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Is it justified to report someone who cheats?

F-16_Fighting_Falcon
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10/24/2011 3:19:34 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
I recently attended a leadership seminar where I was posed an interesting question which I am paraphrasing now.

Let's say that you are in high school or college. You are taking an exam. You see the person sitting in front of you take a peek at the exam paper of the person next to them, right before they start writing their own answer. It couldn't be more obvious that they are cheating. Is it justified to turn them in if:

1) The person is just a random stranger you have never met before

2) The person is your best friend

3) The person is your worst enemy

4) The person is a casual acquaintance that you are on good terms with

I feel very strongly in all four scenarios that it is not justified to turn them in. Let's consider what would happen. I will assume here that they are going to a University. Now, if you complain to the professor, they will report it to the Student Conduct office. Student Conduct will then mark it on their record, fail the student, and may even suspend or dismiss the student from the University. The student then will have no way to get a decent job because every employer would check academic records of recent graduates. Their entire life will be ruined.

Let's consider what are the benefits of doing this. Some idealistic thing like "Preserves the integrity of the University"? I'm not buying it. I don't believe it is ever justified to ruin someone's life to preserve the school's integrity in grading.
000ike
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10/24/2011 3:31:52 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
I was about to make that SAME exact argument, then I saw you wrote it already. Yes, the punishment for cheating is a pathetic over-exaggeration. I see no reason to report a cheater, although they ultimately cheat themselves.
"A stupid despot may constrain his slaves with iron chains; but a true politician binds them even more strongly with the chain of their own ideas" - Michel Foucault
Kinesis
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10/24/2011 3:42:03 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
I copied an answer in my GCSE (high school level) Biology exam, and just got an A* in the exam. I'm sure the moderator saw me (he was looking at me when I looked up) but nothing came of it. Good guy moderator.
000ike
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10/24/2011 3:51:49 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 10/24/2011 3:42:03 PM, Kinesis wrote:
I copied an answer in my GCSE (high school level) Biology exam, and just got an A* in the exam. I'm sure the moderator saw me (he was looking at me when I looked up) but nothing came of it. Good guy moderator.

A*? Is that how you write A+ in England? lol those brits
"A stupid despot may constrain his slaves with iron chains; but a true politician binds them even more strongly with the chain of their own ideas" - Michel Foucault
OMGJustinBieber
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10/24/2011 3:56:46 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
I copied one answer on my last exam. The only reason I would even consider it is if I seriously hated the guy.

I've let people cheat off me.
Indophile
Posts: 1,414
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10/24/2011 4:16:29 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
It's not cheating unless it leads to some loss, especially to other people. A loss doesn't count if it happens to yourself.

In your example, no amount of cheating on a university exam will benefit him in holding a job (if that's presumably why that person is cheating) if he does not demonstrate that he can do the job in actuality.

If the aim of the examination was to test the knowledge of a candidate, it should be performed in such a manner that no cheating can be possible. (for example, conducting a face-to-face interview)

If there are avenues where cheating is possible, then a person who cheats is just using his brains in a different manner than the one who is using their brains in actually learning.
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I-am-a-panda
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10/24/2011 4:16:47 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
Yes.

Tests are designed to examine your knowledge of a given subject in a given amount of time. If you feel the need to cheat, this undermines the validity of a test as a mark of someones knowledge of a subject. Considering that I don't cheat nor need to, the thought that someone could get an equal or higher grade than me while not deserving it is almost sickening.

Also, since the Irish marking system is just points based on each grade accumulated over 6 subjects, a cheat may score precious extra marks to push them into a higher grade, thus higher points, and cheat someone more deserving out of a college place.

It undermines the test and other students scores. Ok, class tests with almost no bearing on a final grade aren't really worthy of being reported, plus the cheater usually just cheats themselves in the long run.
Pizza. I have enormous respect for Pizza.
BlackVoid
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10/24/2011 4:31:47 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
I don't care about cheating because school tests aren't that important. Being able to find the cubic root of 9x3/2b64 is something almost nobody will use in real life, so I don't see a problem with people copying the answer from someone else.
Indophile
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10/24/2011 4:34:07 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 10/24/2011 4:16:47 PM, I-am-a-panda wrote:
Yes.

Tests are designed to examine your knowledge of a given subject in a given amount of time. If you feel the need to cheat, this undermines the validity of a test as a mark of someones knowledge of a subject. Considering that I don't cheat nor need to, the thought that someone could get an equal or higher grade than me while not deserving it is almost sickening.

