Morality and Cheating in School

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Cheating is neither morally nor socially relative, as it is a sign of absolute willful ignorance. When you cheat others, you cheat yourself most of all.

What will be your policy towards cheaters when you are the teacher, parent or leader? How do you explain this ethic to those who practice honesty?
 
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You bring up a topic that I would love to start a new thread on - honesty. I really believe that sometimes being honest is not the best option. Things are not always so black and white.

Question - if a system is flawed, is it morally right to follow it? That has been my point from the beginning. That if the whole concept of homework in my particular class is purely concerned with writing on paper and not content, why should I follow it?
 

Hurkyl

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That if the whole concept of homework in my particular class is purely concerned with writing on paper and not content, why should I follow it?
Then don't follow it, if you don't want to. In such a case, your choices are to be a moral person and accept your bad grade, or to be an immoral person and lie, cheat, and steal to get a good grade.
(Assuming that you are unable to find some alternative method of achieving a good grade that is ethically up to snuff)
 
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Francis M said:
I'm sorry if this sounds sarcastic or harsh, it's not meant to be.
Not at all :smile: Indeed I would support students taking initiative towards more challenging courses
Bio-Hazard said:
However, if you're helping others learn, being productive towards society, and yet having a large ass load, I accept cheating.
Ok...I think I see where you're headed, but not quite.
-One's grade in academics should be based specifically on his/her understanding+skill in those academics.
*Whether or not he/she is "productive towards society" or "helping other learn," I would not pass that student in Calculus II, for example, if he/she does not understand integrals. An individual grade for an individual should be based on that individual understanding+skill, whether or not they are "societally productive."

*If that student needs a "large ass load" of work to understand+acquire skill a subject, then so be it.
------------------------------------------------------
Btw, Jameson, If you extend it a little further, the question might be the morality of using an "unfairity" to combat a previous "unfairity" :

*E.g, affirmative action. To combat an earlier "unfairity" (i.e., wrongful discrimination, prejudice, racism, etc), a new "unfairity" is imposed (i.e., a racial/ethnic factor in work/college enrollment-->some people call it "reverse" discrimination, I think.)

*Same with the "cheating" -->to combat some "unfairity" (or homework/test imperfection in its estimation of your ability), people resort to cheating.

The question being, "Is it moral/ok to use this 'unfairity' to combat this/that other 'unfairity' ?" (something along the lines)

||*Personally I never cheat on tests (though sometimes people cheat off of mine).
Loren Booda said:
What will be your policy towards cheaters when you are the teacher, parent or leader?
Same as that of almost any parent, teacher, or leader :smile:

*If someone can rationally point out an truly avoidable imperfection in a teacher's tests, so what? All that the teacher would do is just deduct the problem from a test, and add the lost points (for those who didn't solve it :tongue2:).
Then again,
Most likely (around 99.9% of the time from my experience) there is NO such imperfection. I mean, what kind of math teacher would ask students to "Name three of Renior's paintings" on a calculus quiz ?? :rolleyes:

But aside from those strange examples, I think you see what I mean, in general: Cheating on tests is wrong.
(unless you have that sort of artsy calculus teacher, which I seriously doubt anyone will ... ever)

Loren Booda said:
Cheating is neither morally nor socially relative, as it is a sign of absolute willful ignorance.
Quite an oversimplication indeed! :devil:

"Cheating" really says nothing lest you interpret it within a specific context.
Not all cheaters are alike. One must see the circumstances surrounding those individuals' specific situations in order to interpret their rationality in cheating.

Here's a brief example of a somewhat specific context:
Bio-Hazard said:
If you are screwing around, playing games, not learning, not talking about education, then you are failed to doom. I don't think you have any right to cheat.
 
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Chronos

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Maybe a strict definition of 'cheating' is in order: Cheating = utilizing a resource that is foresworn or unavailable to all other participants in a competitive event. A test is a competitive event where students demonstrate their comprehension of subject material presented by an instructor. If you crib, or peek at your neighbors paper, you are cheating. I hate to ask, but, is Ethics 101 now an elective?
 
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how did we go from copying homework to cheating?
 

Chronos

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Copying lecture notes is not cheating. Copying answers to graded assignments or test questions is cheating. Is that too difficult to comprehend?
 
*cough* Explain how we went to test cheating...

We were talking about copying homework, start "test cheating morality" in a different topic, please.
 
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chronos: it is because some of us do not believe copying homework cheating.

Why isn't copying lecture notes cheating-i think it would be if you called copying homework cheating?...its copying someone elses notes to benefit yourself, then you get to use it on your homework whereby you can copy straight from the notes; Is copying one question on an assignment cheating? Is copying part of a question on an assignement cheating?...is asking for help whereby you get most of the answer called cheating? Homework is the benefit for the student, if they choose to do it or not do it, it is their problem...whether it will benefit down the road or not it is their choice. If it buys them time to do other(more eventful) things then it is a gain

When they copy the homework they can easily as learn as if they were doing it themselves. I know many students who were brilliant and they chose to copy becuase of time/finance/other obligations...but they knew the stuff and they would show it on tests.
 
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But people ask for grades, so benefits or no benefits, you HAVE to do it, leading back to the original question:

Is it moral?
 
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Productive as in helping others develop scientific knowledge of the areas in relation to their subject of study.


Page 5.
 

Hurkyl

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chronos: it is because some of us do not believe copying homework cheating.

...
None of your rationalization addresses the fundamental issue here: you are presenting someone else's work as your own.

