PSY 211 Canada University Psychology Moral Dilemmas Paper

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Description

The following discussion board assignment requires you to really think about your moral decision-making process. Please keep in mind as you reflect on this topic that we all hold different values and beliefs and based on those,we make our moral decisions. Every individual is different and I hope that this assignment might shed some light on how we think.

  1. The following is one of the well known moral dilemmas that Kohlberg used during interviews.
    • In Europe, a woman was near death from a special kind of cancer. There was one drug that the doctors thought might save her. It was a form of radium that a druggist in the same town had recently discovered. The drug was expensive to make, but the druggist was charging ten times what the drug cost him to make. He paid $400 for the radium and charged $4,000 for a small dose of the drug. The sick woman’s husband, Heinz, went to everyone he knew to borrow the money and tried every legal means, but he could only get together about $2,000, which is half of what it cost. He told the druggist that his wife was dying, and asked him to sell it cheaper or let him pay later. But the druggist said, “No, I discovered the drug and I’m going to make money from it.” So, having tried every legal means, Heinz gets desperate and considers breaking into the man’s store to steal the drug for his wife.
  2. Answer the following questions (some of the original questions have been excluded):
    1. Should Heinz steal the drug? Why or why not?
    2. Is it actually right or wrong for him to steal the drug? Why is it right or wrong?
    3. Does Heinz have a duty or obligation to steal the drug? Why or why not?
    4. If Heinz doesn’t love his wife, should he steal the drug for her? Does it make a difference in what Heinz should do whether or not he loves his wife? Why or why not?
    5. Suppose the person dying is not his wife but a stranger. Should Heinz steal the drug for the stranger? Why or why not?
    6. It is against the law for Heinz to steal. Does that make it morally wrong? Why or why not
    7. In general, should people try to do everything they can to obey the law? Why or why not?
    8. How does this apply to what Heinz should do?
    9. In thinking back over the dilemma, what would you say is the most responsible thing for Heinz to do? Why?
  3. How did it feel answering these questions? What are your thoughts on how Kohlberg approached studying morality (i.e., is this a good way, is this a bad way)?

If you would like to check out some more examples of Kohlberg’s dilemmas and the questions he asked about them, feel free to visit http://www.haverford.edu/psych/ddavis/p109g/kohlberg.dilemmas.html (Links to an external site.).

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