Words of Wisdom:

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  • Date Submitted: 11/29/2011 02:34 AM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 65.2 
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Ends Justify Means
    There is a famous proverb in the west that is “The ends justify the means.” It was firstly mentioned by Machiavelli in The Prince, and people who believe in this proverb are seemed as morally questionable, power-seeking, and self-serving nowadays. To be sure, Machiavelli advocated for the seeking of power and the serving of the self, but even for all of that, “The ends justify the means” is not always immoral or evil.
    Whether ends justify means is mostly depend on the worth of the ends. In the case of Machiavelli, he claimed ends justifying means in a period when Italy was not unified yet, so people need a powerful dominator to bring them peaceful lives. In order to achieve this, the prince must not have too many scruples, since his goal benefited most people at last, then any means taken attain is justifiable.
    The famous Chinese writer Zhou Shuren(Lu Xun) said that:
    “A youth who dares to use any means to achieve his goal is somewhat heroic. One should have the courage to express himself candidly.”
    Zhou lived in the early 20th century, a dark period of China. Most young Chinese at that time had a common wish that is to save their country. Since no one knew clearly how to achieve such a great goal at that time, any means were worthy to try.
    However, nowadays we live in a pragmatistic era when everything seems to be judged by its benefit, and a lot of people consider wealth as the only goal of their lives. As a matter of fact, those people mix up means and ends. Money is merely a way to attain happiness, and it is not the only way to achieve so. That is to say money is a mean but not an ends. People who use any means to acquire money abandoning moral are being slaves of money, they actually have no goals at all. Then “The ends justify the means” is not available for them.
    To sum up, if a goal is worthy, then any means taken attain it is justifiable. Before actions, one must make sure whether there is a worthy goal...


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