Cheating is usually an act employed to create an unfair advantage in one’s own interest through lies, deception, trickery or fraudulent means. The one involved in cheating is seen to do so at the expense of others and with the aim of getting more where one has invested less. Almost everyone cheats in some way in their day to day lives. Cheating is employed in almost every sphere of life including sport, personal or family relationships, gambling and academics. Cheating does not necessarily break the law but is considered to breach the rules though some specific forms of cheating are punishable by law such as tax evasion or fraud.
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The act of cheating is universally considered to be morally wrong and against society ethics. It is prohibited in many religions and is largely seen as a source of evil rather than good. But the question that lingers in the minds of many is how can all the people be wrong if everybody is doing it? It seems that even those that should set trends to be emulated are are doing the exact opposite of that. Ranging from politicians, evangelists, Muslim clerics, accountants, psychiatrists, lawyers and judges as well, cheating has in a way become a social norm. In every aspect of life cheating is indeed rampant and with the current trends of highly competitive life, it is not about to go away just yet. According to a study by the Association of Certified Examiners 68.6% of the employees who steal have no previous criminal record. The difference or distinction between what is dishonest and what is not is becoming blurred with accountants pushed by executives to cheat so as to keep the company’s shareholders happy and avoid losses.
With the current rate of competition some people are not asking whether one should cheat or not but to what extent one should cheat. One in every four American admitted that it is right to evade taxes and that they actually sympathize with those who find themselves behind bars for cheating on their taxes. In America we have a huge and vibrant industry of advertisement, an institution believed by many to be based on deception. Being honest is not enviable today like it used to be, with many arguing that if you must be honest you must be extremely good to cope with the competition from a pool of cheaters. People cheat because they cannot complete everything that needs to be done. A husband whose job has taken over his life would call in sick and spend his time with another woman rather than his family(which does not need him much anyway, they only pretend to). Everybody is cheating everyone – while some employees fake or deliberately skip work to get overtime, the Wall Street Journal recently reported that some employers are altering their employees time cards to avoid paying overtime. With cheating reaching to such heights and assuming such forms, it leaves the honest man between a rock and an extremely hard place.
Cheating though does not automatically result to an easier life or getting all that one wanted. Cheating is in simple terms a vice and is wrong and unethical. There are some forms of deception that are largely seen as acceptable. In the Christian Bible for instance, Abraham is said to have lied to the Egyptians about their nature of relationship with his wife, claiming instead that she was his sister. If he had not done this, the Egyptians would have killed him and taken his wife. All other forms are wrong and most have terrible consequences. Cheating in relationships for instance does not only break relationship or family bonds but also leaves the victims in traumatic conditions that may last for the rest of their lives. Deceit to friends and relatives may result to breaking life long ties and a feeling of dejection. A honest society will be better and easier for everyone – but is that possible?