DSM: Moral Behavior

From: Joe Jackson (shoeless@jazztbone.com)
Date: Tue Nov 20 2001 - 13:57:09 EST


Hi, Liz.

> at Sudbury your behaviour is of
> no importance, you can do what you want, just don't get
> caught! There is no need for anyone to examine why they do
> what they do, they just have to do their penance and they are
> exonerated. Therefore there is no reason to behave morally.

An interesting question. I believe that in answering the question "What
is the reason a person behaves morally?" in a Sudbury model school, one
would be answering it regarding behavior in any school, or society in
general, as the impact of doing the right thing when nobody is looking
is present regardless of whether it's in a school building or not.

So IMO the question you are asking is: Why do people behave morally in
our world? THIS is the question over which humankind always has and
still is deeply divided over, and I believe is a prime factor in shaping
the expectations people have for the education of their children.

Perhaps one view is that people are born as blank slates with no "value
system", and that they learn morals from family, church, school,
whatever.

My view is that there is a very large and general set of morals that
children are born with that are intertwined with the instincts to
survive and nurture and socialize, and that these instincts/morals are
refined or perverted (depending on how one looks at it) through the
growth process.

In my opinion, the principal of "treat others as I would be treated" is
not an invention of a religion or culture, it is a principal we are all
born with. It can be unlearned, or it can take on a lower priority to
other instincts or ideas, depending on a person's experiences.

So, given that I think that the "good" in children is innate, I support
my children's choice of being in an educational environment where they
will be free of interference; where the "good" in them will flower right
along with the many passions in life they will discover along the way.

That's it - I don't want to go "on & on" as I indeed have a propensity
for doing! (have you ever heard of the expression, "he's in love with
the sound of his own voice"?) ;)

-Joe

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