When referring to the concept of cheating, there are many definitions that a person may think of. According to Dictionary.com, there are three ways of viewing the term and thus three corresponding definitions. Nevertheless, the unified theme in the idea of cheating is the use of fraud, deception, and dishonesty (Random House Dictionary). Unfortunately, this is a notion that is continually acknowledged as acceptable. One scenario that is commonly concentrated on is the act of cheating in education.
What I regard as cheating is considered OK by many American university students — one survey revealed that as many as 75% of the interviewed students had purchased essays, term papers or even their masters theses from other writers, usually through online "paper mills", instead of doing their own work. One student responded to the question Why do you cheat? by saying "If you're not cheating, you're not trying." I am bitter and struggling for my grades and wish I could find a way to rationalize cheating, because it seems I am being a sucker by not doing it. Is there a new philosophy that makes cheating laudable because it is so prevalent and because there is no benefit to not doing it except a feeling (useless) of virtue?
Although the thought of cheating is largely considered an acceptable practice, it is completely unethical in various principles. In this essay, my goal is to convey the principle that cheating is unethical according to virtue, deontological, consequential/utilitarianism ethics and moral relativism. Moreover, I will explain why everyone should agree that cheating is a detrimental action that should not be encouraged.
In order to achieve this lofty goal, my paper has been arranged into three major sections with four subsections. The first segment will address each of the ethical standpoints by their respective founders, in their own subsections, as well as how cheating violates each perspective. In the second section, I will state my opinion on how to confront the situation of students using “paper mills” and cheating in general as well as why the alternative view presented is inappropriate. The culmination will be reached in the third portion, which will contain my conclusion. Following this essay, a Works Cited page is provided with information of the sources utilized.
MAJOR ETHICAL POINTS OF VIEWS
With such a variety of ideas, Aristotle said it best that “…there is a very general agreement; for both the general run of men and people of superior refinement say that it is happiness… which is the highest good achievable …but with regard to what happiness is they differ…” (Martin, Solomon and Vaught 54). The years have yielded many ideas of ethics; however, four major principles of moral living that are considered the most suitable for all.
Aristotle established what is known as virtue/character ethics where morality is realized in the development of character traits. Immanuel Kant, however,...