The Mind And Personal Motivations

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Society exerts extreme pressures on people to act in specific ways whether or not they believe in the righteousness of their actions; many people act how society suggests they should in order to avoid punishment and judgement. A man chastises the Gossips for their lowly reasons for proper behavior: “’Is there no virtue in a woman, save what springs from a wholesome fear of the gallows?’” (Hawthorne 39). The women fear the death and punishment which the Puritan Society they live in threatens, and allow such threats to dictate the way they act. When people carry out actions simply to avoid punishment or gain rewards and recognition, their selfish motivations take away from their noble deeds. The mind and personal motivations must work in harmony in order for an individual to truly act in a highly moral way. Both specific, well thought out motivations for why an action exists as the right choice, along with the outward action itself must occur in order for one to achieve higher levels of morality. The fears of judgment, public punishment, and both physical and mental injury can cause people to simply act out of basic instincts and through egocentric motivations. Lawrence Kohlberg defines his early stages of moral development by simplicity of decision-making, and a fixation on punishment and reward: “The physical consequences of action determine its goodness or badness regardless of the human meaning or value of these consequences” (Kohlberg n.p.). In the early, pre-conventional

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