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Kohlberg’s Stages of Moral Development Week 4 Discussion 1

In general, all people develop their cognitive abilities at different rates and as Kohlberg points out, the majority of people never progress past stage 4 where they accept conformity as a necessary part of social order without regard for why a rule or law exists (the foundation). In addition to a limited understanding by the majority of society, we must take into account that police officers are limited in their abilities as well so it may not be prudent to ask police officers to uniformly apply reasoning and understanding of Kohlberg’s moral development model to everyday situations. It may be more appropriate to ask judges to apply the model because they are typically more educated and older in age with more life experience.

A recently laid-off husband and father of five steals several food items from a local grocery store to feed his hungry children.

This is immoral behavior for society but moral for the development of his family. This father is in my opinion operating out of a stage 2 moral thinking which is the instrumental purpose and exchange orientation to advance his self interest of feeding his children.

A concerned mother drives 80 miles-per-hour in a 55-mile-per-hour zone to get her child to the hospital. The child has 104 degree fever.

This is an immoral act that places the mother, child, and community at a potentially greater risk of being injured resulting from an over reaction to a moderately mild situation that children often experience from typical childhood illness that are not life threatening. This mother was operating from a stage 2 as she sees it as her right to recklessly drive to get her child to the hospital as she sees fit.  

Two officers respond to the scene of a reported robbery at a convenience store.  While the first officer is interviewing the victim, the second officer is observed by the first officer taking candy without paying for it. The first officer does not say anything.

This behavior is immoral by both officers for stealing and then omitting the witnessed offense from reporting it.

Williams, C. R., & Arriago, B. A. (2012). Ethics, crime, and criminal justice (2nd ed.). Upper Saddle, NJ: Pearson Education, Inc.need to tell good and bad of post, list references


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