This argument, to me, sounds like tests are designed as a shortcut for a person (say an employer) who is going to make use of your learning. If there were no tests, this employer here would have to do all the work to find out how much you actually know. If he really did so, no amount of cheating would get you a job with this person.

For, if you really care about your learning of a subject, and are going to use this learning to benefit you in some way without depending on anybody, you wouldn't give a damn how much some other person scores.

For example, would a Steve Jobs or a Bill Gates care if some other people got higher grades than them?

Also, since the Irish marking system is just points based on each grade accumulated over 6 subjects, a cheat may score precious extra marks to push them into a higher grade, thus higher points, and cheat someone more deserving out of a college place.

Why do you want a college place in the first place?

It undermines the test and other students scores. Ok, class tests with almost no bearing on a final grade aren't really worthy of being reported, plus the cheater usually just cheats themselves in the long run.

As long as the aim of tests is to provide some "documentation" that you have gained some learning in some subject, I'd say, go all out and cheat and get that documentation.

Unless tests are really designed to test one's knowledge (by making then uncheatable), why should a person not cheat?
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Kinesis
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10/24/2011 4:40:40 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 10/24/2011 3:51:49 PM, 000ike wrote:
A*? Is that how you write A+ in England? lol those brits

...

For some reason, I find you incredibly offensive.
I-am-a-panda
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10/24/2011 4:44:53 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 10/24/2011 4:34:07 PM, Indophile wrote:
At 10/24/2011 4:16:47 PM, I-am-a-panda wrote:
Yes.

Tests are designed to examine your knowledge of a given subject in a given amount of time. If you feel the need to cheat, this undermines the validity of a test as a mark of someones knowledge of a subject. Considering that I don't cheat nor need to, the thought that someone could get an equal or higher grade than me while not deserving it is almost sickening.

This argument, to me, sounds like tests are designed as a shortcut for a person (say an employer) who is going to make use of your learning. If there were no tests, this employer here would have to do all the work to find out how much you actually know. If he really did so, no amount of cheating would get you a job with this person.

For, if you really care about your learning of a subject, and are going to use this learning to benefit you in some way without depending on anybody, you wouldn't give a damn how much some other person scores.

So you advocate pretty much every test can be replaced with hard work by an employer? Tests are a basic way to test someone on their knowledge of a subject; accountancy, medicine, etc. If someone cheats, they have an unfair advantage without knowing fully, from their own knowledge, about the topic, and can get ahead of someone who didn't cheat but is still more knowledgeable.


For example, would a Steve Jobs or a Bill Gates care if some other people got higher grades than them?

There's no tests for entrepreneurship? Different topic altogether.


Also, since the Irish marking system is just points based on each grade accumulated over 6 subjects, a cheat may score precious extra marks to push them into a higher grade, thus higher points, and cheat someone more deserving out of a college place.

Why do you want a college place in the first place?

I see where you're going with this, herp derp people don't need college, doesn't teach you anything.


It undermines the test and other students scores. Ok, class tests with almost no bearing on a final grade aren't really worthy of being reported, plus the cheater usually just cheats themselves in the long run.

As long as the aim of tests is to provide some "documentation" that you have gained some learning in some subject, I'd say, go all out and cheat and get that documentation.

tests are designed to measure your proficiency in the knowledge of a subject, not just some knowledge.


Unless tests are really designed to test one's knowledge (by making then uncheatable), why should a person not cheat?

So you're argument is a test isn't a test if there is a capacity to cheat? If we take all tests into a one on one oral situation, not only is this ridiculously expensive, hard to administer and impracticable for lots of subjects. Sure, there may be s cope for cheating, but not if said cheating is reported.
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Mr.Infidel
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10/24/2011 5:05:23 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
I agree 100% with the op. Why risk ruining one's life?
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Ore_Ele
Posts: 25,980
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10/24/2011 5:20:29 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 10/24/2011 3:19:34 PM, F-16_Fighting_Falcon wrote:
I recently attended a leadership seminar where I was posed an interesting question which I am paraphrasing now.

