2. Ethnocentrism is unacceptable. Sociologists like to teach others that it is wrong to judge other cultures by the standards of one’s own culture. Such judgments are called “ethnocentric.” This concept has slowly crept into mainstream liberal thinking. That is unfortunate because promoting anti-ethnocentrism is problematic for at least two reasons: 1. it tends to undermine the idea that one’s actions (including cheating) can be considered objectively wrong. 2. It renders efforts to condemn a “culture of cheating” hypocritical. Remember that we aren’t supposed to judge other cultures!
3. Punishment is ineffective. Sociologists routinely teach the liberal idea that punishment is ineffective and the corresponding idea that “society” has an obligation to rehabilitate criminals. Then, in their own syllabi, they warn students that cheating will be punished. Claiming to be shocked when their threats are ignored, they send students through the campus penal system, not through rehabilitation. And the liberal campus penal system can be quite punitive and dismissive of due process. No attorneys, no tape recorders, no note taking, no soup … oops! I mean, no due process for you!
In a nutshell, sociology, like modern liberalism, teaches that we can’t get by on our own merits, we should not judge other cultures, and that punishment does not work. When students cheat, however, the sociologist urges advancement through one’s own merits, condemnation of the culture of cheating, and punishment of the transgressor.
It is little wonder that many students are intellectually lost and morally confused. They make the mistake of taking their sociology professors seriously, which means buying into contradictory liberal ideas. So my advice is two-fold: First, don’t cheat in college because it is objectively wrong to do so. Second, don’t cheat yourself by choosing a major populated by hypocrites who cannot abide by the consequences of their own ideas.
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