Module: Research Writing In The Social Sciences (Nanyang Technological University)
The value of consistency is the main motivation of this research as consistency is essential in good reasoning. We will be focusing only on consistency in moral situations.
H.J. Gensler proposes the Golden Rule Theorem that runs along the lines of “treating others as you would want to be treated.” A statement many of us have been exposed to. This shall be the main framework of the study since the theorem focuses a great degree on consistency in arguments.
96 undergraduates in Singapore were surveyed to find out (a) if they are consistent in their moral judgments, (b) how they value consistency in being a moral person and (c) their views on the significance of consistency. Results were analysed solely based on the survey data to determine the degree of consistency of respondents.
It was found that majority of the respondents agree with the Golden Rule and majority achieved a satisfactory degree of consistency. In spite of it, not as many feel that consistency is important. A closer examination of the respondents’ views on the importance of consistency revealed some invalid and unsound arguments on why consistency is insignificant.
Further research could be done to examine if people would change their minds on the importance of consistency after knowing what it means, and if knowing would make better reasoning. This is significant because many of us spend a big part of our lives trying to convince or be convinced by others, even when it comes to mundane decisions such as buying a computer.