Teleological – Morality is dependent on outcomes and not concerned with action motives or intentions. End justifies the means.
Joseph Fletcher’s ethical theory of Situation Ethics Situation Ethics
“The morality of an action depends on the situation”.
* Developed his theory in the 1960s when he was then a Christian Episcopal priest.
Other moral principles can be cast aside in certain situations if love is best served.
Agape love: In Christian terms, the unconditional love that they must show their neighbours.
Bishop Robinson, “there is no one ethical system that can claim to be Christian”.
Rudolf Bultmann argued that Jesus had no ethics apart from “love thy neighbour as thyself”.
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.
Three kinds of ethical theory
* Legalistic ethics
* Antinomian ethics
* Situation ethics
Legalistic ethics has a set of prefabricated moral rules and regulations. Christianity has legalistic ethical traditions and has been focused on either natural law or Biblical commandments. They have a deontological and absolute approach.
-ve of legalistic: Fletcher says legalistic ethics runs into problems when life’s complexities require additional laws.
For example, murder is prohibited; therefore the difference between murder and killing in self-defence has to be clarified.
All complex alternatives (e.g. self-defence, abortion, killing in war) have to be either included in the law or new laws created to make them permissible.
This means people almost have to ‘check the manual’ when deciding what’s right or wrong.
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.
Antinomian ethics is...