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Submitted By bakerje1985
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Q; “List and explain the six stages in Kohlberg’s theory or moral Development”

Just for a little background about Kohlberg, he was concerned about the expanding knowledge of cultural values and the implications of this knowledge in the support of the position of ethical relativity. All being different he believed there is an underlying continuity to structures of moral development throughout all cultures. (Krasemann, 2012) The six stages include: Stage 1. The Punishment and Obedience Orientation, Stage 2. The Instrumental/Relativist Orientation, Stage 3. The Interpersonal Concordance Orientation, Stage 4. The “Law and Order” Orientation, Stage 5. The social Contract Orientation, and Stage 6. The Universal-Ethical-Principal Orientation. Let’s start with stage 1. The Punishment and Obedience Orientation. This states that if you so something wrong then you will get punished. In today’s society I see this as flawed because the younger generation does not care about the consequences, all they care about is the gratification of the act at that moment. How would you choose to help stop this trend, I am confused! Stage 2. The Instrumental/Relativist Orientation is all about you help me and I’ll help you mentality. There is no thought by people anymore to do something just because it is right, it’s all about “What’s in it for me !” Do you think that if the children were brought up to respect others more that they would think about others thoughts and feelings? I think this brings up a big flaw in that things will not get done if there is nothing tangible in in it for people, do you agree and how could we change this?

Stage 3 The Interpersonal Concordance Orientation. This boils down to people pleasers, yes men, butt kissers, etc… How can these people get anywhere in life if all they do is conform and do what is expected of them and nothing more? I need your help to understand this mentality ! Stage 4 The “Law and Order” Orientation. I think this falls along the lines in stage 3. It’s all about doing what’s expected of you because IT IS expected of you, not because you want to. Again this way of thinking eludes me, are there any kinds of social structures that could be implemented to help to question these beliefs among the people as a whole? Stage 5 The social Contract Orientation these folks know laws are there for a reason and can change for the greater good (in their opinion) of society. I believe this is a very good one to argue for it creates positive thinking but on the other hand it could be construed as a dictatorship by some. Stage 6 The Universal-Ethical-Principal Orientation. These people think of laws and rules as a contract rather than a law and are self-chosen principles. I have one term for these people “Vigil Antes” they do to others as they think they should be done upon themselves. How can there be an even keel between these people and those in step 5? The line is very thin and could easily cross if not watched closely. How can we keep these people in line while at the same time exercise the restraint to stay within the law? I see the third stage as the worst one. Is it ok for society to make these people believe that they have no lives of their own and their only mission in life is to make other people happy? A good example of this is in Asian countries and how the younger generation is literally forced to conform and please the older generations. These practices are ancient and stifling the youth of today. Sure they seem to be doing great in society with high test scores and brilliant technological breakthroughs but is it really worth the cost of having a complete generation that cannot think for themselves? What happens when the elders die off and they are forced to do something on their own? There could be anarchy and chaos! I feel that if little by little the younger generation is allowed to voice their own opinions and they are allowed to keep doing this then eventually in a few generations down the road they will have turned more into free thinkers and since the process was done slowly there wouldn’t be an immediate voice of disapproval by the elders.

Works Cited
Krasemann, J. P. (2012). Ethics - Theory and Practice. Upper Saddle River, NJ.: Prentice Hall.

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