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  • Daniel Golden

Student Struggles to Cheat on Ethics Exam



Crib sheets, hand signals, and putting a prof on the rack are well-established methods for acing your exams without resorting to studying. For most students on campus, such humdrum acts of academic dishonesty are a no-brainer. But for Aris S. Mill, a Eudaimonia-seeking 3rd-year Philosophy student, an upcoming exam poses a normative ethical conundrum.


“There must be some sort of golden mean!” reflects Mill, recklessly rummaging through reams of Rawls. “On the one hand, if it’s wrong to lie to an axe-wielding Rotman student when he asks about your roommate's whereabouts, a fortiori it would be wholly impermissible to cheat on an exam. On the other hand, if I pass this course I might just die of happiness. Wouldn’t my end justify the means?”


Seeking advice in tackling this deontological dilemma, Rawls approached numerous groups on campus with little success. The tenured meta-ethicists he consulted showed complete disinterest in his case, insulted by the implication that their research might be applicable to the actual world. The department for Ethics, Society, and Law was similarly unsympathetic, claiming to be “too busy” organizing study sessions, pub nights, and bank heists. Even esteemed members of the clergy heatedly debating the Shroud of Turin outside Kelly Library were of little help, mentioning something about eyes for eyes and teeth for teeth which hardly seemed relevant.


It remains to be seen whether Mill will succeed in resisting the path of moral turpitude. But no matter what he decides, the looming break promises something to look forward to. “After a strenuous semester on the straight and narrow,” pontificates Mill “I want nothing more than a quiet couple of weeks, just me and my roommate’s girlfriend. I may still not understand the difference between Kant and Nietzsche, virtue ethics and consequentialism, right and wrong, but one thing I do know. Whoever said to love your neighbour’s girlfriend like you love yourself, that guy spoke the fucking truth”

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