In "Measuring Morals," Laura Secor examines various attempts to understand how people make ethical decisions in the workplace and elsewhere. Are Americans cheating more than they used to, too often choosing to do well rather than do good? If so, what should be done about the problem?
my opion....do on to others as you do to me...this world is going craze.......belive in god.....he says it all.........
John, winthrop ma
My thoughts are that there should logically be more cheating today, than ever. Today, people have less and less to stand on than before... the economy/jobs are lacking, the family structure has died, people's emotions/tastes are more fleeting and are more engineered. Further, we have less and less safety nets or they are being questioned at every turn. And, most importantly (since 'cheating' is traditionally a male phenomenon), maculinity is challenged by everyone, at varying degrees and levels. Not to mention, if you are a minority... esp. a minority man, what I have aforementioned is multiplied, at least, by 10. One sure-fire way to try to assert one's masculinity and improve self-esteem, is through sex! Thank you for your time and attention.
Desmond, Greensboro, NC(grew up in Boston)
Cheating in America is endemic. Thank you, John Nash. Further, and more disturbingly, cheating does not appear to be related to need but to want.
Tom, Hannibal, Missouri
I am a 17-year old high school senior taking all honor and AP classes at my high school. I am not sure if cheating has increased in America, but I can definitely attest to the fact that cheating is widespread and socially accepable in high school. In honors physics and AP Calculus, students put formulas in their calulators so that they will not have to memorize them. In honors French, students will place review sheets under their desks, taking advantage of the fact that our teacher is very trusting and somewhat naive. Forgery is not limited to the classroom: I know several students who have had their parents compose their college acceptance essays. I do not understand how students can act with this kind of honesty on a day-to-day basis. I remember last year my honors Pre-Calc teacher gave me a B+ on a test that should have received a B-. My friend and I compared tests, and though she had fewer wrong than I did, I had the higher grade. I did not feel right about the situation. Though we had both studied hard, she had a greater understanding of the material and should receive credit for her understanding. I told the teacher and her correction ended up reducing my final average from a B+ to a B. This was irritating, but I felt better about myself. So what if no college knows why I didn't get that B+ in pre-calc, I revceived the grade that I earned. I know that "life isn't always fair," but I feel good about myself when I can help make life more just. (I just reread that paragraph and I sound like I'm very self-righteous and think that I am the only person out there with good moral values; this is not the case. I know other students who would rather receive an honest B than a B+ that they do not deserve. Unfortunately we are not the majority.) Another thought: I don't know why I "feel better about myself" when I act honestly or morally. My parents, especially my mother, are extremely honest (my mother always says that a person gets 52 lies before she dies; when she lies for the 53rd time, she dies). I always tell my mother the truth about what my friends and I are doing, how I feel, etc. She would rather know that my friends and I drank (cautiously) on New Year's than have me come home with red eyes and a headache and claim we played monoploy. I find that the more honest I am with my mother, the more she trusts me and allows me liberties. I think that I gained my sense of morality from my mother, which leads me to wonder if we can truly blame students for their immoral academic practices, or if their parents, who ground them for C's and don't care how they got A's, are really culpable. I just don't know.
Yes. people are treated more poorly by society in general, I.e. No loyalty by employers, rape by the clergy, no courtesy by drivers, more pressure to suceed, retirement plans in jeopordy. due to this I believe more people are willing to take more risk (including dishonest risks) to 'get ahead'. Sad...
Thomas, malden, ma
Cheating is a fact of life in the US. The Indians were cheated out of their land; the Spanish were cheated out of the Southwest; the farmers were cheated by the railroads; Rockefeller, Carnegie, and Jim Fisk cheated their way to fortune; the feds cheated against the Wobblies; Sacco and Vanzetti were cheated of their lives; Nixon, Clinton and Bush routinely cheated (and still do). Power and money corrupt; nothing has changed.
steve, st. paul, mn
I think that the American psyche is way too self-absorbed. It's more a matter of "how can I get waht I want?" than ever before. A perfect example is driving thru red lights. It's so commonplace now, you are taking your life in your hands if you go when the light turns green. This is a very subtle form of cheating. The feeling that "I am in a hurry and my needs are greater than all those other people". Taxes? Forget it. I think I'm the only person I know that doesn't "cheat". I do go on-line at work though, which I guess is cheating, though I don't feel that I abuse it. (ah, moderation....)
Nancy, Plymouth, MA
Any system of ethics based on mere consensus is a sham. Morals must not be confused with civil law or public policy. An authentic morality must be based on a concept of human nature. The present state of morals in America shows what happens when the human person is seen as an isolated individual in a relationship of brute competitiveness.
i think in general americans are cheating more. whether its in getting a better deal in business, at work, in relationships, in education (the things one hears on train rides or at bars). its unfortunate because in the end evil come homes to roost and as cliche as it may sound. the morale of the story is we only hurt ourselves. and cheating i feel is delved in part from some irrational sort of entitlement we as americans feel in dealing with other folks we hold little opinion of others and as our arrogance allows us tho think we are better then everyone that basically covers everyone. case in point look at our relations with other countries. i'm not saying its right nor am i condoning it... but i've seen and heard enough to realize, on the whole we cheat more then an on the road salesman.
Who Cares? If you know that you can get away with it, then do it......as long as it doesn't kill anyone.
Kelly, South Boston