Situation Ethics Rears Its Ugly Head and Human Embryos are the Losers
Pastor Stephen Broden
The fundamental tenet of situation ethics is the idea that the end justifies the means. Joseph Fletcher, who first set forth this idea in 1960, believed “that there are no absolute laws other than the law of agape love and all the other laws were laid down in order to achieve the greatest amount of this love.” Fletcher’s argument beings with the idea that there are no absolutes; his worldview removes absolutes in the law of nature, which is the law of God.
Fletcher further believed that “all other laws are only guidelines to how to achieve this love and thus they may be broken if the other cause of action would result in more love.” This leads me to ask who determines if the other cause of action equals more love? Essentially what’s being stated here is the argument of the greater good. This argument says it’s okay to violate a known ethical practice, law or principle for example “thou shall not murder” if by doing so you achieve a greater good. This, however, begs the question who will define what is the greater good? When you remove absolute truth or moral absolutes on what bases do you determine right or wrong? Implied in Fletcher’s situation ethic is a prescribed criteria developed by someone, some group or government who will arbitrarily apply that criteria to trump all other law if they believe a better result can be achieved.
In ‘How Should We Then Live’ Dr. Francis Schaeffer identifies situational ethics of this type as arbitrary law. A close look at what Fletcher contrived in his love scenario reveals that right or wrong is determined by an the arbiter, who defines a criteria, which determines the appropriateness of an action (means) if it has the potential of producing a results (end), that is greater than ordinary love, agape.
If this makes you a little uncomfortable, then you must feel the same uneasiness with President Obama’s recent announcement to lift the ban on “embryonic stem cell research.”
With the eloquences that can only be compared to that of Mephistopheles when he convinced Adam and Eve to abandon their faith relationship with God, President Obama justified the wholesale murder of human embryos for the unproven potential to benefit others with debilitating injuries, and diseases like spinal cord injuries and Parkinson disease and other sickness.
The President said this research “will ease and end human suffering.”
What was not said by the President at this his press conference is far more important than what was said. He did not mention that whatever benefit this research yields would be at the expense of life. The lives of babies . We must know that these are fertilized human embryos. A closer examination of what’s connected with this decision to lift the ban on embryonic stem cell research reveals a decision sourced in arbitrary law. Moral Absolutes, natural law is out and the elite few will determine what the greater good is for you, society, and me. As Fletcher said the greater good justifies the means
At the press conference President Obama framed his decision to lift the ban in philosophical language that sought to justify an immoral act to kill innocent babies in order to ease “human suffering.” Murder by any other name is murder.
There is one more bit of information that was not addressed by our President. There was no mention of Adult Stem Cell and the many successes that have been achieved over the years. There are over 72 cures listed by The Coalition of Americans for Research Ethics that should renders any justification for embryonic stem cell research unnecessary. Why do we desire to murder babies when we can achieve with adult stem cells what we say embryonic stem cell research will accomplish?
Pastor Stephen Broden
Fair Park Bible Fellowship