June 19, 2011


In Europe a woman was near death from a very special kind of cancer. There was one drug that 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 $200 for the radium and charged $2,000 for a small dose of the drug. The sick woman's husband, Heinz, went to everyone he knew to borrow the money, but he could only get together about $1,000, 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 Heinz got desperate and broke into the man's store to steal the drug for his wife. (Kohlberg, 1964, pp.18-19).

Do you think Heinz did the right thing? Are you able to determine if his actions were moral or not?

Morality is the ability to take the perspective of, or empathize with, others and distinguish between right and wrong. Some researchers suggest that morality may be prewired and evolutionarily based. 
I believe that moral development is a learned process. The environment, your culture, belief and values can influence your decisions. In some situations, determining if the choice was right or wrong can fall on the borderline. Morals are beliefs that people believe to be right; meaning its what we "think" is right or wrong. There is no permanent set of rules that we abide by, although sometimes there are universal beliefs. What you might think is unmoral, another person might think it is perfectly fine or acceptable. When if comes to the situation, you may also act differently than you would otherwise claim. People with high moral standards listen to their conscience, and or feel a sense of social responsibility.  Others are able to rationalize their actions. It all comes down too, morality is "in the eye of the beholder".

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