Virtue and Bonhoeffer S Actions

Topics: Virtue, Core issues in ethics, Good and evil Pages: 2 (898 words) Published: May 12, 2013
Bonhoeffer’s ethical beliefs differ from other philosopher’s beliefs because; he believed that Christian ethics are the reality of God that Jesus Christ has revealed in him. He said that “man is not, and cannot, be the final arbitrator of good and evil” (Bonhoeffer). He felt that we have no proper knowledge of good and evil because the certainty of such a thought does not exist. In the film when Maria reads what he has written on ethics, he claims that he truly believes all the things he has written. Maria looks as though she doubts this, but it also makes her think about what they mean. He wrote “Being evil is worse than doing evil” (Bonhoeffer); knowing that when he wrote this it was inspired by the Holocaust, I believe he was saying he may be doing evil to rebel against Hitler, but for good reason. Therefore, Hitler is evil, because his actions are not concerned with the wellbeing of others, whereas Bonhoeffer’s actions were. He also wrote, “Better for a lover of truth to tell a lie than for a liar to tell the truth” (Bonhoeffer). He tells his cell guard that if a teacher asked his student if his father came home drunk the night before, the honest answer would be for the boy to lie and defend his father because the teacher abused his authority in asking that question. The final phrase that Maria read from Bonhoeffer’s note on ethics was “To escape sin may be the ultimate guilt” (Bonhoeffer). He is saying that if you are sinning for a good cause then it is worth it, but if you take the cowardly way out and escape sin, the results could leave you with deep regret. He is speaking specifically about the Holocaust. If he did not rebel against Hitler, which is a sin, his Jewish friends and family would have died and the guilt he would feel would come from the fact that he did not do anything to avert the situation. I agree with this set of ethics, more than I agree with Levinas’, Aristotle’s and Kant’s ethics. I believe that Bonhoeffer’s ethics are more practical...
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