a loving action depends on the SITUATION
                                    2. For and against Situation Ethics
                                      1. For
                                        1. A theory based on love is very attractive
                                          1. It's a good theory for Christians
                                            1. But you don't have to be Christian or even religious
                                            2. It's flexible - you can intervene, and also adapt - so it's better than relativism or absolutism
                                              1. You can make individual choices, not fixed on rules or following a group
                                              2. Against
                                                1. It's very hard to predict the consequences of your actions
                                                  1. There is never a definite answer
                                                    1. It might be said to go against Chrisitian teachings, despite being based on Christian love
                                                      1. Everything depends on the choice-maker who could be mistaken
                                                        1. Why should love be described as 'Christian' love? (Not really a flaw in the theory but might ut people off following it)
                                                          1. Might not consider the opinion and preference of the people involved
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