Author Topic: Cheating on a test - venial or mortal sin?  (Read 4208 times)

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Offline Meg

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Cheating on a test - venial or mortal sin?
« Reply #15 on: December 12, 2014, 11:11:54 AM »
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  • Quote from: Matthew
    Quote from: Meg
    If it's a lie that doesn't hurt or harm anyone, then isn't it a venial sin? Maybe I'm wrong about that.

    But maybe the question should be this, instead of whether it's a mortal or venial sin:

    Is it unpleasing to God when someone cheats on a test? Because it seems to me that that's what we should be concerned about. If we are thinking of cheating, we should ask ourselves if God would be disappointed in us if we did so. It's out of our love for God that we should avoid sin.


    That's true -- too many people worry about "Mortal vs. Venial" like some kind of modern-day Pharisees, and you know that if the verdict is "venial" then the course of action will be "fire away!"

    Speaking of fire -- read the book Purgatory, it will give you a healthy fear of committing even venial sin. Or read the Forty Dreams of St. John Bosco (TAN).



    Good advice. I'll try to find those books.

    Offline Centroamerica

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    Re: Cheating on a test - venial or mortal sin?
    « Reply #16 on: April 10, 2018, 05:23:47 PM »
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  • I got all scrupulous about this the other day. In a tech math electrician course there's like a mutual help understood between the guy that sits beside me. We'll help each other out with explanations and things like that. Not so much as copying answers but it could constitute that at times with our help by showing what we got not really even sure if our answer is right. He came later than usual on our last test (not really a serious test), and I showed him my explanation in written words of how to divide and multiply in scientific notation.

    Well, after I did that it dawned on me that it could be considered cheating and be therefore a sin. The teacher would not care or say anything about it and no consequences would come of it. Sure he knows people do it as long as it isn't flagrant cheating. Little helps about explanations or comparing answers. 

    After, I did it I decided I was scrupulous and better not do it again because my judgement was clouded about what or if a sin or the nature of sin involved.

    How should I approach this next time? Was there any sin involved?
    We conclude logically that religion can give an efficacious and truly realistic answer to the great modern problems only if it is a religion that is profoundly lived, not simply a superficial and cheap religion made up of some vocal prayers and some ceremonies...


    Offline forlorn

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    Re: Cheating on a test - venial or mortal sin?
    « Reply #17 on: April 17, 2018, 02:53:57 PM »
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  • It is a mortal sin.

    Uhm, no; not necessarily.

    There are many things that could change the nature of the sin.  Did someone just cheat on one question and raise the score from a 90 to a 95?  What is the importance of the exam and the consequences of cheating?  Was someone else defrauded of something based on the cheating?

    It depends on the consequences and the circumstances.  So, for instance, if someone cheated on their medical boards and became certified as a doctor only as a result of cheating, that would likely constitute a grave sin.  If cheating allowed you to get a scholarship you didn't otherwise deserve.  There are lots of factors involved.  Just ask a priest and explain all the circumstances.  There's also the subjective disposition up front.  Did the person think it was a mortal sin before or during the act and will to do it anyway?  It's not easy and should not be answered definitively by the untrained members of an internet forum.
    Why would the consequences affect how serious a sin it is? Surely it should be the person's intended consequences. For example, we can do good deeds and accidentally cause bad consequences. For example, a man in WW1 spared Hitler. Had he cruelly executed the wounded Hitler then, he may have prevented WW2 and saved millions of lives. But there was no way he could have known that, and it certainly was not a sin. His act was an act of mercy and charity, and executing Hitler would've been a mortal sin, even if the latter might've had better consequences for the world.

    Similarly, if one cheats *thinking* they will rob someone else of a place, it is a serious sin whether they actually do or not. And if they do not think their cheating will adversely harm anyone else, it is a far less serious sin, even if they do end up accidentally adversely affecting someone else. The act is the same, and it is a sin either way, but it is the intent that makes one a more serious sin than the other. Not the unintended consequences.

    Offline Cera

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    Re: Cheating on a test - venial or mortal sin?
    « Reply #18 on: April 22, 2018, 05:59:47 PM »
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  • I can't believe the rationalizations given here as an excuse to sin.

     If you think about whether or not to do something you know to be wrong, and you decide to offend God anyway and if it is a serious matter, (which stealing is), then it is a mortal sin.

    Stealing a grade that does not belong to you is the same as stealing an item which does not belong to you. The enemy will tell us we are being "scrupulous" in order to get us comfortable with sin.
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