John T. Willis

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Lying, Deceit, Dishonesty, Trickery, Hypocrisy--Part II

As we continue our thoughts about the importance of SPEECH, we turn now to another aspect of dishonesty: EDUCATION. Personally, I have been deeply involved in professional education for over 55 years, so I know from the inside out many of the problems which emerge in dishonesty in education. It would not be helpful or uplifting to enumerate specific situations which I know personally about educational dishonesty, but there aree several areas which call for discussion and consideration and [hopefully] change or spiritual transformation.

Introductory biblical texts might heighten the issue.

Jeremiah 8:8:
"How can you say, 'We are wise,
and the law of the Lord is with us,'
when, in fact, the FALSE pen of the scribes
has made it into a LIE?"

Psalm 52:1-4:
"Why do you boast, O mighty one,
or mischief done against the godly?
All day long you are plotting destruction.
Your tongue is like a sharp razor,
you worker of TREACHERY.
You love evil more than good,
and LYING more than speaking the truth.
You love all words that devour,
O DECEITFUL tongue."

Kenneth T. Aitken writes: "As the saying has said, 'A lie has no legs.' The lie told to save face, to get oneself out of trouble, or to gain some small advantage, as well as the web of deceit spun by the practised and fluent liar, have no substance in reality, and sooner or later the liar will be found out. Truth must out, for it alone 'endures.'" (The Daily Study Bible Series on Proverbs, Philadelphia: Westminster Press, 1986, page 135).

Here are some areas for serious consideration:

*The American educational system is driven by exorbitant money, prestige, alluring and enticing jobs, a targeted pool of wealthy philanthropists, promising elderly people who own large estates, and multimillionaires and multimillion companies, published books and articles. These drives may be wholesome in some cases, but in many cases, the temptations to be dishonest are too overbearing. Here are two current types of situations under this category.

1. A rising teacher or professor is under constant stress to publish books and articles. Many people cannot tolerate this pressure. A teacher or professor may mistreat, ignore, or incorrectly evaluate his or her students' work and grades. He or she may plagiarize the work of another person. One of my former students became a professor in an esteemed university. At one point he or she published an article in a highly respected journal. Later, a perceptive scholar detected that work and recognized this was essentially the same article which another scholar had published a few years earlier. The university confronted and dismissed that professor. This sort of thing occurs far too often.

2. The practice of raising money for universities leads to favoring individuals or companies who have large amounts of wealth. This is certainly acceptable and honorable as long as this is honest. However, there is a tremendous temptation to present the standards and beliefs and practices of a university which are not really true. When I became a professor, I signed a contract to do certain things. One is that I will be in chapel every day five days a week. Until this day, I am present in chapel every day unless I am sick or away in another city assigned there to serve my university. There are those who do not honor certain portions of a contract.

*Among students, cheating is a widespread practice. This applies to term papers, quizzes, exams, projects, and the like. Agencies use various ways to advertise the opportunity of students to write their articles and books to get money.

It is not worth the time and money to BUY education. Education is HARD WORK. One cannot avoid this reality. When a person yields to the temptation to be dishonest in LEARNING, this hurts that person and everyone around. Just one thought. I would be horrified to find that my doctor is dishonest. He or she holds my life in his or her hand. It is HARD WORK to become a doctor.

Share YOUR dreams and ideas with others. Let me hear from YOU.

John Willis


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