I’d like to return to the discussion of students cheating, or as I’m now referring to it: dishonesty. I saw “I Love You Man” this weekend. One of the characters is described as “refreshingly honest.” First, the movie is hilarious, and I highly recommend it. Second, I believe we need more people in the world that are honest. Much of the hilarity of the movie was about the honesty, and viewers thinking “what the hell is he doing being honest like that?”
I’m concerned that many have come to believe that dishonesty is a much better path to getting what you want than just being honest and allowing things to unfold in their own way.
In my blog I reference an article on students cheating that discusses the alarming number of students who do cheat and their lack of remorse. In a comment I wrote on that blog I referenced another article that discusses an experiment about cheating that is really interesting. I recently watched an episode of “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart” and a senator named Christopher Dodd initially vehemently denied having anything to do with the AIG bonuses. Then the next day explained now he realizes after reviewing the documents he did, and how he could have vehemently denied the accusation a day earlier.
Sure, people are upset about his involvement, and how he has accepted much in contributions from Fannie Mae. But what concerns me is the trend of denying until confronted with the truth.
I am accustomed to this in my work with people with addictions. They will sometimes deny drug use even past evidence being presented. And perhaps politicians are no exception; we should expect them to lie until confronted with evidence. But it seems there not being much penalty for lying makes this a viable plan. There is penalty for the wrongdoing, but the lying seems to be expected. In an early comment regarding my blog on cheating an individual wrote that people cheat (and lie if I may) because everyone is doing it.
I realize this is similar to the previous discussion, but I am really interested in people’s comments. Of course we have all probably lied at some point. But are you concerned that it is becoming the norm rather than the exception? How highly do you value honesty? What about the games we play when dating? Is that just acceptable? When else is dishonesty acceptable to you? Is it best to just lie until evidence is presented differently? Are you really honest when it is difficult to be so?