Christian Ethics

Essay by tekkie7University, Bachelor'sA+, May 2006

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As Christians we hold a view of morality that differs from the view held by the secular world. In my journey through life I have learned that the source of Christian ethics is God. Through our understanding of God and of His nature a solid foundation for morality is created. Ethics are standards based on ones beliefs, on ones faith, and on individual love.

For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. (John 3:16)

I propose that agape be thought of as mutual love that regards the self and the neighbor as equals in a community of equals, with equal rights, opportunities, responsibilities, and privileges. One who practices agape will sacrifice for the neighbor when the neighbor's need exceeds one's own or when the larger good of the community requires it but likewise will resist appropriately any trespass against the legitimate needs, claims, and interests of the self.

I refine this analysis by distinguishing between the ethical and the ecstatic dimensions of love.

The moral ideal is that each person shall have the best life possible within the constraints posed by mutual self-realization. The just and good society will seek to maximize the freedom, well-being, and equality of all citizens consistent with the appropriate limits each imposes on the others. Agape seeks a community in which all persons are regarded as equal in worth and deserving of equal consideration. An ideal community would be made up of citizens devoted to a balance between individual self-fulfillment and the advancement of the common good. It seeks a union of persons in a mutually beneficial, reciprocal relationship among free and equal members. However, inequalities of reward and responsibility may arise contextually, since people differ in ability,