Words of Wisdom:

"i wanna milk your boobs" - Kharthikheyan

Situation Ethics

  • Date Submitted: 12/13/2015 02:21 PM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 24.3 
  • Words: 404
  • Essay Grade: no grades
  • Report this Essay
Strengths and Weaknesses of Situation Ethics
  * An ethical system, most influential in Protestant Christianity
  * States that love is the only moral criterion and that all our actions should be judged by it (not by intuition or divine revelation)
  * St Augustine of Hippo said “love and do what you will” - saved his life as people loved him so protected him by killing the attacking barbarians, situation ethics approach allowed them to defend themselves
  * Euthanasia could be permitted as it a loving act to save an old person from a painful/undignified death (a strict “thou shall not murder” approach would not allow this) focuses on humans rather than worship of laws
  * But “thou shall not commit murder” doesn’t say that you can’t kill (murder and killing are different)   but this is tenuous at best
  * Killing Hitler before WW1 would have been loving to save millions of lives but some would say that murdering Hitler would bring you down to his level - it’s against our consciences to kill. However killing makes you feel uncomfortable as a gut reaction, not in itself a reason to say it’s wrong. Similar to some people being racist but that doesn’t show that racism is right.
  * Flexible - allows for pragmatic decisions to be made where rules and commandments seem to strict - takes the situation into account
  * The only basis for something being morally good can be the resultant feelings of human beings
  * However, it’s very difficult to define what “love” as a motive actually means - Hitler and Stalin could have said their actions were loving as in their eyes’ it was justifiable
  * Situation ethics can be used to take a consequentialist approach in most cases, only to abandon it (claiming “love” as the justification) when it becomes too uncomfortable.
  * Perspective can bias what is understood as love: e.g. selfishness and favouritism can affect
  * Slippery slope - small boundary then between euthanasia and murder - but in theory there...


Express your owns thoughts and ideas on this essay by writing a grade and/or critique.

  1. No comments