Thursday, September 24, 2009

Journal 3

The environment we grow up in affects our identity and who we are as people later in life.  Our parents raise us with their values and beliefs in mind.  Usually, this installment of values and beliefs in our minds will stay with us into adulthood.  Statistics show that most kids share the same beliefs as their parents once they grow up and are on their own.  Even if they disagree with their parents when they are still adolescents and growing up, most people will return to sharing the same beliefs as their parents when they move out and start their careers.  Our identity is unique to ourselves but others around us help to shape it.

            As college students, some of us disagree with our parents’ beliefs.   This may be because we want to rebel against our parents, we want to experience new things, or we truly believe they are wrong in their beliefs.  This fact is reflected in our responses to the activity we did in class.  For the most part, our parents tended to be more biased, racist, or judgmental against people that are different than the traditional “white American.”  They especially did not want their daughters or sons to date someone who was different, but were more lenient when it came to living next or being friends with them.  The prejudices were still present, however.  Our responses for the most part were very accepting of people that are different from us both ethnically and physically.  We were more likely to answer yes when asked if we would date, be friends with, live next to, and accept others that were different.  These results determine that at this point in our lives, most of us have an identity separate from our parents.  It also shows that we tend to be more accepting of differences than our parents. 

            At this point in our lives, many of our responses reveal our independent identity from our parents.  We want to go on our own path and make our own decisions.  I think that once we grow older and have more life experiences most of us will turn back to sharing our parents’ beliefs and values.  However, some people will stay firm in the beliefs that are different than their parents through adulthood.  Everyone’s identity is unique to themselves; their values and beliefs are shaped by both their parents’ direction and their own.  Whether the person decides to follow their parents’ direction or take their own path, their identity is still partially shaped by their parents.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Cheating and Academic Dishonesty

Cheating and academic dishonesty has become an apparent issue in all levels of schooling.  Even from a young age, students have been found to cheat on tests, homework, and papers by means of bringing a “cheat sheet” into class, copying answers from a neighbor, or plagiarism.  Even honors students will admit to some form of cheating in their lifetime.

            I firmly believe that cheating on a test or paper is wrong.  It obviously shows that the cheater is unprepared and it is unfair to the person who worked hard to study the material and prepare him or herself for the test.  In this sense of cheating, I believe these students are academically dishonest.

            However, I believe cheating on homework by copying answers from a friend is a different story.  Most of us have been stuck in a bind at some point and needed to copy homework in order to turn it in on time.  Because homework does not have as much weight as tests and papers, many people feel copying homework is not as big of a deal as cheating on a test.  I think it is still academically dishonest when someone copies homework but it is not a huge deal or problem.

            The university, in hopes to reduce academic dishonesty in school implemented the code of conduct.  The code-of-conduct states: “An act of academic misconduct, even a first offense, places the student in jeopardy of the most severe form of sanction – expulsion from the university.”  No one wants to be expelled from college and have that information on their record.  If someone is caught cheating, it shows bad character and responsibility when they are trying to interview for a job later in life.  The code of conduct uses strong words as a method of discouraging academic dishonesty.  The university knows this code will not prevent everyone from cheating and being academically dishonest, but they know it will greatly reduce the number of students who will cheat.  If anything, the code of conduct will cause many students to think twice before they cheat on a test or paper. Students who decide not to cheat will make it farther in life and will do better in the class overall because they will have a better work ethic than those who cheat on everything just to get the “A” in the class.  

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Journal 1

Ethical questions arise in situations across the board every day.  No matter the profession or duty of work professionals and commoners alike face a constant battle with ethical issues and dilemmas.  The clear-cut answer does not always present itself, leaving much up to debate among sides.  Oftentimes the two opposing sides to the situation disagree on their opinion of the correct outcome causing conflict.  Because ethics seeks to question morality, several different decisions can be reached for each issue.   Each person tends to take a unique stance on ethical issues.  Some will feel empathetic toward the victim and sway their decision in their victim.  Some understand the victim’s situation but must legally take action to enforce the laws.  And still others believe the government should take responsibility to help the victim and give them what they want.

            Ethical dilemmas occur between friends frequently.  Sometimes one person will take a different stance on certain issues than another.   For example, Caroline is new to town.  She meets this group of girls that seem nice and she wants to do whatever she can to make friends with them.  One Friday night, the girls take Caroline to the mall.  They tell her to steal a bottle of perfume from a store.  Caroline knows this is wrong and that her mom will be furious, but desperately wants this group of girls to like her and include her in their group.  She decides to steal the perfume because making friends was more important to her.             

            Especially as teenagers, we are faced with this dilemma or one similar to it often.  Many of us do not want to cause conflict among our friends and go along with what our friends do to fit in.  I have not been faced with this particular situation in my life, but I have experienced similar feelings to Caroline.  If I were in Caroline’s situation, I know I should do the right thing but that is not always the easy thing to do.  In this situation, Caroline’s intention was for the good; she wanted to make friends to facilitate her transition into this new town.  However, her action in stealing the perfume was an unethical decision. 

            The struggle to make ethical decisions face us every day.  I think people struggle with the difficulties of intention versus action because they do not realize that their actions affect many other people other than themselves. I do not believe that any one approach to dealing with the ethical issues is the correct approach.  Each person will approach their ethical situation differently depending on their personal values and beliefs.