ENDS AND MEANS

Should you think about your duty, or about the consequences of your actions? Or should you concentrate on becoming a good person?

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prof
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ENDS AND MEANS

Post by prof »

With regard to the relation of means to ends I would make this observation: Ends are related to means used: if you want peace, use peaceful means. If love is your end (your goal), use loving means to get to it. If you want stability, then stable means are required to reach your end-in-view.

Is this so hard to understand? Chaotic or destructive means will not result in a stable, sustainable state of affairs. A state of justice is a state of balance; to be in balance we cannot use means that are out of balance.

That to me is the most basic point to learn about The Means/Ends relationship. The means ought to be compatible with the ends desired.

(For example, Woodrow Wilson said that World War I would be "a war to end all war.") You don't end war by waging it.

We will not get to moral ends by the use of immoral means. Once in a great while a weird accident may occur which provides an exception, but in general this relationship holds.

If you want peace in the world, we need to employ peaceful means to arrive at that end. If we want an ethical world then only moral means will get us there. [First we must admit that there are moral truths, and that some lifestyles are better than others. This, however, is the topic of another thread.]

It works for me !

COMMENTS.? …. QUESTIONS.?
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The Voice of Time
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Re: ENDS AND MEANS

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Mahatma Gandhi once said: "Be the change you want to see in the world."

However, it's not always true.

Use peaceful means in Afghanistan and you get shot at mostly for giving away the wrong symbol.

I think that even if there's a depth of truth to it, it's not always valid because some situations are simply too hard to compare. The world has gotten a certain Ying-Yang to it also, you don't fight a volcanic explosion by tranquil means, instead you make big panic and run away, unless you have some extremely resilient means of tackling it.
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ForgedinHell
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Re: ENDS AND MEANS

Post by ForgedinHell »

The Voice of Time wrote:Mahatma Gandhi once said: "Be the change you want to see in the world."

However, it's not always true.

Use peaceful means in Afghanistan and you get shot at mostly for giving away the wrong symbol.

I think that even if there's a depth of truth to it, it's not always valid because some situations are simply too hard to compare. The world has gotten a certain Ying-Yang to it also, you don't fight a volcanic explosion by tranquil means, instead you make big panic and run away, unless you have some extremely resilient means of tackling it.
Gandhi? Didn't that rat toad say that Hitler was doing a good job in killing Jews? Piss on Gandhi.
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Re: ENDS AND MEANS

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ForgedinHell wrote: Gandhi? Didn't that rat toad say that Hitler was doing a good job in killing Jews? Piss on Gandhi.
I hardly think we talk about the same Gandhi ^^ Gandhi starved himself because his people were fighting, he was very sensitive about human beings. That he didn't like jews may happen, because they may have reminded him of the capitalist imperialists who occupied his country, but that he went as far as talking about killings is hard to think, or any form of ruthlessness. He disproved himself of national uprising, any form of bloodshed. He popularized the concept of non-violence to the world, and liberated India largely without it ^^ (incidents did happen of course, but then again India, then as now was the worlds second most populous country and you can't expect much less than a few incidents when a country turns against its masters)
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Re: ENDS AND MEANS

Post by chaz wyman »

ForgedinHell wrote:
The Voice of Time wrote:Mahatma Gandhi once said: "Be the change you want to see in the world."

However, it's not always true.

Use peaceful means in Afghanistan and you get shot at mostly for giving away the wrong symbol.

I think that even if there's a depth of truth to it, it's not always valid because some situations are simply too hard to compare. The world has gotten a certain Ying-Yang to it also, you don't fight a volcanic explosion by tranquil means, instead you make big panic and run away, unless you have some extremely resilient means of tackling it.
Gandhi? Didn't that rat toad say that Hitler was doing a good job in killing Jews? Piss on Gandhi.
Please cite a reliable source where Gandhi said that.
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Re: ENDS AND MEANS

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googled gandhi and anti-semitism. But none of what I found suggested that Gandhi was anything else but naïve to peoples goodness (like his such-named "love letters to Hitler", which just sounds like a person who cannot believe that another human being can be as cruel and evil as Hitler was, and whose solution is simply to deny it and name the British liers. Really, he sounds like a kid). In other words, most of it is twisted information taken out of context and situation. Gandhi did not believe the facts about Hitler because he thought they were cheap lies from his imperialist nemesis, Britain. He thought Hitler was just an ordinary nationalist-hero (I don't think he ever in his life visited Germany either), and that trying to be nice with him would make him more inclined to be nice back.

