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The Bible and alcohol

I’ve got two questions about alcohol. What does the Bible say about alcohol? How can we see the question about alcohol in relation to different ethical approaches, such as consequentialism, situational ethics, motivational ethics and normative ethics?


In summary, the Bible does not forbid alcohol, but it warns us not to get drunk. The Bible also mentions other reasons not to drink alcohol, as sometimes our own actions have consequences for others.

This brings us to consequentialism. If someone you know has a problem with alcohol – either personally or in their family – then this would be a reason not to drink. Alcohol can also have a bad effect on our health, and it can be addictive.

When it comes to situational ethics, we see that many countries in Europe have a very strong drinking culture, as most people drink alcohol. This can lead to a feeling of being pressured to drink when you choose not to, even though there are many reasons not to drink.

Motivational ethics is based on the idea that an action should be judged according to the intention behind the action. If we look at alcohol in this regard, there is no clear answer. Choosing to drink alcohol can have negative consequences even though the motivation behind it was good. Motivational ethics is a moral-philosophical question of guilt and therefore by its nature does not discuss consequences.

Normative ethics takes into account whether an action is right or wrong. We’ve already addressed this question when we wrote that the Bible does not say it is wrong to drink, but it does warn us in several places against getting drunk.

We hope this helps!


Best wishes

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