Posted : Thursday, Nov 28, 2019 at 8:44pm
Does the End justify the Means?
Imagine there is something you want, you want this thing really badly, however when you look at your current life situation you realise that you cannot get that thing now. In that moment you might feel like it is the end for you in regards to this pursuit. Then you realise something: there is another way, one that might need you to break a few rules. Would you be willing to bend the rules in order to get that which you want?
The Moral answer would be no. I believe from the get go a lot of us would answer no; it is most likely the answer which we were taught. This is the result of my generalizing in the first example, when we add actual life situations the answer might sway. What if by doing one amoral act you can take your family out of poverty, would the answer still be no? In this case you might be swayed onto the other side.
Morality is something which is very relative, something I might believe to be right today could be considered evil in a few years. I think we create moral codes to help us function as humanity, if we all act without a guide, then the world would descend into chaos (or at least that is what one assumes).
I personally cannot help but ask if there really isn’t a universal right and wrong. What I mean by this is that can we draw a line somewhere or will morality always be relative to the situation which we are in. Many countries operate with the rule of law system but we do know that our laws can change. Furthermore as much as we believe that religion can guide us, it also holds many contradictions which when we are part of a particular religion choose to ignore. It is ideal for us to believe that peace is the answer; then again one comes to realize that war had also benefited humanity especially in regards to innovation. The more you think about it, is the more you go around in circles. This is a topic that can depress many but since I opened this can of worms I must follow my thought process.
Going back to the first situation of one wanting something but resorting to amorality to get it; if this situation involves like the example of you doing one bad act in order to create greater good. This doesn’t turn the act into a good one rather only the conclusion was good; therefore in any way you look at it you did get your hands dirty. What this means for me at this point of my thinking is that, you ultimately know that what you have done is ‘wrong’ and you have chosen to act in this way in order to gain something.
Also my using a greater good situation makes the act seem noble. What if I just want something for the sake of wanting it? It is a desire of my own which doesn’t involve any one else. The end result was good for me, does the act suddenly turn wrong because the end goal was selfish. If the answer to this is yes then what this means is that morality is only relative to the justification which further sends one in circles because now the statement becomes, the means justify the ends only if there is a proper justification? It sends us in circles because the next question is: who decides which justifications are right or wrong?
How do you feel about this?
Often when this topic comes up, many people conclude by saying that: “do what you feel is right”. If we are honest this conclusion sounds like a “lets agree to disagree” situation because the answer doesn’t seem black and white, there are too many grey areas and I guess this is the case with many of the big questions about life.
As I write this I am conflicted, the way I feel and the way I think make me take different stances on the matter. So I guess today is not the day I answer the question at hand, all I can do is think about it.