In his book. Beyond Bumper Sticker Ethics. writer Steve Wilkens discusses nine ethical positions that are prevailing in civilizations today. Although the systems are sometimes obscure. and his treatments. a spot colored. I find myself fortunate because I seem to hold with most of his sentiments that he lets faux pas.
The first ethical belief that the writer discusses is Cultural Relativism. It talks about the how diverseness is going more and more evident between different civilizations worldwide. The writer references that frequently customs that are unquestioningly accepted in one portion of the universe are considered detestable in another.
for illustration: human forfeit. Cultural Relativism claims that there are no absolute criterions for moral judgement. Basically says that the values that every civilization isn’t needfully incorrect. merely different. I about wholly disagree with this position. The largest job I have with it rejects absolute truth and its being. If one were to do the statement “there is no absolute truth.
” they would hold merely proven themselves incorrect because that is a self-defeating statement.
For illustration. Communism and Christianity make divergent claims refering the nature of world. One or the other may be right. or neither is right ; but they both can non be right at the same clip. Harmonizing to the Law of Non-Contradiction. no statement can be both true and false at the same clip. Merely one ethical position can correctly mirror world ( truth ) . Cultural relativism is built on the belief that truth is ever comparative to a non-absolute criterion: one’s ain civilization. This leaves God wholly out of the image or instead puts civilization in the function of God. I do non hold with the belief that this ethical position nowadayss mentioning to judging civilizations. Sometimes you have to judge other civilizations. What I mean is this: If a civilization has a criterion that defies the truth ( God’s Torahs ) so they are incorrect. If there was complete tolerance. there would be no justness. In some instances. it would non be. for case. the United Sates’ function to travel and alter another country’s ethical system and do them make the right thing. If. nevertheless. the state is straight withstanding the will of the bulk and impacting our ain system of moralss. we have the justification to step in. The Bible negotiations about war and things many times. but you need to hold a balance and pick your conflicts. or else our universe would be helter-skelter.
The following system discussed is Ethical Egoism. This system seems wholly irrational to me. It fundamentally states that everyone should “look out for figure one. ” significance. “live and act merely harmonizing to your ain demands. ” If everyone lived by this system. the universe would fall apart. Everyone would be looking out for himself. We would wholly be selfish. and no 1 would win. Jesus addresses this issue in Luke 14:11. “For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled. but everyone who humbles himself will be exalted. ” This includes merely looking out for one’s ego. It is impossible for people to harvest profit if everyone is prosecuting merely themselves. Jesus said. in Matthew 16:25 & A ; 6 “For whoever wants to salvage his life will lose it. but whoever loses his life for me will happen it. What good will it be for a adult male if he additions the whole universe. yet forfeits his psyche? ”
Following discussed is Behaviorism. I wholly disagree with this position. First of all. it denies the possibility of God from the start because God is non the type that can be seen. touched. or tasted. It besides vetoes the possibility that there is something within human existences. like a mind–something non governed by physical Torahs. It claims that people are non free and hence eliminates any ethical significance within itself. In moralss. people are trained to act certain ways. Our actions are influenced by our societal environment. but they are non determined by it. as the system claims. Freedom and societal influence can co-exist. but if something is already determined. it can merely go on. and leaves no room for freedom. If the full universe used this criterion of moralss. what would go on to our justness system? No offense would be anyone’s mistake. Peoples would non take duty for their actions. and this universe in fact. non be ethical at all.
Egoism advocates the selfish chase of felicity. although it does look to set more accent on selfishness than felicity. Utilitarianism. which is the following position discussed. keeps the chase of felicity. but eliminates selfishness. This system seems more socially inclusive. and its chief motto is “the greatest felicity for the greatest figure. ” To me. this is the most namby-pamby chapter. One thing from this ethical position that I do hold with is that it offers a agency of equilibrating single freedoms with societal duties. While God does take certain people to make certain things. we are all judged harmonizing to one criterion and loved every bit by God. Besides. it would look hard to conceive of a loving God who wants to torment his animals. Of class He wants them to be happy.
