I was introduced to the dos and don’ts of the family at a very tender age and; by the time I went to grade one, I was aware of the acceptable forms of behaviour in the family and I had embraced my family’s ethical viewpoint. In the school, our teachers also orientated us to the school’s code of conduct which prohibited any form of indiscipline. So, throughout my primary school study years, I had never doubted the rationality of the ethics that I had been introduced to by my parents and my teachers. The turning point in the journey of the development of my ethical viewpoint came when I went to High School.
In High school, I met students who had completely different moral view points from the one I had. For instance, while as a child I had been taught that stealing is unethical under all circumstances. In High School, however, I met some students who believed that stealing is morally justifiable under some circumstance. These students made me to rethink my moral worldview and to ask myself some hard questions. For instance, I asked myself whether stealing really is unethical under all circumstances. As I was reflecting on these questions, all my pens were stolen most probably by my fellow classmates who did not see anything wrong with stealing; I had carelessly left my pens on the table when they were stolen. This event presented a real moral dilemma to me. This is because before going to High School, my parents had strictly warned me against losing any of the stationery that they had bought me; my parents had warned me that if I lose the stationery, through carelessness, they wouldn’t buy me any other. So, I was faced with the moral dilemma of whether to steal another pen from my classmates, or to lie to my parents that it was not through carelessness that I had lost the pens so that they could buy me other pens. Eventually, I chose the lesser evil, i.e. to lie to my parents so that they could buy