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Kohlberg's Morals

Discussion in 'Ethics and Morals' started by Nakosis, Dec 4, 2022.

  1. Nakosis

    Nakosis Time Efficient Lollygagger
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    First a short video.
    Less than 3 minutes.


    Second, do you agree or disagree with Kohlberg?
    If you disagree, what do you think is wrong with his view.
    If you agree, at what stage would you place yourself if you are willing to do so.

    Thirdly, would you eat the cookie? :D
     
  2. The Sum of Awe

    The Sum of Awe Brought to you by the moment that spacetime began.

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    I'm kinda confused. What is there to disagree on? Isn't what he said basically just the description for how morality works?

    There are morals established by society, and sometimes we have to break them because life isn't black and white.
     
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  3. syo

    syo Well-Known Member

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    The video is stupid, I stopped watching it, waste of time.

    As for the question, yes i'd take the cookie.
     
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  4. Nimos

    Nimos Well-Known Member

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    This is just me sharing my opinion based on nothing really and also I don't know if there is more to what he is saying besides what is said in the video.

    But I think it is a bit too simple of a way to explain morality.

    Also, the age of the children he is talking about isn't really specified. But I don't think that children as such simply chooses to do certain things if they believe they can get away with it or not. But rather that they might not look at or understand morality in the same way as an older person might, because they lack experience and context in their life. Meaning that a child might take the cookie simply because they reach the conclusion that no harm would come to anyone, it is after all just a cookie and the person that made them could just make some more. Obviously, this is not how an adult would look at it, but a child, given the lack of experience might not take into consideration, that this person has spent a lot of time making these, buying the ingredients etc. And that there is a general understanding amongst mature people that one doesn't just take someone else's stuff if not allowed or that the situation also plays a role. The cookies might have been baked only to be later given out where the child/person will get one anyway. So maybe that is not as bad as if was not meant for them at all.

    When the child gets older, they talk about them not yelling at the teacher, despite there not being anything morally wrong with it. I don't really think that has anything to do with morality at all. But rather authority and not standing out. A child in the middle of the class yelling or name-calling a teacher will probably do so because it has not been raised to respect authority or basic parenting, and my guess is that such a child will fall into one of two categories, either they come from a home where yelling at each other or at them is normal or they come from a home where their parents haven't been able or capable of setting rules for such child so it can basically do what it wants. So in the end it is more about or a mixture of personal issues and what such a child is used to. But I don't think morality as an explanation of why they ought to respect authority or certain people is even remotely taken into account. So even at this stage, the understanding of morality is not fully understood by the child.

    The latter stages are probably correct as we gain more experience with the world we live in and we give more thoughts to the ideas of morality, we also develop and understand these things better. Generally speaking, as there are clearly lots of immoral people in the world. But at this point, there are also a lot of things that can affect our moral standpoints, like religion, culture, politics etc.
     
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  5. Heyo

    Heyo Veteran Member

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    It seems to me a reasonable framework to assess the development of morals. Even if it is based on insufficient data and doesn't work in all cases, it is a basis for further research.
    I'm not so sure I really went through stages 3 and 4 and if I did it was a short period and I remember little of it. I have always, as far as I can remember questioned rules but I have accepted explanations.
    Yep. Warm cookies are better than cold cookies and as the person who made them would have offered one to me anyway if they weren't called away, and they would have wanted me to taste the cookies in the best form they can get, it is in their best interest to taste the cookies now.
     
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  6. PureX

    PureX Veteran Member

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    "Rules" are based on ideals. Morality is action assessed via the criteria of an ethical imperative. Talking about rules and morality while ignoring ideals and ethical imperatives is intellectually unsound. And contemplating following rules or moral codes without considering the ideological or ethical imperatives that established them is a sign of immaturity.
     
  7. Nakosis

    Nakosis Time Efficient Lollygagger
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    I think that is the point, though perhaps better said than my previous thread on morals.
     
  8. pearl

    pearl Well-Known Member

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    Kohlberg is one of many who charted a person's moral maturity, from the child who operates from reward, punishment outcome, to the highest moral stage, without driven from a law. Would one pay fair share of taxes if no penalty threatened, etc. Religiously, if the first Commandment was truly kept, no reason for the following laws. The love of God enough.
     
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  9. The Sum of Awe

    The Sum of Awe Brought to you by the moment that spacetime began.

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    What are your own moral imperatives?
     
  10. dybmh

    dybmh Terminal Optimist

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    In the video, evaluating whether or not to take the cookie is based on "what's the harm?"

    Harm is the universal metric for good vs. bad actions.

    No, I would not take the cookie. It's theft.
    • They're still warm, so one can't assume they have been abandoned. The one who made them is probably close by.
    • The cookies may have been made for a special purpose; taking one might leave the owner without the number of cookies that they need
    • Cookies are not the same as apples growing on a tree in the wild, someone(s) collected the resources, and did a lot of work to improve those resources. A criminal, animal, or child like mind does not consider this, and is able to rationalize taking the cookie. Flour and sugar take a tremendous amount of effort to refine. Pretty much all the ingredients are like that. A cooking pan takes metal, where did that come from? The oven, the fuel, all that's involved takes many many people doing labor to produce what the simple selfish person assumes is a trifle, a meaningless cookie.
    Do I agree with the video? It doesn't spend much time defining the top of the progression. If good and bad actions are determined based on harm, and the person at the top who has no rules does no harm, I guess I agree. Although, the childish moral frame I would designate animal. The same frame of mind will deficate anywhere, eat their young or spouse, and salt the earth if it pleases them.
     
