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Christian Ethics And Secular Ethical Systems Theology Religious beliefs Essay

In this article, I will enumerate the variations between Religious and secular ethics. The role of theology on ethical decision making will be mentioned, along with secular and diverse spiritual stands on moral discourses on abortion and divorce. Miscellaneous Religious views such as those of: the Liberals, the Evangelicals and the Neo-orthodox may also be examined.

Furthermore, I am going to explore the implications of these honest issues on interfaith dialogue relating Buddhism and the Abrahamic faiths.


Ethics is a term that comes from the Greek words: 'ethikos' and 'ethos' which respectively suggests custom and figure. However, Collins dictionary defines ethics as "a cultural, spiritual, or civil code of behaviour considered right, especially that of a specific group, vocation, or individual".

I found a clear-cut explanation of Christian ethics by Dr Harkness (a teacher of applied theology) as "the systematic study of just how of life established by Jesus Christ applied to the daily demands and decisions of individual existence". It is the Christian's code of carry out produced from the scriptures. While Christian ethics target "is to determine what conforms to God's personality and what will not" it is more of any practical entity in comparison with theory oriented Religious theology.

Conversely, Adam Bernat in his publication, Honest issues in neurology defines secular ethics as the technology of individual 'rational' dialogue that assumes that mankind can create a thorough and world-wide framework of morality that is void of religious framework. The primary approaches to secular ethics are predicated on: "reason, experience or moral sense".

Additionally, secular ethics contains various models as: utilitarianism, egoism or hedonism, emotivism and ethnic relativism. These models form the framework for most moral postulations. I'll now analyze the contrasts between Religious and secular ethics.

A dissimilarity between Christian and secular ethics is that the latter serves as a basis for arriving at "moral judgments" as it appraises existing customs, while assisting the enactment of "laws and policies". Secular ethics are being used as a yardstick to judge religious doctrines by program of a motivated set of "moral principles". Religious ethics are founded on godly revelations.


Evangelical Christians bottom moral moral decisions on "God's revelation" which is from characteristics itself (the overall) or from the scriptures (the special). A good example derived from the scriptures is the Ten Commandments in Exodus 21-23. Biblical scholars point out that the natural law derived from nature itself is natural in mankind and it is accountable for doing things right without Biblical suggestions. This is described in the reserve of Romans 2:14-15, where Apostle Paul mentioned the clarity of the individuals conscience in your choice making device.

Similarly, Jesus Christ affirms the same principle when he said men must do unto others what they have done to themselves, (Matt 7:12). This particular view is upheld by renowned philosophers such as Immanuel Kant and Clive Lewis in their writings. The use of moral decisions on moral issues is at the mercy of debate as will be indicated in subsequent paragraphs.


This range from: abortion, divorce, homosexuality, same gender marriage, warfare, money, marriage, sexuality, death, forgiveness, euthanasia, business etc.

I will be concentrating on the honest theme of abortion and divorce within the: secular, Christian and interfaith discourse.


Abortion is "any manufactured means to stimulate the increased loss of a pregnancy". The average pregnancy is made for forty weeks or nine weeks. Pregnancy terminated scheduled to natural triggers through the first twenty weeks is called a miscarriage, while further than twenty weeks are pre-term delivery.

Nonetheless, abortion includes the moral selection of the mom, as well as the honest right of the baby to live a life. Abortion might be inescapable in: rape, poverty, deformity of baby etc. Abortion followers see it as a retroactive contraceptive while those against it "see it as just a little less than prenatal infanticide". It has been set up that moral justification of abortion is common in the secular world.

Under the United Kingdom law (Abortions function 1967); abortion is endorsed within the first 24 weeks of pregnancy as long as certain conditions are fulfilled. It must be in an approved organization, the mom and child's health are believed, and decisions to be made with the consensus of two physicians.


The Liberals are broadminded on abortion, so long as it is performed legally and easily. The girl has full protection under the law over her own body when it involves the decision to abort or not. The Liberals do not deliberate over moral issues concerning the unborn baby, in contrast to evangelicals' position.

Evangelical Christians are on strict stand against abortion with scriptural arguments used to portray (baby's) life in high esteem. In addition they support of all social aspects regarding pregnancy good care and adoption issues. The positioning of the Neo-orthodox Christians will be analyzed next.

The Neo-Orthodoxy originated from Germany after the First World Conflict when Karl Barth (a protestant theologian) advanced the 'theology of turmoil'. It was an era when individuals were disappointed from most values. Neo-Orthodoxy assumes that the scripture can be a faulty human technology, although God's revelation is consistently present under personal experience. Nevertheless, abortion is not allowed except if completed to safeguard the pregnant woman.

The Christian ethics of divorce will be evaluated next.


