The extent to which Cheating, Lying, Stealing and Breaking Promises have an Effect upon Society

The extent to which Cheating, Lying, Stealing and Breaking Promises have an Effect upon Society

The moral aspects of cheating, lying, stealing, and breaking promises remain the most significant and least tolerable ethical violation performed by humans. These particular virtues do not directly violate the life principle’s value. Still, they involve violations of the various tenets of honesty and truth-telling, fairness and justice, and rightness or goodness (Kleinlogel, Joerg and John 159). The virtues also serve as violations of individual freedom principles since they deem to provide unfounded freedom to an executor but refute freedom to a victim of the violations. The performance of such virtues results in various effects on society. The research paper seeks to discuss the extent to which lying, cheating, breaking promises, and stealing have an impact on society.

Philosophical Viewpoints


The utilitarianism philosophical view’s ideology concentrates on whether specific actions such as lying, stealing, cheating, and breaking promises remain morally wrong or right depends on their actual effects on the society and the victim. The viewpoint only values the bad or good outcomes such virtues generate (Ng 19). Act utilitarian concentrates on the impact of personal actions while rule utilitarian concentrates on the effects of the kinds of actions. The utilitarianism perspective illustrates that the critical reason for morality remains to make people’s lives better through the increment of better things in society and to reduce the bad stuff. Moreover, utilitarian individuals believe that what justifies morality as true is the positive addition it brings humans.

Categorical Imperative

The categorical imperative principle is a moral principle that informs humans if some actions remain precisely right or wrong. The policy states that one should act only on that maxim through which one can, at the same time, will that it ought to become a universal law (Mulia, Ajit, and Sarita 30). In this case, to determine the morality of such issues, one must take a particular action first, like lying. Secondly, the person should establish the maxim behind the actions of lying. Thirdly, the person should analyze what the maxim could look like if it became international law, and one could practice lying all the time. Lastly, if the rule sounds reasonable, then it is morally right, but if not, then it remains ethically wrong.


            Lying is among the everyday wrong acts among humans. Lying involves saying something to provide a false impression (Jiang and Dali 601). Societal moral asserts that lying remains as a sinful act, except when someone has a good reason to lie. For this reason, lying is never wrong. A lie passes some information, deceives or misleads, and liars know what they say remains untrue.

Lying has both negative and positive effects on society. People consider lying as wrong in society because it hinders the development and maintenance of trust among and between humans. Lying makes life challenging in societies since if there was no truth, no one could believe or trust anything said or written hence forcing everyone to establish the authenticity by him or herself (Jiang and Dali 610). For instance, if doctors lied to patients about their sickness throughout the world, then society would experience an increasingly unhealthy population. Moreover, from a categorical imperative, if everyone lied, the society would become hostile and inhabitable; hence it remains wrong to lie to another person. Lying violates the freedom of the victim since the liar utilizes the victim as a means to an end. Lying hinders the victims in society to reach an informed and free decision on the issue at hand.

Nevertheless, lying could benefit society to some extent. Lying makes people in society feel better, develop, and maintain relationships. Lies that arise due to compassion helps people in society to formulate and sustain broad social networks that help them develop economically, socially, and even politically (Jiang and Dali 620). Lying also allows countries to maintain their national security. For example, politicians lie to ordinary citizens to enable them to win an election that will allow them to develop economically. Therefore, lying benefits the society in creating social networks but also brings problems by bringing a lack of trust, making life challenging.


Cheating involves deceiving someone through a particularly tricky with intent to mislead. Societies consider cheating as wrong, but to some level, cheating benefits society. Various scholars indicate that cheating affects society by promoting unjust and unfairness to vulnerable populations (Kleinlogel, Joerg, and John 160). For example, politicians lie to the poor making huge promises that they never met hence using them as a means to an end. Such occurrence brings about unjust and unfairness in society. Cheating promotes falsified qualifications in society. For instance, medical students cheat in their exams, acquiring falsified skills. Such falsified qualifications enable them to treat people in society resulting in increased deaths and unhealthy populations.

