Calvin and Hobbes, Ethics Test

Today at school, I tried to decide whether to cheat on my test or not. I wondered, is it better to do the right thing and fail... or is it better to do the wrong thing and succeed! On the one hand, underserved success gives no satisfaction... but on the other hand, well-deserved failure gives no satisfaction either. Of course, most everybody cheats some time or other. People always bend the rules if they think they can get away with it. ...then again, that doesn't justify MY cheating. Then I thought, look, cheating on one little test isn't such a big deal. It doesn't hurt anyone. ...but then I wondered if I was just rationalizing my unwillingness to accept the consequence of my not studying. Still, in the real world, people care about success, not principles. ...then again, maybe that's why the world is in such a mess. What a dilemma! So what did you decide? Nothing. I ran out of time and had to turn in a blank paper. Anymore, simply acknowledging the issue is a moral victory. Well, it just seemed wrong to cheat on an ethics test.

September 12, 1993


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