Is it okay to cheat to get good grades?
Are you a student? Then, the safest thing is that you know of colleagues who cheat to get good grades. The problem, in fact, is rampant. In 2008, the Josephson Institute of Ethics surveyed about thirty thousand high school students in the United States, of whom 64% admitted cheating on an exam that year. Some estimate that the actual figure is higher: more than 75%.
Also in Europe is serious school fraud, especially plagiarism. "Internet sites that sell academic papers and master's and doctoral dissertations 'on demand' are a new and growing concern," says an article in the virtual magazine Digithum.
Why is dishonesty so widespread? Does it agree to be a cheat? Or is it still better to act honestly, even if that means getting lower grades?
The causes of the epidemic
The deterioration of values. "A good number of educators attribute the increase of academic dishonesty to the deterioration of the values of an egocentric culture," says the American School Board Journal. A young woman who took courses for advanced students in her high school said: "We all cheated; We needed the notes to enter good schools. It is not that we were bad or unethical; it's just that we needed to get into good universities. " Even some parents have been infected. In their eagerness to see their children succeed, they consent to these practices or turn a blind eye, aggravating the problem further.
The pressure to achieve success. According to Donald McCabe, founder of the International Center for Academic Integrity, students who cheat believe that if they are honest, they will be at a disadvantage compared to those who use dishonest means and get away with it.
The help of technology. With new technologies, fraud is much more comfortable and more sophisticated. Now the students can download the works and the answers for their tasks from the Internet and exchange them. As only a small percentage is discovered, others are encouraged and do the same.
The bad examples. Lack of honesty is the order of the day in the world of adults: in big business, politics, sports and, often, even at home, where parents evade taxes or defraud companies insurance. "If those who have the authority or who are role models commit fraud, I believe that the young people are being sent the signal that it is okay to cheat," says David Callahan in his book The Cheating Culture. But is it okay to cheat? Is the desire to achieve better grades a justification for such behavior?
Why it is better not to cheat
Ask yourself: "What is the goal of a good education?" Is it not giving young people the tools to fulfill the multiple responsibilities of life, such as, for example, analyzing and solving the difficulties that arise at work? Students who get used to cheating do not develop valuable skills like this. In fact, those who have the habit of cheating hide their deficiencies and ruin their chances of success in various areas of life.
Moreover, "people who take shortcuts from young people -for example, cheating at school- can transfer that habit of working," says Callahan. In a sense, they are like a watch that looks like a brand but turns out to be a sad imitation.
As expected, also cheats risk being discovered and paying the consequences. At the minimum, they suffer shame and humiliation, but they also expose themselves to being expelled from school or to more severe penalties. The Bible says frankly: "Whatever a man is sowing, this he will also reap" ( Galatians 6: 7 ). Now, the main reason to act honestly should not be the fear of being discovered. There are much nobler reasons.
Honesty: the true key to success
Sensible young people strive to develop qualities that are useful not only to pass an exam but for the rest of their lives. That is why they are applied and do their best to cultivate values that promote self-love, which earn them the gratitude of their future employers and that lead them to lasting happiness.
These values are found in the Bible, and the young people who are governed by them are not at a disadvantage. On the contrary, as 2 Timothy 3:16, 17 says, they become "fully competent" and "fully equipped for every good work." Jorge, a ninth-grade student, says: "My classmates cheat because they want to have good grades without trying. But I want to please God. In Proverbs 14: 2, the Bible says that 'he who walks in his uprightness fears the Lord, but he who is twisted in his ways despises him.' I know we can not hide anything from God. That's why I do not cheat or help others to do it. "
Students who follow biblical principles may be the brightest in the class, or they may not. But they are the wisest because they are building a solid foundation for eternal success ( Psalm 1: 1-3, Matthew 7:24, 25 ). And most important of all, they enjoy the approval and support of the Creator.
PRINCIPLES TO MEDITATE
● "The lip of truth is the one that will be firmly established forever, but the tongue of falsehood will not last more than a moment" ( Proverbs 12:19 ).
● "The man of faithful acts will receive many blessings" ( Proverbs 28:20 ).
● "The true God himself will bring every kind of work to judgment about every hidden thing, as to whether it is good or bad." ( Ecclesiastes 12:14 .)
● "We want to behave honestly in all things." ( Hebrews 13: 18.)