T Nation

Academics and Ethics

After viewing the “Hate my Teacher” thread I started thinking about my school and how it functions. I want to hear your thoughts on cheating in school especially at the university level. Is it always wrong? If not, when is cheating justified?

Most will probably agree that school a ruthless competition and is not fair in any way. Say someone you know is struggling to pass a class while another student in that same class barely works for that A. Could cheating possibly be justified in that situation?

For the record, I have no plans to cheat. I just know people who have/do and I am just interested in your thoughts.

I would like to hear your definition of cheating.

I guess the bottom line is when, if ever, is cheating in school justified? Why or why not? Any first hand experiences with cheating or known of people who cheated frequently?

how i see it,
elementry school you learn the basics.
but the main thing you learn is how to act in society.
you learn how to be around peers,play nice all this.

high school is not much different.
you learn how to interact in a social situation more so than the workload in school.
most high schoolers hate the fact that they are forced to be in school.

university level,you have had 18 years to learn how to act in public,now its time to get busy learning how to work in the real world.
some people treat college as a second high school and its a waste in my mind.
if you cheat in college,will you cheat in your everyday job after college?
in reality a degree means NOTHING.
a degree means you have the ability to read a book and retain that information long enough to jot down the correct answers on a test. but you can still have a degree and be an idiot.

when I was working at motorola,I was a production operator that worked up to be an equipment tech.
there were engineers that would come to me,these people had masters degrees.the best one had a doctorates and he also had 35 years in the field.

one guy I worked under,had a masters in chemical egenieering,and I am a high school drop out that cant even spell the word.
guy looked down on me cause he had this fancy degree from ucla I think it was.
and how I made 12 bux an hour and he made 120 thousand.
long story short this guy was putting test wafers in an acid bath with hydrofloric acid.
he dropped the boat in the acid and reached in with his hands to get it.
all I could do is laugh at the poor ghuy and strip him down and throw him in the decon shower.

he had chemical gloves on and for that fact he fought me,said hes fine and how in school he learned that he would be fine as long as he had gloves on and the exposure wasnt that long.also I didnt know what I was talking baout because he has spent 4 years in school and I didnt.
but if anyone knows the quality of HF.they know that when it hits you it feels like water.and nothing protects you from it.
it wont burn and it goes right into your system
it goes right to the bones and eats the calcium out of it.

you basicly turn into a bag of slush without knowing it.
this man lost his hand and half his arm several weeks later and is now on disability.
classic example of an idiot with a degree.
it was these people that had the scholing that still could not understand the concept of the chemicals we worked with every day.
but the workers the “stupid” people that understand we just cant tell you in the big fancy word way.

in short the “real” world dosent care if you can spell,it dosent care if you can use big words.
or if you can count to 3 trillion and add letters and numbers together to get another number.

the real world will mess you up with illogical things sometimes. think about that a little bit.
and start paying attention and stop looking for the easy way out.

I did cheated a lot in high school. It pretty much was just friends helping out each other. Everyone I knew did it in some way. I guess it came to either cheat with everyone or do worse than everyone.

I just started college and I don’t plan on cheating. However, school hasn’t really started for that long and I already see lots of cheating going on. I guess it really isn’t that surprising.

Ive done stuff like copy homework (senior in highschool) but Ive never cheated on a test or quiz ect. The fact is it doesnt matter what grades you get in high school if you cant maintain them in College.

I don’t think it’s justified ever. If you want to do well you should work hard. If there is cheating occurring, then those who work hard won’t be recognized, which is essential to the system.

School has always been pretty easy, so I never really needed to cheat. I don’t really care one way or another if someone cheats, though. It’s really not a whole lot better than memorizing a bunch of facts, regurgitating it on a piece of paper, and getting drunk an hour later and forgetting all of it.

[quote]WILLDABEAST wrote:
I did cheated a lot in high school. [/quote]

Hehe… funny either way.