  11. Nakosis

    Nakosis Time Efficient Lollygagger
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    That would be moral directive from authority or conventional morality I think.

    Pre-conventional morals
    • Stage 1. Obedience and Punishment Orientation. The child/individual is good in order to avoid being punished. If a person is punished, they must have done wrong.
    • Stage 2. Individualism and Exchange. At this stage, children recognize that there is not just one right view that is handed down by the authorities. Different individuals have different viewpoints.

    Conventional morals
    • Stage 3. Good Interpersonal Relationships. The child/individual is good in order to be seen as being a good person by others. Therefore, answers relate to the approval of others.
    • Stage 4. Maintaining the Social Order. The child/individual becomes aware of the wider rules of society, so judgments concern obeying the rules in order to uphold the law and to avoid guilt.

    Post-conventional
    • Stage 5. Social Contract and Individual Rights. The child/individual becomes aware that while rules/laws might exist for the good of the greatest number, there are times when they will work against the interest of particular individuals.
    The issues are not always clear-cut. For example, in Heinz’s dilemma, the protection of life is more important than breaking the law against stealing.

    • Stage 6. Universal Principles. People at this stage have developed their own set of moral guidelines which may or may not fit the law. The principles apply to everyone.
    E.g., human rights, justice, and equality. The person will be prepared to act to defend these principles even if it means going against the rest of society in the process and having to pay the consequences of disapproval and or imprisonment. Kohlberg doubted few people reached this stage.

    Stage 4? possibly seeking approval from God?

    Stage 5? Possibly a universal principle of love? Whereas the Bible provides some general guidelines to maintain order, A principle of universal love might accept possible exceptions to the guidelines of the Bible.
     
  12. Windwalker

    Windwalker Veteran Member
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    Yes, I believe Kohlberg's stages is valid. You see the same types of stages unfolding in pretty much all other lines of development as well. Things move from gross, or simplistic ideas of external roles and rules, to internal realization.

    We come to understand the external rules are there to teach cooperation and respect of others boundaries, but we also can at time recognize that many of these are not immutable laws of written into the fabric of the universe, such as someone's "property line" in a field if crossed over with one foot sends you into moral prison and hell for a violation.

    Where I would place myself is stage 5. There are some things I view as 'rules' written into the fabric of existence itself that should not be violated without it bringing about inherent consequence, but the rules of society while a good that should be respected for the benefit of others and myself, are not fixed and immutable laws. They are important, but relative in nature and not absolutes.
     
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  13. Windwalker

    Windwalker Veteran Member
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    I read what @pearl said and I agree with it. I would rule out Stage 4 here in regards to the 1st commandment to "love God" as being what truly fulfills all the Law. First, it's better to lump that commandment with the 2nd commandment that Jesus taught, "Love your neighbor as yourself". It's those two together that "all the law and the prophets hang", or depend upon.

    The reason that "loving God" at that level of spiritual development is not "seeking approval from God", is because that type of love is totally self-emptying. "Not my will but thine be done". "Give me your approval", is not self-emptying. It is self-seeking.

    It has the ego and its needs as front and center. It is seeking to satisfy itself, and hence the whole chain of Love, from the Source of the Divine reality, to others through yourself, is broken at the cravings of the ego.

    Where the height of the spiritual and moral action arises is when someone is aligned with the "Way" of "God" or the Tao, or Reality itself, which are like the facts of gravity or centrifugal forces. You work with these things, and when you go against the grain of them, there are consequences. But when you align yourself with them, life flows more smoothly and without effort.

    That is how I understand "Love God and love your neighbor as yourself". The latter is the natural result of the first action, which is to seek to be in alignment with "the will of God" to use that language, or Wu Wei. When the ego is out of the way, then the true Nature of Love flows naturally, without effort, from Source, to the world. That is what it means to seek God, or love God, with all your heart, mind, soul, and strength. With all that is in you, harness that wild horse of our own egos and tame it, lay it to rest.

    How that fits into the Stages of moral development, I'd say is stage 6. It is that "law written upon the tablets of heart", flowing from within to without, as opposed to externalized rules chiseled into stone.
     
  14. PureX

    PureX Veteran Member

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    I think this all trickles down from a set of either consciously or unconsciously chosen 'imperatives'. These are generally ethical imperatives, physical imperatives, and social imperatives. Something like "do no harm to others" might be considered an ethical imperative. While "do no harm to myself" might be considered a physical imperative. And "the greater good determines the greater value" might be considered a social imperative.

    But of course these imperatives will often clash with or contradict each other, and are seldom 100% achievable. So we have to prioritize them relative to each situation, and accept our failure to achieve perfection.
     
  15. pearl

    pearl Well-Known Member

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    How many of us would willingly pay our fair share of taxes for the common good, if there were no law or penalties for not doing so?
     
  16. pearl

    pearl Well-Known Member

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    There were many other Psychologists with similar methods of the time.
    BF Skinner (psychologist of Human Behavior)
    Erik Erikson (psychologist of Human Development
    Ronald Goldman (psychologist of Religious Understanding
    Lawrence Kohlberg (psychologist of Moral Development)
    Carl Rogers (psychologist of the Teaching-learning Process)
    Gordon Alport (psychologist of Mature Religious Faith)

    Listing from 'Psychology and Religious Education'
    John L Ellas, Ed. D.
     
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