Situation Ethics / Edition 2by Joseph F. Fletcher
Pub. Date: 07/01/1997
Publisher: Westminster John Knox Press
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 moralityand as an invitation to anarchy by others. Proposing an ethic of loving concern, Fletcher suggests that certain actssuch as lying, premarital sex, adultery, or even murdermight be/i>
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 moralityand as an invitation to anarchy by others. Proposing an ethic of loving concern, Fletcher suggests that certain actssuch as lying, premarital sex, adultery, or even murdermight 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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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,
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.
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