Choose a topic from Part 2B:

77. Cheating

1. Cheating is an injustice most commonly associated withbuying and selling. It is cheating to sell a thing at an exorbitantprice, and it is cheating to sell fraudulently by offering shamgoods for true, or by giving short measure. The worth of a thing,which determines the just price at which it should be sold, is notonly the value of the thing in itself, but the value that it has tothe buyer or the seller.

2. If there is a substantial fault or flaw in goods sold,and the seller knows it and is silent, while the buyer does notdiscover it, the sale is unlawful, fraudulent, and unjust. Otherfraudulent sales are those involving short weight or measure, andthose of inferior goods sold as goods of superior quality. In casessuch as these, the seller does wrong, and is bound to restitution.If, however, the seller is unaware of the fraudulent character ofhis sales, he does not sin, but, when he learns of the injury done,he must compensate the buyer. And if a buyer takes advantage of theignorance or mistake of a salesman to get superior goods for theprice of inferior goods, the buyer is bound to restitution.

3. If defects in goods salable are manifest (as, forinstance, if a horse offered for sale has only one eye, or ifapples on the market are spotted or small), the seller has no needto declare these defects. But when defects are hidden andundeclared, the sale of defective goods is fraudulent. St. Ambrosesays (De Offic. iii): "In all contracts, the defectsof the salable commodity must be declared . . . otherwise, thecontract is voided."

4. For a tradesman to charge more for a thing than hehimself paid for it, is not cheating. His work of trading confers abenefit; he puts needed or desirable goods at the command andconvenience of the buyer. For this service he deserves justrecompense. But to make unreasonably great profit by overchargingis cheating.

"God commands not impossibilities, but by commanding he suggests to you to do what you can, to ask for what is beyond your strength; and he helps you, that you may be able."
St Augustine

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"Those who love God are always happy, because their whole happiness is to fulfill, even in adversity, the will of God."
St Alphonsus de Liguori

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"Try to turn your heart from the love of things visible and bring yourself to things invisible. For they who follow their own evil passions stain their consciences and lose the grace of God. "
Thomas á Kempis

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