So of course you're going to conclude that it isn't cheating, because you are completely ignoring the reason why it's considered cheating. :tongue:
 
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lol hurkyl i've never copied homework in my life(well unless you count paraphrasing for essays)...i just don't see whats wrong with it. Even though your presenting someone elses work as your own the person(one would assume) allowed you to present it as your own work. If you only copied pieces of homework rather than homework you are presenting someone's work and whether your doing your homework based on the principals of your teachers tutelage your presenting their teachings...or if your learning straight from the textbook. Your copying the steps provided for you by the author. You can change a variable or word here and there...but isn't it all the same?
 

Hurkyl

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Blahness said:
Is it moral?
No, as has been said over and over and over.

Blahness said:
you HAVE to do it
No, you don't. You have a perfectly good option of not doing your homework and receiving a bad grade.

neurocomp2003 said:
i just don't see whats wrong with it.
As I just said, it's wrong because you are presenting someone else's work as your own.

neurocomp2003 said:
If you only copied pieces of homework rather than homework you are presenting someone's work
Yes. That's bad. There's a reason I haven't made any sort of distinction between copying an entire assignment versus, say, a single problem.

neurocomp2003 said:
your doing your homework based on the principals of your teachers tutelage your presenting their teachings
This is good thing: it's what you've been assigned to do. There is no ethical problem.
(You sure you didn't copy during the week they discussed principle vs principal and your vs you're? :wink:)

neurocomp2003 said:
isn't it all the same?
No.
 
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ah forgive me english is my second language.
 

Hurkyl

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I wasn't sure. It was too good of a joke to pass up, in case you were a native English speaker!
 

Rade

Jameson said:
You bring up a topic that I would love to start a new thread on - honesty. I really believe that sometimes being honest is not the best option. Things are not always so black and white. Question - if a system is flawed, is it morally right to follow it?
This is a very good observation. For me the answer is that "telling the truth" really has nothing to do with "being moral". The classic example is the person, confronted by the SS of Hitler's police, when asked if they have a Jewish family in their house, say no, when in fact the answer is yes. A legal lie, yes--a moral lie, no.
 

Hurkyl

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A legal lie, yes--a moral lie, no.
Yes, there are grey areas, and this is one.

Lying for personal gain is not a grey area. :tongue2:
 
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heh Hurkyl....technically english is my second language but i was born and raised in canada =] I don't think about grammar and stuff when i type...as long as it sounds the smae and gives off the meaning its suppose to then meh what difference does it make hehe. Unless of course your handing in written work, but then again i've struggled with english most of my life.
 

Chronos

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Apparently you have also struggled with ethics most of your life. I have no respect for cheaters.
 
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and when did i say i cheated chronos? I've only probably ever cheated 1% of the assignments i've ever been assigned and most of them are for english writing classes. I've never once cheated in physics/mathematics/chemistry/cs/psychology. Hell I even barely passed QM because i thought it was amoral to COPY PREVIOUS EXAM QUESTIONS onto an allowed crib sheet. BUT THEN AGAIN THIS WAS AN EXAM...but 95% of the students in my class had no problem with it...and props to them for getting the marks they did.

I REPEAT Copying homework is not cheating!!! if a friend is in dire need of copying an assignment inorder to get a passing grade I think it is the moral obligation as a friend to help him/her out. If they need it because they've been swamped with other work a job to financial support themselves through school...I do not see it as an issue. I help them out when i can. Sometimes they may not get the concepts and its not knowledge they need in their program and their made to take it anyways...I'll help them out. Do i first try to teach them sure but its a waste of time. Unless they're in need of actual learning.

So as an external to copying homework, have they done me wrong...I do not think so. Have they done teachers wrong. Perhaps or perhaps the teacher was horrible. Have they done themselves wrong. NO. well maybe it depends on the circumstances, but in dire need they do not do themselves any wrong. Copying homework is neither cheating nor amoral, unless the individual deems it so.
 

Hurkyl

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I've only probably ever cheated 1% of the assignments
That's still infinitely more often than I've ever thought about cheating on my homework.

I REPEAT Copying homework is not cheating!!!
And I repeat that it is.

if a friend is in dire need of copying an assignment inorder to get a passing grade I think it is the moral obligation as a friend to help him/her out.
Yes, and that moral obligation is to dissuade him from acting immorally.

If they need it because they've been swamped with other work a job to financial support themselves through school...I do not see it as an issue.
Well, I do. The thing that makes someone an morally upstanding person is that they act morally, even when it's hard. The people, like yourself, who deviate from moral virtues when the going gets rough, demonstrate exactly what it means to not be an morally upstanding person.

(Of course, that's not as bad as the people who habitually act immorally to get ahead when the opportunity arises, but the point is that both are still immoral behaviors)
 

Lisa!

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neurocomp2003 said:
and when did i say i cheated chronos? I've only probably ever cheated 1% of the assignments i've ever been assigned and most of them are for english writing classes. I've never once cheated in physics/mathematics/chemistry/cs/psychology. Hell I even barely passed QM because i thought it was amoral to COPY PREVIOUS EXAM QUESTIONS onto an allowed crib sheet. BUT THEN AGAIN THIS WAS AN EXAM...but 95% of the students in my class had no problem with it...and props to them for getting the marks they did.
As you know only a few students are very successful in the future!
Perhaps you're right about your friends that they don't need a knowledge of some courses, but then again I don't consider that moral. You cause they get used to it. I mean first they cheat in unimportant courses, then they think there would be no problem if they even cheat in other courses. And of course you're not the one who gets to decide what course is useful for them and what course isn't! :wink:
 
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who decides what is moral?
 

Lisa!

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That's my question too. I mean I always ask myself "what's moral and what's immoral?" and "who gets to decide about that?". But for sure you don't want your friends wouldn't be an unsuccessful educated person in the future. I mean if he doesn't do his homework by himself, he may not be knowledgable enough in the future. Anyway I have no comment about specific situation. For example perhpas an engineer don't want to know any thing about history and art, so why should we foce hi to know about them?
 

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