One job I have with this position is that it says that actions are judged by their effects. If this is true. so we can’t cognize if our actions are good are bad because the determination is dependent on cognizing the hereafter. Besides. if we chose one way. we would still non cognize what the consequences of the other picks would hold been so how would one cognize if the 1 he made was the “greatest good. ” Besides. harmonizing to Utilitarianism. we must confront the jobs refering the extent ( “greatest number” ) of actions. We would so hold to face who would be affected. but we can non cognize this beforehand. Plus. we would hold to cognize that our action would bring forth the “greatest happiness” for each one we affect. There is no manner to find those. This position. therefore. is non really concrete. Further. we must one time once more see what would go on to justness. This system does non utilize regulations to find if actions are right or incorrect. Neither punishment nor wages would be just. If person earned a wage. it might non be in everyone’s best involvement to allow it to them. Justice would wholly be thrown out. Utilitarianism allows people to disregard regulations and. alternatively. concentrate on consequences. This is unbiblical. God created regulations for justness. order. and felicity! The Psalmist David wrote.
“The principles of the Lord are right. giving joy to the heart…The regulations of the Lord are certain and wholly righteous…By them is Your retainer warned ; in maintaining them there is great wages. ” ( Psalm 19:7-11 ) .
Rules protect rights and rights are to back up the fact that people have value. Utilitarianism emphasizes the value of individual’s felicity. but it doesn’t recognize value in people.
While Utilitarianism focuses on consequences of actions. Kantian Ethics. which is following discussed in the book. attentions about motivations and regulations. Harmonizing to Kant. the lone ethical regulations that should be adopted are those which show themselves to be logically consistent and which do non ensue in self-contradiction. This position claims that Reason is the justice and the beginning of right and incorrect. Duty is the focal point of this moral doctrine. This is one of a few facets of this doctrine that I find accurate. Duty takes us back to the perceptual experience that some things are right no affair what–even if our emotions are persuaded or our tempers alteration. It is true that Ethical Torahs are non unfastened to dialogue. I agree with the writer. in that. it is possible to keep unreasonable beliefs about moralss. But this is a job with our apprehension of right and incorrect. non a job with right and incorrect itself. Besides. Kantian Ethics demands that regulations be universalized. This coincides with Scripture’s guess that its basic ethical bids are intended for everyone.
One trouble I find with this kind of thought is that God truly has no topographic point in it because it places ground entirely to be the foundation for moral truth. Human ground is finite and to do our narrow ground the individual criterion of right and incorrect foliages any ethical system unfastened to error. Besides. ground is portion of human life. as the writer explains ; it is non immune from the effects of wickedness. Because wickedness exists. it makes even the best motives non to the full pure. Our ain good will can’t of all time mensurate up to God’s criterion. Kant fails to advert any indicant of these insufficiencies every bit good as the demand for God’s grace and aid.
Traveling back to responsibilities. I have another job with Kant’s position. It is a fact hat responsibilities conflict. Old ages ago I heard the narrative of a middle-aged male parent of one. The adult male worked as a span keeper for a rail company. His occupation was to run the controls that raised the railroad span which spanned a reasonably broad river. He did this so that flatboats could drift by. and he besides lowered the span so that go throughing trains could traverse the paths on it. One twenty-four hours the adult male brought his 6 twelvemonth old male child to work. Keeping an oculus on him through the Windowss in the cabin beside the span. the adult male allowed his boy to play on the environing stones. as he did paperwork and such. Soon subsequently. the adult male noticed the dismay sounding that the 11:00 train was nearing. signaling that he needed to take down the span for it to safely traverse. The adult male ran to the door. naming his boy in. As he spanned the riverside for his small male child. he all of a sudden realized that he was on the span. 100s of paces off. He urgently cried for his male child to acquire off from the paths. but in his protest. he discovered that his boy had gotten caught someway on the boards of the span and would be crushed by the lowering of the paths.
