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Thread: More Important? Means Or The End?

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    More Important? Means Or The End?

    As the title suggests, which is more important the means or the end?

    A good example of the end being justifies the means is one Maximilien Robespierre "The Incorruptible" of the French Revolution. Here is a man that beheaded anyone that spoke ill of how the country was being run during the French Revolution and was only killed and peace and democracy finally attained when Mr Max was beheaded for everyone to see. Certainly he can be called a black stain on French History, but without a doubt his methods of secret police and calling everyone that stands against him a terrorists traitor that deserves death kept the stability of the French nation when so many were looking for reasons to go back to the King run state instead of a democracy.

    An example of a means justifying the end would be Martin Luther King Jr. not raising a hand in anger for what the blacks went through and instead advocated peaceful protests, and it was mostly thanks to this kind of peaceful gathering that blacks are treated equally today.

    So which side is more important? The means side which, hopefully, keeps a high standard of morals for an end that might not come, or the end which throws morals out the window and most times brutally abuse human rights, but which the end is a golden paradise with manna from heaven coming out of the water tap?

    The idea is to think for each example to put yourself in the place of a citizen living through either the means or the end. A person living through the means is someone that might be living morally (or not), but with no end in sight for the turmoil they are living in while the citizen living in the end has seen such atrocities to get to the perfect end and now has to wonder if it was all worth it.

    I am mostly in the middle, but leaning on the side of the end justifying the means because a large population, say 25 million, i a country needs a forceful awakening every once in a while to wake them up from their stupor of everyday life, and only something that threatens most, if not all, of them will do the trick. An example is the recent SOPA/PIPA Bills that threatens most people in America.

    However I am also of the other side because for smaller communities such as a public forum there is rarely the need for such drastic means and mostly it can be discussed openly among the few people.

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    Re: More Important? Means Or The End?

    Hmm...in my opinion, the ends always justify the means. If I had to say impriosn or kill ten people to save ten-thousand, I would. I don't aim to be a hero, just to do what needs done.
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    Re: More Important? Means Or The End?

    So your [disgustingly broad] question is: given a problem statement, is the derivation of the solution (the 'means') more important, or the solution ('end') itself?

    When spoken that way, it's quite obvious that the means and ends of *every* problem is equally important. Without an end, there is no point to exercising a means. Without means, no end can be found.

    A problem could have:

    -no means, therefore no ends

    - one mean and one end

    -one mean and many ends

    -many means and one end

    -many means and many ends (hint: most problems, if examined enough, are this one)

    Because a problem has one end and many means does not make the means any less important. And since the reality is nearly every problem has many (maybe even infinite) means and ends, the importance of both is equally significant.

    Simple way to think of it: If you're hungry, you need food to satisfy your hunger (the end). What you choose to satisfy your hunger could be limitless and maybe even seem arbitrary (the means), but if you don't pick anything to eat, you'll still be hungry (be without an end).

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