Case Study on Cheating Using Kant and Mill: John’s Ethical Dilemma (330 words)

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Question

Consider this ethical dilemma:

To cheat or not to cheat is John’s moral dilemma. What would Kant and John Stuart Mill advise John to do and why?

Solution Preview

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John is a hard working, B average student completing his last semester at college. He has one final exam left, but gets sick a week before the exam. John cannot study as well as he normally would and cannot take an incomplete. John has been offered a good job, on condition that he pass all of his classes. His family (an invalid, widowed mother and two young sisters) are depending on John for their livelihood. John’s friend Frank offers to let John copy his exam. John is tempted to cheat but is normally very honest and feels a deep moral conflict. He decides to appeal to two great moral philosophers, Immanuel Kant and J. S. Mill, and wonders how each would advise him....

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