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* These answers represent basically the same meaning from several perspectives.

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This phrase, originating from Niccolo Machiavelli's book "The Prince", is interpreted by some to mean doing anything whatsoever that is required to get the result you want, regardless of the methods used. It does not matter whether these methods are legal or illegal, fair or foul, kind or cruel, truth or lies, democratic or dictatorial, good or evil.

Answer 2

The phrase the end justifies the means refers to the morality of an action. It means that the morality of an action is based solely on the outcome of that action and not on the action itself. Example: Telling a lie that has no negative effect on anyone, and saves someone grief, is good. Killing someone to save others may also be morally justifiable.

A deontologist would say lying/killing is always bad. A consequentialist would say that it is acceptable if the outcome is positive. It can involve illegal activities and what some would consider immoral methods, but definitely is not based on that.

Answer 3

This refers to the idea that if you need a specific outcome, it doesn't matter how it is achieved as long as you get the desired result. For instance, if you need to pass a test in order to graduate (the end) you can justify cheating in order to pass the test (the means).

Answer 4

This is normally used to comment on the ethics or morality of a given action. By itself, it might be reprehensible. But as the only method to achieve a goal, it could be acceptable on a practical basis. A simple example would be knocking down historic buildings as a last resort to control rat populations. A more complex example would be World War II, which included bombing German and Japanese cities to reduce their munitions production.

Answer 5

It means that the benefits from something outweigh the harm done by the process. For example if somebody cured cancer, but had to kill 1 cancer patient to find the cure, they might say that curing cancer made the loss of 1 life to save many worth it. Of course, the family of the dead patient (and the legal authorities) might see the matter differently.

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Q: What does the end justifies the means mean?
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Related Questions

What does it mean if someone says they are Machiavellian?

the end justifies the means


What does the proverb the end justifies the means mean?

It means that accomplishing your goal is all that matters no matter how you did it.


Is it the end justifies the means or is it the ends justifies the means?

The correct idiom is "The end justifies the means", but the statement is inherently untrue; evil methods can never be justified no matter how noble the motive.


What is the Machiavellian principle?

"the end justifies the means"


End is more important than means quotation?

The saying is: The end justifies the means.


Who said the end justifies the means?

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What is an example of the end justifies the means?

Albert Einstein.


The fall of Saigon was this war justified?

The end justifies the means.


What methods did Hitler use for achieve power?

It's the machiavellian philosophy. "might makes right" and "the end justifies the means". It's the machiavellian philosophy. "might makes right" and "the end justifies the means".


Can a sociopath be extremely patient?

Absolutely, the end always justifies the means and if the means is patience then so be it.


What does means mean?

The modern usages are: -- relative wealth (a man of means) -- the method by which something is accomplished (the end justifies the means) -- the plural of the arithmetic term meaning an average (means of two number sets)


Why do some people think war is not an evil thing?

The believe the end justifies the means.


Machiavelli's political writing supported what idea?

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The end justifies the means Who said this?

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Who coined the political philosophy the end justifies the means?

The philosophy which teaches that the "ends justify the means" is Machiavellian philosophy.


What has the author J Beaufort Hurlbert written?

J. Beaufort Hurlbert has written: 'The end justifies the means' -- subject(s): Teleology, Christian ethics 'Currents of air and ocean in connection with climates' 'Protection and free trade' 'The end justifies the means'


A florentine statesman and writer on politics who advised rulers that the end justifies the means?

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Florentine statesman and writer on politics who advised rulers that the end justifies the means?

george the great


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I think it means that when you die you don't actually die because you go to either heaven or hell.


Who came up with the end justifies the means?

I seem to recall this was a line from "Das Kapital" by Karl Marx.


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Utilitarianism is defined as the end justifies the means, whereas Formalism could suggest that the methodological means & process is the best manner in reaching the end.


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Who said does the ends justifies the means?

machiavelli


What was the overall theme of Machiavelli writing?

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Who said the ends justify the menas?

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