Kohlberg’s Three Levels of Morality

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?

The dilemma went something like this:

Imagine living 1000 years ago – and there was a guy named Heinz and his wife.  Heinz’s wife had a very rare form of cancer.  A doctor in a town down the road has come up with a new medication that could treat Heinz’s wife’s cancer and give her a shot at life.  He charges 2,000 dollars for this – 10 times what it cost him to make.  Heinz did everything he could to come up with the money and he could only come up with 1000 dollars.  He begged and pleaded for the pharmacist to take $1000 dollars as a down payment and let him pay the rest back in payments.  The pharmacist declined.  Desperate, Heinz broke into the pharmacy and stole the medication.  Should Heinz have done this – and why?

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