Christian Ethics In The Scarlet Letter And The Crucible

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Ethics are the moral principles that a person lives their life by, more simply, the individual sense of right and wrong. When placed beside each other, the two main branches of modern philosophical ethics, theological and humanistic, are in stark contrast. Theological ethics stem from a belief that there is a higher power that dictates moral law. The three literary works Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God, The Scarlet Letter, and The Crucible, all have themes pertaining to Christian ethics, a form of theological ethics. Christian ethics are strictly written in the Bible, the Christian holy book which contains the moral law dictated by God. Humanistic ethics, on the other hand, are malleable and value the human state both individually and …show more content…
The inhabitants of Salem are Puritans, similar to those in The Scarlet Letter. Many innocent women in Salem are accused of dealing with the Devil. The women are forced to make a choice, to lie, to admit to witchcraft, and to save their lives, or to tell the truth, to face death, and to hopefully help the other citizens realize their grave mistake. The town’s leaders are expected to be the most morally upstanding Christian citizens, however, their rigid Christian ethics force them into believing the lies of witchcraft and hanging innocent women. The most obvious theme of The Crucible is that Christian ethics fail the community. If the citizens of Salem lived by humanistic ethics rather than Christian ethics, they could have disregarded the foolish claims of witchcraft, thought critically, and terminated the irrationality without hurting a single …show more content…
In this particular sermon, Edwards describes the Christian endgame: to go to Heaven and to avoid Hell. Edwards tactics are simple, yet, efficacious; he uses vivid imagery to describe the horrors of Hell, successfully scaring people into Christianity. Edwards uses his talent as an orator to force others into believing that questioning Christianity is eternally dangerous. The main theme of Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God is that fear of Hell should dictate every individual’s life, and that questions concerning the supremacy of God are especially slanderous. These Christian ethics are, quite honestly, concerning, considering that they suppress the freedom of thought by means of fear. If Edwards would have considered humanistic ethics, he would have realized that controlling people by fear is harmful. To improve the human state, he should have used less repugnant means of argument. Analogous to The Scarlet Letter, and The Crucible, the ethical themes of Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God cultivate problems and fear that would not have been extant if humanistic ethics had been considered in place of Christian

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