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Kohlberg and Moral Dilemmas

Kohlberg asked people to respond to moral dilemmas and then used their responses to determine their level of moral reasoning. Your task here is to write your own Moral Dilemma. Some advice on dilemmas;

1) Kohlberg's dilemmas focus on a person having to choose between obeying a rule, law, or authority figure on one hand or taking some action to serve a human need on the other. These are NOT just difficult choices, they need to address some moral issue. In the Heinz dilemma, the choice is to obey the law of not stealing or to give his wife the chance at life.

2) You need to present the positive and negative aspects to the dilemmas. For example, in the Heinz dilemma, if he steals the drug, he is breaking the law and could go to jail but will be giving his wife a chance at life. If he does not steal the drug, he will be obeying the law and will not get himself in trouble but will have to watch his wife die.

3) Give your characters names and action. The character who is facing the dilemma should make a decision to act in one way or the other at the end of the dilemma.

4) Your dilemma should end with the question, "Should (name of the character) have done that?"

Once you have written the dilemma, go through and generate 2 sample response for each level (pre-conventional, conventional, post-conventional). One response at each level should be for a person who agrees with the action and one response should be for a person who disagrees with the action. This means you will have a total of 6 responses. After each response, identify why it fits at that level.

Solution Preview

The best way for me to help you approach this is to go through the traditional Heinz dilemma. Ultimately, the assignment asks you to create your own scenario with an ethical dilemma that is very similar to the Heinz dilemma, and that's where your own creativity will come in.

Kohlberg came up with the following ethical dilemma:

Heinz has a gravely ill wife, and the medication that can cure her is too expensive for him to afford. Heinz knows that a local pharmacy has the medication in stock. Should Heinz choose to steal the medication, or should he not?

Point 2 in the description explains the differences between positive and negative aspects of the dilemmas fairly well. In the Heinz dilemma, there are two choices: steal or not steal the drug. The question asks you to ...

Solution Summary

The solution discusses Kohlberg and moral dilemmas.