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66 Cards in this Set

  • Front
  • Back

Task of Ethics

To Inform Conscience

Christian Ethics

Ethics in service to our discipleship, seeks to give and account of the Christian life Ethics arises because we are trying to make sense of things. Part of pastoral cure of souls. What is our true desire and how we can live with integrity.


Uses cases to help people walk through moral quandaries. A moral case is one where two goods are in conflict

Formal Norms

Action guides (or principles for action) that indicate the end of action

Material norms

action guides (or principles of action) that indicate particular actions that are required to realize the end of action.

Goods (four basic principles (formal norms representing the end of action.

1. Respect for Autonomy (e.g. informed consent)

2. Non-maleficence (act so as to do no harm)

3. Beneficence (act to do good)

4. Justice (act as to treat equals equally) - more complicated because it's distributive

5. (Bok wants to make honesty a principle)


Choosing one good is not choosing another

2 conditions for autonomy

Knowledge/information and freedom to act


Justified when Autonomy does not exist

Problem with Distinction between beneficence and non-maleficence

Complicity - Am I complicit in doing harm (i.e. relieving pain/hastening death.

non-maleficence and beneficence

2 kinds of goods. Direct action vs. indirect


Equals treated equally

The end of justice (according to RC)

All persons should have the necessary resources to participate in the human community.

Distributive Justice

How do you distribute goods since people are not equal?

Criteria for Justice (Material norms vs. the formal norm of justice

1. simple equality

2. Need

3. Merit

4. Benefit

5. Effort

Commutative Justice

The justice of exchange

Retributive Justice

How do you distribute punishment? Exists so peel can trust in the system, order. Reform safety of society, breaks the cycle of revenge.

Restorative Justice

Seeks to restore relationship. Only works when all parties are willing to participate, leadership, and community.

All theological ethics address 4 questions. Part of critical process of traditioning.

1. What is the nature of God andhow does that inform the other questions of ethics?2. What is the nature of the goodand is that related to human well-being?3. What is the nature of moralagency, including how to we come to know and do the good?4. What is the nature of moralcriteria and how does that inform moral judgments?


three models for understanding sexuality. This card is 1 of 3.

1) Foucault – sexuality can’t be understood as one thing –has a history, shaped by interests, power – procreation and what that means –power shaped by certain practices – goods of desire, unitive, procreative

Farley: three models for understanding sexuality. This card is 2 of 3.

2) McKinnon – patriarchy has shaped humanity fundamentallyand Foucault doesn’t give it its due – we need to understand sexuality in lightof patriarchy – should be fundamentally grounded in notions of equality

Farley: three models for understanding sexuality. This card is 3 of 3.

3) D’Emilio and Freedman - Evolutionary view – marriage witha focus on companionship – can only happen with economic security, enoughresources

Goods of human sexuality, in the Christiantradition

1.pleasure (desire)

2. companionship (unitive)

3. procreation (family)

According to Farley, why is a cross-cultural understanding important?

because those voices illuminate our own perspective – multiplevoices – how are we traditioned (reception theory).

Think about what is distinctive about Christian faith andits understanding of human sexuality?

Experience of disunity - are we embodied spirits or inspirited bodies?

1. profound suffering – both spiritual and physicale.g. trauma is remembered in the body- 2. objectification – e.g. looking at someone as abody and defining them

2. aging and dying – diminishment of freedom, theability to act, isolation (May article – how is the body tied to the spirit?)

3. the divided self – revealed in the accounts ofthe fall – we are not who we are meant to be.

Underlying assumptions for disunity (2 different ways of understanding)

1) Augustine – creation/fall/redemption – creation is good,fall is disunity (split between body and its desires vs what we are supposed tobe), redemption is in eternity (not in time) – deeply pessimistic about abilityto achieve redemption => primacy of grace

2) Thomas and Barth – creation/consummation – we participate more andmore fully in what we are supposed to be

Farley – norms forjust sex

Formal norms - do no harm, ensure free consentMaterial norms – mutuality, equality, commitment,fruitfulness, social justice

Gustafson – materialnorms for marriage vows

Sexual exclusivityMonogamyLife commitmentOpenness to childrenMade publicly (Vow – we pledge publicly in order to bindourselves to what we want to be/do)

Nature of material norms

Purpose of norms is to inform conscience:

ideals, prudential judgments, admitting degreesof approximation, or are there exceptionless rules? Are some goods so clear(e.g. Anabaptist pacifism because one cannot take a life).

Why are virtues and the account of the Christian life important?

Unless you can articulate the faith, you can’t invite peoplein

Virtue is

a moral excellence, a good habit that perfects a human poweror capacitye.g. faithfulness, mercy, prudence, love, kindness. A virtuehelps us participate in the telos wedesire.

Cardinal Virtues

1) Justice – love serving the loved object, andruling rightly (Aristotle)

2) Prudence – practical wisdom – lovedistinguishing what hinders or helps it (Augustine)

3) Temperance – love giving itself entirely to thatwhich is loved (Augustine) – a matter or not loving excessively

4) Fortitude (courage) – love bearing all thingsfor that which is loved (Augustine)

Charles Taylor and the Secular Age

In the past, the self was very porous – not a high levelagency, actor in history. Things acted upon us – a spirit world, where things could benamed as benevolent or malevolent – the world was enchanted and sacred – ritualwas important Today, the self is disengaged from the immediacy of theworld – we can interpret, make sense of, and even control things that act on us– differentiation, specialization, rationalization are hallmarks of the modernworld – we experience the world instrumentally (do x to achieve y)

Memory and Community in Context of slavery

Community is memory, under slavery, memory was challenged – couldn’tremember in community through stories – important also in the story of thepeople of Israel

Theological Virtues

Faith – the knowledge of God (belief + trust in experience)Love – the experience of God in our bodiesHope – will/remembering what God has done and anticipatingthe future

On Moral Virtues

They vary and are not central to the Christian faith.

