In the two articles, "Lying for Love in the Modern Age, Deception in Online Dating" and "Exoneration of Serious Wrongdoing via Confession to a Lesser Offense," the two authors describe different ways in which people lie to one another in the modern world. The major difference between the two presented categories of deception is the way in which it affects others. "Lying for Love in the Modern Age, Deception in Online Dating" deals with how human beings lie to one another in a romantic context. The online age has made it easier for potential partners to win over another person without having to be honest about anything in their lives. When a person signs up for an online dating site, or goes into a chat room, they present themselves to the audience in a certain way which can very well have no similarity to their true selves. They can give themselves credentials and a new job, a new physique and attach a Google image to complete the picture. There is no way for the person communicating with that individual to know whether or not the image that they present is the truth or not, until they meet face-to-face by which time it is possible that an emotional investment may have been made. The second article, "Exoneration of Serious Wrongdoing via Confession to a Lesser Offense" deals with an altogether different form of deception. This is about when a person has committed a crime or some other form of wrongdoing. Instead of confessing to the proper titled crime, people will often plead down to a lesser crime so that they will spend less time in prison or have to pay a lesser fine. One such example is when a person has committed a murder and they will plead to manslaughter because the penalty is less severe. This way, the person is confessing to responsibility for an action, but they are not admitting the whole truth about their crimes because they wish to avoid as much punishment as possible.
B) How are these contexts and deceptions alike?
In the two articles "Lying for Love in the Modern Age, Deception in Online Dating" and "Exonerations of Serious Wrongdoing via Confessions to a Lesser Offense," the authors describe different types of deception which occur and are perpetrated for altogether different reasons but which are similar in form. There is a degree of similarity that occurs between the two types of deception discussed in the articles. Each is a deception which is based on a false representation of the self for the benefit of the person who is perpetrating the deception. In the first article, the people online choose to lie about who they are in order to win over the person who they are corresponding with either in a chat room or on some dating website. There is an option to speak the truth about yourself, but the less appealing you are the less likely it is that you will find someone willing to engage in discourse. Therefore in this setting, the person wants to make themselves seem the most enticing which leads to exaggerations or outright lies about their real identity, personality, and physical characteristics. The second article deals with men and women who also intentionally misrepresent themselves in order to achieve something at the expense and with the mistrust of others. In occasions where they are being investigated from criminal conduct, it is in the best interest of the individual to make themselves seem as innocent as possible. These persons tell the prosecutors, the judges, and the jury anything and everything which will make them seem sympathetic. People will modify the truth in order to save themselves. By falsifying the truth about themselves and their actions it is possible to receive a lighter sentence and to have a life beyond their current state. In each case, the subject benefits by being deceptive, often at the disadvantage or disinterest of another person or persons. These kinds of deceptions are entirely selfish ones.
C) Using another real life incident, not yet discussed, explain how this knowledge might or might not have resulted in a different outcome.
One particular example of deception that comes to mind are the cases of Bernie Madoff and ENRON, two examples of business malfeasance and deception which occurred in the early 21st century. Decisions made for business can often be tricky. When conducting business, people have to be aware of the potential ethical difficulties of given situations. History is a written record of individuals making choices to benefit the individual rather than the common good. Greed, once something to be vilified as one of the seven deadly sins, is now something of a virtue; a quality to be admired and something to be strived for. In the news over the last few years have been cases wherein one person or a small group of people caused the financial ruin of many others because of their own selfishness. These people chose to make unethical decisions in order to maintain a pretense of success even though their financial situation was precarious to say the least. The pyramid scheme perpetrated by Bernie Madoff and the corporate chicanery performed by the Enron Company are two of the most egregious of violations of business ethics in recent memory and a perfect ideal of the power of deception.
Bernie Madoff is currently serving a lengthy prison sentence for his involvement in the perpetration of a Ponzi scheme; a total of 150 years. In such a scheme, named after the most famous perpetrators of the crime, investors give money to an individual, such as Madoff, who they believe is a credible stockbroker. He uses false investment returns to build up a reputation as a man who will increase their holdings and better their financial position. To do this, he or she will pay off the initial investor with their own money, thereby making it appear that the stocks the person chose have not only paid off handsomely, but have done so in a miraculously short period of time (Peck 2011,-page 5). The alleged stockbroker is not actually investing his clients' money at all. This continues ad infinitum until the scheme is discovered and the bottom fall out. All of the previous investors are paid off by the money of the new investors. The continuation of this process requires a constant influx of new investors to pay off the former ones.
The very practice of a Ponzi scheme requires the individual who creates it to work on gaining money through dishonest and nefarious means. Since there are no actual stocks, the person committing the crime cannot be doing so either inadvertently or accidentally. A Ponzi scheme can only be enacted by someone with intelligence and knowledge of the stock market. Therefore, the person has to abuse not the trust of unsuspecting individuals, but also the legitimate knowledge they possess of the stock market and investing (Markopolos 2010,-page 52). Stockbrokers have various laws and overseers which prevent them from making unethical choices; or at the very least there are laws that punish those who commit violations of stock exchange laws. The creation of a pyramid scheme is based upon illegal and unethical purposes. However, some unethical business practices will appear coming from a hitherto ethical and legal situation.
The Enron Corporation will go down in history not for its record as an energy conglomerate, but for the unethical and illegal practices of a few top executives. For six years, Enron placed on the Forbes list of most influential or progressive companies. However, in 2001, it came to light that the astronomical value of Enron stock and the unbelievable profits made by the company were fraudulent and fictitious. When the company…