Why is cheating bad?

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(by cheating I mean not playing by the rules: IE having answers to a test)

Now I will preface this by saying I do not agree that cheating is right, I just want to play devils advocate

So, can anyone tell me why cheating is bad? One of the most common things I hear is that it is not fair to other people. But you know what else isn't fair, that other people were born with more brains, or more muscle. This gives them an innate advantage, and would a cheater not simply be using their gift, cunning, to give themselves an advantage?

From an individualist standpoint, we try to do what is best for ourselves. So for example, If cheating on the LSAT would get you into law school, why should you flip burgers rather than go to law school just because your competition either has more intellect or drive.

Of course, cheating will probably catch up to you at some point, and getting caught is a major deterrent, but how is cheating unfair when life itself is not fair?

The best answer I ever heard went something along the lines of, "because, at some point, you'll actually have to think for yourself." Basically, copying the answers from someone else might get you an A on the BAR, but what happens when you get in front of the judge, and suddenly can't remember what Miranda Rights are because you never actually took the time to learn them?

Champthrax:

Of course, cheating will probably catch up to you at some point, and getting caught is a major deterrent, but how is cheating unfair when life itself is not fair?

its unfair because it shows that you are not skilled enough to pass the test

if you are not skilled enough and feel the need to cheat then youve got no buisness going on to do whatever it is your intending to do

is it ok if somone wants to be a doctor but has to cheat in order to do so?

Argh, misread!

Would you be OK that the auto mechanic who is about to fix your breaks to have "cheated" their way to get their certification?
Would you be OK that the doctor who is about to operate on you to have "cheated" their way through medical school?
Would you be OK that the lawyer who is about to represent you had to have "cheated" their way through the bar exam?

I mean, you're OK with cheating... Right?

It's a shame that your breaks failed and you get into a huge crash which causes your appendix to rupture.
It's also a shame that instead of removing your appendix, you were castrated instead.
It's still a shame that your easy malpractice lawsuit for millions was thrown out of court, leaving you poor and penniless.

Because tests are made to see if you are capable of doing something.
If you cheat, you are getting around the system designed to make sure that capable people are doing the hard jobs.

Champthrax:
But you know what else isn't fair, that other people were born with more brains, or more muscle. This gives them an innate advantage, and would a cheater not simply be using their gift, cunning, to give themselves an advantage?

Deal with it.
Life isn't fair, you're either gifted so you end up enjoying your work or you work hard for something and get a better appreciation for it.
C'est La Vie

I like to think it depends what you cheat on. 8D

I'm notorious with my friends for, let's say, "Tipping the balance" when we play card games or board games. (Which basicaly means yes, I'll cheat if I see an opportunity to do so).

However, for things that would actually effect me, like tests and such, I tend to play them straight. Because if I pass one test by doing that, chances are I will fail even worse on the next test.

I dunno, I think what I'm trying to say is "Cheating can be good in the short term, but will make it so much worse in the long term."

Unless you're playing Monopoly, then go nuts...

Its unfair to all of the other people who are taking the same test and performing it honestly and it defeats the purpose of a test. A test is called a 'test' because it is testing your knowledge, so if you pass a test on something then you are deemed to have sufficient knowledge on that subject. If you cheat to pass a test then you are saying that you have sufficient knowledge on the subject when you really don't, this is never good for anyone, not even yourself.

Champthrax:
But you know what else isn't fair, that other people were born with more brains, or more muscle. This gives them an innate advantage, and would a cheater not simply be using their gift, cunning, to give themselves an advantage?

No, a cheater is not giving themselves an advantage, they are in fact giving themselves a disadvantage. The cheater is qualified officially for something they aren't actually qualified for, this does nothing but screw over everyone involved, including the cheater. Whoever he works for is going to get a shitty job done by the cheater and the cheater will end up fired/sued/whatever. You can cheat your way to becoming a doctor, but then you actually have to be a good doctor, that test result you cheated to get isn't going to pay your bills for the next 50 or whatever years.

