Morality in competitive environment

This is a thread to act as an offshoot of this thread.

It is to discuss the proper morality to be used in a educational competition.

The rules talk about

Let us discuss what we believe is the “spirit and ethos of the competition”. Please no personal attacks on people who are willing to come forward and admit they did something wrong. They are examples of the problem not the problem themselves.

The CREATE Foundation, sponsors of the US Open, created an honor code that teams can choose to sign and display. They’ve been running tournaments for 10 years, and have some strong feelings about it. I’ve attached it to this post. Here’s a relevant excerpt:

“We will never lie about the status of our robot. If it is broken we will tell the truth to everyone that asks. If operational, we will tell everyone the truth about that as well. It is clear that lying about the status of our robot to some, but not others, might enhance our chance of getting on a preferred alliance. But winning a trophy is not worth sacrificing our character.”

Note that signing and displaying the Honor Code is not mandatory.
Honor Code.pdf (89.9 KB)

Competing is like running a business. you are required to be truthful with the governing powers (in this context; not tampering with motors, not fudging inspection, ect) while having no obligation to be truthful to the competition.

In competition and life, we are to follow the rules. And in this competition business the first rule is

<G1> All Teams are expected to conduct themselves in a respectful and professional manner while
competing in VEX Robotics Competition events. If a Team or any of its members (Students or any
adults associated with the Team) are disrespectful or uncivil to event staff, volunteers, or fellow
competitors, they may be Disqualified from a current or upcoming Match, or even the entirety of the
event depending on the severity of the situation. It is important to remember that we are all judged
based on how we deal with adversity. It is important that we all exhibit maturity and class when
dealing with any difficult situations that may present themselves in both the VEX Robotics
Competition and our lives in general.

Fibbing to you, isn’t gross disrespect. Certainly not a disqualifying offence. (that was the issue discussed in the thread mentioned)

throwing a match (IF IT CAN BE PROVEN) or threatening to, yes disrespect.

If VRC is preparation for life - take a look at the National Society of Professional Engineers Code of Ethics:

Code of Ethics

Many professions have similar code of ethics - layers, doctors, etc. Your conduct in these professions are watched and you can be removed from professional practice for not following code of ethics.

I would hope for teams to strive for the highest bar of integrity as possible.

And lying is a professional manner?

I know, I work as an engineer. Its my Job and I would not lie to the people that pay me. I took an ethics class in college and nowhere did it say you should be completely open and honest to competition in a marketplace.

I am not obligated to harm myself or my interests by being honest with you.

I think that in most situations, like the one with infinity minus one, a person would not be required to say anything, which I would think that saying nothing would neither help nor hurt anyone, but when a decision is made to lie, that is not an obligation to avoid harm, but rather a choice to gain an advantage.

Easy, honesty and integrity in all things.

fair point, lets say you ask me “what’s your autonomous?” I know you are playing my team in Qxxx, so I lie and you take that as the honest truth. Is it my fault you didn’t take the time to watch my match?

Yeah cheating sounds good at first, proving to the best robot you’re the best, lying to all the other alliance captains, then tanking every match sounds like a sure fire way to win a tournament but there’s so much more at stake than one tournament. I’ve almost thrown several matches and I’ve almost lied several times but every single time I haven’t because the teams who see you throw a match and the teams that are on your alliance when you throw a match and the teams you lie to will never pick you. Not only that but they will be less likely to pick your teammates. On the other side, if you’ve been honest and you tell a team “we just fixed our robot pick us” or “we have had nothing but pushbot partners please pick us” they’re a lot more likely to pick you.
The squires at state new winning their last match would throw them into the dreaded 15th or 16th place and they won because they knew having a reputation of integrity is better than having a better chance of winning state. Because of our program’s integrity, my team was selected by the second best alliance and sent to worlds even though we had pushbots all day and were ranked badly.

I don’t know why you are asking me if its my duty to know or verify whether or not you are lying? The question is whether or not it is okay for you to lie about your autonomous in the first place.

To answer your question, though, I have found robotics teams to be dishonest and deceitful at times, so I always try to verify what teams say about themselves. It really makes me mad when teams do this, and I don’t find it to be moral or right in any way whatsoever, but I deal with it anyway.

Asking hard questions expands thought process.

Our teams would just not answer, but goodness we’ve had team straight up lie, and that’s fair play. It’s on us to verify.

it might be better for us to all accept the fact that were human and make mistakes no one is perfect NO ONE

So you are saying that it is okay to lie as long as the person you are lying to has the ability to verify whether or not you are lying to them? I do not agree with this at all.

Not saying its “okay” just that it happens and there is absolutely nothing we can do to stop it. literally nothing. So instead of wasting precious time morally policing other people, just move on and be less stressed.

I would like to offer the Caltech Honor Code in this discussion: “No member of the Caltech community shall take unfair advantage of any other member of the Caltech community.” Replace “Caltech” with “VRC” and see what you think.

Why not add a terms on the inspection sheet (basically next to where your team puts a signature) that says that you will abide by the rules as well as telling the truth no matter what occasion.

Give the CREATE Honor Code a read. It has competitive robotic specific stuff in it. In my first post above.