Jesus' reaction to the permission distributed by Moses for the issuance of the expenses of divorce to women was followed by the injunction that divorce is a primary covenant-breaking departure from God's professional plan for marriage, (Matt 19:6 & Rom 7:2). Jesus also denounces divorce in the dialogue with his disciples in Make 10: 1-11, while quarrels resulting from the exception clause (i. e. Condition for divorce) is interpreted by some scholars in the context to mean fornication established contrary to the wife during the betrothal stage of marriage according to Jewish traditions. Alas, the biblical divorce laws interpretation is diverse.

Some scholars argue that the exemption clause means adultery which is a leverage to institute divorce.

However, the right rejoinder is the result of the disciples who figured "it isn't advantageous to marry" this is interpreted by some Evangelicals as voiding the power of the spouse to divorce a wife under any circumstances, as they are expected to forgive their spouse. The ethical issue appropriate to the Old Testament bill of divorce allowed by Moses would be that the Bill is meant to protect the women from the frivolity of men, in order to re-marry rather than be outcasts.

Some Evangelicals justified grounds for divorce to be desertion (by either partner) and evidence of physical abuse resistant to the wife. There is also a Pauline privilege in (1st Corinthians 7:15) which allows a believing wife to get rid an unbelieving partner who wants a divorce. You can find resultant Christian moral debates concerning the modalities of the flexibility, whether it allows re-marrying or remaining single till fatality.

Contrastingly, Liberal Christians start to see the scriptural dialogues on divorce to be suitable to the historical contexts of these various times, hence divorce is allowed according to the merit of each case. Marriage characterized with physical abuse is seen as a relationship pledge violation, whereby divorce is awarded. The American inception of "no problem" divorce regulation in the 1960s and 1970s weakened the relationship establishment, as spouses obtained divorces against their partner's wish. Likewise, despite self-reliance from the secular laws of your day, liberal Christians amidst their objective software of divorce laws and regulations was criticized to be pro-secular because of contractual strategies used rather than covenant responsibility by some Christians. The Neo-orthodox view ended up being permissive.

Neo-Orthodox Christians are permissive because of their existential system which considers Bible precepts as only highly relevant to the culture of when these were admonished; hence they could not be categorically applied to our times. Therefore they established no honest grounds for opposing divorce.


The Abrahamic beliefs is employed to reference Judaism, Christianity, Islam and other religions that track their religious culture back to Abraham. The system which religions and civilizations meet to switch views for better knowledge of each other is called the interfaith dialogue. The dialogue was prompted by the WCC (World Council of Churches) in 1961, when fledgling Asian Churches needed to coexist with diverse Asian religions.

Fundamentally, the life of diverse social issues such as universal poverty has prompted the study and use of moral methods to interfaith dialogues. Examples are medical and financial ethics. The Medical moral factors are evoked in a number of issues like Euthanasia, Abortion, Ecology, DNA researches etc. I will be examining the Islamic laws on abortion the next.


Islamic faith which is based on the Quran and the management of Prophet Mohammed is guided by five pillars of trust, which two are: "faith in a single God and at least one pilgrimage to Mecca". Other admonitions require taking care of orphans, prisoners and desisting from: adultery, unfair business procedures and unwarranted killings. Some Muslims prohibit abortion. The area of honest contention is the genuine time heart is directed at a developed foetus. This is termed "ensoulment" which some Muslims take as 16 weeks into the pregnancy.

However, abortion performed before the completion of 16th week is accepted if the health of the mom is endangered or if the baby is under the risk of mental or physical malformation. Another concern is if the well-being of the family is not going to be properly suffered due to child. The Islamic religion takes abortion to be immoral in view the revered value of life as suggested in Surah 17:31 which declares that: "Slay not your Children. killing of them is a great sin". Nevertheless, an Islamic consequentialism supports the mother answerable to the aborted child at judgement day; this is reinforced by verses from Surah 81, verses 7-14. Surah is a supportive reference in Islam. Abortion put on pre-marital pregnancy is allowed because the sin of experiencing a child out of wedlock is known as worse than abortion.

Concerning divorce, Islam induces the termination of irreconcilable relationships in good trust rather than co-existence of spouses in bitterness.

There is an injunction for settling variations through relatives of spouses.

Nevertheless, where this mediation fails then divorce can be instituted, (Quran 4:35). Mubarat is the term used to describe mutually divorce by lovers without court proceedings. Techniques called fasakh or Khula are based on the initiation of divorce by the woman. However, talaq (meaning "to separate") can be used to denote the divorce instigated by the man. This is done without much official protocols but must be verbalized or noted. The traditional laws of the Jews will be analyzed next.


