TheCatSite.com › Forums › General Forums › IMO: In My Opinion › High morals = cheating is rational
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

High morals = cheating is rational

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 
An interesting study finds that a sense of moral superiority can lead to unethical acts.

Can you say...hypocrits?
post #2 of 20
You know, it just kinda makes sense!!!! Think about the priests and such...
post #3 of 20
hmm its only cheating if you get caught?
post #4 of 20
....like Bill Clinton?
post #5 of 20
Very interesting. Most people often excuse behaviour in themselfs that they would never forgive in others. There will always be an excuse as to why it is ok for you to do something, excuses you would never make, or look for in someone else.

Example: A person, who believes themself morally superior has been sitting vigil with an ill family member and have not had time to study for an important test. Instead of asking the professor for an extension or a re-scheduling do to the circumstances, this person cheats off the person next to them. Their excuse, I was doing good by supporting my ill family member. That was more important then studying, and I couldn't talk to the professor about the issue. The person then gets the test back and finds out that the person they cheated from, cheater off the person in front of him. The original cheateer (while thinking glad I wasn't caught) speaks about the cheater and condemns him to his friends.
post #6 of 20
Yep - they are hypocrites trying to figure out how to justify something they know deep inside is wrong.

But I think some people are just more prone to cheating then others. They say that given the chance, just about everyone would cheat. I know that DH and I have no desire to cheat.
post #7 of 20
It seems to me that there were two categories of people in question here.

One had "high morals" and believed that cheating was wrong.

The other had "high morals" but believed that cheating could be justified.

Quote:
Students who scored high on moral identity and also considered cheating to be morally wrong were the least likely to cheat. In contrast, the worst cheaters were the "moral" students who considered cheating to be an ethically justifiable behavior in certain situations.
It seems to me that this arises from a relativistic perspective that is quite common in our society today. "Whatever is right for me is the right thing to do" sort of thing, or "As long as I don't think its wrong, its not wrong for me". Of course that leads to justifcation of one's own moral downfalls.

Plus, it seems that a sense of any type of superiority can lead to unethical acts. If you're superior to other people, than the rules that other people have to follow don't apply to you. Its happened to kings and other leaders of people, and even the everyday folk like you and me. So the results of the study don't really surprise me at all, it fits what I've seen in history and in normal life.
post #8 of 20
That reminds me of the saying: "power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely" and of James Madison, who said, "All men having power ought to be distrusted."
post #9 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by theimp98 View Post
hmm its only cheating if you get caught?
I'm with you Bruce
post #10 of 20
Well, a sense of moral superiority of course leads to that. You don't have better morals, you just think you do, and think you can judge others. People who aren't like that know they're fallible.

Cheating isn't always wrong.
post #11 of 20
I don't think it's so much moral superiority as it is a feeling of entitlement. I did something good, so I should get something in return. I did something good so I didn't fulfil my responsibilities, so I am allowed to cheat.

The morally superior people who truly are doing good are not expecting something in return for their actions, whether from other people or from the universe in general.
post #12 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by coaster View Post
....like Bill Clinton?
yeah him too!
post #13 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zissou'sMom View Post
Well, a sense of moral superiority of course leads to that. You don't have better morals, you just think you do, and think you can judge others. People who aren't like that know they're fallible.

Cheating isn't always wrong.
I agree I didn't read the link but there are some situations where "cheating" isn't always wrong. There are many more cases where it is wrong.
post #14 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by cococat View Post
I agree I didn't read the link but there are some situations where "cheating" isn't always wrong. There are many more cases where it is wrong.
Of course; that was just going so unquestioned... IMO, all morality is subjective and its hard to apply your own ideals to anyone else. None of it is 100%.

Though I think maybe the point in the article was that people who think they're more moral than others were more likely to do something they would consider immoral of other people.
post #15 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zissou'sMom View Post
... IMO, all morality is subjective and its hard to apply your own ideals to anyone else. None of it is 100%....
No, I'm sorry, I can't agree with that. There are some things which ARE 100% ... murder, for example.