Let's say that you are in high school or college. You are taking an exam. You see the person sitting in front of you take a peek at the exam paper of the person next to them, right before they start writing their own answer. It couldn't be more obvious that they are cheating. Is it justified to turn them in if:

1) The person is just a random stranger you have never met before

2) The person is your best friend

3) The person is your worst enemy

4) The person is a casual acquaintance that you are on good terms with

I feel very strongly in all four scenarios that it is not justified to turn them in. Let's consider what would happen. I will assume here that they are going to a University. Now, if you complain to the professor, they will report it to the Student Conduct office. Student Conduct will then mark it on their record, fail the student, and may even suspend or dismiss the student from the University. The student then will have no way to get a decent job because every employer would check academic records of recent graduates. Their entire life will be ruined.

Let's consider what are the benefits of doing this. Some idealistic thing like "Preserves the integrity of the University"? I'm not buying it. I don't believe it is ever justified to ruin someone's life to preserve the school's integrity in grading.

1) Reporting that someone cheated is not going to get them expelled from college if it is a first and only offense. If it isn't, then it is likely they would have done themselves in in a week or two anyway, so your actions didn't change anything.

2) You didn't do it to them, they did it to themselves. This same line of arguing could be used to suggest that it is unjust to arrest murderers, since arresting them does nothing to reverse the damage, and only ruins more lives.
"Wanting Red Rhino Pill to have gender"
000ike
Posts: 11,196
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10/24/2011 5:21:47 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 10/24/2011 4:40:40 PM, Kinesis wrote:
At 10/24/2011 3:51:49 PM, 000ike wrote:
A*? Is that how you write A+ in England? lol those brits

...

For some reason, I find you incredibly offensive.

I'm truly sorry, I didn't mean that in an offensive way at all.
"A stupid despot may constrain his slaves with iron chains; but a true politician binds them even more strongly with the chain of their own ideas" - Michel Foucault
F-16_Fighting_Falcon
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10/24/2011 5:24:41 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 10/24/2011 5:20:29 PM, Ore_Ele wrote:


1) Reporting that someone cheated is not going to get them expelled from college if it is a first and only offense. If it isn't, then it is likely they would have done themselves in in a week or two anyway, so your actions didn't change anything.

2) You didn't do it to them, they did it to themselves. This same line of arguing could be used to suggest that it is unjust to arrest murderers, since arresting them does nothing to reverse the damage, and only ruins more lives.

The major difference here is that cheating never directly harms anyone whereas murder does. There is no harm done to anyone by cheating except the person who is cheating and not learning anything. It might get them expelled if it is bad enough. It depends on the university.

The main difference between cheating and murder is that the consequences of cheating are not proportional to the "crime" of cheating.
F-16_Fighting_Falcon
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10/24/2011 5:33:29 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 10/24/2011 5:24:41 PM, F-16_Fighting_Falcon wrote:
At 10/24/2011 5:20:29 PM, Ore_Ele wrote:


1) Reporting that someone cheated is not going to get them expelled from college if it is a first and only offense. If it isn't, then it is likely they would have done themselves in in a week or two anyway, so your actions didn't change anything.

2) You didn't do it to them, they did it to themselves. This same line of arguing could be used to suggest that it is unjust to arrest murderers, since arresting them does nothing to reverse the damage, and only ruins more lives.

The major difference here is that cheating never directly harms anyone whereas murder does. There is no harm done to anyone by cheating except the person who is cheating and not learning anything. It might get them expelled if it is bad enough. It depends on the university.

The main difference between cheating and murder is that the consequences of cheating are not proportional to the "crime" of cheating.

I also find that "they did it to themselves" is an extremely cold, harsh and incompassionate way to deal with someone who has made mistakes. Maybe it is just my personal philosophy but I don't believe punishing someone ever does any good.
mongeese
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10/24/2011 6:19:58 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
F-16, it seems to me that you go out of your way to avoid all conflict, ever. You're willing to lie to over-compliment a debater whose debate you vote on, and you're unwilling to report a cheater for cheating.

Your claims basically rest on the idea that the cheating isn't hurting anyone, but that's false. Grades are meant to signal accomplishment to others; a college checks your grades to decide who it should and should not accept, and an employer checks what degree you have to get an idea of how competent you are at a job. If you cheat, then you give yourself an edge above your more honest competitors; if you get into a selective college because you cheated, then someone did not get into that college because you cheated. How is that fair to them? If an employer hires you instead of someone else because of a degree that you did not truly deserve, you have displaced someone else, and likely will not be as competent at the job to which you are hired; both the employer and the potential employee are at a loss.
F-16_Fighting_Falcon
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10/24/2011 6:30:50 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 10/24/2011 6:19:58 PM, mongeese wrote:
F-16, it seems to me that you go out of your way to avoid all conflict, ever. You're willing to lie to over-compliment a debater whose debate you vote on, and you're unwilling to report a cheater for cheating.

