March 22

Dishonesty and “I Love You Man”

Posted by William Berry | Filed under Reviews | 2 Comments

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?

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This entry was posted on Sunday, March 22nd, 2009 at 10:30 AM and is filed under Reviews. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

2 Responses to “Dishonesty and “I Love You Man””

  1. Oscar on June 15th, 2009 at 10:48 AM

    I find it particularly interesting that I ran accross this article right after taking one of your tests, having been acussed of cheating in a nonchalant kind of way (I’m just joking by the way).

    I’m glad I am not the only one to have noticed this. I used to walk around the world generaly trusting people unless evidence proved otherwise, but based on recent past experiences I have come to realize that some people are just fucked up! (excuse the language).

    You see, when it comes to lying and cheating in any way I have found that people do it to gain that instant gratification, that ounce of “something” that helps them gain that temporary solution to the problem. I see it almost like a high… not that they actually notice the effects of it. Long story short, lying, cheating, and betrayal is the norm now.

    What saddens me about this and people who do it, is the lack of remorse. I cannot even begin to understand how someone can lie and cheat and not feel guilt about anything they have done. Its sick (You can probably tell I have some issues to deal with now).

    I have lied in the past. I have also cheated in relationships. I am not sure what changed- I just don’t do it anymore. So to answer your questions, I am surprisingly honest even if what I’m about to say hurts someone else’s feelings. Now, we all know about those little white lies, and in all honesty I catch myself saying those every once in a while and it just makes me feel like shit. I instantly feel so bad that I back up and tell the truth.

    I believe I tell the truth and that I am a very truthful person at all times. I know that sounds hard to believe, so then again maybe I am just too blind to see the truth.

  2. William Berry on June 15th, 2009 at 3:02 PM

    Thank you for the comment Oscar. Did you see the movie? The Jason Segel character is very genuine, almost always telling the truth. I guess the point of my article is that the world might be a better place if we all did that. Of course you already seem aware of that.
    You are aware I was joking with you today, playing around, and making a point with others. Since you no longer sit with that other female, it seems even more appropriately funny. Anyhow, again, thanks for the comment.

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