Christian Moral Decisions


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Religion and Social Responsibility - Christians and Moral Decisions

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Christian Moral Decisions

  1. 1. Christians and moral decision making,
  2. 2. What is a moral decision? <ul><li>A moral decision is a decision in which you need to decide if something is right or wrong, for example </li></ul><ul><li>Abortion </li></ul><ul><li>Euthanasia </li></ul><ul><li>Capital Punishment </li></ul><ul><li>Fornication </li></ul>
  3. 3. The role of conscience… <ul><li>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 </li></ul>A CONSEQUENTIALIST IS SOMEONE WHO MAKES THEIR DECISION BASED ON THE POSSIBLE OUTCOMES- THIS IS LIKELY TO BE BY FOLLOWING YOUR CONSCIENCE!!
  4. 4. Conscience . (… God’s voice?) <ul><li>Christians believe that God gave us our consciences, they are telling us the good </li></ul><ul><li>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? </li></ul><ul><li>A conscience is the inner voice, telling you what is right, and what is wrong. </li></ul>
  5. 5. How does our conscience effect our moral decision making? <ul><li>“ To a Christian, to do ones duty is to do the will of God.” – D.Z. Phillips </li></ul><ul><li>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 </li></ul>
  6. 6. Emil Brunner. <ul><li>“ The good consists in always doing what God wills at any particular time.” </li></ul><ul><li>This shows that to be good, means you have to do anything God commands- </li></ul><ul><li>So how do we know just what God wants. . . </li></ul>
  7. 7. The authority of the Bible <ul><li>For some Christians, for example orthodox protestants (Jehovah’s witnesses)- The Bible is the most important source of authority there is </li></ul><ul><li>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 </li></ul><ul><li>Many Christians believe in the Bible’s authority because in the new testament, Jesus came to us, and showed us how to live </li></ul>A DEONTOLOGIST WOULD FOLLOW THE TEACHINGS OF THE BIBLE WHEN MAKING A MORAL DECISION!!
  8. 8. In the new testament… <ul><li>Jesus told us… </li></ul><ul><li>Answer strangers cry for help, </li></ul><ul><li>Love your brother as you love yourself </li></ul><ul><li>Forgive your enemy, </li></ul><ul><li>Do not test the Lord, your God </li></ul>
  9. 9. The Bible… <ul><li>Can act as one part of our moral decision making, </li></ul><ul><li>It can give us good guidance on how Jesus would respond to a situation </li></ul><ul><li>Gives us the 10 commandments- some Christians argue this is the ultimate source of morality, argued as ‘primary precepts’ </li></ul>
  10. 10. The authority of the Church <ul><li>Some Christians believe that God speaks to the world through the Church, or rather Church leaders, for example, Bishops, Priests, the Pope </li></ul><ul><li>The Church decides moral doctrines for the believers of that sector, on things like abortion- therefore it’s regarded as important </li></ul>
  11. 11. The Church… <ul><li>Offers guidance on moral issues, for example in million dollar baby where Frankie results to his priest for answers </li></ul><ul><li>If a woman was considering abortion, the Church would guide her into the decision they believe is right </li></ul><ul><li>Is where you go to confess your sins, to the priest, to keep a clear conscience </li></ul>
  12. 12. Situation Ethics <ul><li>Joseph Fletcher (1905-1991): Situational Ethics, The New Morality, 1963 </li></ul><ul><li>Joseph Fletcher is known as the founder of situational ethics, </li></ul><ul><li>Other Christians have also used the concept before it was publicly know however, for example, Dietrich Bonhoeffer </li></ul>
  13. 13. The four working principles <ul><li>1. Pragmatism – The main goal is love, and you must try to achieve love no matter what </li></ul><ul><li>2. Relativism –each time you make a decision, it’s not fixed rules- it’s always different and relevant to that one situation </li></ul><ul><li>3. positivism – you have to try to be achieving the greater good </li></ul><ul><li>4. personalism - it’s personal to you, it’s not up to anyone else, and that’s your conscience talking to you </li></ul>
  14. 14. Situation Ethics <ul><li>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” </li></ul><ul><li>Christians would follow situation ethics because they need to know what is right for themselves, once again relating to conscience </li></ul>