Christian ethics highlights Christian theology through which the virtuous along with the wrong behavior by an individual is defined from the Christian perspective. The systematic study of Christian ethics is known as moral theology. The Christian virtues are segregated into four cardinal virtues and three theological virtues. According to Ristovski (2016), Christian morality is defined as leading a life after gathering adequate guidance as well as inspirations from both o the Christian sculptures and the traditions. Christians thought that their entire life and the future of their lives are entirely dependent on scriptures and traditions. They also believe that through these scriptures and traditions, the human experiences along with the power of reasoning’s get encouraged and uplifted daily (Krägeloh 2016).
Being shaped through the Biblical revelation, Christian ethics can get distinguished from certain alternative perspectives in both the religious and the secular context. Among the Christians, it has been found often that few people whether religious or not are dependent on the religious authorities. However, in the context of the alternative approaches, it can be stated that the 18th century Enlightenment has changed that dependency and this way the ethicists got encouraged so that they can avoid religious or the theological assumptions as being portrayed by Immanuel Kant through this explanation of Enlightenment (McCallum 2020).
It has been argued by some of the authors like Santrac (2017) that God has ultimately created the human soul and he is the ultimate creator of the Earth. The same has been reflected in the sayings of certain philosophers and the theologians. These things have been counter-argued again by some of the theologizes that time who have highlighted that human morality developed through logical reasoning and the natural law. In certain Christian theories, some teachings are there through which the sense of self-sacrificing along with the knowledge of mercy and forgiveness is the ultimate Christian teachings. These things highlight five Galatians that are love, joy, peace, kindness, and goodness were the virtues taught human beings more than the rules (elca 2003).
The Christian ethics and the moralities have been argued by different theologises and the philosophers at different ages that are they have provided different definitions and thinking perspectives to this particular aspect. At the time of the Apostolic age, it has been highlighted by many philosophers that the particular age can be defined as a reflection of purity without errors and disagreements. However, the authors like Mattingly (2018) have counter-argued this, where he stated that there exists no particular theory of age, which can define the true moral values and the presence of ethics among the human beings. Human beings can only be able to learn good ethics and moralities through doing by learning methods, which helps in portraying the authenticity along with the perfect collaboration and the understandings among the human beings (Mattingly 2018). One other alternative approach to Christian ethics is the protestant approaches where sacrificial love is the main thing to be followed which comes under situation ethics. Through this, Joseph Fletcher tried to portray that love is absolute and through this only the moral human beings can be developed. His views are based on four important principles like pragmatism, positivism, relativism, and personalism. On the other hand, the Christian ethics through theocentric approach can be defined in that way where the concern for the common good is essential where self-sacrifices and the self-denial are not important at all (McCallum 2020).
However, some of the modern thinkers highlighted that ethical theories are all made creations. Those merely help in developing the patterns, the way the person makes evaluations, and judgments. As per the modern criticists like Mattingly (2018), it can be said that they rely on the real-world ideologies where they highlighted that self-sufficiency, as well as self-producing, is the ultimate focus behind the development of the better morality among the human beings. It also helps in generating better faith among human beings and likewise, moral human beings can be developed without sacrificing the uniqueness of Christianity. As per their arguments, the things that have been portrayed are that within each human being, God-the creator is himself residing.
Hence to serve the self-needs and the needs of the other people are serving the God itself. Hence, self-love and showing respect to others is the ultimate ethical aspect, which helps in developing moral human beings. Through modern Christianity on ethics, rationalism is one of the primary concept, which helps in connecting human beings through good communication behaviors (Santrac 2017). Greed and selflessness should not be present as per the Christian ethics; however, the self-respect and dignity should be more fused through the modern Christianity ethics theory. Faith and rationalism among human beings ultimately help them in the development of ethical knowledge and the understandings, which will also focus on certain aspects like maintenance of emotional life, commitments along with compassions, and cultural development. These are certain aspects that need to be taken care of under the modern ethical concepts. Through this, ultimately the presence of spirituality among human beings is portrayed where all human beings will be self-made without the interference of any other human beings. It can be stated here that there exist no concepts and theories on ethics. The primary thing, which is important here, is action and at times the self-sacrificial love, which is helpful and embodies God’s will power (justiceandpeace 2020).
The systematic theological study on Christian ethics is defined as moral theology. Christian ethics includes certain questions to check how the rich should act towards the poor and how the women should be treated and the moral values can be adequately developed and safeguarded among human beings. For example in the context of Christianity and the ethics of war, the ultimate Christian view of the war ethics is just contained within the doctrine of Just War. The main assumption of the modern Christians is the rare justification of war and it should be avoided unless the Just War conditions are met duly (Santrac 2017).
