Through It All, Inc. NFP
Level III - Postconventional Morality
Stage 5 - Contract and Individual Rights - People begin to ask, "What makes for a good society?" They begin to think about society in a very theoretical way, stepping back from their own society and considering the rights and values a society ought to uphold. They then evaluate existing societies in terms of these prior considerations; a "prior-to-society" perspective.
People in Stage 5 basically believe that a good society is best conceived as a social contract where people freely enter to work toward the benefit of all. They recognize that the different social groups with a society will have different values, but they believe all national people would agree on two points.
- They would all want certain basic rights, such as liberty and life, to be protected.
- They would want some democratic procedures for changing unfair laws and for improving society.
Stage 5 people talk about "morality" and "rights" that take some priority over particuar laws. Kohlberg insisted, however, that we do not judge people to be at Stage 5 merely from their verbal labels. We need to look at their social perspective and mode of reasoning.
At Stage 4 people frequently talk about the "right to life," but for them this right is legitimized by the authority of their social or religious group. If their group valued property over life, they would too.
At Stage 5 people are making more of an independent effort to think out what any society ought to value. They often reason that property has little meaning without life; they determine logically what a society ought to be. People are working toward a conception of the good society. They suggest that we need to
- Protect certain individual rights
- Settle disputes through democratic processes.
However, democratic processes alone do not always result in outcomes that we intuitively sense are just.
Stage 3 reasoning works best in two-person relationships with family members or close friends, where one can make a real effort to get to know the other's feelings and needs and try to help.
Level II. Postconventional Morality
Stage 4. Maintaining the Social Order
People become more broadly concerned with society as a whole; they think from a full-fledged member-of-society perspective. Now the emphasis is on obeying laws, respecting authority and performing one's duties so the social order is maintained. People want to keep society functioning. However, a smoothly functioning society is not necessarily a good one.
Level II. Conventional Morality - assumes attitudes expressed would be shared by the entire community.
Stage 3. Good Interpersonal Relationships - At this stage people see morality as more than simple deals. There is a shift from unquestioning obedience to a relativistic outlook and to a concern for good motives. They believe people should live up to the expectations of the family and community and behave in "good"' ways. Good behavior means having good motives and interpersonal feelings such as love, empathy, trust and concern for others.
Level 1 - Preconventional Morality
Stage 2 - Individualism and Exchange - At this stage people recognize there is not just one right view handed down by the authorities. Different individuals have different viewpoints. Since everything is relative, each person is free to pursue his or her individual interests. At this stage, people do have a sense of right action and punishment is simply a risk that one naturally wants to avoid. People see morality as simple deals; the philosophy is "If you scratch my back, I'll scratch yours." There is still no identification with the values of the family or community.
Through It All is an organization that is dedicated towards strengthening families. In order to strengthen families, we must strengthen ourselves individually. In order to strengthen individual self, Through It All hopes to encourage each individual to pursue a life of development and betterment. To help us with self-development, let’s talk about morals and the development, thereof.
Morals are concepts about what is “good” and what is “bad” and how one should behave accordingly; the right way of behaving and acting in different situations. In order to explore moral development, we will start with Lawrence Kohlberg’s Six Stages of Moral Development. He was a Jewish American psychologist that identified six (6) stages of moral development, grouped in three (3) levels.
Today, we will look at
Level 1 (Preconventional Morality) – called preconventional because people do not speak as members of society; instead, they see morality as something the people in power say they must do.
Stage 1 (Obedience and Punishment) – People assume that powerful authorities hand down a fixed set of rules and they must unquestioningly obey them. Their moral judgment focuses on avoiding breaking rules that are backed by punishment, obedience for its own sake and avoiding the physical consequences of an action to them and/or their property.
Tomorrow, we will explore Stage 2…