Morality and Success

In: Philosophy and Psychology

Submitted By bdandurand
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Is there a contradiction between our demand that our children be honest and moral persons and our demand that they be successful? Present the argument that there is a contradiction, and see if you can answer it.
Morality has taken a backseat to success. Today’s parents preach the same line of virtues to their children as did their parents and many parents before them; be honest and work hard and good things will come to you. But today’s children are pressured to obtain their success, by their parents and society, by often violating that very moral code, skirting the shores and sometimes diving into the troubled waters of unethical behavior. Historically, most ethical traditions culminate with the thought that just living is the way to happiness. But just as Plato offered an argument to Socrates that unjustness can lead to happiness; our children are shown by public figures, media, honored institutions and their parents, that success outshines our demand that they be honest and moral. This is a contradiction that exists in today’s society.
Most college websites state that their policy on Academic Honesty is to encourage a dynamic, open and honest intellectual climate based on the personal and academic integrity of all members. These policies mirror the virtues of parents, high schools, religious organizations, and other community platforms. Yet the pressure of these academic institutions and trusted adults in a child’s life encourages a by any means necessary approach. This is supported by a 2006 Junior Achievement teen ethics poll ( that reports, of teens polled, over 40 percent felt significant pressure to succeed in school, that more than two in ten cheated on exams, and over 80 percent of that felt increased pressure to succeed believed the situation would…...

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