Levels of Moral Development*

To help with this let's use the examples of five levels of personal development that are typical of the ways personal and professional decisions are made.

The statements given in each case below are written to represent personal attitudes.

You will note that as you move through the five levels the degree or level of moral development increases.  The fifth level is considered the most highly developed. 

These are cast in terms of quotes you might expect from people in each level.
 

1. Self-Interest

  • "I primarily look out for myself and my own interests."
     
  • "If people get misled, it's their own fault, they should be smart enough to avoid it." 
     
  • "The popular media are designed to make money. Their positive or negative impact on people is beside the point and not something I need to worry about."
     

2. If It's Legal It's Ethical

3. Ethical Behavior Serves Mutual Self-Interests

4. Social Responsibility

5. Promotion of the General Welfare

Considering all of this, as we move through our lives we can ask ourselves this simple question:

Does what we produce help solve, or in some way contribute to the problems in our society?

*Some concepts in this article are based on the ideas of Sherry Baker, Brigham Young University.

 


 

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