By: Trevor Loudon | The Epoch Times
Most Americans today have never heard of Joseph Fletcher, but his moral legacy lives within us every day.
Every time we make a moral decision and reference “circumstances” rather than moral absolutes, we are channeling Fletcher. Every weak pastor who tones down his message so as not to offend some of his congregation is echoing Fletcher. Every politician who goes against his conscience to toe the “party line” is following Fletcher’s doctrines. Every social media titan who de-platforms those he disagrees with “for the greater good” is acting out Fletcher’s corrupt philosophy.
Fletcher was one of the leading American Protestant theologians of the 20th century. His concept of “situation ethics”—a moral philosophy whereby one’s ethics must be adjusted to suit the circumstances—has transformed the United States’ religious, cultural, and political values.
According to a biography on YourDictionary.com: “Fletcher lectured at over 450 universities and medical schools throughout the United States, Europe, and Asia. He was a visiting scholar at St. Andrew’s University in Scotland and Cambridge University in England, … [and] a visiting professor at the International Christian University in Tokyo. He was awarded honorary doctorates from West Virginia University, Berkeley Divinity School, and the Episcopal Theological School. … He was an elected honorary member of Alpha Omega Alpha, the national medical honor society. He was also named ‘Humanist Laureate’ by the Academy of Humanism in 1983.”