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Imagine a college student (Jerry) coming to another student (Jim) for advise. Jerry shows Jim (but doesn’t open up) a manila folder that he says contains the actual test that he is taking tomorrow. He came by it innocently and no one will ever find out that he has it. Jim is not in the class. Jerry knows that he could use this test to cheat – all he needs to do is find the answers before tomorrow. He asks Jim – what should I do? Should I cheat?
Jim ponders this question carefully, because his own good grades (no one knows this) are largely due to the fact that he has been a very successful cheater. In fact, obtaining the test early is a method he has used several times. Lately he is being convicted that this is wrong and that he should stop this practice. But in any case, he will not be telling Jim about this habit.
So Jim ponders the question posed to him by Jerry. Jim feels that it would be wrong for Jerry to use the test – Jim knows first hand that it will damage Jerry’s character. But he just cheated on a significant test yesterday.
So if he tells Jerry not to cheat, it will be hypocrisy.
I think Jim should be a hypocrite and advise his friend to throw the test away without looking at it.
Do you agree?