LSK 203 Midterm Exam
1. The way a person thinks or reasons determines his/her stage of moral development
The 1998 film “Return to Paradise” corresponds with Kohlberg’s and Gilligan’s theories on moral development. The movie shows a struggle between multiple characters that are in search of doing the right thing. The three characters I chose to write about are Sheriff, Tony, and Beth. Sheriff and Tony are dealing with very similar moral dilemmas throughout the movie. They are both asked to return to Malaysia, where they recently vacationed, in order to spare someone’s life. They are placed in this dilemma because on their vacation they were involved with drugs along with another character Lewis, who eventually got caught with the drugs and is now facing the death penalty. Although they both have different priorities, Sheriff and Tony face the same moral dilemma of self-sacrifice in order to spare Lewis’ life. The third character I chose to write about is Beth, who faces a complete different moral dilemma. Beth is a lawyer representing Lewis who is determined to find equal punishment for everyone. She is persistent throughout the movie on convincing Sheriff and Tony to return to Malaysia. Later in the movie we actually find out that Beth is Lewis’ sister, which only intensifies her dilemma of convincing the men to go back and save Lewis’ life.
When one is dealing with a moral dilemma, they use reasoning to reach their decision on how to handle such dilemma. In the beginning of the movie I find Sheriff using Kohlberg’s reasoning of “Satisfying one’s own needs” and “Does not share another’s perspective” because he is only concerned with himself and refuses to see from Beth’s or Lewis’ point of view. However, towards the end of the movie Sheriff reasons with “universal ethical principles”, “solution is worked out to be just for everyone” and “high principle of preserving life”. He shows this when he agrees to back...
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