[Spoilers for this past season ofThe Walking Dead.]
In terms of his moral development, Carl Grimes was pretty far along the day that his life ended. According to Kohlberg, the social contract stage is way above the punishment avoidance stage when it comes to psychological sophistication and maturity.
In short, if doing something for someone else requires more of your humanity than purer survival instincts do. While his father, Rick, was working hard on plan to keep himself alive, Carl was out in the wood's helping a stranger, and that's when he got bit.
At first I thought this was an unlikely turn of events. After all, Carl had grown up in the zombie apocalypse. He was smart and experienced, to the point of being practically grizzled. After all he's been through, what are the chances that a small zombie ambush would take him out?
If my experience with Death Road to Canada is any indication, the answer is "very good". Most of my deaths in the game came a long after I had become stronger, wiser, but most of all, over-confident. Familiarity breeds comfort, and comfort can inspire unnecessary risks. In other words, when you think your life is in danger, you work hard to stay safe, greatly increasing your chances of survival. When you are a 18-year-old kid, totally sure of self, you're a lot more likely to feel invincible, and that feeling may get you killed.
But who wouldn't feel invincible with Mjonir - Thor's legendary magic hammer - flying through the air at your command, tearing through hordes of undead cannibals like a hot knife through butter?