In a time of poverty, depression, and moral decline, is cheating out of control in our society?
For a long time, we’ve been told that honesty, integrity, and hard work would always pay off. In elementary school, we were told that “cheating is bad for us”, “cheaters never win and winners never cheat”, and “cheaters never prosper”. Or do they? Now, the tables have turned. The morality in society has seemed to decline. Nowadays, cheating is actually good. Now, cheaters DO win, and cheaters DO prosper. (Messing) Cheating is accepted in our society, in aspects of life such as relationships, marriages, education, video games, sports, and sadly enough, even the government. In marriage, vows a man and woman make before God are no longer sacred because of the element of adultery, relationships are not lasting very long these days due to partners chasing stray, many of our children cheat their way through school, we use cheats in video games, the athletes we all admire use drugs and other methods to cheat their way to success, the economy is so bad, that we cheat on pre-employment assessments just to get jobs, fudge numbers on government forms at tax time, and some people even lie to get free money. Many years ago, cheating was not an issue, but now it has spiraled out of control.
In many relationships today, cheating is very common. Relationships do not last very long because both men and women cheat on each other for various reasons, but the main reason people in committed relationships cheat is because they have such low self-worth and an empty void in their life, they feel the need to fill that void with the love they get from both their significant other and other partners. It is the thrill they get when they get “filled up” through sex or conquest that motivates them to cheat. (InnerBonding.com) Men and women no longer see each other as “girlfriends”, “boyfriends”, “soulmates”, or “sweethearts”; they see each other as conquests to be won and tools to fill the black holes in their lives. In marriages, there is no such thing as “holy matrimony” these days. Spouses cheat on each other not with mistresses or lovers, but with partners whom they have relationships with that provide them with everything they are not getting with their spouse. They want to leave, but do not want to break up their families or face the dreaded processes of divorce, child custody battles, child support, and division of assets in the courtroom. To do the right thing, they stay married to their spouse, but still have an affair behind their spouse’s back because they are unhappy.
In the educational system, many schools have discouraged cheating. However, this does not deter many students from cheating because they still do it and often get away with it. In high school, 72% of students cheat on written work by copying someone else’s homework, using cheat sheets or other forms of cheating on tests, plagiarizing information for term papers on the Internet, or using aids such as SparkNotes and CliffNotes to skip out on reading assignments or tests, especially with any of Shakespeare’s works. 85% of college students find it necessary to cheat to get ahead. Many students, both high school, and college students who cheat never get caught. Even the most honest, “high achieving” students admit to cheating. (Caveon Test Security)
For many years, video games have provided great entertainment to men, women, and children of all ages, whether played on home consoles, personal computers, or other devices. However, many gamers often get into the game they are playing a little too much and pressure themselves to beat the game. Eventually, after much trial and effort, they get tired of spending countless hours and energy to no avail. So what do they do? Cheat, of course! Many gamers often cheat because they are stuck in a certain part of the game and can’t go any further, so they use online walkthroughs or “game enhancing” aids such as the GameShark or GameGenie. Often at times, players have no choice but to cheat because the game is too difficult or poorly designed; they constantly die, there are puzzles in the game that are too hard to solve, they cannot beat certain bosses, or do not know where to go next. (Most console games of the early 80s and 90s are an example of this.) Also, many players like to play God. They want all the weapons, armor, vehicles, special abilities, etc. at their disposal, so they use cheatcodes to get them right away instead of waiting a certain number of levels to get them. Some cheat because they are bored. They find certain parts of the game boring, tedious, and repetitive, want to skip to the end of the game, or want to have something to do after they’ve beaten the game. (Forbes)
When it comes to sports, many athletes feel great pressure on them to win, and want to do so by any means necessary. According to ESPN, sports are heading towards a “major crash” because of athletes who have no guilt and no shame breaking the rules to climb the ladder to success in their careers. There are several different ways to cheat in a sport, whether it is by use of steroids or other performance-enhancing drugs, stealing the opposing team’s playbook, stealing signs, illegally bending a hockey stick (ESPN), swapping out urine to avoid getting busted on drug tests, “corking” a baseball, face-clutching signals to the referee, using jet-fuel in cars in a race, or getting the referee to side with the team and make questionable, unnecessary calls on the field. (Lamont) The officials even “fix” games to benefit gamblers in ensuring that a huge payout is won. Sports are no longer about honor, integrity, building character, teaching respect, or ethical principles. It is about the athletes surviving and winning at all costs, even if it means breaking the hearts of millions of fans who greatly admire them and consider them role-models.