I don't think that is true. I have gotten into plenty of conflicts. As for the debates, my thread about voting etiquette was an overexagerated sarcastic response to the fact that some people (one person in particular) took HUGE offense at the fact that I said that the debate was a landslide in favor of his opponent. When I complement a debater, I believe it is sincere.

Your claims basically rest on the idea that the cheating isn't hurting anyone, but that's false. Grades are meant to signal accomplishment to others; a college checks your grades to decide who it should and should not accept, and an employer checks what degree you have to get an idea of how competent you are at a job. If you cheat, then you give yourself an edge above your more honest competitors; if you get into a selective college because you cheated, then someone did not get into that college because you cheated. How is that fair to them? If an employer hires you instead of someone else because of a degree that you did not truly deserve, you have displaced someone else, and likely will not be as competent at the job to which you are hired; both the employer and the potential employee are at a loss.

I also don't understand why you think unwillingness to report a cheater shows a tendency to avoid conflict. It only shows a tendency to be compassionate and avoid ruining someone else's life.

On a cost vs benefits scale, the benefits of keeping your mouth zipped when you see someone cheat is outweighed by the mimiscule unprovable harms that come to an employer who hired the wrong person. Cheating just once cannot by itself secure a degree. It takes years to achieve one and a single instance of cheating has negligible effect.
Ore_Ele
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10/24/2011 6:38:35 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 10/24/2011 5:24:41 PM, F-16_Fighting_Falcon wrote:
At 10/24/2011 5:20:29 PM, Ore_Ele wrote:


1) Reporting that someone cheated is not going to get them expelled from college if it is a first and only offense. If it isn't, then it is likely they would have done themselves in in a week or two anyway, so your actions didn't change anything.

2) You didn't do it to them, they did it to themselves. This same line of arguing could be used to suggest that it is unjust to arrest murderers, since arresting them does nothing to reverse the damage, and only ruins more lives.

The major difference here is that cheating never directly harms anyone whereas murder does. There is no harm done to anyone by cheating except the person who is cheating and not learning anything. It might get them expelled if it is bad enough. It depends on the university.

It does harm other people. If he cheats and gets better grades, he is taking away opportunities from other students. And potentially other people for jobs, when he gets a job to do something that he is not truly qualified to do.

Cheating is a form of dishonesty and it creates an increase in the gap of perception and reality. The wider that gap is, the harder it is to predict things and for things to run efficiently.


The main difference between cheating and murder is that the consequences of cheating are not proportional to the "crime" of cheating.
"Wanting Red Rhino Pill to have gender"
mongeese
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10/24/2011 6:43:53 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 10/24/2011 6:30:50 PM, F-16_Fighting_Falcon wrote:
At 10/24/2011 6:19:58 PM, mongeese wrote:
F-16, it seems to me that you go out of your way to avoid all conflict, ever. You're willing to lie to over-compliment a debater whose debate you vote on, and you're unwilling to report a cheater for cheating.

I don't think that is true. I have gotten into plenty of conflicts.

But how desperately do you try to avoid them?

As for the debates, my thread about voting etiquette was an overexagerated sarcastic response to the fact that some people (one person in particular) took HUGE offense at the fact that I said that the debate was a landslide in favor of his opponent. When I complement a debater, I believe it is sincere.

Poe's Law. You seemed fairly sincere with your claims, and gave no hints of exaggeration.

Your claims basically rest on the idea that the cheating isn't hurting anyone, but that's false. Grades are meant to signal accomplishment to others; a college checks your grades to decide who it should and should not accept, and an employer checks what degree you have to get an idea of how competent you are at a job. If you cheat, then you give yourself an edge above your more honest competitors; if you get into a selective college because you cheated, then someone did not get into that college because you cheated. How is that fair to them? If an employer hires you instead of someone else because of a degree that you did not truly deserve, you have displaced someone else, and likely will not be as competent at the job to which you are hired; both the employer and the potential employee are at a loss.

I also don't understand why you think unwillingness to report a cheater shows a tendency to avoid conflict. It only shows a tendency to be compassionate and avoid ruining someone else's life.

Or does it? Additionally, while reporting cheating may significantly damage a person's life, not reporting it may allow the cheater to significantly damage someone else's life.

