Topic 5 and 6 Discussion


Topic 5 and 6 Discussion

Topic 5 Discussion

Keagan’s ideas in the constructive-developmental theory indicate that one’s perceptions within their order of consciousness affect their ethical decision-making processes. As a person’s mental complexity progresses, they change the perception of their emotions, beliefs, behavior, and issues from subjects to objects (Draper 40). For example, someone in the interpersonal third-order views their interests as objects within a shared reality with others. When they have relationships, therefore, they subordinate their interests for the sake of preserving their loyalty and association with others. While they have internal standards and values, the authority of their decisions is dependent on what others think or feel (Draper 48). On the other hand, a person within the institutional fourth group creates an internal governing system that is independent of others. While they have empathy, their self-regulatory system is the one used to mediate conflicts and make decisions (Draper 49). In the ethical decision-making process therefore, the person in the third-order will always resolve towards pleasing others instead of their concerns and beliefs; in the case when the decision falls between two of their favored parties, they are unable to resolve it. The fourth stage person will, however, use their personal convictions about the matter to make decisions lacking favoritism and one that would not cause them discomfort. As one, therefore, progresses from one complexity order to another, their ability to handle ethical decision making improves.

Topic 6 Discussion

Manna has the ability to reflect on his needs and actions and those of other people, but faces the challenge of subordinating his needs for others; he, therefore, fits into the interpersonal third order. Manny understood the impropriety of the death penalty especially to minors and also the need for capital punishment for offenses such as sexual predation (Gurdof et al. 52) He, however, doesn’t have a sense of what he wants, his perceptions are dependent on thoughts of his constituents, Alice, Saul, and Pinna. Manny is relieved when the public opposes the death penalty for minors as that saved him the trouble of explaining to his constituents why he supported Alice’s initial Bill. Manny ducks away to hide from Alice instead of confronting her on the matter (Gurdof et al. 51). The two actions show that he wanted to remain at peace with the others by avoiding conflict. Manny also displays a major flaw within the third order complexity by getting torn in between decisions based on other people’s opinions. On one side he has Alice and his constituents who supported the bill and on the other side, he had Pinna who was against it. Voting for the bill would mean that he gets another term in office and thus the money needed to support his family. Voting against the bill will have his wife Pinna appalled by him (Gurdof et al. 56). These characteristics fit into the third order of mental complexity. Overall, I think that he will vote for the bill.

Saul displays the ability to reflect on claims of others but he possesses firm self-regulation that is not dependent upon other people’s interests and opinions thus he fits in the fourth-order of complexity. He agrees with the public’s opinion on racism in the propagation of the death penalty but still holds a stand that the death penalty should remain with the option of giving the judges more discretion (Gurdof et al. 54).  He examines John’s opinions on how the judicial system treated the blacks and uncovers the underlying fact that it wasn’t race that discriminated them but their broken family structures that resulted in their involvement in crime (Gurdof et al. 56). He effectively displays the ability to own his decision and defend it regardless of other people’s influence on the matter. Therefore, he will definitely vote against the bill.



Work Cited

Draper, Joseph Porter. Evolving Communities: Adapting Theories of Robert Kegan and Bernard Lonergan to Intentional Groups. 2008. Boston College, PhD dissertation.

Gurdof, Christine, et al. Christian Ethics: A Case Method Approach. New York, Maryknoll, 2012.

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