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What is Moral Reasoning?

Moral reasoning is the process of thinking about something logically to form a conclusion or judgment concerning or relating to what is right and wrong in human behavior; the ability of the mind to think and understand things in a logical way agreeing with a standard of right behavior. Moral reasoning applies critical analysis to specific events to determine what is right or wrong, and what people ought to do in a particular situation. Both philosophers and psychologists study moral reasoning.

How we make day-to-day decisions like "What should I wear?" is similar to how we make moral decisions like "Should I lie or tell the truth?" The brain processes both in generally the same way. Moral reasoning typically applies logic and moral theories, such as deontology or utilitarianism, to specific situations or dilemmas. However, people are not especially good at moral reasoning. Indeed, the term moral dumbfounding describes the fact that people often reach strong moral conclusions that they cannot logically defend.


In fact, evidence shows that the moral principle or theory a person chooses to apply is often, ironically, based on their emotions, not on logic. Their choice is usually influenced by internal biases or outside pressures, such as the self-serving bias or the desire to conform.


So, while we likely believe we approach ethical dilemmas logically and rationally, the truth is our moral reasoning is usually influenced by intuitive, emotional reactions.


There are 7 Steps Moral Reasoning Model / Ethical Decision-making that we need to follow for us to be guided in our daily lives especially in making a decision.

1. Stop and think. Before making any decisions, it is best to take a moment to think about the situation itself, your place in it, and other surrounding factors that merit consideration, such as the people involved and the potential effects of your decision on them. This involves a step back from the situation to make sure that you do not act out of impulse.

2. Clarify goals. It is also necessary to clarify your short-term and long-term aims. One often decides based on what he/she wants to accomplish. Sometimes in the heat of the moment, short-term wants eclipse long-term goals. Thus, you must determine if you are willing to sacrifice more important life goals to achieve your short-term goals. If you, for example, are seeking retribution for harm caused by another person, you have to think about the long-term consequence of revenge on your character in the long run.

3. Determine the facts. Make sure you gather enough information before you make a choice. An intelligent choice is one that is supported by verified facts. You must first make sure that what you know is enough to merit action. Without verifying facts, you may regret your choice in the future once various aspects of the situation come to light. Never make a choice based on hearsay. Make sure your sources are credible and have integrity.

4. Develop options. Once you are clear in terms of your goals and facts, try to come up with alternative options to exhaust all possible courses of action. Most of the time, the pressure of a situation may make you feel you have fewer options than you think. Clear your mind and try to think of other creative ways of clarifying your motives and implementing your actions with the least ethical compromise.

5. Consider the consequences. Filter your choices and separate the ethical from the unethical choices bearing in mind both your motives and the potential consequences of your action. Think of long-term consequences and act by the principles of justice and fairness. Consequences are historical realities that bear upon the lives of others. A decision turns something in your mind into reality. Make sure you do not regret the decision you have conferred reality upon.

6. Choose. Make a decision. If the choice is hard to make, try consulting others who may have knowledge or experience of your situation. Find people with a virtuous character and compare your reasoning with moral analysis. Once you make up your mind, summon the will to do the right thing even if it is hard and seemingly counter-intuitive.

7. Monitor and modify. Monitor what happens after your decision and have enough humility to modify your action or behavior as necessary. Pride may get in the way of admitting that you might have not thought out a decision well enough. As you become more aware of the consequences of your actions, especially on the lives of others, summon the strength and determination to make changes to rectify any shortcomings. Do not hesitate to revise your decisions in light of new developments in the situation.



Decision Wheels

Image transcription text

9 2 Assess Decision: Choices 8 3 Decision Consequences Problem Who Can Help Values 7 4 More Info Feelinas 6 5

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Guide Questions:

1. What is the problem?

2. What are the choices you have?

3. What do you think the consequences of these choices will be for yourself and others who are involved?

4. What values do you need to consider?

5. How do you feel about the situation?

6. Is there anything else you need to learn about it?

7. Do you need to ask for help? Who will you ask?

8. What is your decision?

9. Do you think you made the right decision? Why?


ACTIVITY:

Instruction: Use the 7 Steps Moral Reasoning Model/Ethical Decision-Making and Decision Wheels in this situation.


"Maria missed her final examination on her major subject because she felt sick and ill. She, then, emailed her teacher, saying, "Respected Madam, I am submitting this letter to not only explain the excuse but also apologize for missing the crucial exam. I had a fever and felt very sick. Also, my mother did not want me to attend the online classes for the fear that my sickness will go severe because of the radiation being emitted from the mobile phone. At last, I would say that please grant my excuse and give me the opportunity to solve my problem. I will be very grateful to you." Her teacher said she should create the situation using the 7 Steps of Moral Reasoning and the Decision Wheels, this will serve as her examinations."

Answer & Explanation
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