On a cost vs benefits scale, the benefits of keeping your mouth zipped when you see someone cheat is outweighed by the mimiscule unprovable harms that come to an employer who hired the wrong person.

Here's a question: if you knew that the person who cheated will, because of the cheating, get a position that you, who didn't cheat, would otherwise get, be it a college acceptance or a job or a promotion, would you report that person?

Cheating just once cannot by itself secure a degree. It takes years to achieve one and a single instance of cheating has negligible effect.

How do you know that it only occurred once?
F-16_Fighting_Falcon
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10/24/2011 6:46:47 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 10/24/2011 6:38:35 PM, Ore_Ele wrote:
At 10/24/2011 5:24:41 PM, F-16_Fighting_Falcon wrote:
At 10/24/2011 5:20:29 PM, Ore_Ele wrote:


1) Reporting that someone cheated is not going to get them expelled from college if it is a first and only offense. If it isn't, then it is likely they would have done themselves in in a week or two anyway, so your actions didn't change anything.

2) You didn't do it to them, they did it to themselves. This same line of arguing could be used to suggest that it is unjust to arrest murderers, since arresting them does nothing to reverse the damage, and only ruins more lives.

The major difference here is that cheating never directly harms anyone whereas murder does. There is no harm done to anyone by cheating except the person who is cheating and not learning anything. It might get them expelled if it is bad enough. It depends on the university.

It does harm other people. If he cheats and gets better grades, he is taking away opportunities from other students. And potentially other people for jobs, when he gets a job to do something that he is not truly qualified to do.

This is negligible and not provable. We don't know for sure that a non-cheater specifically is going to take the place of a cheater. The job market is vast and complicated and a cheater is unlikely to affect it.

Cheating is a form of dishonesty and it creates an increase in the gap of perception and reality. The wider that gap is, the harder it is to predict things and for things to run efficiently.

Again, this is negligible. A "wider gap" does not directly harm anyone. The harms of things not running efficiently is hugely outweighed by the harms of ruining an individual's life.

The main difference between cheating and murder is that the consequences of cheating are not proportional to the "crime" of cheating.
F-16_Fighting_Falcon
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10/24/2011 6:54:35 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 10/24/2011 6:43:53 PM, mongeese wrote:
At 10/24/2011 6:30:50 PM, F-16_Fighting_Falcon wrote:
At 10/24/2011 6:19:58 PM, mongeese wrote:
F-16, it seems to me that you go out of your way to avoid all conflict, ever. You're willing to lie to over-compliment a debater whose debate you vote on, and you're unwilling to report a cheater for cheating.

I don't think that is true. I have gotten into plenty of conflicts.

But how desperately do you try to avoid them?

What is this about, seriously? Are you trying to get me into a conflict with you just for the heck of it?

As for the debates, my thread about voting etiquette was an overexagerated sarcastic response to the fact that some people (one person in particular) took HUGE offense at the fact that I said that the debate was a landslide in favor of his opponent. When I complement a debater, I believe it is sincere.

Poe's Law. You seemed fairly sincere with your claims, and gave no hints of exaggeration.

Well, it was an exaggeration. If you didn't notice it, too bad. I advocated giving 20 lines of RFD on why you voted sources to someone. If you didn't think that those were exaggerations, let me assure you, they are indeed exaggerations.

Your claims basically rest on the idea that the cheating isn't hurting anyone, but that's false. Grades are meant to signal accomplishment to others; a college checks your grades to decide who it should and should not accept, and an employer checks what degree you have to get an idea of how competent you are at a job. If you cheat, then you give yourself an edge above your more honest competitors; if you get into a selective college because you cheated, then someone did not get into that college because you cheated. How is that fair to them? If an employer hires you instead of someone else because of a degree that you did not truly deserve, you have displaced someone else, and likely will not be as competent at the job to which you are hired; both the employer and the potential employee are at a loss.

I also don't understand why you think unwillingness to report a cheater shows a tendency to avoid conflict. It only shows a tendency to be compassionate and avoid ruining someone else's life.

Or does it? Additionally, while reporting cheating may significantly damage a person's life, not reporting it may allow the cheater to significantly damage someone else's life.

Obviously, it depends on your reason for not reporting. If you don't report because you are afraid of retribution, then I believe it is wrong. However, given the opportunity to report anonymously, if you choose to not do so out of compassion, I don't see why it is wrong. It can't be proven that a cheater will directly take the place of someone who did not cheat, so no damage done there.

