Or should there be honor among thieves?
A few days ago I posted this thread on the subject of writing an academic paper for my boss’s son. Before anyone goes nuclear over the notion, let me point you to post 89 of that thread, in which the plagiarism issue is rendered moot.
But I don’t want to talk about cheating or workplace politics. What I’d like to discuss is the suggestion of several Dopers that I should take the money, write the paper, and then anonymously inform on the kid; or take the money and deliberately write a bad paper. These posters’ reasoning seems to be that, since the boss’s suggestion was dishonest, it is justified to take his money and screw him.
This seems insupportable to me. As Dylan wrote, “To live outside the law, you must first be honest.” If you take money from someone to do a job, knowing in advance the nature of that task, you then take on an ethical obligation to do that job to the best of your ability and not to deliberately undercut the aim of that job. If the work is so abhorrent to you that you are tempted to betray your confederate, you shouldn’t take money for it to begin with.
But that’s just my position. Anybody care to argue the contrary?