Date of Award


Document Type




First Reader

Dr. Jim Berryman


"The New Morality is Here!" proclaimed a news magazine several years ago, and with such an announcement cam acceptance, rejection, opinions, reactions, controversy, and great debates. Since the announcement, theologians, pastors, philosophers, educators, and even common men have had much to say about "Situationsethik." Unfortunately, many of the opinions offered are those of uniformed closed-minded individuals who give a negative review of situational ethics.One commentator said that the new morality will "offend some, excite many, and challenge all!" From my general observation, the new morality seems to excite and challenge the informed persons while offending the uniformed. This last statement is a very broad generalization, but I think the observation is true in many cases.

I think I can illustrate the generalization by relating an event of a few weeks back when some of my fellow ministerial students talked to me. For some reason, five of my fellow students formed a self-appointed committee to point out where I was going astray. These students had discovered I was studying situation ethics and came to correct my mistake. I very quietly and patiently listened to them (a very difficult task for someone of my temperment). After they presented their case, I asked if they had read the book entitled Situation Ethics; The New Morality. The answer to my question was a negative reply for only one had even started reading the book. Not one out of the five students could tell me the author's name (Joseph Fletcher). I suggested that the students read the book in order to find out why they were against it. I also flatly told them I would not discuss situation ethics until they were informed about the subject.

The purpose of my study has been and is to inform myself about the new morality. Having such information, maybe I can avoid the negative uninformed attitude of my fellow students. This paper is a summary of my findings with some of my observations included. I hope this writing will be informative to others while stimulating them to study situation ethics open-mindedly. Such an open-minded study will lead to a great appreciation for the values presented by modern ethics writers. Thus, I hope the reader will very thoughtfully explore this vital subject with me in the next few pages.



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