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Guest
Posted: Tuesday, July 10, 2012 6:52:55 AM

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Do the ends really justify the means? Is that in most cases or just a few?
Buz
Posted: Tuesday, July 10, 2012 6:59:10 AM

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Adolph Hitler, Mao Zedung, Jospeh Stalin, Pol Pot, Kim Jong-il, Hideki Tojo, Fidel Castro are just a few more recent figures in history that subscribed to the theory that the end justifies the means. Over a hundred million innocent people died because those beliefs.

Why should one person have the right to ask another to sacrifice for their belief? What is your belief! What is the sacrifice? Why does it need to be justified?





Milik_the_Red
Posted: Tuesday, July 10, 2012 7:03:55 AM

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Buz wrote:


Why should one person have the right to ask another to sacrifice for their belief? What is your belief! What is the sacrifice? Why does it need to be justified?


Buz, those words are the cornerstone for everything I hold dear. Who is it that is so wise that they may know what is right for another. To believe in freedom means that you must accept not only what is important to you, but equally what is important to the person next to you. Anything less is hypocrisy.

Surely silence can sometimes be the most eloquent of replies
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Buz
Posted: Tuesday, July 10, 2012 7:12:00 AM

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Milik_The_Red wrote:


Buz, those words are the cornerstone for everything I hold dear. Who is it that is so wise that they may know what is right for another. To believe in freedom means that you must accept not only what is important to you, but equally what is important to the person next to you. Anything less is hypocrisy.


Absolutely.

When a government says the ends will justify the means, then you know the people are about to be fucked.





Milik_the_Red
Posted: Tuesday, July 10, 2012 7:14:47 AM

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Here is the penultimate dilemma. Edwin Jenner developed the small pox vaccine in 1796. To prove it out he purposfully injected a boy he had inoculated with live small pox. This should have killed the child but his vaccine worked. When the boy did not become ill, his vaccine was widely accepted. If he had not taken such a drastic step many thousands would have died before his cowpox vaccine was put into general use.

So here is your classic end justifying the means. Was Jenner a hero or a fiend?

Surely silence can sometimes be the most eloquent of replies
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Buz
Posted: Tuesday, July 10, 2012 7:37:30 AM

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I'd say if he did it without the boy's knowledge he was a criminal. Can a boy make such a decision as to allow that anyhow? In that case the person being experimented on should have full knowledge and agree to it. What if it had not of worked? And sometimes scientists and doctors are wrong about their theories.

Remember that the US government purposely gave several black US Amy soldiers gonorrhea as part of an experiment. They lied to he soldiers about what they gave them. That was pure criminal. The US government also experimented with LSD on soldiers, who had no idea what had really been given them. Those scientist and doctors should have received long prison sentences along with the bureaucrats and politicians that knew about and approved those crimes.

What worries me the most is that some people think they have the right to make such decisions as the end justifies the means. Maybe we would all be justified in eliminating those demagogues. If we eliminated them before they act, would the end justify the means?

coffee





TJRogue
Posted: Tuesday, July 10, 2012 7:37:48 AM

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Buzz is quite correct. Over seventy million people were killed by their own governments in the twentieth century as the governments searched for a communist utopia that was never possible, all under the adage that the ends justify the means. The number of people killed by the Nazis pales in comparison to the number of people killed by different communist governments. The United States entire constitutional system is premised on the sanctity of the individual, and is premised on the requirement of “due cause” in legal proceedings. Any government that articulates or practices the motto of the ends justify the means is a totalitarian regime that is trampling over the rights, dignity and lives of its own citizens.
littlemissbitch
Posted: Tuesday, July 10, 2012 7:47:25 AM

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Milik_The_Red wrote:
To believe in freedom means that you must accept not only what is important to you, but equally what is important to the person next to you. Anything less is hypocrisy.


oh this is very well said...also the cornerstone of my own belief system..

littlemissbitch ~ professional face ripper offer, at your service..
Milik_the_Red
Posted: Tuesday, July 10, 2012 8:26:21 AM

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Buz wrote:
I'd say if he did it without the boy's knowledge he was a criminal. Can a boy make such a decision as to allow that anyhow? In that case the person being experimented on should have full knowledge and agree to it. What if it had not of worked? And sometimes scientists and doctors are wrong about their theories.

Remember that the US government purposely gave several black US Amy soldiers gonorrhea as part of an experiment. They lied to he soldiers about what they gave them. That was pure criminal. The US government also experimented with LSD on soldiers, who had no idea what had really been given them. Those scientist and doctors should have received long prison sentences along with the bureaucrats and politicians that knew about and approved those crimes.

What worries me the most is that some people think they have the right to make such decisions as the end justifies the means. Maybe we would all be justified in eliminating those demagogues. If we eliminated them before they act, would the end justify the means?

coffee

I have always felt it was criminal. The fact that lives were saved does not justify his risking a child's life. When we find things we value more than freedom, be it health or safety, we devalue the very lives we claim to be saving.

You pose an interesting point. Acting prempively to end a threat, in this case the demagogues. I postulate this. If they are in a place of power and they use such power to circumvent rule of law, they have already acted in a way that gives the people the right to act. If, however they are acting on the will of the majority, the only acceptable resistance is that of a peaceful nature. Sometimes this means sacrifice. Here the teaching of Ghandi would be apropo.

Surely silence can sometimes be the most eloquent of replies
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lafayettemister
Posted: Tuesday, July 10, 2012 8:35:18 AM

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Milik_The_Red wrote:


Buz, those words are the cornerstone for everything I hold dear. Who is it that is so wise that they may know what is right for another. To believe in freedom means that you must accept not only what is important to you, but equally what is important to the person next to you. Anything less is hypocrisy.


