In the discussions following my ethics post on SCO, I finally realized (comment #17):

You are not arguing for traditional conservative morality, you are arguing for Kantian (moral absolute) deontology. I don’t think Christian meta-ethics are either deontological or teleogical … or absolutist. I think, if pressed, I’d define Christian ethics is pneumatological … but that just occurred to me so I’m going to have to think that through in my next essay. :)

Modern ethics, wiki tells us, is divided today into deontological and teleological camps, or roughly speaking rule based ethics vs consequence based ethics with some variations. Christian ethics is neither. But then, what is it?

What does my claim that Christian ethics is pneumatological mean. That means, our ethical choices should be inspired by the Spirit (of God). St. Siluan (of St. Siluan the Athonite) suggests that this is, in part, accomplished by striving take  first choice  that springs unbidden to our mind as he believes that is, more often that not, is not from yourself but from the Spirit. Likely as well, one’s prayer life, ascetic struggle, and liturgical/sacramental participation play into that ability of the Spirit to influence you in this way. As well, Scripture and the traditions passed from the Fathers can be a guide for us … when we lack personal inspiration.

Filed under: ChristianityEthics & MoralityMark O.Religion

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