Is morally extremely rich wrong wrong
theme - identity
What does moral learning look like?
At school, a whole class is faced with a dilemma. This is so difficult that there really isn't a solution to it. For example, a good friend drove drunk and pushed another car off the road. The driver of the other car dies in the accident, and later the police look for the fugitive driver of the accident. The question now is whether you will betray your best friend who has confided to the police. It's not about right or wrong, but about learning moral judgment and coping with such a difficult moral conflict.
What happens when a person lacks this moral judgment?
If one has not learned to judge situations morally, violence against oneself or others can result. You get angry, hit it. Or you direct the violence against yourself, develop feelings of guilt, depression, withdraw. Violent crimes are very often caused by unresolved moral conflicts. Take, for example, the terrorists of the RAF: The members' biographies have shown that they had very high moral standards, but they failed because of these standards. They have not been able to resolve moral conflicts without violence.
Can morals also be dangerous?
If it's abused, yes. In dictatorships, morality was and is abused to subjugate and discipline people. Authority dictates what is moral and what is not, and this is how people should behave.
How is moral judgment measured?
There are psychological tests for this. Test participants are involved in moral discussions. Then it is checked how far they are going along with it, whether they are blocking it. For example, there is a case of a terminally ill cancer patient who asks her doctor to give her so much of a sedative that she dies. The question is how the doctor should behave. When the participants have made up their minds, they are confronted with various arguments. Their reactions can be used to measure how well their moral judgment is. Some are totally outraged and don't want to hear any arguments at all. This is the lowest level of moral judgment. Others can only do something with arguments if they support their own decision. Moral judgment comes into play when someone is willing to critically view reprehensible arguments, even if they support one's own decision.
Let's take the case of the cancer patient again. An argument from the bottom drawer in favor of euthanasia would be that the doctor is doing the right thing when he injects the drug, because then he makes money. People with high moral judgment will defend themselves against such an argument, even if they decided that the doctor should give the remedy. In turn, people with poor moral judgment, who are against euthanasia on principle, may equate this dire argument with the important argument that the doctor is the only one who can do the woman's will. People have a problem with moral judgment when they are unable to distinguish the quality of arguments.
Lisa Zimmermann studies at the Berlin School of Journalism.
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