Additionally, people who are born smarter or stronger didn't choose to be that way, they can't change that they have their gift. Yes this isn't necessarily fair but a cheater is purposely making things unfair, which is a selfish and malevolent thing to do. Also cheating isn't really a personal 'gift', every person can cheat if they wanted to. Allowing someone to make it in the world by using their 'cunning', by cheating everyone around them, is not a good thing.

Vault101:

Champthrax:

Of course, cheating will probably catch up to you at some point, and getting caught is a major deterrent, but how is cheating unfair when life itself is not fair?

its unfair because it shows that you are not skilled enough to pass the test

if you are not skilled enough and feel the need to cheat then youve got no buisness going on to do whatever it is your intending to do

is it ok if somone wants to be a doctor but has to cheat in order to do so?

I don't think tests are about skill . More about determination than anything . Anyone can learn anythin , but are you motivated enough to take a class/test seriously , are you determined to learn . General rule is the higher your score on a test , the more a person worked hard before a test . Of course i say in general because there are people that don't do jack and still get good scores . But i see it as a way to view which people are more determined to succeed and take things seriously than actual skill .

That's just my view on exams .

OT: Cheating is bad , because you are either , a) profiting off someone elses hard work( if you copied off someone) , or b) deminishing the value of another persons hard work ( if you had the answer sheet in advance ).

because only captan kirk can cheat and get away with it and you arent captain kirk

Last time I've check, cunning isn't really a necessary skill to have (well ok it depend on your future career).

Also sure life can be unfair but did that stop some people out there? No. Cheating will only making you succumb to admitting it but we can all be better than that. After all there are many successful people out there who had a tough background and being brought out but their sheer determination lead them to where they are.

Beside to cheat mean you're selfish and dishonest which I don't think qualities are good to have later on in your life (will you continue to look only for yourself and to be dishonest to other people?).

Brain surgery by a doctor who's cheated to get where he is.
Yeah, that would work out well for you.
Shut up, learn the material, and stop complaining. It's easy for some, hard for others, but still doable.

What you say is unfair that people have... it't not as if one couldn't get those things if they worked for it. Muscle or brain power? Isn't that what exercising and studying/learning supposed to do for you?

But instead of earning anything, you basically steal it.

Because in some circumstances where only a limited number of people are accepted into something, every person that got there by cheating is taking the place of someone who would have gotten there through legitimate hard work.

madwarper:
Would you be OK that the auto mechanic who is about to fix your breaks to have "cheated" their way to get their certification?
Would you be OK that the doctor who is about to operate on you to have "cheated" their way through medical school?
Would you be OK that the lawyer who is about to represent you had to have "cheated" their way through the bar exam?

I mean, you're OK with cheating... Right?

It's a shame that your breaks failed and you get into a huge crash which causes your appendix to rupture.
It's also a shame that instead of removing your appendix, you were castrated instead.
It's still a shame that your easy malpractice lawsuit for millions was thrown out of court, leaving you poor and penniless.

This and other people who've made similar statements sum it up. Should people do what's in their best interest all of the time? Sure, so long as it isn't harming anyone else. But people will still try regardless, which is why society has a pretty vested interest in making sure unqualified idiots don't make it through med school, become lawyers, or fly planes.

As they say, you don't get punished for cheating, you get punished for being caught.

Faraja:
The best answer I ever heard went something along the lines of, "because, at some point, you'll actually have to think for yourself."

I would say that's the gist of it; cheating in any way implies a lack of basic competency, dodging the real issue through whatever means so that you don't have to deal with it how it should be.

Not to mention many tests start to avert the issue entirely by not having clear-cut answers. The design courses I took towards the end of my engineering degree had questions which, in theory, have a countless number of correct answers; the purpose was for us to come up with a design and show why it was a correct answer. These tests were also open-book, and among the most brutally difficult I've ever taken; cheating would not save you from these tests.