He was, however, by my quick research, rather eager to be sharp against the Jews politically, and totally an anti-Zionist, urging the Jews to just live wherever they lived instead of seeking out a mythical, and in his words, not geographically determined location. But outright anti-Semitism is to stretch the meaning of the word.
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ForgedinHell
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Re: ENDS AND MEANS

Post by ForgedinHell »

The Voice of Time wrote:googled gandhi and anti-semitism. But none of what I found suggested that Gandhi was anything else but naïve to peoples goodness (like his such-named "love letters to Hitler", which just sounds like a person who cannot believe that another human being can be as cruel and evil as Hitler was, and whose solution is simply to deny it and name the British liers. Really, he sounds like a kid). In other words, most of it is twisted information taken out of context and situation. Gandhi did not believe the facts about Hitler because he thought they were cheap lies from his imperialist nemesis, Britain. He thought Hitler was just an ordinary nationalist-hero (I don't think he ever in his life visited Germany either), and that trying to be nice with him would make him more inclined to be nice back.

He was, however, by my quick research, rather eager to be sharp against the Jews politically, and totally an anti-Zionist, urging the Jews to just live wherever they lived instead of seeking out a mythical, and in his words, not geographically determined location. But outright anti-Semitism is to stretch the meaning of the word.
Googling is not researching. Ghandi was an anti-semite. A good friend of mine who is an Indian, well versed in India's history, freely admits Ghandi was an anti-semite. He may not have been as disgusting and immoral as a person like Mother Teresa, but he was scummy nevertheless.
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Re: ENDS AND MEANS

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ForgedinHell wrote: Googling is not researching. Ghandi was an anti-semite. A good friend of mine who is an Indian, well versed in India's history, freely admits Ghandi was an anti-semite. He may not have been as disgusting and immoral as a person like Mother Teresa, but he was scummy nevertheless.
I still go with Chaz's reply, though. Give me a good source. An Indian person does not have to have any kind of necessary understanding of the implications of what he says what-so-ever. In a discussion like this it will be I, Chaz and you who judges this. To be an Anti-Semite is not a bool to be pronounced "yes" or "no". You are cheap and easily lured if you accept such short answers. Give us evidence and let us judge ourselves if it deserves this heavy weight of word.

Anti-Zionism isn't Anti-Semitism, for instance. The word is used by many people as only a label for critics of any Jews or Israelian activity today, and I find it important, especially on a forum like this, to iron out those who mass-produce and mass-distribute the word just because of negativity.
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Re: ENDS AND MEANS

Post by prof »

The Voice of Time wrote:...Use peaceful means in Afghanistan and you get shot at mostly for giving away the wrong symbol.
...you don't fight a volcanic explosion by tranquil means ...
NBC news reporter, Richard Engel, learned some Afghan words; and was shown around the rubble of the major city, Kabul, that we half-constructed but left very unfinisihed. He was shown around by an Afghani who was friendly to him. Engel is a foreign correspondent who was right in the midst of the Egyptian and Libyan revolutions while they were happening. His experience serves as a counter-example to what you claim: he was peaceful, yet he did not get shot at. People often can sense if someone is an invader of their nation, or is on their side; or at least CARES about people; and has no malice or hostility.

And you're right: I don't fight a volcanic explosion (by any means.) I would run in the opposite direction.
As a matter of fact, I would not likely be peering down into the crater of one, nor would I settle down and live near the top of one. To me that is begging for trouble; and I love life and want to live.

I was an admirer of M. K. Gandhi in 1946, when I was 16. I'm Jewish and never heard anything from him against my people, nor did I read a word to that effect anywhere in his autobiography. I am not a Zionist, although I have a niece living in Israel.

As far as I'm concerned his life was an inspiration. He lived what he believed, and was a great teacher of truth-force. He knew how to handle the press, how to parry a journalist's "gotcha" questions, and did it with a smile. I was sorry he died in 1948. He spoke Truth to Power. We need more practitioners of nonviolence and ahimsa today.
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Re: ENDS AND MEANS

Post by The Voice of Time »

Prof, the Afghanistan example is merely a suggestion that Taliban, which would've ruled least Operation Enduring Freedom hadn't occurred, is not an organization which listens to peaceful means. When you commit as many executions and so publicly and openly as Taliban has done it is simply a twist of people's mind that does not make them normally inclined to take lightly on most of those means available to peaceful reformers... like Gandhi. Gandhi would've been considered highly violent in Taliban Afghanistan because he disrupts the symbolism considered much higher worth than peace itself, human lives or other essential values; that is what I meant.
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Re: ENDS AND MEANS

Post by prof »

Hi there, Voice

I don't see where anything you said nullifies what I argued for in the original post of this thread.

How is it working out that belligerent means are being used in Afghanistan? We call the rebels "insurgents." Would we behave any differently if the United States was invaded by a foreign power? Wouldn't we attempt to throw them out? Just what are we doing there in Afghanistan :?: :!: We are not there for constructive purposes; that is obvious. If we were there bestowing a kind of Marshall Plan, a vast construction program, that would be different.

This thread is about Ends and Means. We are spending maybe a billion dollars a day waging war, with the funding for it "off budget", meaning that we are borrowing the money from China to finance our activity there. We are losing lives weekly, shot dead by "friends" we have trained and indoctrinated to our cause. ...who suddenly turn on us "for no apparent reason." The deficit is running up into the trillions, and just might be getting top-heavy. Our nation is going down a drain and you are seeing the Taliban as an imminent threat - one that Interpol can't handle !!