In the United States, we all know that for those who are poor, disabled, needy, or struggling, old Uncle Sam will take care of them by use of government assist programs, such as welfare, food stamps, TANF, SSI, Social Security, unemployment, and Section 8. However, many who apply for these programs do not need them, but choose to use them because they are too lazy to work and would rather sit back, relax, and cheat hard-working Americans out of their tax dollars. For example, of the many people that apply for Section 8 housing, 98% actually need the help, yet the US government gives it to the other 2% of applicants who lie and work the system. (The Section 8 Secret)
Today, the Wall Street Journal reports that there is a “Food-Stamp crime wave” because many food stamp recipients are committing fraud. Since 2007, the number of food stamp recipients has risen up from 26 million to 44 million, as well as the costs, which have doubled from $33 billion to $77 billion. (The Wall Street Journal) Many of those who receive food stamps often lie about their income on paper and receive the benefits only to have extra money to spend on groceries. People who have stable, high-paying jobs can receive food stamps simply by lying on their applications. Even millionaires are entitled to cash in on the deal as long as they have little or no monthly income due to “paperwork reduction” advocated by the US Department of Agriculture. After all, who can turn down free money?
As unbelievable as it is, there are some Americans who actually have the audacity to cheat on their taxes. They file them online to avoid showing proof of spending at tax preparations offices, “round up” numbers on their forms, or make donations that allow them to deduct from their costs of spending. (The Cheat Factory) In our economy today, many employers have implemented the use of Pre-Employment assessments in the hiring process to evaluate potential candidates for jobs by determining their personalities and skills. These assessments are a job applicant’s Achilles’ heel when it comes to finding a job. To pass the assessment, they often cheat by using answer keys on Wikipedia or other help sites. (Peo7.com) In today’s economy, it does not matter how much education or skills one has, it is the ones who lie and cheat that will most likely get the job.
Is cheating out of control in our society? Definitely. Especially in aspects of life such as romantic relationships, marriages, education, video games, sports, and sadly enough, even the government. In this society, everybody lies, steals, cheats, and gets away with it.
Although we live in a society full of cheaters, liars, and deceivers, there is still hope. There are still some good people in the world who are honest, fair, and true. There are still people in relationships that stay faithful to their significant other. There are still people with old-school values about marriage that stay happily married for years to come and try to work things out when their marriages are rocky. There are still some people who play fair in video games and sports, and get full satisfaction of winning on their own. There are still some good students in high school and college who take the time out to study, make good grades, and not cheat. There are still plenty of honest Americans who work hard, go to college, get degrees, and become productive citizens in society, rather than accept government handouts. Even though cheating is out of control in our society, there are still those out there who believe in honesty, integrity, truth, justice, and fair play.
Messing, Rachi. Cheaters Never Prosper… Or Do They? Torah from Dixie, Web.
16 Sept. 2011. < http://www.tfdixie.com/parshat/behar/020.htm>
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Cheating Statistics. Caveon Test Security. 17 Sept 2011. Web.
Consalvo, Mia. Cheating Is Good For You. Forbes.com, 14 Dec. 2006. Web.
16 Sept. 2011
Drehs, Wayne. Are sports heading toward ‘major crash’ because of cheating? ESPN.com. 9 Aug. 2007. Web. 18 Sept. 2011
Lamont, Tom. The A-Z of Cheating in Sport. The Guardian. 17 October 2009. Web. 25 September 2011. < http://www.guardian.co.uk/sport/2009/oct/18/cheating-in-sport>
The Section 8 Secret. Web. 18 Sept. 2011.
Bovard, James. The Food-Stamp Crime Wave. The Wall Street Journal.
23 June 2011. Web. 25 September 2011.
Cheating On Your Taxes. The Cheat Factory. Web. 17 Sept. 2011.
Cheating on Pre-Employment Assessment Tests. Peo7.com. Web. 18 Sept. 2011.