Allan's Philosophy Podcast Headline Animator

Allan's Philosophy Podcast

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Philosophy on Facebook #45 - Cheating

Hey guys! I hope you are enjoying the increased amount of philosophical content that I have been able to produce recently. The Network, officially called Human Powered Podcasts, is under way and is pretty close to fruition. I have pretty much got down the first wave of hosts and will be announcing them soon. If you are still interested in joining please fill out an application now or I won’t be able to accommodate you into the network until a little later. It’s best to do it now while nothing is official than later when I am busy with managing the rest of the shows. I can't wait to get this under way and thank you guys for watching and helping make this possible!

Back to the post, I decided to write a note about cheating. If feel like this will be a long one so brace yourself. Cheating is basically the premise that you aren't doing what you're supposed to do. I always turn to Google's definitions of terms whenever I can so they say that cheating (in terms of this post) means violating accepted standards or rules. Note that this post doesn't exclusively relate to cheating relationship-wise but all other types of cheating as well. I find cheating such an interesting topic to write about because it is an intriguing human habit. It is something that basically transcends time and can be seen in some of the earliest records of human behavior. One behavior that is very similar to cheating is lying. It is interesting to watch little kids cheat or lie in games because they don’t really understand morals or ethics and sometimes don’t know what to do when they get caught. I think the natural reaction is to want to hide the bad deeds you do until you recognize or decide if it is better to own up to your actions. Making these decisions can be a pretty hard task but it all starts with the interesting process that takes place when deciding whether to cheat or not in the first place.

Cheating basically revolves around not doing what you are supposed to be and I generally believe that it is done for reasons that don’t justify executing some action that is deemed as cheating. What I mean is that the reasons behind cheating generally won’t back up or be an excuse for why someone cheated. I say generally because there are almost infinite reasons why someone would decide to cheat. There are so many motives for cheating and some of the times it happens the person who cheats may not even know why they did it. I think one of the underlying reasoning behind cheating, at the very least subconsciously, is thinking that if you cheat you will reap the max benefits for the least amount of work. Another is that you may not be happy with your current situation and feel it is the quickest and easiest way to better yourself. Cheating at its very core is a selfish act because you are doing it usually solely because you want to improve your current situation regardless of others around you. One of the negatives of this mentality is that is usually involved stepping on others or taking advantage of them. In relationships, it is taking advantage of your partner. In competitions, you may unworthily achieve a goal by cheating that other competitors deserved more. On a test for instance, you can cheat off someone who studied hard and get a good grade without having to learn all the material. This is only one example as cheating comes in many forms depending on the situation. It can be applied to almost any situation. If there is a different way that a task can be accomplished, then it can probably be accomplished by cheating. When it comes to relationships, or on a test, or almost anything you can think of, it is probably possible to cheat on to achieve the result you want faster, easier, etc. One situation that usually inspires cheating is if you can take the easy way out or get immediate satisfaction and not having to complete all the work associated or usually necessary in order to complete a goal regularly. Cheating relates to temptations or compulsions you may feel that basically pull you down a path of cheating. With all the opportunities and choices that can pop up in life you with be faced with many temptations and sometimes you may not even realize that you are cheating. The hard part about cheating is trying to make a decision on what to do. Not everyone has the same moral code and because of this people don’t always agree on the right ways to deal with situations. Because nobody can predict the future, it is hard for anyone to really know the best choice in every situation but it is important to at least take into consideration all the outcomes and especially how your actions now will affect you in the future.

One determining factor of what is considered to be cheating arises from the basic rules of a given situation. With life in society, it is frowned upon to do anything cheating related if it would hurt another being which usually is the case in almost all occurrences of cheating. With that said, depending on the rules of the situation, there may be a legitimate reason to cheat. If the rules are so strict that nothing can be accomplished without taking shortcuts, bending the rules, or cheating, you just need to be prepared for the consequences accompanied by your actions. Believe it or not, there are some times when it is acceptable to cheat in life depending on the situation. There are actually situations where bad things will happen if you don’t cheat. If you have ever cheated death, you have bent the rules of life and death, and if you didn’t cheat death you would have died. In reference to my mood and emotions notes, the word cheating has been given a negative connotation and while I do agree in the majority of situations you will face you probably shouldn’t cheat, but that doesn’t mean it automatically rules out cheating as an option. You just need to apply your best judgment in the decisions making process to figure out if you should cheat or not, but you need to be extra careful and completely sure if you do decide to cheat.

While cheating may be seen as a way to improve your life in a very efficient manner, it is in no way the best possible way of accomplishing it. Through hard work and determination you can accomplish almost anything you put your mind to and you get the satisfaction of knowing you actually worked for something. Cheating may seem like the best choice at the time but it won’t as time progresses. The positive effect may seem immediate, but in almost any cheating circumstance the negatives usually outweigh the positives. You may not be able to see them all at the time and sometimes the negatives will never show themselves but I don’t think it is normally a good chance to take.