At the same minute. the male parent heard the whistling of the train. it was seconds off from the span. Horror filled the man’s head. If he didn’t lower the span. the train would crash and detonate. The 11 O’clock was a rider train that normally carried about 230 people on board. The adult male was faced with an instant pick of slaying his boy. or salvaging the boy’s life for the forfeit of a twosome hundred aliens. In the terminal. the adult male nobly sacrificed his son’s life. but that isn’t the point. The point is that no 1 can truly find what the man’s pick should hold been. He had two conflicting functions: one as a span accountant and one as a male parent. Sometimes taking between two regulations that can be universalized is ineluctable. and Kant does non hold any manner to work out this job.
I didn’t take much involvement in Virtue Ethics. largely because I didn’t like it. It is based on working to be virtuous–a point that none of us will of all time make. Merely God is genuinely virtuous. and Christians are merely righteous because of the righteousness that Christ’s blood brought upon us. The good workss and “fruit” is a consequence thereof. It does non come from within us.
In Situational Ethics. 1 might state the catch phrase is “All you need is Love. ” It begins at the right point by inquiring who God is. and replaces the love of the jurisprudence with the love of people. This is scriptural and it stresses that we are to love everyone. It besides provides a agency of avoiding struggles between ethical regulations. It does non let for grey countries. Situationism has merely one regulation that applies in every state of affairs. and so there is no struggle. This system does non. nevertheless. supply a clear definition of love. Besides. the Godhead of the belief. Joseph Fletcher. uses Jesus’ sum-up of the jurisprudence to reason that love is the lone criterion. However. it seems to “eliminate” all the other ethical regulations mentioned. If he is traveling to utilize the Bible for the base of his ethical system. he can non extinguish the parts that do non back up his theories–and neither can you or I.
Thomas Aquinas had a big influence in the following ethical system mentioned: viz. . Natural Law Ethics. He reached the decision that Christians and non-Christians should make the same decisions about morality. even if non-Christians do non acknowledge the beginning. He discusses that God reveals himself in nature. He besides includes an facet of God’s program that does non come through nature: Godhead jurisprudence. It is necessary because God can non be known to the full merely through nature. He is divinely involved with it. One job with the position is that ground can non take us to divine truth. Our inherent aptitude and nature can non uncover right from incorrect because we are tainted with wickedness. It seems to me that this position replaces nature with the Divinity of God.
The concluding ethical system discussed in the book is the Divine Command Theory. It names God as the beginning of moral truth. which I find favourable. It states that God made regulations for the existence and that it is the responsibility of people to obey these regulations. This. to me. seems to bind all of the truths from the old positions into one by and large accurate system. I agree with the belief that our creaturely nature obligates us to regulations that are portion of the created order. and that God. who isn’t a created being. is non bound by these regulations. I agree that Good and evil do non be independently from God. but I do non needfully hold that God created evil. I believe that it would non be harmonizing to His Omnibenevolent nature for God to hold created evil. Alternatively. immorality is a corruptness of what is good–like rust to a auto. like putrefaction to a tree. Evil is a deficiency of good things. Like a malignant neoplastic disease immorality infects and can pervert. but in and of itself it has no substance. It besides does non replace a personal being. merely as a individual has malignant neoplastic disease but is non malignant neoplastic disease.
In Conclusion. I believe the cardinal yarn in spoting what is true and what is false in each of these ethical systems is dependent on one belief. That is that God is the beginning of moral truth and He entirely is the revealer of what is right and incorrect. He does this through His Word. through nature. and through Divine disclosure. Upon geting at this decision. I believe that the truths in each of these systems are brought to visible radiation. as I have shown.
Cite this “Beyond Bumper Sticker Ethics” by Steve Wilson Sample
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