2011 – Most Philosophical 7th Grader in America:
Ahmad Chaudhry, New York.
Do the Ends Justify the Means ?
We live in a culture of goal-oriented society and our life-style is geared to achieve success at any cost. However one important factor which many people over-look, is that the process in getting there is far more important than the result itself. “The ends justify the mean” is a statement that means that the final result of something legitimizes the process in getting there. As one studies literature, history and analyzes one’s personal experiences, it becomes evident that even though the end result is significant, the process of reaching there may involve unethical and dishonest maneuvers. In other words, the ends do not always justify the means.
The novel The Giver, by Lois Lowry, takes place in a futuristic setting, where doctors perform euthanasia on patients with terminal illnesses, to prevent others in their community from catching these diseases. The process in which they protect the residents of this community is not justified. It is not morally or ethically right to take away a life in order to irradiate diseases. One should rather put in effort into finding a cure for these illnesses. This is one example in which the ends do not justify the means.
The French Revolution was fueled by the French peasants’ hatred for the nobility, and resulted into violence everywhere. The fall of the French monarchy gave rise to a new governmental organization known as the Reign of Terror. This organization was characterized by numerous execution of nobility. The government officials lost sight of the real goal, which was to eradicate corruption and tyranny of the monarchs. Although the people involved in the Reign of Terror were successful in stripping power from the monarchs, they did so in violent, and chaotic manner, which further serves to prove that the ends do not justify the means.
I am competitive tennis player and I come across many occasions where my opponents win the match by cheating. When I lose a match to an underhanded opponent, it festers me because I played a fair game, but my contender got his glory through cheating. It was not justified that my opponent won the match when he had a swindling approach towards it. This further proves to show that the end do not justify the means.
In conclusion, there are many situations in which the ends do not justify the means. The journey towards a goal is full of encounters with fellow human beings and in the pursuit of success; we sometimes undermine the fact that an unethical and dishonest approach would have a negative impact on society. On many occasions we celebrate the success as an end result; however we do not take into account that whether on the journey to success one has taken a righteous route towards it. The events from The Giver, the French Revolution, and my personal experiences are all examples that prove to show that the end does not justify the means.
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