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Christian  Ethics1

Christian Ethics1






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    Christian  Ethics1 Christian Ethics1 Presentation Transcript

    • Christian Ethics Revision
    • Euthyphro Dilemma: Plato’s origin of morality
      • Autonomy Thesis : morals already there – God loves them cause they are good, independent of God.
      • Humanists support this view that morality exists separately from religion:
      • AJ Ayer:
      • “ Humanists believe that moral values evolved, and continue to evolve, along with human nature and society…”
      • Diminishes God ‘s omnipotence
      • Implies even God obeys rules
      • Divine Command thesis : morals good because God says they are
      • God could have said anything
      • New dilemmas – no guidance
      • Emil Brunner “Good consist of always doing what God wills at any particular moment.”
      • Close relationship between ‘goodness’ and religion But clearly you don’t have to be ‘religious’ to be ‘good’ Where does ‘good’ come from if it is not from God?
    • Key words
      • Eschatology : entering heaven at death
      • Realised eschatology : enter kingdom of God when become a Christian
      • Bible is used and read differently by different Christians
      • exact word propositional view RC/ Pr (divine record of religious truths)
      • inspired by God non propositional view (human faith in God, human documents
      • Exegesis : interpretation of scripture: 10 commandments absolute ethics.
    • Sermon On the Mount:
      • Matthew’s Gospel Ch 5-7 – The Sermon on the Mount. Starting with the Beatitudes:
      • Blessed are…..
      • The poor in spirit
      • Those who mourn
      • The meek
      • Those who hunger and thirst for righteousness
      • The merciful
      • The pure in heart
      • The peacemakers
      • Those who are persecuted for righteousness
      • Sermon on the Mount: taught by Jesus, intentions more important than outcomes = deontological
      • Jesus’ Golden Rule (Matthew 7:12) “Do unto others...” links in with the idea of treating others as you want to be treated.
    • Agape:
      • Ethics in Letters of St. Paul
      • St Paul started life as Saul, a persecutor of Jews. After a major life transformation he converted to Christianity and became a prominent Christian thinker.
      • Agape : - the overriding moral imperative for Paul is love (e.g. Romans 13:9-10 and 1 Corinthians 13.)
      • Paul’s letters were written to specific Christian communities experiencing difficulties. Each situation threw up new demands.
      • NT – agape ‘love they neighbour.’
      • Agape: Situation Ethics Joseph Fletcher: maximising agape (unconditional love)
    • Are you Old or New?
      • Characteristics of Old Testament ethics:
      • A firm God who expects obedience
      • Absolute rules set out
      • Rules and regulations based ethics
      • A just God who takes rights seriously
      • Loving father
      • Focus on laws that the Hebrews were given by people like Moses
      • Characteristics of New Testament ethics:
      • Stories from Jesus’ life
      • Teachings on how to live our lives
      • Ethics practised by Jesus
    • 5 Key Christian Teachings
      • Agape:
      • This idea centres around selflessness and love that is not based on gains or outcomes (unconditional). This means it applies to people we like and don’t like.
      • Justice, Mercy and forgiveness:
      • We must treat others fairly and ‘fight’ for equality of others. Forgiveness should come first and we should not judge others without looking at our own shortcomings first.
      • E.g. John 8:3-10
      • “ If any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.” Again he stooped down and wrote in the ground.”
    • 5 Key Christian Teachings
      • Service and humility:
      • Put others first and acting in the service of others out of agape. This is not for reward or praise. We should never think of ourselves as better than others.
      • E.g. John 13:3-6
      • “ Now that I, your Lord and Teacher have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet.” (Jesus teaches Christians to serve one another.)
      • Honesty and integrity:
      • You need to have a consistent good behaviour and set a good example to others which includes telling the truth and being true to yourself
      • Spirituality not materialism:
      • You need to be genuine in your love of God and concentrate on your spiritual life. We should not put importance on worldly goods, making us greedy and selfish.
    • Evaluation
      • Provides a framework to live by – life needs rules
      • God notices good intention and acts
      • Positive aspects – love/ agape
      • Doesn't take personal, individual circumstances into consideration
      • Are rules too inflexible, what about culture etc?
      • Modern day dilemmas not answered e.g IVF
      • Some rules too rigid
    • Further criticisms
      • Are they no exceptions to the rules – need to be broken for greater good e.g. axe man
      • Where does morality come from for someone not religious?
      • Texts not relevant/ outdated e.g. views on homosexuality/ women’s roles
      • Charles Curran: problems and limitations in using Bible, reader needs to be aware of historical and cultural differences. Biblical writings are ‘culture bound’ e.g. sex/ages
      • Different churches have persecuted each other – no example