What Are The Cognitive Functions Essential To Develop Moral Reasoning?

Imagine a community that values the  children. Reverend/Congressman Bobby Rush found himself soliciting the perspectives of Abdul Malik Kabbah and Larry Hoover on the gun violence threatening our youth. Fourth grader, Tyshawn Lee was the inspiration. Tyshawn was shot by someone who sought revenge in a gang war. In part, Abdul Mallik Kabbah, founder of the EL RUKN’s called for restoration for respect for life. He urged restoration of order and discipline.  Larry Hoover, founder of Growth and Development Nation Movement, message was to dissuade the violence before it occurs and predict the “hotspots” before violence occurs.

Brain research suggest that values taught in the adolescent years usually follow into adulthood. Revenge among many culprits has cost our community the high price of the life of our youth. Feeling safe at home, school and in the neighborhood empowers young adolescents (Brighton 2007). We should consider the possibilities of solutions outside our realm of experience to call the police to serve and protect. Ironically, the Department of Justice reports the Chicago Police Department perpetuates with particular clarity, violence against children-particularly students in Chicago Public Schools (Zaine 2017). Since fighting has become a second option to guns, we must be more observant and prepared to act against one of the leading causes of death among teenagers, homicides and with deep rooted morals.

Students may be taught about religion but public schools may not teach religion, they seek to improve test scores. Ironically, thirty-five Atlanta educators were indicted in 2013 for inflating test scores of elementary and middle school children. School conditions are open to adherents of any philosophy and morals are a matter of choice. When I was younger, the worse person was the instigator prompting the toughest man to hit his hand first. He then delivered the punch as if it was directly from me.  Sometimes I’d dream I beat that instigator but I woke up to face even newer and more improved shenanigans. Anyone could have paid the price with a black eye or busted lip. Today our children pay with their lives and the instigator continues to suggest killing over childish things. He has found his way unto media platforms. Adolescents must think for themselves or someone will think for them! Hopefully a morally rooted parent, educator or police person for their own safety. None the less, we became friends after the fights were over and we continued to fight together to dismantle the instigators’ lies. “To teach one to think intensively and to think critically…Intelligence plus character, that is the goal of intelligence (Dr. Martin Luther King).

A Florida woman was shot by her four-year old son. Under Florida law someone is liable because the child is under the age of sixteen. In Chicago, Illinois where they were seeking suspects between the age of six and eight for armed robberies in the recent past and arrested a twelve-year old with a gun, the ripe age is fourteen for offenders.  Who is liable for young gun carriers? Whether U.S. provides video games that desensitize individuals to aggression or inject amoral messages in music, deal in the glorification of drugs and alcohol or homicide by gun violence, our adolescents must become moral decision makers. Until they mature morally Susan Dwyer explains, what we have here is a set of complex abilities that 1) emerges over time in an environment that is impoverished with respect to the content and scope of their mature manifestations and 2) appear to develop across all species.

Exposure to diverse ways to consider moral issues adapts thinking. They begin to consider viewpoints other than the ones they were taught since childhood. The shared experiences of ancestors’ wisdom help toward higher levels of moral reasoning. The interconnection of ideas grows dendrites that establish paths in the brain and that become stronger with similar thinking activities (Nunley 2003). What are the cognitive functions essential to develop moral reasoning ?