Does the End Justify the Means?

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Write a response to the question, "Does the end justify the means?" Give examples of when the ends justifies the means and when it doesn't. Post your response as a reply to this topic. Read other's responses and feel free to comment on other's threads and have an open discussion. The ends justifying the means is extremely difficult to generalize. The answer is much more complex than a simple yes or no. Quite often, if not most of the time, the end does not justify the means. But sometimes it can happen. A person’s answer could depend on several things; their situation, how they were raised, what country they are from, etc... If a person was raised with religious values and taught it is wrong to steal, would they steal if they had a family that was dying from starvation? Here in lies the dilemma. If the only way for their family to eat and avoid starvation (ends) involves the act of stealing (means) does this mean it’s okay because it’s a good act? What if the person is caught and goes to jail? Now the family starves and the person cannot help in any means. This would be considered a bad consequence and therein, a bad act. If you held to the philosophy of Consequentialism you might say, “Yes, the ends do justify the means.” But what if the laws were broken by the same people who enforce them? For instance; a police officer who gives a drug dealer or thief a free pass if they provide information on a higher value criminal. Is the law subjective for this person who is
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