Friday, February 01, 2008

Is This Cheating?

My friend and I were debating about what is considered cheating and what would simply be considered unethical behavior. Suppose two people (call them A and B) were in a weight loss competition. Every Monday the two of them would weigh-in, and the first person to reach the target weight goal would win the contest.

Both of us agreed that the following would clearly be cheating:

a) Prior to weigh-in, A alters the mechanics of the scale resulting in a win for himself.

b) A slips some weight-gain contents into B's food without anyone else knowing.

And, we both agreed that the following would not be cheating:

a) A tells B that he has been eating a lot of fatty foods and has not been exercising lately. A has actually been eating healthy meals and also has been hitting the gym daily. The lie was told with the intention of lowering the sense of urgency and reduce the effort put forth by B.

Now, here is where we had a disagreement.

What if A invites B to get some fat-free coffee, but earlier in the day, A paid off the coffee barista so that B's "fat-free" coffee would actually include real creme and not skim milk? B accepts A's invitation, but he knows full well that they are in the middle of a competition. Would this be cheating on A's part, or would this merely constitute unethical behavior?

What do you think about A's action?
It is cheating.
It is not cheating.
It is too close to call.
Free polls from

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