Examine Any Four of Fletcher’s Six Principles of Situation Ethics.

471 Words2 Pages
Joseph Fletcher a theologian, who first articulated situation ethics through the bases of absolute love, agape. He believed that there are no universal moral rules because each case and situation is unique and therefore deserves a unique solution or approach. His ethical theory was based on the six fundamental principles; the first principle is that ‘love only is always good’ which is the belief that “Only one ‘thing’ is intrinsically good; namely, love: nothing else at all.” This belief that nothing else has intrinsic values, allows flexibility of a moral decision. For example a lie isn’t intrinsically wrong; it’s wrong if it hurts someone but it can be right if it’s for the “best interests” of that person. This explains why Fletcher strongly disagrees with Intrinsic Fallacy which asserts that ‘good’ or ‘bad’ properties are in the actions e.g. stealing is always bad because it’s causing harm to oneself and is disallowed in ten commandments (‘you shall not steal’) However Fletcher argues that this can’t be for every case, for example; if one must steal to feed their starving family then it should be deemed right. His second principle is that ‘love is the only norm’ which is stated by Fletcher that “the ruling norm of Christian decision is love; nothing else” which outlines that the (moral) law should only be followed if it’s in the interest of love, so therefore you can change the rules (Ten Commandments) for agape. Joseph Fletcher rejects Aquinas natural law by arguing that “there are no universal laws held by all men at all times.” He then went onto Jesus’ teachings and how he summarised the entire law by saying “love god” and “love thy neighbour” therefore implying that love is the only law. Fletcher’s fourth principle is that ‘love is not liking’ which is the idea stated by Fletcher that “love wills the neighbour’s good whether we like him or not”

More about Examine Any Four of Fletcher’s Six Principles of Situation Ethics.

Open Document