26 comments on “Situation Ethics

    • I think it exists wherever you choose to draw a line you refuse to cross. Society draws its lines by making laws. For me, laws and faith help me choose my lines. But mostly, they come from how I’ve tried to adopt my parents’ influence and teaching. I think that’s true of most people.


            • Difficult to do this justice here. Algebraic logic is involved. Not my forte. But let me say this. If by general you mean societal, then yes, there are societal situation ethics, but they are not so usual and are relatively meaningless; e.g. laws that are continually being changed and therefore continually ignored. Laws are only one type of societal moral expression, but staying with that, most laws are effectively moral codes, in that they intend to foster conduct good for society at large. Personal moral codes, and I think every sane person has one to varying degrees, may or may not agree with society’s code. That conflict is why we have such deep divides on so many so-called public issues. The more that government gets into deciding what’s good for everyone, the more conflicts arise, and the more divided becomes society.


    • I read your piece. Tends to be scatalogical, irreverent/blasphemous. Not my cup of tea, but effective. Lifetime NRA member that I am, I too believe in bullseyes, and I rarely miss them.


  1. I think one thing that put us on this path is that we thought we could “live” outside the box. I mean it’s great to think outside the box -science/technology/arts, etc. But when we realize we are only human, we would remember we are too limited to just conjure up the sanest ways to live and “love”.


  2. I take it you consider yourself a Kantian? (at least ethically?).

    my thought here was, “what about a dart board that we build together and take down together and while it exists we do sincerely aim for the bulls eye?” (not really an original idea, I have to give credit to Richard rorty and other American Pragmatists…)


  3. Thoughtful comments on this post. Wanted to join in.

    Law presupposes a law giver, whether the law is moral, mathematical, logical, or physical.
    Man is capable of making laws and administering justice, as well as, mercy. Law creates the order necessary for social structures such as families, cities, states, and countries. Fixed laws of reality outside of man’s control imply another law giver greater than man, capable of administering justice and mercy as well. Laws don’t care whether you believe in them or not, but lawgivers by the nature of both law and authority sure do.


  4. Exactly!

    Because the law reveals both the authority/position of the law giver and their existence/nature at the same time, it determines behavior to the to the degree it produces fear/respect in the hearers.

    In addition, with regards to mankind, between his hearing/stimulus and his action/response his will is informed by his heart/mind, his thinking. The way he thinks then determines his behavior.

    In this way, the fear of the lawgiver could be considered the beginning of knowledge/wisdom, and
    furthermore just , or lawful behavior.


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