Rationality may be overrated. Lieberman, Schreiber, and Ochsner noted that “Because behavior is often driven by automatic mechanisms, self-reports of mental processes are notoriously unreliable and susceptible to many forms of contamination” (2003, 682)
Confusing morality with rationalization is insane.
For quite a while I’ve felt that Kohlberg’s stages of moral development are balderdash. The more I learn, the more skeptical i become. Kohlbergism is the bastard offspring of a rape of naive Piagetianism by blithering Vygotskianism.
Kohlberg claimed that morality, which he believed to be essentially the same thing as moral reasoning, proceeded through six stages that are in three levels.
First a focus on loss-aversion, and
Then a focus on income-maximization
First a focus on conforming to norms, and
Then a focus on obeying the law
First a focus on the Social Contract, and
Then a focus on Universal Principles
One way to attack Kohlberg is to argue him to absurdity by demonstrating situations where a higher “moral” stage of development leads to actions considered immoral. (That we even have to confuse normative ideals and substantive facts like this is demonstrates another Kohlbergian absurdity, but that would be a post for another time).
Considering that “First Level” descriptions are used only by socially naive participants (that is, small children), nearly all the human variation in “morality” is in the second and third level.
I have a strong intuition that if you measured “moral reasoning,” it would correlate with betrayal and selfish play in the ultimatum game.
I haven’t settled on a reason for that yet.
But does it matter?