Incidentally, these courses & tests were also designed to (somewhat) imitate the actual design process we'd be doing once we had graduated. In the real world, there isn't much of what could be called "a perfect solution"; you work with what you got, and one of the responsibilities of the engineer is to make it sure that it's a viable solution. Most of the design codes are guidelines and tables of properties, and the more advanced material comes down to "ask the experts"; the engineer more or less assumes the role of "the expert", and puts their word on the design (assuming liability for it).

i would also add in that if the tests you cheated at were big job getting tests then aside from maybe being found out some day there is also the stress of that day one day coming. i cant imagine it is very healthy walking around all day constantly worrying that at any point you might loose it all or someone might find out and start blackmailing you.

on another note if even if you only cheat on small tests at first that could lead to cheating turning into a mental crutch, "i had to cheat for that other test not i have to cheat for this one as well as its way harder and i will never pass without it."

on the other side of things however not everyone is good at taking tests. there was one guy at my school he was really smart would work hard top of class in just about everything but he was crap at tests. in class and doing homework/coursework etc he didnt have a problem however once a test came around he would freeze or something and only do averagely.
so for someone like him cheating at tests might have been a good thing it would let him get past the bits he was bad at and yet still do the job he had the skills for.
p.s. you might think he was cheating all the time on coursework things he could take his time on and was really just average but he wasnt. he always showed a deep understanding of the subject matter and was never caught out in class as ignorant of the subject it was just something about tests he would choke at.

I dont know that it is....

One of my favorite lines on this (though I cannot even recall where it came from, So I have no clue who to give credit) suggests "Looking off your paper wasnt really cheating. This is a class. I did not know the answer to the question on the test. I looked at your paper so I could learn.

It really depends on the context of it. For example school. It would be hard to say cheating is bad in every case. Consider the Psychology student in college who has to waste 3 years with college level math that serves as NO prerequisite for future math, or course relevant study and is there in no other capacity than general education. If the student is struggling with the irrelevant math, but is quickly becoming a brilliant psychological talent, Should they be forced to fail at their overall goal if they fail the math, despite that math having absolutely no way to diminish their prowess in psychological science (note, not psychiatric) In that case, cheating makes sense.

As an early MMO adopter, I also have another analogy. Back in the early days of EQ a big issue was plat farming. Most people did not engage in it. That had more to do with the communities in questions ideology. To most people then, the concept of buying money was cheating. It allowed you to shortcut work on your gear and made you far better than you should have been. So to the early MMO crowds the idea of "cheating" in an MMO was socially frowned upon. It made no sense to "cheat" at an MMO. Becuase if you were cheating, what was the point in playing at all?

However, times changed, the MMO demographics changed and now (mostly thanks to blizzard on many levels) the idea of buying money is no longer looked at as cheating, but an intergal part of that experience.

So, like most things in this world, the answer is heavily invested in the relevance and context of the matter.

As a general rule if you have to do something covertly it is never morally great. There are a lot of exceptions to that but it is a good guideline.

Plenty of people have pointed out that ests are used as a way of determining if you are qualified to do something. Tests can alos be used to determine your general level of competence at something. An example being a new Teacher walks into a class of students. She wants to know what their general level of ability is, so she gives them all a test. At the end of the year she might give them another test to see how far they have progressed.

Cheating in the above situation is bad as it means her results (and thus what she teaches) are wrong. She is probably teaching things that the students don't know.

Cheating in your weekly test on spelling or whatever, is bad as it means that you don't know how competent you are, or how much you have improved. This means when it comes to the really big tests, or even life outside a classroom, you don't have that knowledge base you need.

Champthrax:
(by cheating I mean not playing by the rules: IE having answers to a test)

Now I will preface this by saying I do not agree that cheating is right, I just want to play devils advocate

So, can anyone tell me why cheating is bad? One of the most common things I hear is that it is not fair to other people. But you know what else isn't fair, that other people were born with more brains, or more muscle. This gives them an innate advantage, and would a cheater not simply be using their gift, cunning, to give themselves an advantage?

