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You have a dinner appointment that you are not really looking forward to. You decide to cancel it, knowing the other person might be offended. You call to cancel, but before you can, she says she's glad you called, because she has to cancel. What are the odds that you will then 'fess up, and say, "Hey, I was going to cancel anyway?"
They are mathematically approaching zero.
I almost certainly would tell her.
Okay, you want to get out of that same dinner, for the same reason, and you know the other person might be offended. The offense will be diminished if you make up a pretty convincing excuse. It involves sheer invention. Do you tell that lie?
Sure. No harm done.
Nope. A lie is a lie.
Re-gifting. A sin?
Yes. It's sleazy.
No, it's fine.
It's okay but only if the gift is nice and reasonably appropriate for the person I'm giving it to.
You are walking in a city park and find a cool thing. It's not SUPER valuable, but isn't a piece of crap, either. Let's say it’s a $50 Swiss Army Knife in good condition, or a high-quality pen. What are you most likely to do?
Leave it exactly where it is, since the person who lost it might come back for it.
Take it. It's a found object. If you leave it, you know darn well someone ELSE is going to take it.
Turn it in to a police station, or locate the parks department lost and found, and turn it in there.
You have a project due -- it is to be your own thinking about a complex subject. You are late on it, and floundering for just the right point to make. You discover a 1849 thesis by Soren Kierkegaard that exactly explains the central core of your argument, point by point. Quoting or even directly paraphrasing Kierkegaard is out of the question -- this is to be an original thesis.
What do you do?
I may use it to inform my thinking, but I will stay clear of his specific arguments, conclusions, etc. That would be theft.
I will use his thesis, but re-write it with different words, syntax, etc, so it is not findable through any plagiarism search program. I'll feel a little guilty.
I will do the above without guilt. It's NOT plagiarism, nor is it dishonest.
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