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Christian Moral Decisions

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Religion and Social Responsibility - Christians and Moral Decisions

Religion and Social Responsibility - Christians and Moral Decisions

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  • 1. Christians and moral decision making,
  • 2. What is a moral decision?
    • A moral decision is a decision in which you need to decide if something is right or wrong, for example
    • Abortion
    • Euthanasia
    • Capital Punishment
    • Fornication
  • 3. The role of conscience…
    • Is greatly linked with morality. In Euthyphro , Christians come to the conclusion that God gives each of us morality, as God is goodness, and without being good, he would cease to be God. A bit like black deciding it wants to be white, 1. it couldn’t and 2. it would cease to be black
    A CONSEQUENTIALIST IS SOMEONE WHO MAKES THEIR DECISION BASED ON THE POSSIBLE OUTCOMES- THIS IS LIKELY TO BE BY FOLLOWING YOUR CONSCIENCE!!
  • 4. Conscience . (… God’s voice?)
    • Christians believe that God gave us our consciences, they are telling us the good
    • A conscience is a good argument for the existence of God, if a divine being didn’t give us a subjective moral value, then who did?
    • A conscience is the inner voice, telling you what is right, and what is wrong.
  • 5. How does our conscience effect our moral decision making?
    • “ To a Christian, to do ones duty is to do the will of God.” – D.Z. Phillips
    • This shows that our duty is to do what God wills, and as some Christians believe God gave us our conscience, we should follow it to make moral decisions
  • 6. Emil Brunner.
    • “ The good consists in always doing what God wills at any particular time.”
    • This shows that to be good, means you have to do anything God commands-
    • So how do we know just what God wants. . .
  • 7. The authority of the Bible
    • For some Christians, for example orthodox protestants (Jehovah’s witnesses)- The Bible is the most important source of authority there is
    • Some Christians, such as Liberal protestants, (Church of England) believe that the Bible needs re-interpreting for a modern society, for example, many writings that now seem sexist, this is thought because the Bible was written when it was a patriarchal society
    • Many Christians believe in the Bible’s authority because in the new testament, Jesus came to us, and showed us how to live
    A DEONTOLOGIST WOULD FOLLOW THE TEACHINGS OF THE BIBLE WHEN MAKING A MORAL DECISION!!
  • 8. In the new testament…
    • Jesus told us…
    • Answer strangers cry for help,
    • Love your brother as you love yourself
    • Forgive your enemy,
    • Do not test the Lord, your God
  • 9. The Bible…
    • Can act as one part of our moral decision making,
    • It can give us good guidance on how Jesus would respond to a situation
    • Gives us the 10 commandments- some Christians argue this is the ultimate source of morality, argued as ‘primary precepts’
  • 10. The authority of the Church
    • Some Christians believe that God speaks to the world through the Church, or rather Church leaders, for example, Bishops, Priests, the Pope
    • The Church decides moral doctrines for the believers of that sector, on things like abortion- therefore it’s regarded as important
  • 11. The Church…
    • Offers guidance on moral issues, for example in million dollar baby where Frankie results to his priest for answers
    • If a woman was considering abortion, the Church would guide her into the decision they believe is right
    • Is where you go to confess your sins, to the priest, to keep a clear conscience
  • 12. Situation Ethics
    • Joseph Fletcher (1905-1991): Situational Ethics, The New Morality, 1963
    • Joseph Fletcher is known as the founder of situational ethics,
    • Other Christians have also used the concept before it was publicly know however, for example, Dietrich Bonhoeffer
  • 13. The four working principles
    • 1. Pragmatism – The main goal is love, and you must try to achieve love no matter what
    • 2. Relativism –each time you make a decision, it’s not fixed rules- it’s always different and relevant to that one situation
    • 3. positivism – you have to try to be achieving the greater good
    • 4. personalism - it’s personal to you, it’s not up to anyone else, and that’s your conscience talking to you
  • 14. Situation Ethics
    • Allows flexibility you don’t have to have one rule for every occasion, meaning you’re more likely to come to a good decision “ Loves decisions are made situationally, not prescriptively”
    • Christians would follow situation ethics because they need to know what is right for themselves, once again relating to conscience