From an individualist standpoint, we try to do what is best for ourselves. So for example, If cheating on the LSAT would get you into law school, why should you flip burgers rather than go to law school just because your competition either has more intellect or drive.

Of course, cheating will probably catch up to you at some point, and getting caught is a major deterrent, but how is cheating unfair when life itself is not fair?

If you're contemplating cheating on a major exam for a particular career, or by forging documents to get hired in a specific place, what exactly is your attraction to that job. I mean if you aren't passionate enough to do the work yourself and earn a place, what's the chances you will have any motivation within that job?

If that is what you're thinking, stop, get yourself to the nearest supermarket and ask if they have a full time job available as a shelf stocker, because that's all you can amount to with that attitude. Even if you expertly pulled off that con and got to where you wanted, what foundations do you have to be there? How long before someone realises you are lacking basic skill sets?

Depending on the career, you could put peoples lives at risk. Don't be so freaking selfish.

Some arguments are such a waste of time that there's zero point in playing devil's advocate. This is one of those arguments.

I see it as a matter of "Social Contract". Most of the advantages of our modern world is being able to easily hire people to delegate your responsabilities (eg. Health to physicians, building to engineers).

To me, the whole point of not cheating is acknowledging that when i hire somebody, i would like him/her to be compentent at what he/she does. So since i expect that from people i meet, i should also be competent at what i do.

Cheating, in any context, diminishes the sense of accomplishment you might otherwise earn from going through anything that requires a modicum of effort. I've cheated in games on occasion, but once the initial bonus you get from being invulnerable or having oodles of cash wears off, the usual justifications start losing ground. You can cheat in games for the sake of giving yourself training wheels or to push past a difficult point, but odds are this approach will leave you naked in any instances where you might not be able or willing to use these cheats.

Outside of gaming, cheating or playing hooky with your job can only come back to bite you in the ass in some way or another. One of the standard things I keep hearing about is friends and family slipping little white lies about their education level in their resumes. Say, one of my cousins might be a year away from passing his Bachelor's, but he'll update that document so it says he actually does have it.

Eh, all morality aside; the reason why cheating is bad is because it changes what the tests are supposed to be measuring. All tests do is measure something about whatever they are applied to. A good analogy for cheating would be baking a chicken breast in the oven and testing the internal temperature with a thermometer- if the chicken 'knows' that by cheating and inflating their reading on the thermometer they can get out of the oven earlier then you end up with salmonella. Not a realistic example, but I think it illustrates the problem without any vague moral argument.

cheating is bad because ideally it's bad for you in the long run, and if EVERYONE did it, there'd be anarchy. What would the point of school be (IE, paying teachers, taking the time to teach kids) if no student learned anything but they all got perfect grades? I know that's a bit of reducto ad absurdum, but if you let one kid cheat, that's the scenario you invite.

The problem is that we have a system currently where cheating is sometimes the best option for kids, and it shouldn't be, because the only person they're cheating is themselves, in the end, but in a system where everything is concentrated so hard on the final grade, getting a good high score so you can succeed later down the road, that just breeds the wrong attitude.. I don't have an answer though, at least not one that would work right now in our society. Ideally we'd go back to a point before we even had tests, where teachers would talk to students and learn what they'd learned by talking to them, and mark them on that. Can't really cheat when your test is "tell the teacher what you learned", but there are so many students, and we make teaching such a thankless, low paying chore, that there are so few teachers, or people willing to teach, that I'm sure that system would not work..

but it would be ideal.

I also don't think teachers should have such a zero tolerance for cheating, but I can understand why they do - it's impossible to police all the kids they have to deal with, so they need the punishments to be ridiculously harsh as a deterrent, but expelling a kid for cheating is like shooting someone in the face as punishment for catching them shooting themselves in the foot. It's just not a great system we have in place, and it's just easier to let those kids that cheat fall behind society when those are probably the students that need the most attention, not pretty, but short of going back to some pre-industrial model of schooling.

