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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: I think we should change how we test the students. In this world of information, we don't need to memorize everything or even learn something that we never use.
    As someone once said: any question that can be answered by an internet search, is not a good question.
    Instead of examine students on what they know, we should test their skills and works on that field. This act will stop cheating on a great level, because if anyone just learn what they want, they will try hard for it, because they like that or need that. and also in group projects and group tests, even cheating is kind of learning.
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    Jan 27 2013: Ecclesiastes 3:1, "There is time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven"

    There is time to seek knowledge and there is time to be tested. Now, during a test individual ability is being tested (except if it is a group work). What is being tested is an individual student's understanding or grasp of the things that has been taught. The answers should come from the learner, not from a 'helper'.

    We should strive to ensure that we do not become a society that wriggles itself out of all effort towards law and order by a tendency towards sophism.
  • Jan 27 2013: Yeah i was just curious to know if it was Student (a) responsibility to carry on the information. To what degree is he responsible for sharing information, after all information is a universal right (i hope). Should student (a) care or worry about the consequences or should he do as he feels and pass on the information, (clean hands, he did nothing "wrong")
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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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    Gail .

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    Jan 27 2013: On the surface, you make an exceedingly rational point. But, it's a surface argument only. I'll give you points for creativity, but the argument itself is shallow and immature.

    You look at the individual, but I suggest that you cannot look at the individual without also taking his community/society into consideration - in order to address the question you ask.

    We live in a complex society. We depend on others to do things for us that we cannot or prefer not to do. That's part of the social compact. Employers hire people based on their trust that a degree or diploma carries certain assurances of competence and understanding. One who is good at extracting information from others without understanding how parts come together would be a good used car sales person but a dangerous legislator or political leader or even business executive. That person, through seeing dots rather than patterns of dots, will lead those who depend on him down some very dangerous roads. The cheater who gets a job because of cheating, cheats everyone he comes in contact with. Every vote he casts is a threat to us all. Every decision made carries too much risk.

    Education is not about getting a good grade or getting into a good university. It SHOULD be about education. If it isn't, it is an opportunity wasted, and you have ultimately cheated yourself out of that opportunity while you bring everyone else down with you.