Cheating helps some people to survive and win against tough odds in society. For instance, a good politician with a developmental mind could cheat in an election to defeat a bad politician with a corrupt mentality hence helping the society to develop (Kleinlogel, Joerg and John 163). Scholars have also indicated that cheating could help society prevent serious problems like death. In this case, if some people want to kill someone for stealing, then someone cheats that he or she has escaped by hiding the person, then such cheating benefits society by saving a life.

Breaking Promises

A promise involves a declaration from a person or institution that one would or would not perform something. Moreover, a promise consists of some agreement between two or more individuals. For this reason, breaking a promise made demonstrates a sense of dishonesty hence affects the functionality of the society (Mouritsen and Kristian 25). A promise entails someone’s word that shows his or her reputation and integrity. For this reason, the breaking of promises brings various effects on society. Promise breaking results in the destruction of social trust between individuals, individuals versus societal institutions hence making life challenging as nothing people could develop is they have no confidence in one another. For instance, people would lack trust in anti-corruption commissions by believing that they never keep promises of eliminating corruption among political leaders. Unfulfilled promises in society destroy individual relationships as people break-up due to broken promises. Consequently, broken promises result in loss of one’s integrity.

Broken promises benefit society by helping society adjust during changed situations. For instance, if a politician broke a promise of building a class and decided to provide facemask for community members as an initiative for preventing Covid-19 infection, it benefits the society to break such a promise under the new circumstances. Moral conflicts could also result in breaking promises (Mouritsen and Kristian 25). The unusual situation might make people break promises and benefit society. For instance, when a leader breaks a promise of buying an ambulance for a borehole shows how breaking a promise might become beneficial to society.


            Stealing involves taking something minus the permission or right of the owner. Some scholars demonstrate through research that stealing remains wrong and affects society negatively (Bignon, Eve, and Roberto 19). However, in some situations, stealing remains the right thing based on the positivity of reason for stealing. Stealing affects society negatively because it kills trust among individuals. In this case, without assurance, society faces challenges in carrying out development plans that benefit society. Stealing also results in an invasion of privacy in the society resulting in increased violent conflicts that arise in poverty hence the inadequate social development of society.

Stealing could also help society to develop positively. For instance, when the Russian secret agents steal other government secrets on business, it helps the country to move ahead of other countries economically (Bignon, Eve, and Roberto 22). Stealing also helps governments through their militaries to keep or know other countries’ military secrets. A crucial emergency might require someone to steal to benefit society. For instance, if an individual steals a car to take a patient to the hospital that saves a life hence helping the society and the country by saving a taxpayer who would pay taxes to enable government runs its budgets.


            People consider various virtues such as stealing, breaking promises, lying, and stealing remain the worst actions in any society. However, based on the purpose or the contribution that action might bring to society, it might serve as a benefit to society hence not a wrong action as it promotes positivity in society. Each of these actions remains either wrong or right based on morals set by society. However, depending on the reason or the purpose why someone could lie, cheat, still or break a promise, it could again serve as a good and right moral to the society.

Work Cited

Bignon, Vincent, Eve Caroli, and Roberto Galbiati. “Stealing to survive? Crime and income shocks in nineteenth-century France.” The Economic Journal 127.599 (2017): 19-49.

Jiang, Junyan, and Dali L. Yang. “Lying or believing? Measuring preference falsification from a political purge in China.” Comparative Political Studies 49.5 (2016): 600-634.

Kleinlogel, Emmanuelle P., Joerg Dietz, and John Antonakis. “Lucky, competent, or just a cheat? Interactive effects of honesty-humility and moral cues on cheating behavior.” Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin 44.2 (2018): 158-172.

Mouritsen, Jan, and Kristian Kreiner. “Accounting, decisions, and promises.” Accounting, Organizations, and Society 49 (2016): 21-31.

Mulia, Pankojini, Ajit Behura, and Sarita Kar. “Categorical Imperative in Defense of Strong Sustainability.” Problemy Ekorozwoju–Problems of Sustainable Development 11.2 (2016): 29-36.

Ng, Yew-Kwang. “Utilitarianism generalized to include animals.” Animal Sentience 1.7 (2016): 19.

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