CHRISTIAN MORAL PRINCIPLES (AUTONOMOUS (LOVE AS THE ONLY X ETHICAL…
CHRISTIAN MORAL PRINCIPLES
LOVE AS THE ONLY X ETHICAL PRINCIPLE THAT GOVERNS X PRACTICES.
Should be .... summarised in J' sacrificial life.
supports autonomy. Rejected infallibility of the Pope, license to teach removed by Church in 1979.
supports moral guidance routed in love. Rules of Catholic tradition should be recognised as well as modern challenges of human relationships.
E.g. Fletcher & James Gustafson, goodness isn't revealed by God BUT a condition of being human. Christianity highlights it explicitly as agape. Ethics are autonomous & teleological- aim for most loving situation.
4 working principles.
Some argue - more to Jesus' teaching than love, e.g. Sermon OTM: His teaching does dispense the law but looked @ ways- 'fulfil' it, by considering how to develop it inwardly in relationship w/ God.
ethics are self-governed.
APPLIED TO EUTHANASIA
: J specifically challenged rule-based ethics & encouraged autonomy. We should ask if it respects someones' life not if its right or wrong. Rejected by Joseph Ratzinger for undermining Magisterium.
THEONOMOUS CHRISTIAN ETHICS & PRACTICES
BIBLE as the only authority for Christian ethical practices
Source of moral authority- God the author.
Infallible. If there's problems w/ understanding biblical text. Prob lies w/ us.
Theonomous ethics shown through real life situations rather than clear commandments, e.g. King Davids adultery w/ Bathsheba (2 Samuel 11) shows what living 'moral life' is NOT.
Must be understood in theological context of life lived as a covenant w/ God.
establishes ethics- social & personal, e.g 10 commandments. Prophets such as Amos & Isaiah focus in particular- social justice & treatment of poor.as examples of response to God's covenant.
Jesus' Sermon on the Mount- new covenant isn't just about following set laws from OT BUT involves inner law of love, peace, faith & righteousness.
Modelled on Jesus' sacrifice.
Is it realistic?
'If your right eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away' (Matthew 5:29).
scripture has high value BUT literalism could be dangerous- gives Bible divine status than can only rightly be given by God-
Bible must be read- source of inspiration NOT truth itself.
War & retributive justice 'an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth'.
Capital punishment apparent for blaspheming (Genesis 9:6).
Deuteronomy 20:10-20- Israelites allowed to kill foreign women & children.
Sermon on the Mount: consciously revised old law.
Reconciliation replaces retribution & love of enemies taught in addition.
ethics governed by God's law.
Protestant Ethical Heteronomy
: X ethics can only be done in X worshipping community. J adapted OT teaching- Sermon on the Mount & we continue to adapt tradition today.
X communities need to Q society's values by living & practicing X social virtues.
PROBLEM OF SOURCES
What are legitimate sources for X ethics?
Are some, e.g. Marxism, alien to X thinking?
Do some sources have greater authority than others & if so what principle determines the hierarchy?
Tradition emphasised BUT Jesus appears to criticise religious traditions, e.g. Pharisees focusing on ritual cleanliness.
BIBLE, REASON, CONSCIENCE & CHURCH TRADITION
: Richard Hooker & Hugo Grotius. Bible evolved over time, developing out of needs of communities & so reason & conscience should guide its use in ethics.
Stanley Hauerwas on Abortion:
pregnant 15 yr old 'it is our problem', as a church. 'seen by us not as some pressing social problem'.
Roman Catholic ethical heteronomy
AQUINAS' NATURAL LAW
: humans set apart from animals- HUMAN REASON to know God's eternal law giving us more creative existence.
: collective wisdom of church leaders & teachers published- PAPAL ENCYCLICAL. All ordinary circumstances, Magisterium should be followed- has AUTHORITY.
Christian ethics accessible through natural world, reason, conscience & church authority.
: 'Ethics from below'- begins w/ marginalised, political & economic struggles of 'top-down' trad Church teaching.
Some use of Marxism. Criticised as while its good at questioning power, it also criticises religion for being exploitative.
a recent encyclical on moral theology. Reasserts centrality of reason, conscience & NL, which is moral law, knowable to all. Humans are sinful & cannot rely on reason alone so church- guide.
ethics governed by several sources of authority of law.