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“The possession of knowledge carries an ethical responsibility.”

I read an example from a previous debate on TED. There is a student (A) in an exam that knows and understands the questions and answers them correctly. Student (B) asks the student for, "help" or the “answers” because he doesn’t know or understand it himself. Does Student (A) have any sort of ethical responsibilities to carry on this information to student (B)?

How is "cheating" on a test any less moral than revising up for a test? How is the act of studying and spending time to discover by using the internet, books, debates, teachers before a test any more "right" than gaining the information from a friend during a test?

In my opinion, a test shows the skill in how well you can obtain reliable and accurate facts and knowledge in a strict time frame, and that it shouldn't matter where it came from. In the end, ethics does not matter and there is no 'right' or 'wrong' answer to this. But in this scenario, student (A) risks punishment for supplying information, naturally it is not in his interests to do so, but if he wished to do so, and felt like he had to or wanted to, then wouldn’t it ultimately be his responsibility.

Maybe we can elaborate on this?


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    Jan 27 2013: If the purpose of the test is to quantify the understanding of the one being tested then all new accumulation of information must be postponed for the duration of the test. While the test clock is running those being tested cannot be allowed to gain understanding they did not have at the time the clock started. If I look on my neighbor's paper, or perform any other action to get an answer I have violated the integrity of the test by gaining knowledge I did not have when the test began.

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