[quote]Nich wrote:

a degree means you have the ability to read a book and retain that information long enough to jot down the correct answers on a test. but you can still have a degree and be an idiot.

[/quote]

I disagree with the first part of that. Tell me that is all it is after you have a degree such as business, engineering, etc. (a real degree). It may be that way for lower level courses, but once you get higher up the classes are no joke. I know people who work their asses off, but have to take a class two times just to pass. So many people cannot cut it in college and are forced to drop out.

You can be an idiot with a degree.

Cheat if you want to or need to, but learn the material anyways.

I’ve taken a couple of pre-employment screening tests where they check your photo ID, give you a numbered test with a corresponding sheet with the test code on it, lock you in a room while you take it, then take your picture with you holding the code number sheet when you finish. They also search for any device with retrievable memory. All calcs, cell phones, or any other electronic device is taken before you are permitted to enter.

Then at the interview they have a picture of you holding the code sheet of the test you took. If the person in front of them is not you, the interview doesn’t even begin.

They do this to prevent people from sending in ringers.

From what I understand, procedures like that are not out of the ordinary.

It’s a bit of a loaded topic, but I’m gonna have to go ahead and say cheating isn’t really that bad.

Of course, there’s the obvious thing that you’re really only hurting yourself, so if you take it into your hands to harm your own development, while simultaneously risking expulsion from your university, w/e. There’s the grades are an indicator of talent which becomes less accurate as cheaters change the talent/grade measure, but it’s an argument full of holes, which I will gladly elaborate upon if anyone wishes.

Second, a lot of stuff in college is pretty stupid. As an econ major, I’ve taken boatloads of prereqs in a variety of topics only abstractly related to my discipline, arts, philosophy, physics, biology, literature, literary theory, history, archaeology, and chinese to name a few. Now, I can’t claim that I had no interest in all of these topics, but some of them I legitimately wanted to stab myself in the face during. They advanced my ability in no way whatsoever and were merely requirements I had to take in order to get this fancy shmancy degree. In these circumstances, do I think cheating is justified? Absofuckinglutely. I’m not harming my academic development, as a matter of fact I’m preventing my institution from wasting my time with irrelevant classes. While I’m on the topic, there’s another argument here about the worthwhileness of the entire college system in general. Except for specific instances such as law, medicine and engineering, college really is…a dodgy business. You learn so much you don’t need, and your employers only know that you have some intelligence and perseverance. Do they know if you know your shit? Nope, the degree doesn’t indicate that, they have to test you individually anyway. I advocate the CPA test solution, whereby disciplines test you in a manner similar to the CPA to determine your quality.

Third, cheating helps you think on your feet. I pulled some fast ones in my day, and I’m more satisfied with the effort I put into them than I am with a lot of the bullshit classes (note, not all classes are bullshit, not by a wide margin) I’ve taken. It developed my ability to think on my feet, multitask, and carry through on my plans.

I’ll close this longwinded post with a little clarification on my own experiences. I have cheated. I generally don’t anymore, as I have reached the level I only take classes I’m interested in, which makes cheating rather pointless. I don’t advocate cheating in important matters, but if you do, it’s a personal choice to tamper with your own future.

[quote]WILLDABEAST wrote:
I did cheated a lot in high school. It pretty much was just friends helping out each other. Everyone I knew did it in some way. I guess it came to either cheat with everyone or do worse than everyone.

I just started college and I don’t plan on cheating. However, school hasn’t really started for that long and I already see lots of cheating going on. I guess it really isn’t that surprising. [/quote]

In college, everyone cheats. In my college, cheating got so bad that we had to sign a contract before every test that we would not cheat. But cheating continued still.

I would only cheat when I knew I would fail a class.

[quote]Kreal7 wrote:
Nich wrote:

a degree means you have the ability to read a book and retain that information long enough to jot down the correct answers on a test. but you can still have a degree and be an idiot.

