6 Stages of Moral Reasoning

Kohlberg’s six stages of Moral reasoning are : Stage one “Fear of Punishment, stage two “ What in it for me”, Stage three “ Good boy, Nice girl”, stage four “law-and-order” Stage five “ All for one and one for all”, and stage six “ Decisions of conscience”. Each person has a different level of Morals and each person has the ability to be at a high stage. The question is what would each stage say if they were asked the question “Why do you want to go to College? ”

If a stage one person, “Fear of Punishment”, was asked why he/she wanted to go to college, their answers would be along the lines of “If I don’t go to college my parents would kill me”. So a stage one person is scared of the consequences he/she would have if they do not do the will and choices that their parents set out for them. They are scared that things may be taken away from them and scared of losing their privileges. ‘If a stage two person, “ Whats in it for me? was asked why he/she wanted to go to college, their answers would be along the lines of “ If I go to college I want a really expensive car with cool rims and a loud stereo”. A stage two person has self indulgent values and use people as tools. All they care about is what they are going to get in return for doing what they are told to do. If a stage three person,” Good boy, Nice girl” was asked why he/she wanted to go to college, their answers would be along the lines of “ All of my friends and relatives went to college, so I want to be just like them and go to college”.

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Tis kind of stage can also be very dangerous for a person, because if his friends said they weren’t going to college the a stage three person would just follow them in that direction. This kind of person just values praise from others and seeks acceptance with peers. But if the lack of good character they can be swayed for evil. If a stage four person, “Law-and-order”, was asked why he/she wanted to go to college, their answers would be along the lines of “ I need to go to college so I get a degree because if I don’t have a degree, I will not get a ood job, I will not have a nice house, and I will not be able to support my family”. This kind of person values order and security and honor their word. They also have a sense of moral, social, political, and religious obligation. If a stage five person, “All for one and one for all”, was asked why he/she wanted to go to college, their answers would be along the lines of “ I want to go to college so I can make a lot of money in the future and I can live a happy life”.

This kind of person has values for the good of society, works to please the majority and has a Utilitarian outlook. A stage five works to impress others with his accomplishments and thrives to have a successful life. If a stage six person, ”Decisions of consciences”, was asked why he/she wanted to go to college, their answers would be along the lines of “I want to go to college to expand my education and gain more knowledge about the world around me”. A person at this stage values their conscience, and they will not compromise themselves under any circumstance.

They believe in a true moral reasoning that a stages one, two, three, and four would simply not comprehend with. That is why most stage six people normally suffer in their life’s, for what one does not understand, they are afraid of. All of the six stages differ in many ways. For they all have a completely different answer and have different moral reasonings. The stages are very easy to tell the difference between one another. For each of them have their own values and ways of reaching their goals.

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