Morality and Success Essay

964 Words Dec 17th, 2013 4 Pages
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
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For example, the student from the video series justifies his cheating on an exam because he believed he was at a disadvantage, since he lacked the money to purchase the study guide. Even the Ivy League is not immune. In 2013 Columbia and sister school Barnard had high profile cheating incidents, and in 2012 Harvard experienced levels of cheating seven times the norm. In a survey sent to the class of 2017 freshmen bound for Harvard, in which 80 percent participated, 1 in ten admitted to cheating on tests and 42 percent cheated on homework. In our Military Academies, honor codes are drilled into the heads of every cadet, midshipman and airman. This environment encourages fierce competition to achieve success in complex situations that are designed to eliminate even the best and brightest candidates. These military institutions pride themselves on maintaining strict honor codes that have been the cornerstones of integrity throughout time. But the demand to excel becomes the very tool that encourages the do anything to achieve mentality. Repeated incidents of cheating from 1976 through 2012, at every prestigious military academy, reinforce this contradiction of morality versus success in our society.
Aristotle believed that in order for children to consistently perform right actions, they must first be shown what is right and practice these actions until they are a habit. (SR pg 31) This is where society is not following through with this ideal.

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