On a cost vs benefits scale, the benefits of keeping your mouth zipped when you see someone cheat is outweighed by the mimiscule unprovable harms that come to an employer who hired the wrong person.

Here's a question: if you knew that the person who cheated will, because of the cheating, get a position that you, who didn't cheat, would otherwise get, be it a college acceptance or a job or a promotion, would you report that person?

Being selfish, yes I would. I may not consider it morally right, but I would act from a selfish standpoint.

Cheating just once cannot by itself secure a degree. It takes years to achieve one and a single instance of cheating has negligible effect.

How do you know that it only occurred once?

We don't.
mongeese
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10/24/2011 7:07:45 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 10/24/2011 6:54:35 PM, F-16_Fighting_Falcon wrote:
At 10/24/2011 6:43:53 PM, mongeese wrote:
At 10/24/2011 6:30:50 PM, F-16_Fighting_Falcon wrote:
At 10/24/2011 6:19:58 PM, mongeese wrote:
F-16, it seems to me that you go out of your way to avoid all conflict, ever. You're willing to lie to over-compliment a debater whose debate you vote on, and you're unwilling to report a cheater for cheating.

I don't think that is true. I have gotten into plenty of conflicts.

But how desperately do you try to avoid them?

What is this about, seriously? Are you trying to get me into a conflict with you just for the heck of it?

No, but I think you're being overly cautious about things.

As for the debates, my thread about voting etiquette was an overexagerated sarcastic response to the fact that some people (one person in particular) took HUGE offense at the fact that I said that the debate was a landslide in favor of his opponent. When I complement a debater, I believe it is sincere.

Poe's Law. You seemed fairly sincere with your claims, and gave no hints of exaggeration.

Well, it was an exaggeration. If you didn't notice it, too bad. I advocated giving 20 lines of RFD on why you voted sources to someone. If you didn't think that those were exaggerations, let me assure you, they are indeed exaggerations.

You advocated only voting arguments. I don't recall anything about the sources vote except to avoid it.

Your claims basically rest on the idea that the cheating isn't hurting anyone, but that's false. Grades are meant to signal accomplishment to others; a college checks your grades to decide who it should and should not accept, and an employer checks what degree you have to get an idea of how competent you are at a job. If you cheat, then you give yourself an edge above your more honest competitors; if you get into a selective college because you cheated, then someone did not get into that college because you cheated. How is that fair to them? If an employer hires you instead of someone else because of a degree that you did not truly deserve, you have displaced someone else, and likely will not be as competent at the job to which you are hired; both the employer and the potential employee are at a loss.

I also don't understand why you think unwillingness to report a cheater shows a tendency to avoid conflict. It only shows a tendency to be compassionate and avoid ruining someone else's life.

Or does it? Additionally, while reporting cheating may significantly damage a person's life, not reporting it may allow the cheater to significantly damage someone else's life.

Obviously, it depends on your reason for not reporting. If you don't report because you are afraid of retribution, then I believe it is wrong. However, given the opportunity to report anonymously, if you choose to not do so out of compassion, I don't see why it is wrong. It can't be proven that a cheater will directly take the place of someone who did not cheat, so no damage done there.

If one in one thousand cheaters end up displacing an honest person in college applications, would it be just to report them? One in a hundred? Twenty? Five? Where would you draw the line?

On a cost vs benefits scale, the benefits of keeping your mouth zipped when you see someone cheat is outweighed by the mimiscule unprovable harms that come to an employer who hired the wrong person.

Here's a question: if you knew that the person who cheated will, because of the cheating, get a position that you, who didn't cheat, would otherwise get, be it a college acceptance or a job or a promotion, would you report that person?

Being selfish, yes I would. I may not consider it morally right, but I would act from a selfish standpoint.

If you didn't see that person cheating, but someone else did, would you want them to report that person? Would you feel pity for the cheater who tried to deprive you of your rightful spot?

Cheating just once cannot by itself secure a degree. It takes years to achieve one and a single instance of cheating has negligible effect.

How do you know that it only occurred once?

We don't.

