The elements of situation ethics were described by Joseph Fletcher, its leading modern proponent, like this:
Moral judgments are decisions, not conclusions
Decisions ought to be made situationally, not prescriptively We should seek the well-being of people, rather than love principles. Only one thing is intrinsically good, namely, love: nothing else Love, in this context, means desiring and acting to promote the wellbeing of people Nothing is inherently good or evil, except love (personal concern) and its opposite, indifference or actual malice Nothing is good or bad except as it helps or hurts persons
The highest good is human welfare and happiness (but not, necessarily, pleasure) Whatever is most loving in a situation is right and good--not merely something to be excused as a lesser evil Moral theology seeks to work out love's strategy, and applied ethics devises love's tactics. Love "wills the neighbour's good" [desires the best for our neighbour] whether we like them or not The ultimate norm of Christian decisions is love: nothing else The radical obligation of the Christian ethic to love even the enemy implies unmistakably that every neighbour is not a friend and that some are just the opposite. Love and justice are the same, for justice is love distributed Love and justice both require acts of will
Love and justice are not properties of actions, they are things that people either do or don't do Love and justice are essentially the same
Justice is Christian love using its head--calculating its duties. The Christian love ethic, searching seriously for a social policy, forms a coalition with the utilitarian principle of the 'greatest good of the greatest number.' The rightness depends on many factors
The rightness of an action does not reside in the act itself but in the loving configuration of the factors in the situation--in the 'elements of a human act' --i.e., its totality of end, means, motive, and foreseeable consequences.
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