Love and Virtue

Love is tied to every other virtue. It is the form ofthe virtue (vis matter)

Forms of love/modelsof how they interact

Agape –self-sacrifice – God’s giving of God’s self – giving up oneself for the other –lose yourself in love of God and love of neighbor.

Eros – classicallydefined by Plato – yearning/striving to participate in what is good - authentichuman love – not to be confused with libido (pure physical desire) eros isparticipation in the good

Tracy's understanding of Agape and Eros.

Christian love may beunderstood as confrontation or identification of these two, but it must be somekind of transformation

Philia –friendship – our end is not simply union (as eros) but is friendship. Aquinassays the end of the Christian life is friendship (Aristotle – friends areequal, we have to have some way of relating)Caritas – in RCtradition – agape transforming eros

Peter Paris’ African“royal virtues”

1. Beneficence

2. Forbearance

3. Practical Wisdom

4. Improvisation

5. Forgiveness

6. Justice

View on Lethal Force

How Christians have understood the use of lethal force - protectionof innocent life Pacifism and just war both posit the unconditional value ofhuman life, but approach it differently

3 accounts of pacifism

1. Absoluterenunciation of violence – the world is so fallen, only choice is to follow inthe bloody footsteps of Jesus’ martyrdom (Schlabach – Anabaptist tradition,Hauerwas)

2. Non-violentresistance (pragmatic – MLK Jr., Ghandi) – you believe the world can be abetter place

3. Vocational pacifists – a call to witness to another way(vow to do no harm but pray for those who must fight – RC tradition)

Just War Theory

Agreed upon between states to limit use of force

Two sets of criteria for Just War Theory. What are they?

1. justice of going to war (jus ad bellum)

2. justice inengagement of war (jus in bello)

jus ad bellum

1) Just cause

2) Just authority

3) Right intention

4) Last resort –

5) Probability of success – if you know you will fail, youare not honoring life by using lethal force – you are taking life but notprotecting it (Holy War)

6) Proportionality – good is greater than evil inflicted

Just Cause

It is only just if goal is protection of human life – does it extend to property, livelihood, liberty? (can lead to Holy War by focus on cause)

Just Authority

only if authorized by the community as a whole (no vigilantes – confusing one’s own interest with the interest of the community)

Right Intention

Acting only on behalf of your own community, notimposing your values on others

Last Resort

There are no other options

Probability of Success

if you know you will fail, you are not honoring life byusing lethal force – you are taking life but not protecting it (Holy War)


The good is greater than the evil inflicted.

jus in bello

1) Proportionality

2) Non-combatant immunity – value and inviolability of life– you can’t use another person as a means to an end (terrorism uses theinnocent to manipulate the other) – raises question – who are combatants?Manufacturers?

Hauerwas view of war

1. Why is renunciation of the use of force atthe heart of the Christian life? - our presumption that we have control overour own lives and others witnesses against God being in control as creator andredeemer

2. How is it related to forgiveness? - ifyou’re forgiven, you have given control to God who has forgiven you

3. What virtues are central to this form ofdiscipleship? trust – put your life in someone else’s hands

Special Providence

God’s hand is everywhere and everything iscontrolled by God. More Hauerwasian.

General Providence

Gustafson, we do the best we can where generallythings are moving towards consummation, but there is wiggle room there.

Augustine’s City of God

Uses metaphor of the city since it’s communal. Christians live inboth and have to navigate issues (lethal force, immigration, ecology) knowingthat the City of God is our true home.

Justice, Ordering, and the City of God

Justice as right ordering – ordering as in the City of God,the order of love

Human City

Must create sufficient order that there is asemblance of justice – in a city, though fallen, love is possible (experiencingthe end for which we were created). Only in time can we experience what endures(what is the telos) – reflection on eternity gives meaning to time.

Two Accounts of Wicked Problems

Jenkins – idea of the tyranny of survival – unintendedconsequences

Farley (Just Love) – by looking at the history of desire,gender, evolution – made a wicked problem comprehensible, if not manageable – away to discuss how to move forward

Cases of Environmental Wicked Problems

Genetically modified foods



Eat meat

Transportingwater between watersheds Endangeredspecies act – environmental preservation vs power

Removing damsin Columbia River watershed


Virtues and spiritual practices that help us

Environmental Movement and Anthropocentrism

Environmental movement is moving away from anthropocentrism– how can we revision what is at the heart of Christian faith? Re-imaginestewardship

How to deal with Wicked Problems

1. Must deal with cases to anchor discussion inconcrete understanding of goods

2. Understand who are the moral agents (actors)3. llumine with fundamental assumptions whichentails history of the issue

4. How does Christian faith inform the larger moralissue – what are the theological questions that frame questions of nature andthe environment?

Jenkins' view of Christian love

“Christian love is not applied to social wounds.It arises from wounds as participation in God’s way of incorporating the woundsinto God’s body.”

Recite the Syllabus by heart


How many Reindeer Does Santa Have?

Does this count Rudolph?