# ~ The Heinz Dilemma ~ Scenario 1 A woman was near death from a unique kind of cancer.

According to the doctors, there is a drug named Radium that might save her. The drug costs \$4,000 per dosage which was more than Heinz could afford since he didn’t have insurance. 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. He told the doctor scientist who discovered the drug that his wife was dying and asked for a discount or let him pay later. But the doctor scientist refused because he needed to recoup the cost for research on the drug that he spent out of his own pocket in order to get himself out of debt.
Should Heinz break into the laboratory to steal the drug for his wife? Why or why not?

Scenario 2
You and your best friend are in Mr. Christian’s math class. His class has been unfairly hard and he is constantly making inappropriate comments to the class. You witness your best friend breaking into Jacobs by breaking a window and crawling into a classroom to steal his calculus final. The deans call a bunch of students down for questioning. You are called down to talk to Mr. Quitno. Should you tell on your friend? Write your response:

Scenario 3
On your way back from lunch you see a freshman boy getting beat up by a senior you had never seen. Should you step in to help the freshman? Write your response:

Kohlberg's Stages
Lawrence Kohlberg (1927-1987) was a well-known theorist in the field of moral development. He posed moral dilemmas (e.g., Heinz Dilemma) to his subjects then asked questions to probe their reasons for recommending a specific course of action.

Stages of Moral Reasoning
From his research, he identified six stages of reasoning at three levels. Kohlberg's Theory of Moral Development Stage 1: Punishment-Obedience Orientation: Will I get into trouble? Stage 2: Instrumental Relativist Orientation: What’s in it for me? Stage 3: Good Boy-Nice Girl Orientation: What will other people think? Level Two: Conventional Morality Stage 4: Law and Order Orientation: Was the law broken? What will happen to society if everyone breaks the law? Stage 5: Social Contract Orientation: What is in the public good? Am I blindly following a bad law? Stage 6: Universal Ethical Principle Orientation: What are my morals? Would they do the same to me?

Level One: Pre-conventional Morality

Level Three: Post-Conventional Morality

Movement through the Stages
Kohlberg's theory of moral reasoning is a stage theory. In other words, everyone goes through the stages sequentially without skipping any stage. However, movement through these stages is not natural, that is people do not automatically move from one stage to the next as they mature. In stage development, movement is effected when cognitive dissonance occurs ... that is when a person notices inadequacies in his or her present way of coping with a given moral dilemma. But according to stage theory, people cannot understand moral reasoning more than one stage ahead of their own. For example, a person in Stage 1 can understand Stage 2 reasoning but nothing beyond that. Therefore, we should present moral arguments that are only one stage ahead of a person's present level of reasoning to stimulate movement to higher stages. This article (in 4 parts) is an attempt to use illustrations to help explain the six stages and to show how cognitive dissonance can be created by throwing up the inadequacies of the different stages of reasoning.
Source: Descriptions (in quotations) of the six stages that follow are attributed to Lawrence Kohlberg and taken from Ronald Duska & Mariellen Whelen, Moral Development: A Guide to Piaget and Kohlberg (New York: Paulist), 1975. For more detail go to CH 10.4 Cognitive Development: pages 2460247

Application: 1. Describe a moral question that faces you and explain what stage it falls under in Kohlberg’s stages of moral development.