It is quite likely that the cheater has cheated before, and you have only noticed it once. Why do cheaters deserve the benefit of the doubt?
F-16_Fighting_Falcon
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10/24/2011 7:15:05 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 10/24/2011 7:07:45 PM, mongeese wrote:
At 10/24/2011 6:54:35 PM, F-16_Fighting_Falcon wrote:
At 10/24/2011 6:43:53 PM, mongeese wrote:
At 10/24/2011 6:30:50 PM, F-16_Fighting_Falcon wrote:
At 10/24/2011 6:19:58 PM, mongeese wrote:
F-16, it seems to me that you go out of your way to avoid all conflict, ever. You're willing to lie to over-compliment a debater whose debate you vote on, and you're unwilling to report a cheater for cheating.

I don't think that is true. I have gotten into plenty of conflicts.

But how desperately do you try to avoid them?

What is this about, seriously? Are you trying to get me into a conflict with you just for the heck of it?

No, but I think you're being overly cautious about things.

Well, I disagee with that, and I don't get why you continue to pursue this point.

As for the debates, my thread about voting etiquette was an overexagerated sarcastic response to the fact that some people (one person in particular) took HUGE offense at the fact that I said that the debate was a landslide in favor of his opponent. When I complement a debater, I believe it is sincere.

Poe's Law. You seemed fairly sincere with your claims, and gave no hints of exaggeration.

Well, it was an exaggeration. If you didn't notice it, too bad. I advocated giving 20 lines of RFD on why you voted sources to someone. If you didn't think that those were exaggerations, let me assure you, they are indeed exaggerations.

You advocated only voting arguments. I don't recall anything about the sources vote except to avoid it.

Well, you are wrong. And see above.

Your claims basically rest on the idea that the cheating isn't hurting anyone, but that's false. Grades are meant to signal accomplishment to others; a college checks your grades to decide who it should and should not accept, and an employer checks what degree you have to get an idea of how competent you are at a job. If you cheat, then you give yourself an edge above your more honest competitors; if you get into a selective college because you cheated, then someone did not get into that college because you cheated. How is that fair to them? If an employer hires you instead of someone else because of a degree that you did not truly deserve, you have displaced someone else, and likely will not be as competent at the job to which you are hired; both the employer and the potential employee are at a loss.

I also don't understand why you think unwillingness to report a cheater shows a tendency to avoid conflict. It only shows a tendency to be compassionate and avoid ruining someone else's life.

Or does it? Additionally, while reporting cheating may significantly damage a person's life, not reporting it may allow the cheater to significantly damage someone else's life.

Obviously, it depends on your reason for not reporting. If you don't report because you are afraid of retribution, then I believe it is wrong. However, given the opportunity to report anonymously, if you choose to not do so out of compassion, I don't see why it is wrong. It can't be proven that a cheater will directly take the place of someone who did not cheat, so no damage done there.

If one in one thousand cheaters end up displacing an honest person in college applications, would it be just to report them? One in a hundred? Twenty? Five? Where would you draw the line?

It is tough to draw a line. In my original post, I was considering an isolated case of an individual cheater cheating on an exam.

On a cost vs benefits scale, the benefits of keeping your mouth zipped when you see someone cheat is outweighed by the mimiscule unprovable harms that come to an employer who hired the wrong person.

Here's a question: if you knew that the person who cheated will, because of the cheating, get a position that you, who didn't cheat, would otherwise get, be it a college acceptance or a job or a promotion, would you report that person?

Being selfish, yes I would. I may not consider it morally right, but I would act from a selfish standpoint.

If you didn't see that person cheating, but someone else did, would you want them to report that person? Would you feel pity for the cheater who tried to deprive you of your rightful spot?

Your situation is entirely hypothetical, so I really don't know.

Cheating just once cannot by itself secure a degree. It takes years to achieve one and a single instance of cheating has negligible effect.

How do you know that it only occurred once?

We don't.

It is quite likely that the cheater has cheated before, and you have only noticed it once. Why do cheaters deserve the benefit of the doubt?

I think it comes to what you value more. You can either take a hardline stance and go after everyone who breaks rules or you can use your discretion to be more understanding of people who make mistakes.
F-16_Fighting_Falcon
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10/24/2011 7:18:18 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
And Mongeese, I have never had a conversation with you anywhere, so I have no idea where you got your opinions of me out of nowhere, or maybe based on a single forum post which you did not even understand.
mongeese
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10/24/2011 7:24:37 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 10/24/2011 7:18:18 PM, F-16_Fighting_Falcon wrote:
And Mongeese, I have never had a conversation with you anywhere, so I have no idea where you got your opinions of me out of nowhere, or maybe based on a single forum post which you did not even understand.

