Theory of Moral Development. Lawrence Kohlberg. Kohlberg created a number of scenarios such as the ‘Heinz Dilemma’ to study people’s responses. He used these responses to develop his theory of moral development. Moral behaviour.
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Conventional level: older children view rules as necessary for maintaining social order. Rules are followed not so much to avoid punishment but to show how virtuous they are and to win approval from others. Moral thinking is inflexible and rules should be rigidly enforced.
Moral decisions are based primarily on fear of punishment or the need to be obedient.
Moral reasoning is guided by satisfying one’s own self-interests, which could involve making some sort of bargain.
Reasoning is guided by conforming to what other important people believe is of value.
Moral reasoning is determined by conforming to society’s rules and laws.
Reasoning is determined by careful consideration of all the alternatives and then trying to balance one’s human rights with the laws of society.
Reasoning is determined by principles that are quite abstract, while simultaneously emphasising equity and justice.
Dr Howe (a famous biologist) conducted numerous studies demonstrating that simple organisms such as worms and paramecia can learn through conditioning. It occurred to him that perhaps he could condition fertilised human ova to provide a dramatic demonstration that abortions destroy adaptable, living human organisms. This possibility appeals to Dr Howe as he is very much against abortion.
However, there is no way to conduct the necessary research on human ova without sacrificing the lives of potential human beings.
He desperately wants to conduct the research, but obviously, the sacrifice of human ova is completely incompatible with his belief in the sanctity of human life.
What should he do?