Kohlbergs Three Levels of Morality

This week’s lecture focused on moral development and ethical reasoning. As part of your readings for the week, Kohlberg’s three levels of morality were discussed. How would you have answered Heinz’s dilemma? (See readings for the week for the full dilemma). Which of Kohlberg’s three levels of morality do you feel you are in? Do you feel you are in a different level of morality in different settings (i.e. work vs. personal life?) How has your morality (if it has) progressed from your adolescence?

I would have answered Heinz’s dilemma by saying he should have found other ways to try and get the money. Regardless of how bad his wife needed the medicine, it was wrong for him to break into the pharmacy. Although I believe it was wrong of the Pharmacists to inflate the price of the medication and deny Heinz the medication, especially since he had half of the money, he could have talked to the Pharmacists again and explained the situation or even offered to work for the Pharmacists to pay off the debt. He could have explored other options like going to the bank and asking for a loan and/or he could have sold some valuable items to make up the difference.

Kohlberg’s three levels of morality are:

Pre—conventional thought—Participation in an activity (behavior) because you can be rewarded or to avoid punishment. Occurs mostly in children but can occur in adults also.

Conventional thought—Focusing on trying to be good. Know that laws are set forth to protect citizens. A conventional thinker may say it is Heinz’s responsibility as a husband to protect his wife and provide her with the medication she needs no matter what it takes to get it, but on the other hand say, it is against the law to steal and he should be punished.

Post—conventional thought—having consideration and respect for laws and rules but have your own belief system that may actually go outside the laws and rules and you are willing to fight for your belief system at all costs.

I think I have exhibited and possess all three levels of thinking. It just depends on the situation. When it comes to my family I may be a more Post—Conventional Thinker with a little Conventional Thinking because I will do anything to protect them and provide them with what they need but I am also able to control myself and abide by the laws. If there is something out of my reach I will explore other options as a means to obtain what is needed without breaking the law.

I believe at work most people, as well as I, have a more Pre—Conventional Thought process because part of being a good employee is going above and beyond the call of duty and most employees look for rewards or incentives to do this. We know that if we don’t come to work on time and complete our daily tasks will not get paid.

My thought process has changed over the years. When I was younger I didn’t know any better. I wanted what I wanted when I wanted it with no regards to anyone else, as long as I was happy. As I got older I realized that it was not all about me and I had to compromise. I learned how to wait and eventually what I was wanting would become obtainable for me.