I disagree with the first part of that. Tell me that is all it is after you have a degree such as business, engineering, etc. (a real degree). It may be that way for lower level courses, but once you get higher up the classes are no joke. I know people who work their asses off, but have to take a class two times just to pass. So many people cannot cut it in college and are forced to drop out.

You can be an idiot with a degree.[/quote]

I am working on starting my BA in bussiness. because the bussiness end of things is my real weak point.
I have an AA in automotive technology,and an AA in diesel technology.
I also have specialised certs with ford and bmw.
and I also have certs. in motorcycle technology,and specialised cert. in racing applications.
thinking I should also do all my prerequisits and get going on a mechanical eng. degree not sure on that one yet.
also toying with chemical eng. becuase i specialise in fuel delivery and fuel systems. that wil be very easy and interesting to me.
just the money issue is a huge issue.and i have no idea how to get started on anything like that even if i did have the money.
im already 10s of thousands in debt with schools.
and I know I sound very stupid in my writing but I would like to think the opposite to be true.

it would blow your mind the amount of complexity that goes into working on things today.

electrical,alot of math
physics and chemistry.
I cant spell is all.

but ya you are right,not saying higher level classes are a joke at all,I was a little bit out of line when I lumped all degrees together like that.

but even though my degrees are not “real” degrees the time and dedication I have spent reading both on my own time and in class rivals any MD.
I just chose cars over the human body.
school is school you have to work hard and go in with something of interest if you have no interest in the subject being taught then you should find something that does interest you.
everyone is here for something you just have to find your something.
when you do there is no need for cheating.

I know this wasnt a jab at me personally and I respect the fact you disagree with me,I am really trying to validate my hard work is all.

maybe if you have to cheat, you’ve chosen the wrong major…

Do you expect things to get easier once you start a professional job?

[quote]Stone101 wrote:
Most will probably agree that school a ruthless competition and is not fair in any way.
[/quote]

LOL. Who thinks that? I mean, really, who?

[quote]
Say someone you know is struggling to pass a class while another student in that same class barely works for that A. Could cheating possibly be justified in that situation?[/quote]

No. Do something you’re competent at, don’t cheat. Unless you’re at MIT doing theoretical physics or something similar, you should probably learn enough to get a handle on the material in your major classes.

If it’s something like Extinct Languages or some such general studies nonsense, though, well, cheat and use the time on something more productive like eating your weight in candied cherries.

Cheating doesn’t only hurt yourself. It hurts those who work hard but do worse than you because you cheated. If you cheat you’re fucking the system. Not many people (I know none who admit) cheat at my school. And there are very serious consequences to cheating here.

Not many schools still curve the grades, so you aren’t actually screwing anyone over by cheating.

I try to cheat as much as possible. Circumventing the system is extremely satisfying. That is probably why I always look up cheat codes as soon as I get a game too.

The easiest one is getting hold of instructors manuals for textbooks online. Many profs actually take questions from the textbook and put them on the assignment, even if they don’t actually tell you they are from the textbook.

But to be honest, it is virtually impossible to cheat on exams, so you do have to know your stuff whether you cheat on the assignments or not.

[quote]Thomas Gabriel wrote:

The easiest one is getting hold of instructors manuals for textbooks online. Many profs actually take questions from the textbook and put them on the assignment, even if they don’t actually tell you they are from the textbook.

[/quote]
hmm good advice
I didn’t think of that

Who the fuck cheats? And why would you need to? The teachers give you all the answers before the test, its called class. God damn, pay attention and take some notes, its not hard. I mean shit. What the fuck is your problem. Those waste of time courses, they are easy fucking classes.

If you need to study for em you’re probably a fucking idiot. And if you cant pay attention and write some notes for an hour or so, you need to have your shit pushed in. GOD DAMN, assholes.
lol

I didnt want this to be about me at all. I was just interested in people’s thoughts lol. I don’t cheat and am doing fine.

Cheating is wrong.

If you have to sacrifice your integrity to get ahead, it’s not worth it.

And if you do sacrifice your integrity to get ahead, you are worthless.