A Means to an End

A question people have considered is if ends justify means. There are multiple ways to accomplish tasks and goals, but some methods traipse over others’ rights. These ends can be great, yet lack moral and ethical integrity, just ask the makers of Soylent Green. Integrity is most notably described as the quality of being honest or fair. As an applicant for a Master of Science maintaining one’s integrity can be difficult. Does receiving a degree justify using another person’s work without recognition?

This question prompts the need for a discussion about academic integrity. Academic integrity has its place in all academic institutions and must be understood to be avoided. The International Center for Academic Integrity holds to six core values: honesty, truth, fairness, respect, responsibility, and courage. What this institution is trying to arrive at is a level of recognition for the work people have undergone already. Being up front about using others’ work and explaining what caused someone to arrive at an idea or position is important. John of Salisbury once said “We are like dwarfs sitting on the shoulders of giants. We see more, and things that are more distant, than they did, not because our sight is superior or because we are taller than they, but because they raise us up, and by their great stature add to ours.” This describes how we have used the work of previous people to stand upon and make new insights with the foundation provided.

Working within Ball State also has implications as the institution also holds closely to a need for academic integrity as displayed on their website. Section VII of the student code discusses the student academic ethics policy and the lengthy process undergone when the policy is not met by students. These policies and measures taken to ensure the code is followed displays the need for academic integrity across campuses and the weight placed on it by academic institutions.

The ends do not justify the means when a lack of academic integrity is in play. It is imperative a person considers what process is undertaken for achievement. Without consideration of means, the ends may have serious consequences and repercussions. One must not compromise integrity to achieve a short-term goal as the long-term implications are far worse than the near-sighted gains.

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