Frankly, I think that's the main problem with society today is that too many things are subjective, which makes it harder for people to relate to each other, because they're all making different judgments, not only from person to person but from situation to situation. Subjective situational morality takes away a foundation from both individuals and society and so instead of standing on a rock, you're standing on quicksand. Decision making is always influenced by emotions and circumstances, and without that rock, poor decisions result, getting people into trouble.
post #16 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by coaster View Post
No, I'm sorry, I can't agree with that. There are some things which ARE 100% ... murder, for example.
Is it? Killing in war is okay. Our government putting people to death is legal. Abortion is legal, and some people call that murder. There are some instances of course where it's 100%, but some where it isn't (Self-defense? How about a woman who kills an abusive husband but not at a time that he's attacking her? Why are crimes of passion different than other murders?) and that's what I was talking about-- where each person draws the line between unacceptable murder and an acceptable taking of someone else's life are different, and some people will have an in-between where it's understandable but still murder.

What I think a huge problem in our society is is that people don't understand that morality is subjective, and want to legislate everyone else's life based on their own morals.
post #17 of 20
Just because it is legal doesn't make it morally right, just because itcan be explained better doesn't make the fact that it happened any more right than another instance of it
post #18 of 20
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zissou'sMom View Post
Why are crimes of passion different than other murders?)
Because:

1.) Killing in self-defence is NOT murder.

2.) Killing with "malice aforethought" does not occur in crimes of passion, rather, only in those that are premeditated.

Morals and WRITTEN LAW are two completely different things.

I'm surprised by your responses, after all, semantics are one thing, morality debates are another completely, but murder is very clearly defined.
post #19 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zissou'sMom View Post
What I think a huge problem in our society is is that people don't understand that morality is subjective, and want to legislate everyone else's life based on their own morals.
While you make some good points about the differing definitions, I'd say that's exactly what the problem is instead of the other way around. The huge problem is that people don't understand that right and wrong aren't subjective and want to define what's right and what's wrong differently in each situation, depending on where their own sliding scale is at the moment. For example, I could say that's it's alright for me to kill you because I don't think it's murder, and you could say that it's not alright because it IS murder.

I just think some things need to be black and white to keep society together. When every person has a different interpretation then people can't trust each other. Trust is the foundation of society working. The two most important trust-producing codes of conduct are 1) respect others' persons and their property; 2) do what you have promised to do.

Now, those two codes cover many situations; for example since we're talking about murder, that would fall under code #1. When you murder someone you disrespect their person. And if you think someone is capable of murdering you, then you won't trust them. And lying might fall under code #2. Cheating on your spouse might be covered by both #1 and #2.

Common codes of conduct are necessary for trust in society, and the code needs to be the same for everyone.
post #20 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by GingersMom View Post
Morals and WRITTEN LAW are two completely different things.
Agreed, but the way juries interpret laws in recommending sentencing is a pretty good barometer of how 'moral' or 'immoral' they think the person was. I didn't mean to imply that laws and morality are equivalent, just the opposite. When I said things like 'abortion is legal' etc, I just meant that a large number of people think whatever it is is okay, while other people don't.

Like I said, there are some things that people would agree are murder, like someone from an internet message board randomly killing someone they'd never met for no apparent reason. Of course, some serial killers believe what they're doing is good, too.

Anything that exists, someone will think is "moral" and someone else will think its "immoral".

I agree that living in a society means you agree to certain conduct, and punishments when you don't. The 'social contract' argument falls apart a little bit when you realize there really isn't any other option-- if you don't agree to that, what are you supposed to do? Live underwater? But, yes, I just think people take morality too far. We don't prosecute people for cheating on their spouses anymore.

Also, laws aren't applied evenly regardless of circumstance, motive, etc. They are applied on a case by case basis, with special regard to the whys hows and whos.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: IMO: In My Opinion
TheCatSite.com › Forums › General Forums › IMO: In My Opinion › High morals = cheating is rational