Morality, Lies and Truth

Lawrence Kohlberg

One of the most fascinating writers about morality is Lawrence Kohlberg.  I have read lots of his writings. He initially divided up morality into six stages. Some people are stuck on the lower levels or mid levels of his scale.

What can be very interesting Is to look at yourself and others who you fairly well know and find out where they stand on the stages. It will well explain your family members, others and yourself. Why, it can even be used to define Modi and Trump, for instance. So you may wish to check out the link and materials at the bottom of this writing to get the information that, unfortunately, excludes the seventh set of data. … Now, eventually Kohlberg came up with a seventh stage involving spiritual dimension of morality.

Here is one of the moral dilemmas that he poses:

You have a relative who will die without a certain kind of medicine. Yet your family has no money to buy it. So do you steal it from a very wealthy pharmacy, which will not miss the drug or not?

Some of his other examples are pretty daunting, too, in terms of figuring out your moral stances, I can guarantee it.

I, myself, after reading various works of his long ago figured out that I have a sliding scar of values. It goes something like this:

I don’t like lying. However, I will gladly lie under these circumstances Since I value protecting life over telling truth despite that I highly am drawn to truth.

Here is one hypothetical example that I made up that exemplify my stance:

Let’s say that I lived in Nazi Germany. Let’s say that I am hiding and tending Jews in my basement. Then Nazi people show upstairs at my door, the door of a blond, white woman to ask whether I know about the location of any Jews.

I will lie through my teeth and show great hatred of Jews. After all, I have no intention of having my basement Jews and myself sent to be tortured and killed in a concentration camp.

Well, I have other, more modern examples that I could share. And it is easy to figure out, so simple once someone figures out that s/he  treasures  morality, values, standards, practices and principles to preserve life on this planet.

Here you go if interested

At this stage, people follow these internalized principles of justice, even if they conflict with laws and rules. Page 2. Kohlberg’s Theory of Moral Development and Education. Lawrence Kohlberg (1969) ..

Sally Dugman writes from MA, USA.




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