Another reason it's strictly bad, at least in the current model, is that you're cheating all of the other students in the class. Whenever you cheat, you're hurting everyone, yourself, your teacher and your classmates. When merits are handed out based on aptitude, when you cheat, you're not learning what you need to in order to grasp what you need to in order to progress properly, and even if you're successful, you're basically stealing those merits from someone else that earned them, when you need more help.

I mentioned schools because it was in the OP, but Cheating in general is bad because you're doing harm to yourself. You might argue that it allows you to move past school and get on with life, but the point of school is to make you a smarter, more educated person, and if you're not, then you're just wasting everyone's time no matter how successful you are. You're stupid at the end of the day because you chose not to bother learning.

Meh, i muscles can be trained. But jeah brain power isn't. Sofar i haven't notice that i live a better life because of it, except that i could be a lazy bum in school :>

A lot of tests we do in life are to protect us and/or others by making sure we are capable of doing something before we do it.

Sometimes bypassing this protection only has minor consequences, such as cheating to get into university, then wasting a year's worth of fees because you weren't actually ready for it. (I know someone who did this.)

But sometimes it has major consequences, such as a medical student qualifying as a doctor by cheating, then causing the death of a patient.

On the whole "fairness" idea - life isn't fair. Some people are born smart, and the rest of us just need to work hard.

Because if you have to resort to cheating it means your not deserving of the rewards and why should you get the rewards rather than someone who is deserving ie someone who actually took the time to learn the material?

Let's put it this way: would you trust your doctor's expertise if he cheated his way through med school?

sky14kemea:

Unless you're playing Monopoly, then go nuts...

Ahh, I see you're a fellow Monopoly 'player'. I don't think I've played a legitimate game of Monopoly in my entire life...
In my defence, they shouldn't have left me in-change of the bank. Slipping 50s out of the bottom of the stack is way to easy then.

OP: Cheating in a test is bad because it doesn't show whether or not you've actually got the knowledge to complete the test yourself - which is what the entire point of the test is. Exams and the like are supposed to test your knowledge on the topic and your natural ability to recall that knowledge when you need it - having an answer sheet subverts that, as you don't need to rely on your natural ability or knowledge, or deal with the stress and pressure of attempting to recall said knowledge when you need it most.

In other words, cheating suddenly stops the test from being a 'test', completely destroying it's purpose.

Though the surprising amount of people I know who have cheated and Failed kinda shows you can still suck at cheating...

sky14kemea:
I like to think it depends what you cheat on. 8D

I'm notorious with my friends for, let's say, "Tipping the balance" when we play card games or board games. (Which basicaly means yes, I'll cheat if I see an opportunity to do so).

See, my stance on this is that if you're going to cheat at a game, why bother playing at all?

Also, since I now know this, I got my eye on you come Escapism UK =_=

Tests are there to see what your level of understanding in a particular subject is. If you cheat, you get a strongly misleading result. This hurts yourself primarily because it means you will be getting challenges based on a level of understanding you are not ready for and thus cause you to basically crash and burn.

It is also harmful to society because many people cheating gives a false understanding what the average level of a certain test or education is.

Lastly it is harmful for employers (and again, through this society) because you claim to have competances you really dont have which leads to poor performance leading to waste of man hours, income and quality which hurts the companys buttom line which hurts the tax income society gets from said company.

Admitted, it gets a little meta later on and a single person cheating would not cause the downfall of society but if it became the norm rather than a few cheating bastards, we would get quite a few problems in the end

Because when someone else works their ass off to learn the subject so they can ace a test and some douchenozzle is cheating it's unfair. Simple as that.

because by doing so you essentially failed because you didnt know the info

however if you do it and pass, i aint mad at ya,

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