Under the Christian ethics, war is defined as one of the ethical issues where its historical development have been developed primarily by the Christian theologies and the philosophers within Biblical ethics framework and it has often referred back to Saint Augustine who during that time acts as one of the most influential originators and the maker of Christian political theology. In the current context that is under the modern times, if the ethics on war needs to be made effective and also convincing at times in the modern globalized and pluralistic era, then certain ethical standards need to be set which will be nit dependent on any specific Christian or the religious basis.
The concept of war and Christian ethics are contradictory to each other. In this aspect, some of the authors and theologists like Ristovski (2016) have argued that taking the life of one person is first of all not legal and also wrong of considered from the perspective of humanity. The rise of conflicts among human beings destroys innocence on the other side. This aspect has also been reflected through the words of Augustine’s that even killing under the rightful authority is also a big offense and goes against human ethics. Hence, in this situation, it will be better for human beings to sit for a discussion where they could communicate with each other’s problems well and will plan for a better outcome other than war (Mattingly 2018).
After the detailed discussions made above, it can be stated that it will be helpful for the Christians as a whole to empathetically rely on peace in all the places and for all individuals. The theory on resolving the conflicts before the awakening of the Just War concept should be taken into consideration, which will ultimately save both the parties, and this way, the community can also be protected and ultimately through this, the community peace can be easily restored. The new theory should be applied after considering peace where non-violence will be the only option left for the betterment of the community. The new theory highlights that the concept of Just war goes against Christian ethics and it weakens the Christian moral imperatives (Santrac 2017). Hence, through the new theory, it can be stated that non-violence is the ultimate weapon to be followed which can be stated as an option that is more ethical. The awakening of the concept of war will not occur if both the parties can speak out their problems with one another and can come to a mutual understanding as per the modern Christian ethics. Finally, it can be inferred that non-violence is the central part of Jesus’ message, and the way he lived his life must be the common understanding by every individual (kuleuven 2017).
As per Jesus’ teaching, hit back at the other party, insult, or slapping anybody is the ethical solution. It will be better for the concerned individual or the party to avoid the situation or deal with the situation with open communication. Here communication is the primary thing that needs to be followed which encourages the individuals to fight against the wrongful decisions and the actions (McCallum 2020). In the modern Christian ethical perspective, children should be taught to fight back and defend themselves with adequate courage and self-determination. Likewise, they will gradually know in forgiving others who attack them and can pray for them. This helps in resolving the conflicts and in this way, the power imbalances can be reduced and like this way, the complexities along with the moral tensions can be easily avoided and the peaceful environment is automatically generated (justiceandpeace 2020).
Through this, the concept of humanitarian or the concept of peacekeeping can be encouraged along with the development of moral imperatives. Hence, the theory of non-violence will be certain benefits in the modern concept of Christian ethics. It can be considered as one of the most holistic ideas of peace, which can also be stated as positive peace, or sustainable peace. There exist certain pillars or factors of peace like the well-functioned governments and the equitable resource distribution which works together to develop a system of peace (Krägeloh 2016).
There exist certain positive peace factors like equitable resource distribution, well-functioned government, and good relationship with the neighbors, free information flows, and lower corruption levels. Hence, this calls for resolving the conflicts and certain aggressive levels. It is considered as one of the most serious as well as probable prospects of success which will not either violate Christian ethics or will bring ethical problems such as war. The Just war theory is a very weak concept since it fails in replicating non-violence’s which is the prime need to avoid the Just war concept (Santrac 2017).
elca. Pacifism, Just War and the Limits of Ethics . 2003. https://www.elca.org/JLE/Articles/860.
justiceandpeace. The Church’s View on War and Peace. 2020. http://justiceandpeace.org.au/the-churchs-view-on-war-and-peace/.
Krägeloh, C.U.,. "Importance of morality in mindfulness practice." Counseling and Values 61, no. 1 (2016): 97-110.
kuleuven. Types of Ethical Theories . 2017. https://theo.kuleuven.be/apps/christian-ethics/theory/theories.html.
Langerak, Ed. A Guide to Ethics. 2020. https://pages.stolaf.edu/ein/christian-ethics/what-is-christian-ethics/.
Mattingly, C. "The anthropology of ethics and morality." Annual Review of Anthropology 47 (2018): 475-492.
McCallum, Dennis. Toward an Approach to Christian Ethics. 2020. https://www.xenos.org/essays/toward-approach-christian-ethics.
Ristovski, L. "Morality and ethics in politics in the contemporary societies." Journal of Liberty and International Affairs 2, no. 3 (2016): 83-93.
Santrac, A.S. "Christian Ethics and Commonsense Morality: An Intuitionist Account by Kevin Jung." Journal of the Society of Christian Ethics 37, no. 2 (2017): 192-193.
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