2011 – Most Philosophical 8th Grader in America:
Kasey Goon, New Jersey.
Do the Ends Justify the Means ?
Is it safe to do something unethical for the sake of a good outcome? Or does morality have the final say in all situations? Overall, do the ends justify the means? Although everyone aims to achieve a positive outcome, the steps taken to do so may often be questionable in the name of Justice. In my opinion, you should always consider what you are doing to yourself and the people around you before debating whether the results will be able to atone for your wrongdoings; this can easily result in a better character.
During World War I, Woodrow Wilson had passed the Espionage Act of 1917 and Sedition Act of 1918 to protect the United States by eliminating the possibility that confidential information about the war could spread to other countries. Although this meant taking away the citizens’ freedom of speech, Wilson deemed it necessary that some sacrifices be made to protect the welfare of the nation. Unlike Wilson, I believe that taking away someone’s First Amendment Rights is unconstitutional, especially for a president to do so. America was established in the name of freedom, and each citizen has the right to exercise their freedom of press and speech, even if it means getting through the hardships of war.
Furthermore, this quote can be applied to modern day situations. Today, many students repeatedly face the same conflict: Is it fair to get good grades by cheating on tests in order to receive a proper scholarship and gain support from the family? Before making decisions like these, one should take a step back and view his or her character as a whole- a simple thing such as cheating on a test can easily spoil your character. I believe that if you want to become successful, you should earn it fairly, and not take such risks.
In conclusion, the ends do not always justify the means. Take Woodrow Wilson for example: although he was a strong president, he did not consider the position of individual citizens, but rather a country as a whole first, damaging his character as a student would if he or she cheated on a test just to get into a designated college. When given a life, man is often gifted but also cursed with the ability to make decisions. Before making one, however, I believe that it is always more important to consider how your decision reflects upon yourself.
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