Judaism as applied by the Jews precedes Christianity which became different in the first Hundred years at the time when Apostle Paul and Peter had contentions with the Jews. The Bible e book of Acts Chapter 15, saved the deviations of the gentiles from the Law of Moses. This triggered a disagreement about the acceptance of uncircumcised Gentiles into the "community of believers". Some scholars take the advent of Judaism to be the Biblical time of Abraham while some choose the time of Moses.

Nonetheless, two from the many beliefs of Judaism are the following: 1) God made a covenant along with his people (the Hebrews) through Moses which is the Ten Commandments. 2) Abraham's offspring are to be the ideal model for all nations to emulate in planning for the arriving into the future Messiah who'll rule the entire world in tranquility and fairness.

In similarity to the Islamic trust, high regard is given to the worthiness of life, but the protection of the pregnant girl remains paramount.

Nevertheless, regulations of Judaism on abortion assumes the insignificance of fertilized egg skin cells until the 40th day of pregnancy when it is taken within the woman's body. Judaism allows abortion within the first 40 days of being pregnant but will not allow it thereafter, till full term. Judaism ethically upholds that the foetus is an integral part of our body that has to not be ruined. The Jewish legislations allows sanction of folks who cause miscarriage credited to a physical strife that involve pregnant women.

Furthermore, meant abortion by using an advance motherhood that threatens the mom in any circumstances would need to be undoubtedly established. The baby is literally considered as looking to kill the mother, in which particular case severing the limbs of the infant and other similar serves is allowed to save the mom.

A critical aspect of applying the abortion legislation by the Rabbis (who are responsible for the Judaism regulations) is the identical importance given to the life of the infant and the mother at this time the baby's brain is on the way out of the mother.

The issues of divorce cannot be addressed without talking about the marriage traditions of the Jews.

Judaism upholds the sanctity and integrity of marriage to this magnitude that the Talmud (sacred writings) claims that "even the altar sheds tears" during separation of couples. Although formal grounds for divorce do not exist, it is known that some circumstances make it inescapable. The divorce is based on the agreement of the few and it includes records called the get which is the qualification of divorce. You can find no hindrances positioned against divorced couples who wish to reconcile in relationship. However priests are prohibited from marrying a divorcee.

The qualification of divorce (the get) specially written by a scribe (in the existence of a judge) is usually kept by the girl, and must be made available whenever she would like to re-marry. In modern times the rabbinic courts keep the get and issue the girl with a license instead of it.

There is a serious ethical issue that the woman cannot re-marry when there is no proof the fatality of her man. This situation is called Agunah, which means that the woman is bound to the spouse.

It is normally expected that anyone who breaches divorce conditions are not allowed to be integrated into the Jewish community.


This faith has its origin from India in the 6th Hundred years with Siddhartha Gautama (Known as Buddha, the enlightened one). Buddhism is a spiritual way of life rather than religion. Beliefs range from non-existence of any deity and that things are being constantly changed, hence the perception in re-incarnation, decency, understanding and reflection.

Over 300 million Buddhists worldwide haven't any doctrinal help with abortion. They however have confidence in re-incarnation which stands against abortion, therefore contemplate it ethically wrong, but not too thinking about its total prohibition for legal reasons. Nevertheless, another Buddhist expectation is your choice of abortion to be only that of the pregnant girl. In Japan abortion is rampant and there is a post abortion ceremony called Mizuko kuyo done by Buddhist priest to aid women in recovering from the after aftereffect of abortion. The next paragraph covers the Buddhist take on divorce.

Buddhism does not see matrimony as a key religious subject. They view non-entanglement with basic family life as a path to greater levels of monkish Buddhist practice, rather than the low-grade lay position where one is free to raise a family. A good example was established by the Buddha himself at 29 years when he remaining his family to stay celibate till the end of his life.

Buddhist tenets support moral chastity where marriages remain intact with regard to the children. Separated couples should re-unite. The person who selects celibate life must renounce his better half so that she is absolve to remarry.


Worldwide moral laws and regulations made from the Ten Commandments are relatively entrenched in most religions and secular polices. Needless to say that ethics imparted through faith will have most effect on religious people's behavior. I found out from my findings that most religions involve some kind of variety based on honest key points (such as hedonism and consequentialism) considered in creating the creed of these subdivisions. Equally the Christian's views range, so is the specific application of certain tenets of the Abrahamic faiths in a variety of countries. These modifications are also within the Buddhist beliefs where disparities in India, Japan and other countries are believed.

All facts indicate the use of ethical rules to determine spiritual creeds. The identical fact is relevant to the present craze in interfaith dialogues such that individuals unavoidably approach most themes or templates brought forwards, within the construction of moral agendas. This has created understanding for the analysis of ethics by those already prepared with vast understanding of their faiths.

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