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Thread: Do the ends justify the means?

  1. #1
    fuck the chupacabra Randall's Avatar
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    Do the ends justify the means?

    In what situations, if any, would you say that the ends justify the means?

    For example, if time travel were possible, would the murder of Hitler be morally justified if it prevented the Holocaust? Or would murder be absolutely wrong, regardless of what positive outcomes might come from it? Why/Why not?

  2. #2
    Amen P-O's Avatar
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    They always do.

    The problem is that in reality, certain ends preclude the usage of certain means.
    Violence is never the right answer, unless used against heathens and monsters.

  3. #3
    fuck the chupacabra Randall's Avatar
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    but
    Spoiler: .

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    Utisz's Avatar
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    Shit, I saw a documentary mentioning something like this a while back where participants had to play through a scenario where they could manually divert a killer into a path where he could only kill one innocent person or they could leave the killer be and not do anything, which would see him ending up in a room where he kills five other innocent people instead.

    Most people let him be since they didn't want to feel responsible for the death of the one innocent and were more content to have five innocents die that they had no responsibility for. I guess inactivity is also the default "dafuckdoIdo" option.

    I say shit because I can't find the clip but I think it was in the BBC Horizon documentary: "Are You Born Good or Evil?".

  5. #5
    Amen P-O's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Randall View Post
    ...
    The ends where I'm a murderer isn't the ends that I want. Even if I've saved 10 or 1000 people, It's still an undesirable outcome. Sometimes we have to choose between two bad ends and that can be tough... but the main thing I want to communicate is that the means exist as part of the ends.
    That said, if you've reached the outcome that you desire, of course that justifies what you did to get there (assuming you did anything at all).
    Violence is never the right answer, unless used against heathens and monsters.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Makers!*'s Avatar
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    You all wouldn't go back in time and kill Hitler...? really!?

    Given what that man did, I don't believe this a serious question. I'd strangle him with barbed wire in front of his mother.

  7. #7
    a fool on a journey pensive_pilgrim's Avatar
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    The way these things tend to work out, I'm not sure killing Hitler would make that much of a difference. And who knows whether the alternative could be even worse? Maybe the death of Hitler would lead to global thermonuclear war.

  8. #8
    Amen P-O's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Makers!* View Post
    You all wouldn't go back in time and kill Hitler...?
    For the record, I think the Hitler example is a bad one because there are a number of complicating factors.
    Violence is never the right answer, unless used against heathens and monsters.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Makers!*'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by P-O View Post
    For the record, I think the Hitler example is a bad one because there are a number of complicating factors.
    Yes, like the fact he initiated a world war and holocausted millions of jews. Unless I'm missing out on a huge part of history, I'm pretty sure his death under any circumstance would have been preferable to his existence.

  10. #10
    Amen P-O's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Makers!* View Post
    I'm pretty sure his death under any circumstance would have been preferable to his existence.
    It's exactly as you said, it's a huge part of history. Meaning there's no telling how different the world would be in its absence. There's lots of people who exist today who would not have existed otherwise. Do I take responsibility for their lost lives as well?
    Violence is never the right answer, unless used against heathens and monsters.

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