Situation Ethics

( 3 )

Overview

Igniting a firestorm of controversy upon its publication in 1966, Joseph Fletcher's Situation Ethics was hailed by many as a much-needed reformation of morality--and as an invitation to anarchy by others. Proposing an ethic of loving concern, Fletcher suggests that certain acts--such as lying, premarital sex, adultery, or even murder--might be morally right, depending on the circumstances. Hotly debated on television, in magazines and newspapers, in churches, and in the classroom, Fletcher's provocative thesis ...

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Overview

Igniting a firestorm of controversy upon its publication in 1966, Joseph Fletcher's Situation Ethics was hailed by many as a much-needed reformation of morality--and as an invitation to anarchy by others. Proposing an ethic of loving concern, Fletcher suggests that certain acts--such as lying, premarital sex, adultery, or even murder--might be morally right, depending on the circumstances. Hotly debated on television, in magazines and newspapers, in churches, and in the classroom, Fletcher's provocative thesis remains a powerful force in contemporary discussions of morality.

The Library of Theological Ethics series focuses on what it means to think theologically and ethically. It presents a selection of important and otherwise unavailable texts in easily accessible form. Volumes in this series will enable sustained dialogue with predecessors though reflection on classic works in the field.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780664257613
  • Publisher: Westminster John Knox Press
  • Publication date: 7/1/1997
  • Series: Library of Theological Ethics Series
  • Edition description: REV
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 192
  • Sales rank: 1,181,697
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.47 (d)

Meet the Author


Joseph Fletcher taught at Episcopal Divinity School in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and at the School of Medicine at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville. He was the author of many books, including Morals and Medicine and The Ethics of Genetic Control: Ending Reproductive Roulette.
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Table of Contents

General Editors' Introduction
Introduction 1
Foreword 11
I Three Approaches 17
II Some Presuppositions 40
III Love Only Is Always Good 57
IV Love Is the Only Norm 69
V Love and Justice Are the Same 87
VI Love Is Not Liking 103
VII Love Justifies Its Means 120
VIII Love Decides There and Then 134
IX Postscriptum: Why? 146
X An Appendix: Two Other Corruptions and Four Cases 160
Index 169
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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 23, 2006

    There Are Better Points-of-View But

    There are many things right with this book, though, perhaps, it is too easy to confuse Professor Fletcher¿s situation ethics with the much more nuanced contextual ethics of the superior theologian Paul Lehmann. Regardless, Professor Fletcher made us think about the consequences of our ethical reflection. Professor James M. Gustafson¿s comparison study Protestant and Roman Catholic Ethics: Prospects for Rapprochement,

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 20, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Sixties Ethical Formation

    I agree with another reviewer that Paul Lehmann is a superior theologian, but Professor Fletcher's book was helpful. He contrasted his Protestant concern with the consequences of ethical conduct with the moral absolutism of Catholic ethics. He is not a moral relativist despite what some of his critics claim. In the end, I think that Professor Gustafson might have trumped both Lehmann and Fletcher, but both are well worth reading, especially Professor Lehmann. Professor Fletcher posited a helpful correction to the kind of absolutism that has haunted the past few decades of political life in the United States. Fletcher and Lehmann both realize that the notion of Christian ethic is suspect and, thus, cleared a way for Gustafson's expression of this insight. Good example of ethical formation during the sixties.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 25, 2004

    Thou shall not...

    There was many things that was wrong in this book. Fletcher claims to be a utilitarinist and also a pragmatist. Dewey's pragmatism claims that utilitarism is wrong because of empirical reasons. Fletcher also forgets where the evil comes from.The story he told was of a group of people hiding from murderers and a baby was crying. The mother killed the baby to keep it silent to save the group. But was the evil coming from the crying baby or the murderers? Fletcher a devout believer in Chirst, says in this book that a Chirstian can believe in homosexuality and every other sex act because Christ fails to mention it in the gospels. Very Stupid! The icing on the cake is when he tries to persuade his moral argument with a quote from Lenin, the man responsible for the Soviet Union and suffering,death,and the almost total annialation of the world. If anything that should tell you how wrong he is. One thing that he did say that was right though, was he said that modern Christian theogians and mainstream Christianity are situationist, but dont' even see it

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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