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Situational ethics

Situational ethics is a referring to ethical standards that are not standards at all, rather are collections of contradictory actions that can be commonalised only in that the ethical grounds for each act are based on the situation. This is similar to moral relativism, and is contradictory to moral universalism, and moral absolutism.

The term situational ethics has been broadened to include numerous situations in which a code of ethics is designed to suit the needs of the situation.

The original situational ethics theory was developed by Joseph Fletcher, an Episcopalian priest, in the 1960s. Based on the concept that the only thing with intrinsic value is Love, Fletcher advocated a number of controversial courses of action.

Opponents say that in its purest sense, situational ethics is an oxymoron, with the inherent contradiction that ethics and similarly, morality are fundamental, and cannot be based on practical, functional, or ethno-centric values, but must be based on something more persistent than one group's assessment of their current situation.

Situated ethics is an entirely different theory in which it is the actual physical, geographical, ecological and infrastructural state one is in, determines one's actions or range of actions - green economics is at least partially based on that view. It too is criticized for lack of a single geographically-neutral point of view from which to apply standards of or by an authority.