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Essays by KT
Affirming Diversity
Which Way Home
Mis experiencias con español
La figura de la madre
La redención
Manifestations of the Divine Brahma
The Six Models of the Church
Affirmative Action
A Friend Is
A persuadir
Aprovecha el día
Armas de fuego
Asperger's Disorder
ASDs: Autism
Black Friday
Book Intro
Big Boys Dont Cry?
Cancion del pirata
Cell Phones
Cathedral Within
Change the World
Child Care
Civil Society
Christian Family
Organ Donation
Deanne Bray
Drug Testing
Faith in Narnia
Fast Food?
Guns and Games
Grenz Review
The Odyssey
I Am
Jesus the Christ
Keep the Laws!
La ciencia
La inmigración
Louis Braille
Marriage Reflection
Mi lugar de refugio
My Life (Erikson)
My Special Place
Reflection -Marriage
Romance sonámbulo
Public-service values
Semana Santa
Spe Salvi
Teen Suicide
Un Santo legendario
Better World
The Four Loves
"Jesus Freak" Picture
Mona Lupe
Mother of Jesus
Holy Eucharist
Religión en Niebla
The U.S. Economy
Todo es regalo
Trip to NY ...
True Friends
Una lección
Unlikeliest Friends
Santo legendario
Vs. and Verses
What's the Diff?
Walsh Review
Means to be Human
Million dollars

PH 231

15 Feb. 2009

            Every human seeks happiness.  I believe this happiness is found in truth.  To be human is to “[contemplate]… the highest things”, things above ourselves.  A highest thing, a highest being, whatever one finds this to be influences the way one thinks.  It influences the way one acts.  It influences the ethics one has and the morals one lives by.

            Contemplating and questioning are good.  In The Situation Ethics Debate, Cox points out how, in the past, there was not much interest in the why behind the doctrines of the Catholic Church, but he sees more of it now (12).  This increase in questioning and finding the why I think is a very good thing.  If one does not know the why, then the what suddenly loses a lot of meaning to the individual.

            Relative truth seems to be a trend currently.  I believe creating one’s own truth, however, is very dangerous.  If one can create their own truth and morals are relative then what is there to look to when things go wrong?  One cannot simply look to their own truth to straighten things out because that individual is not the only one in existence and likely not the only one with whom the individual needs to straighten things out.

            Situation ethics, the way I understand it, is similar, I think, in some ways, to relative truth, but not quite to the same extent.  “Fletcher argues, the key question is: ‘What does God’s love demand of me in this particular situation” (24).  I think this is a very important question, and that all situations require a similar question.  I believe everything should be approached with a prayerful attitude.

Interpretations may be very different depending on the person doing the interpreting.  This is why there needs to be a set of morals, a group of ethics to live by.  One may easily mistaken God’s voice for Satan’s voice if there is no known guideline by which to compare.  These morals and doctrines are formed not by one individual’s prayers and interpreted answers but by many individuals as a community.

An absolute truth is essential.  Everyone’s interpretation of this truth may be different but this does not change the fact of there being an absolute truth.  There will be different ways of approaching the truth as well, but that, too, does not change the fact that there is an absolute truth.  I believe that truth is nothing we as humans can set; there must be a truth set by someone greater than us.  For this is what we are searching.

Another problem is presented in The Situation Ethics Debate.  If there are no known guidelines or rules to compare one’s ethics to, we are then able to more easily justify ourselves to what we want to do or already have done (28).  I already, sometimes, to some extent, see people, including myself at times, try to justify their actions even thought they know they are wrong.  The reason they know their actions are wrong is because they have guidelines.  The reason they try to justify their actions is usually either to make their actions look less bad or to make themselves look better.

Fletcher said, “For me there are no rules – none at all” (31).  I do not believe this is true for anyone.  Just because someone chooses not to abide by the rules or does not want to suffer the consequences of not abiding by the rules, does not mean there are no rules or that these rules do not apply to that individual.  If there are no rules, what keeps one from acts such as murder or theft?  I believe the reasoning behind most people’s desire not to commit such crimes is not merely because they will be arrested or because it is against the law.  I believe there is an innate law within everyone.  Society may shape this to a point and laws may form one’s belief about what is right and what is wrong, but there are inner human laws.

Whether it was a law or not, I believe murder would be frowned upon.  Even though there is no law against committing adultery and out society seems to believe it is acceptable, it is known to be immoral.  There is guilt.  This guilt, I believe, shows that there is something besides merely law and earthly punishment that forms an individual’s thoughts on what is moral and immoral.

I agree with the statement in the book The Situation Ethics Debate that says “the commandments of God are not maxims” (36).  I like also how it said “Maxims are debatable, divine commandments are not, for the Christian” (36).  If these laws were debatable, and alterable to what each person believed, or felt like doing, there wouldn’t be much reason for them.  To have guidelines is good.

Laws are not put in place in order to place a cage around an individual or to initiate punishment.  Laws are put in place in order to protect and to keep the best interest of the community in check.  Rules set by parents or guardians are very much similar.  They are not put in place because they hate their children and do not want them to have any fun.  These rules are made because the parent cares and does not want to see the child get hurt.

These reasons even more so are true of God’s commandments.  They are not put in place because he wants us to be complete outcasts and freaks, and to not have any fun.  He puts these laws in place because he loves us and wants what is best for us.  He knows we need boundaries because otherwise we will completely mess up our lives and those of others.  He knows what will make us the happiest even when we do not fully understand.  He gives us these commandments, formed for us, to lead us to eternal happiness.

I really enjoyed the poem in the book The Situation Ethics Debate called “Situation Ethics” written by Jack Young.  The second half of this poem says:  “…But follow the book and you can’t help but win; / For there just won’t be any way you can sin. / You may lie, cheat, steal, murder, – live the life of a hood. / You never, but never, have had it so good. / Even marriage, the state we were taught to revere, / Is due for revisions I won’t mention here. / If these novel precepts grow very much broader, / We’ll need new beatitudes written to order. / But so long as your casuistry’s obedient to love, you’ll have nothing to fear from the powers above” (49).

I chuckled when I read this because of how silly this idea sounds and how accurate it is in accordance with what I understand about situation ethics.  I think it sounds very silly because “liv[ing] the life of a hood”, “l[ying], cheat[ing], steal[ing], murder[ing]” are not by any means “obedient to love” (49).

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