Every time cheating occurs, the outcome needs to be looked at. The outcome can be fantastic for you if you get away with it or terrible for you if you get caught. It will almost never be positive for those on the receiving end of cheating. Getting caught is when you will face the consequences for you actions, cheating or not. If you do cheat however, they will almost always be bad in some way. Like the podcast Tommy and I did about the silver lining in every situation, there is an optimistic way you can think about the consequences you will face by seeing them as a learning experience and an opportunity to be taught a valuable lesson, even if it was probably done the hard way. The other end of the spectrum is if you don't ever get caught. If that ends up happening you usually have two options. One is to keep it sealed up and never reveal your cheating ways and the other is to eventually own up to your actions and admit to them. If you decide to keep it to yourself, then if you have any care towards those you cheated on, a feeling of guilt will most likely build up. Another thing that can happen when you refuse to admit what happened is the feeling of denial. You may be too afraid to own up and face the consequences and this may continue on forever. A situation where you cheated will probably be forgotten if it wasn’t too traumatic or ever realized by other parties, but you always are at risk for being discovered of your actions in the past and always vulnerable to the guilt. I believe that eventually your past actions will catch up to you and if the situation is still relevant or applicable to what you did in the past, it is still possible for you face the consequences. For instance, if you cheated on your wife and you guys are still together and she eventually find out what happened way back when it will probably put your relationship in jeopardy. While the consequences and ramifications of your actions may be lessened by time, it still can’t reverse the damage done by knowing what happened.

I feel like people are very susceptible to cheating at almost all times in life. There are so many opportunities to do things differently than expected and some of them can be what you aren’t supposed to do. Emotions are a great part of our lives but they can also pose a great weakness if put into a certain situation. When pushed to the extremes, almost everyone will cheat if the situation forces them to and is drastic enough. For instance, if a situation puts your loved ones into harm’s way or anything else that you really care about, people will usually do almost anything to get them back or ensure their safety. For this reason, people may cheat even if they don’t want to. There are so many variables in a given situation that it is hard to determine what is a driving factor in why someone might want to cheat.

There’s this saying that once a cheater always a cheater and I don’t think it’s true. I think that people will always make mistakes and even if they were intentional at the time, people learn and adapt over time and will eventually realize what their actions did to those around them. The way they deal with this however is all based on an individual’s personality. They may get a feeling of guilt or just forget about it and ignore the effects of their actions. If they do the latter than it is more likely they will continue down their cheating path because they don’t fully realize what their actions have done to those around them. Getting cheated on or out of something will never evoke feelings of happiness and if the cheater realized they made other people feel terrible they would change their ways if they felt any empathy at all.

Cheating is a tricky subject to write about because of its many forms. It is so complex like in the reasoning behind it and the justification for it occurring that it is sometimes better just to let a situation that involves cheating go and all the trouble that accompanies it. I’m not saying that those who cheat shouldn’t be punished but I feel like it is sometimes better to be ignorant and ignore it because of the possible repercussions. It is inevitable that in some situations people will hurt you and sometimes you just need to continue on with your life as best as possible or risk putting your whole life and future in jeopardy like when Stanley raped Blanche but Stella had to ignore it in Street Car named Desire. This is one of the terrible parts about cheating but I do believe that eventually karma will catch up to those who cheat and it might be best just to let things take their own course. Remember, you can’t get ahead in life if you just keep trying to get even.

There are still so many things to talk about with cheating but I think the best way to end would be with this situation that I found from Julie Rose's status.*Rafiki hits Simba* SIMBA: "Ow jeez what was that for?!" RAFIKI: "It doesn't matter! It's in the past!" I feel like this is a good end to this note and while it can apply to many situations, I think it is a good policy when dealing with cheating. Another quote that fits into what I’m getting at is when Victor Dimaria wrote about how "Time heals all wounds, but it doesn't dull the sword." When it comes to cheating, you will obviously get hurt if you are on the receiving end of it. It is an intense feeling of betrayal if someone you know cheats and takes advantage of you. But the thing with this situation is that time will always go on. Like I said before about people learning and adapting and realizing their mistakes, you can’t consider or judge someone for what they were in the past. While it does have a definite impact on their reputation and what others think of them, it won’t necessarily determine how they will act for the rest of their lives. If people are more prone to certain behaviors than others you can start to expect things but don’t expect your judgments of others to be correct, especially if your basis for judgment happened a long time ago. If someone cheated you in some shape or form, that doesn’t necessarily mean they will do it again. You need to practice forgiveness or else you will have a tough time finding people that you can trust 100% of the time because I’m pretty sure that isn’t even humanely possible. I know I am using a lot of quotes here but the Bob Marley quote about how everyone will hurt you in life; you just gotta find the ones worth suffering for fits well here too. You need to be aware of what people have done but that doesn’t mean they should lose all trust from you till the end of time, unless what they did was drastic enough. There will be time before that trust can be rebuilt but you need to be able to move on and you need to continue on with your life, regardless of the situation. Practicing this may be hard, but if you can master it you can get almost anywhere in life no matter what people have done to you.

-Allan Nicholas

No comments:

Post a Comment