Yes, I know that fanatic fundamentalists are dangerous. ...no matter what their persuasion. Muslems are no different than any other terrorists, domestic (Christian) or foreign. Obviously I do not at all approve of the stoning of women, nor the growing of poppies to enter the opium market. The Taliban are still living in the 15th century, and need to be brought into the modern world. The immoral means we are employing will not effectively do the job. If we want a moral society there, we will need to employ moral means to arrive at that objective :!:

Think about it.
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Re: ENDS AND MEANS

Post by The Voice of Time »

I am no supporter of war in general. I still see the Iraqi-war as a genocide committed against the Iraqi people as more than a quarter of a million civilians died during the war through ruthless, careless, coward and arrogant warfare. And indeed Mr. Bush has much to answer for in terms of ruining the American economy (I might add I am purely Norwegian living in Norway before you treat me as English or American). The war brought huge destructions to no gain for anybody in terms of quality of life, which could've been the only reason to enter the place when all strategical reasons were lies or ungrounded information.

The Afghan war however I find little doubt in, however. The Taliban are insurgents, or rebels (I don't know the difference in those words), but only now. What I mean by that is that when the US invaded the country, followed by their allies (including my country later on) they were the leaders of the country and we were fighting, effectively, Afghanistan itself. Over time however they have gone from a overthrown government to a force consisting of dissatisfied Afghans. Whether they deserve to be called rebels I'm unsure of, as they still remain somewhat the organisation they were, but yet, changes has happened, in many aspects their ideology has even changed as to become more modernized (I lately read they were trying to tune down on violence in their rule as to become more friends with the people), and changes has happened to how and who they work as, and they look more like rebels than a misplaced regime... Taliban 2.0 if you want.

Anyhow, it is true that immoral means does not, and should not, occur in the war. There are many mistakes that happened in that war and instead of invading Iraq the US should've spent more money on making a true and fulfilling settling of affairs, a more peaceful one if you'd like, in Afghanistan, and the rest of the world should've given more direct help instead of just flushing money as money just makes people dependant and happy at first, then angry and dissatisfied when the flush stops: increasing the risk that we see greater insurgency as the allies leave the country, a big point there for you about ends and means.

About constructive purposes I'm inclined to say it's not entirely obvious. Of course, the country was invaded for a different reason... like the Iraq, and yet, like the Iraq, a different reason grew out of the initial reason. A lot of support has been given the last years to build a country out of Afghanistan, to build a nation to endure in trade, arts and so on. A true modern civilization. So in practice the international community, headed by the US, are being constructive, and in manners of peace... even for their faults, some of which are horrible (See Afghan War Logs)... they are still a good improvement to whatever would've been the case otherwise.

In response to End and Means I might say that the greatest threat the US tactics are creating is their use of heavy- or area-damage guns like rocket launchers, artillery, grenades, missiles and air-born bombs which heavily increases the collateral damage while on in short terms ensures smaller losses on American troops... in other words the greatest threat of failing in the ends is the means taken through cowardice and a lacking will to sacrifice a bit of oneself to perform better in the total picture. While if the US used much less heavy weapons they might had taken like maybe 30-50% more casualties themselves, they would've been more peaceful in their means and a achieved a more peaceful result, a nation not as much bathed in blood, vengeance and sorrow as Afghanistan is now.
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Re: ENDS AND MEANS

Post by prof »

We can't expect people to act rationally in a war situation. The whole business is crazy from an ethical point of view.

War is defined as: Organized mass-murder in the name of a noble (good-sounding) cause.

The causes cited in previous wars were Freedom, Unity, Socialism, Democracy, Police Action, to end Tyranny, to end Terrorism, Salvation of Souls, Defense of the Faith, etc., etc.

If you murder retail, you get put in prison. If you murder wholesale, you get a medal pinned on you. It just makes no sense :!:
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Re: ENDS AND MEANS

Post by The Voice of Time »

I don't think it's as blunt as that today Prof. I think medals are given more for heroic situations and not like a kill-counter on some FPS game.
prof
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Re: ENDS AND MEANS

Post by prof »

The Voice of Time wrote:I don't think it's as blunt as that today Prof. I think medals are given more for heroic situations and not like a kill-counter on some FPS game.
Yes, Voice, you are right. Thanks for the correction.

My system of Ethics honors heroes and heroism.


JUST WAR THEORY

Philosophers have established that there are five criteria for a war to be a just war. I will mention two.

One of them is that your nation must first have been invaded.
Another is that everything else short of war was tried first before the decision to go to war was made. We can ask that about each and every war. So how many Just Wars have there been?

Under the United States Constitution every war, in which the U.S. engages, to be legal, must be declared by the full Congress of the U.S. When was the last time that happened?! :roll:
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