"All humans are members of the same body Created from one essence"

"Human beings are members of a whole in creation of one essence and soul. If one member is afflicted with pain, other members uneasy will remain."

Friday, 30 July 2010

Ethical Treatment of other People

Gilligan and Kohlberg

Carol Gilligan, in her book, A Different Voice, said that men and women do approach ethical issues differently. Gilligan presents a theory of moral development from a gender perspective. She claimed that women tend to think and speak in a different way than men when confronting ethical dilemmas.

When dealing with a moral dilemma, Gilligan asserts two moral imperatives:

  • Justice is impersonal, and focuses on individual rights, equality before the law, fair play, a square deal, and goals that can be pursued without personal ties to others.
  • Love focuses on goodness, beneficence, and utility. Gilligan's word for this kind of love is care. Care points to the duty to find and assuage the world's problems.
From her research, Gilligan has concluded that generally men and women have different proclivities when they look at and talk about ethical issues.

  • Men tend to think and talk in terms of justice, fairness, duty, and rights.
  • Women tend to think in terms of care, connectedness, and the need to sustain relationships.
Kohlberg seemed to reinforce the notion that women were innately unable to reason as well as their male counterpart when it came to ethical dilemmas. Kohlberg setup a moral-dilemma example:

A man's wife is dying. There is a drug that might save her. The drug is sold for $2,000, ten times what it costs to make it. The man can raise $1,000 and begs the druggist to sell it to him for less money. The druggist refuses. Out of desperation, the man breaks into the drugstore and steals the drug for his dying wife.

Question? Is the act wrong?

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