2011 – National 7th Grade 2nd Place Award Winner:
Theodora Christopher, New York.
Do the Ends Justify the Means ?
Do the ends justify the means? This question examines how the end result supports the actions or behavior utilized to acquire the result. Your goals can be beneficial or they can be selfish and unnecessary. Yes I agree that the ends do justify the means however, one must adnere to their own moral code to do so. One must stay within their boundaries and beliefs for the end result to be justified by the means. Two examples that can be found in history are Gandhi and the American revolutionaries.
Both events occurred when the Indians and the Americans were angered by the British rule. Gandhi’s goal was not unlike the Americans, each wanted independence from English rule. However Gandhi and the Americans went about gaining their independence in different ways. Gandhi being a Hindu followed his philosophy, which was peace no war, no violence. He thought that the problem should be sought out peacefully. He never wavered even when threatened with death. He never lost faith and always followed his beliefs until his goals were attained. The American philosophy was give us liberty or give us death. The Americans fought the Revolutionary War in order to gain freedom from the British. The Americans came to America for freedom. They were not going to let anyone take their freedom away from them. The American’s believed that war was the only way to protect what was rightfully theirs, freedom. Freedom was the Americans motivation that drove them to fight in the war.
Two completely different philosophies to guide the different strategies both used to gain independence from the British. In order to gain independence the Americans fought in the Revolutionary War for eight long years against the British. Finally in 1783 the Americans gained freedom from the British and became an independent nation. Gandhi, on the other hand, did not promote war among the Indians and the British instead he wanted a peaceful settlement. The Indians boycotted, had protests but never fought in a war. The Indians, after many years of protesting, gained freedom from the British as well.
Each example amplifies the saying “do the ends justify the means,” although each example was executed in two different ways. There is no answer to this question. It has been asked throughout history and will be continuously asked and debated in the future. The only question worth answering is within yourself do you believe that ends will justify the means?
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