Situational ethics, or situation ethics, is a Christian ethical theory that was principally developed in the 1960s by the then Episcopal priest Joseph Fletcher. It basically states that sometimes other moral principles can be cast aside in certain situations if love is best served; as Paul Tillich once put it: "Love is the ultimate law." The moral principles Fletcher is specifically referring to are the moral codes of Christianity and the type of love he is specifically referring to is 'αγαπη' love. Agapē is a Greek term meaning love (sometimes translated as unconditional love). Fletcher believed that in forming an ethical system based on love, he was best expressing the notion of "love thy neighbor," which Jesus Christ taught in the Gospels of the New Testament of the Bible. Through situational ethics, Fletcher attempted to find a "middle road" between legalistic and antinomian ethics. Fletcher developed situational ethics in his books: The Classic Treatment and Situation Ethics.
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“Such is the brutalization of commercial ethics in this country that no one can feel anything more delicate than the velvet touch of a soft buck.”
—Raymond Chandler (18881959)