Kohlberg’s Stage Theory of Moral Development
Source: The O’Reilly Factor “Talking Points Memo” (2/19/2004)
Hi, I’m Bill O’Reilly reporting from California. Thanks for watching us tonight.
Gays continue to marry in San Francisco in defiance of state law. That is the subject of this evening’s “Talking Points” memo. The situation’s now much bigger than just gay marriage. It’s clear the authorities in California are not going to enforce the law, even though it is clearly stated. This is a massive breakdown in social policy. That’s the fundamental problem. The combination of a frightened governor, a sympathetic press, and activist judges have nullified California’s legal definition of marriage. And now full-blown anarchy is underway in the city by the Bay.
Finally, after seven days, Governor Schwarzenegger has issued a short statement. “Californians…overwhelmingly approved California’s law that defines marriage as being between a man and a woman. I support that law and encourage San Francisco officials to obey that law.” Encourage? It’s a governor’s job to enforce the law, not encourage it. What is this? Are we not a nation where citizens are required to obey the law?
Here’s what President Bush had to say. “I have watched carefully what is happening in San Francisco where licenses are being issued, even though state law states otherwise. I have consistently stated that I’ll support laws to protect marriage between a man and a woman. Obviously these events are influencing my decision.”
Well, that’s a little bit better than Schwarzenegger. Bush is actually threatening to do something about this enormous mess.
Once again, I couldn’t care less personally about gay marriage. I’m not coming at this from a religious point of view or a moral standpoint. But I’m telling you, ladies and gentlemen, society in America is breaking down fast. Two-thirds of California residents want marriage to remain between a man and a woman. One man says he’s above that law and nothing happens to the mayor. This is incomprehensible and hypocritical.
In Alabama, Judge Roy Moore lost his job because he defied the law. Some conservatives groused, but most people understood that law had to be obeyed. But not this case. Again, this comparison. Say I’m the mayor of San Diego. Say I believe every American has the right to carry a gun for protection. That goes against California law. But Mayor Bill starts to issue gun licenses to anybody who wants one. Do you think the media would sit there and say nothing? Do you think Arnold Schwarzenegger would encourage me not to do that?
The whole world’s watching this. If a California law is going to be openly defied by public officials, and nothing’s said about it, you can forget about any discipline in our society. Want to take drugs? Go ahead. Want to marry your grandson? Knock yourself out. Want to throw a rock through a window? All day long.
The rule of law is under siege here in California. And now the politicians have nowhere to hide.
And that’s “The Memo.”
Questions: Laurence Kohlberg proposed that our thinking about “right and wrong” develops according to a particular order. Answering the following questions will improve your understanding of Kohlberg’s theory and help develop your critical thinking.
- What stage do you think Bill O’Reilly is, according to Kohlberg’s theory?
- What stage are you in (or should you be in), according to Kohlberg’s theory?
- Does the description of that stage (the one you are in) seem valid to you?
- What is a possible bias in Kohlberg’s theory?
Pls follow the rubric:
Critical Thinking Rubric (1)
|This criterion is linked to a Learning OutcomeTimeliness||
|This criterion is linked to a Learning OutcomeCompleteness of Answers||
|This criterion is linked to a Learning OutcomeExpression of Ideas||
|This criterion is linked to a Learning OutcomeDevelopment of Ideas||
|This criterion is linked to a Learning OutcomeWriting||
|Total Points: 5.0|