I got it from two of your threads, this one and your RFD one.
Indophile
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10/24/2011 7:26:44 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 10/24/2011 4:44:53 PM, I-am-a-panda wrote:
At 10/24/2011 4:34:07 PM, Indophile wrote:
At 10/24/2011 4:16:47 PM, I-am-a-panda wrote:
Yes.

Tests are designed to examine your knowledge of a given subject in a given amount of time. If you feel the need to cheat, this undermines the validity of a test as a mark of someones knowledge of a subject. Considering that I don't cheat nor need to, the thought that someone could get an equal or higher grade than me while not deserving it is almost sickening.

This argument, to me, sounds like tests are designed as a shortcut for a person (say an employer) who is going to make use of your learning. If there were no tests, this employer here would have to do all the work to find out how much you actually know. If he really did so, no amount of cheating would get you a job with this person.

For, if you really care about your learning of a subject, and are going to use this learning to benefit you in some way without depending on anybody, you wouldn't give a damn how much some other person scores.

So you advocate pretty much every test can be replaced with hard work by an employer? Tests are a basic way to test someone on their knowledge of a subject; accountancy, medicine, etc. If someone cheats, they have an unfair advantage without knowing fully, from their own knowledge, about the topic, and can get ahead of someone who didn't cheat but is still more knowledgeable.

When you say get ahead of someone, what do you mean by that?

Sure, they might get a better grade. What after that? In the end, they have to make a living. So, they'll either be self-employed or someone has to employ them.

If they are self-employed, it doesn't matter what grade they got.

If somebody employs them, they have to prove that they are worthy of employment. And when has a grade ever been a mark of employment-worthiness? Sure, you can get in, but you cannot stay for long, if you really don't know the subject too well.

For example, would a Steve Jobs or a Bill Gates care if some other people got higher grades than them?

There's no tests for entrepreneurship? Different topic altogether.

It's pretty relevant to this topic. Are you dismissing these people as just entrepreneurs? Didn't they have any technical knowledge that they put to use? How did they gain that knowledge?

Also, since the Irish marking system is just points based on each grade accumulated over 6 subjects, a cheat may score precious extra marks to push them into a higher grade, thus higher points, and cheat someone more deserving out of a college place.

Why do you want a college place in the first place?

I see where you're going with this, herp derp people don't need college, doesn't teach you anything.

I never said college doesn't teach you anything. It may teach you very many things. I was just asking why you want to go to college? Maybe you want to be employed, and college will help you somehow with this?

If so, my two points above stand: self-employment and being someone's employee. In both cases, a mere grade by itself will not help you.

Or is it just a hobby of yours to go to college, and is not a means to any end?

It undermines the test and other students scores. Ok, class tests with almost no bearing on a final grade aren't really worthy of being reported, plus the cheater usually just cheats themselves in the long run.

As long as the aim of tests is to provide some "documentation" that you have gained some learning in some subject, I'd say, go all out and cheat and get that documentation.

tests are designed to measure your proficiency in the knowledge of a subject, not just some knowledge.


Unless tests are really designed to test one's knowledge (by making then uncheatable), why should a person not cheat?

So you're argument is a test isn't a test if there is a capacity to cheat? If we take all tests into a one on one oral situation, not only is this ridiculously expensive, hard to administer and impracticable for lots of subjects. Sure, there may be s cope for cheating, but not if said cheating is reported.

Exactly my point, my friend. Grades are a poor method of ascertaining anyone's knowledge. Suppose I know everything in one subject, but I just didn't give the test. Subsequently, I'll get zero marks for it. Does it now mean that I have no knowledge about this subject?

Grades are just a marker for the progress you are making, and no one should read anything further in them. Especially not potential employers. If someone is taking on someone on just the basis of grades, I'm pretty sure that enterprise will not last very long.
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And it will be true.
F-16_Fighting_Falcon
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10/24/2011 7:26:57 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 10/24/2011 7:24:37 PM, mongeese wrote:
At 10/24/2011 7:18:18 PM, F-16_Fighting_Falcon wrote:
And Mongeese, I have never had a conversation with you anywhere, so I have no idea where you got your opinions of me out of nowhere, or maybe based on a single forum post which you did not even understand.

I got it from two of your threads, this one and your RFD one.

Like I said, I don't think I made it clear that I was exaggerating so you didn't really get my point on that one. And this thread?