Original Research

Ethical decision-making: the doctrine of sin and grace

S. P. Giles
In die Skriflig/In Luce Verbi | Vol 43, No 2 | a227 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ids.v43i2.227 | © 2009 S. P. Giles | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 26 July 2009 | Published: 26 July 2009

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S. P. Giles, School of Ecclesiastical Science, Potchefstroom Campus, North-West University, South Africa

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Abstract

Ethical decision-making presupposes the possession of a free will. Central to a discussion on reformed ethics is the question of the bounds of freedom of the will. The reformed tradition, along with the wider Christian tradition, affirms that the will is not free in the Pelagian sense of being absolutely free, but is constrained by the effects of humanity’s fall from original righteousness. This ariticle considers the nature and extent to which the will is considered free, or no longer free at all. The question posed here, within the reformed theoretic ethical framework, is whether the will is so vitiated that a person is in- capable of any effective choice of action or inaction in the face of any moral dilemma, or does fallen humanity still possess some ability to make a free choice, albeit under conditions of impaired freedom of the will?

Keywords

Ethical Decision-Making; Fall; Ethics Reformed; Will

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