Rules to Live By

Why do we do the “right” thing? What causes us to acted morally? Why do we “follow” the rules?

Figure 1: Kohlberg’s Stages of Moral Development

Task: Re-read chapter 10. What causes the different characters to act the way they do?

It is clear the characters in the novel are motivated by different stages of moral development. In fact, we could probably record how an individual acts given the particular circumstances. So what causes you to act the way you do?

Task: Brainstorm a list of your own personal “basic principles”, values, or rules to live by.

Next, think of a time in your life when you did or intentionally did not follow your “basic principles”. Who was affected? How did you make you feel? Were there any lasting consequences? 

Try writing a narrative of the event. Change the names of people and places so as to protect the privacy of those involved.

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