I couldn't agree more. Each individual person may not believe for themselves that being in the KKK, a smoker, a religious person, Catholic, gay, whatever is right for them, but they cannot decide for someone else. If you take away that person's right to be one of those things, you're taking away your own rights.





When the debate is lost, slander becomes the tool of the loser. Socrates
Milik_the_Red
Posted: Tuesday, July 10, 2012 8:36:51 AM

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littlemissbitch wrote:


oh this is very well said...also the cornerstone of my own belief system..


Thank you.

Surely silence can sometimes be the most eloquent of replies
- Unknown
Ruthie
Posted: Friday, July 13, 2012 11:47:04 AM

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Buz wrote:
I'd say if he did it without the boy's knowledge he was a criminal. Can a boy make such a decision as to allow that anyhow? In that case the person being experimented on should have full knowledge and agree to it. What if it had not of worked? And sometimes scientists and doctors are wrong about their theories.

Remember that the US government purposely gave several black US Amy soldiers gonorrhea as part of an experiment. They lied to he soldiers about what they gave them. That was pure criminal. The US government also experimented with LSD on soldiers, who had no idea what had really been given them. Those scientist and doctors should have received long prison sentences along with the bureaucrats and politicians that knew about and approved those crimes.

What worries me the most is that some people think they have the right to make such decisions as the end justifies the means. Maybe we would all be justified in eliminating those demagogues. If we eliminated them before they act, would the end justify the means?

coffee


There was also the Tuskegee syphilis experiment in which black men were left untreated for syphilis so that the researchers could study the progression of the disease. None of the subjects was informed. The CIA also did experiments with LSD on civilians without their knowledge.

There is always somebody who thinks that what they want to do is important enough that it doesn't matter what other people want.

In the smallpox experiment, there is no reason why Edwin Jenner couldn't have found an informed adult who was willing to take part in the trial of his vaccine. Giving the vaccine to an underage child was wrong, whatever the outcome.
Guest
Posted: Friday, July 13, 2012 12:51:00 PM

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Han135 wrote:
Do the ends really justify the means? Is that in most cases or just a few?


The road to Hell is paved with good intentions.
MrNudiePants
Posted: Friday, July 13, 2012 8:05:25 PM

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You tell me what the end is that you're going for, and only then will I decide if it's worth the means it takes to get there.

A classic example:

DDT is a pesticide that is very effective. Too effective, in fact.

Quote:
"This is a chemical that has been studied and evaluated," Feldman says, "and over the years has been found to cause cancer, endocrine disruption, adversely affect the immune system and is very problematic from the standpoint that it is persistent." DDT collects "in fatty tissue and in the environment," he adds, and can also be passed on in breast milk.


Quote:
In 1962, environmentalist Rachel Carson wrote a book, Silent Spring, about how it persists in the environment and affects not just insects but the whole food chain.


Why is this at all controversial? We know that DDT is harmful to the entire food chain. Once applied to farms and fields, it stays active in the soil. It gets washed into the rivers and streams. It goes into the plants and crops, and is eaten by wildlife, livestock, and people. It's a bad, bad substance.

On the other hand...

Quote:
The World Health Organization today announced a major policy change. It's actively backing the controversial pesticide DDT as a way to control malaria. Malaria kills about 1 million people a year, mainly children, and mainly in Africa, despite a decades-long effort to eradicate it.


Quote:
In the early 1960s, several developing countries had nearly wiped out malaria. After they stopped using DDT, malaria came raging back and other control methods have had only modest success.


Quote:
Tren has watched indoor-spraying campaigns in Zambia.

"You're not seeing leakage into the environment," Tren says. "You're not seeing leakage into agriculture. What you are seeing are sharp dramatic reductions in malaria deaths and disease.


Quote:
"We are asking these environmental groups to join the fight to save the lives of babies in Africa," Kochi said. "This is our call to them."


So... is the use of an incredibly harmful pesticide worth saving potentially millions of lives? Especially if that use has been shown to be safe as long as it's used in controlled, and extremely limited ways?

Does the end justify the means?

Nothing is set in stone, folks. There are always exceptions. There always extenuating circumstances. There is no absolute right or wrong. Shades of grey dominate. And so at the risk of being a boor, I repeat: You tell me what the end is that you're going for, and only then will I decide if it's worth the means it takes to get there.
DLizze
Posted: Monday, July 16, 2012 3:35:29 PM

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MrNudiePants wrote:
And so at the risk of being a boor, I repeat: You tell me what the end is that you're going for, and only then will I decide if it's worth the means it takes to get there.


Using atomic weapons at Hiroshima and Nagasaki might be cited as two more examples that are clearly within the realm of grey area.
My father for as long as I knew him, was grateful that those two acts made it possible for him to come home from New Guinea in time for my second Christmas. But he also confessed to me on several occasions he felt some pangs of guilt for having been so selfish.

"There's only three tempos: slow, medium and fast. When you get between in the cracks, ain't nuthin' happenin'." Ben Webster
Guest
Posted: Monday, July 16, 2012 5:42:15 PM

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i dont actualy know. people say it alot but when asked they cant really answer.
Kitanica
Posted: Friday, July 20, 2012 8:30:31 AM

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Depends on the situation. Would you kill a convicted felon if it cured cancer?
elitfromnorth
Posted: Friday, July 20, 2012 2:24:53 PM

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11 people are stuck in a life boat and they know where the go. They have food enough for 10 people for the entire journey, so they either have to throw one person overboard or all 11 of them starve. No one volunteers.

So, should they kill one man or should all 11 starve? Killing is wrong, but killing one man would save 10 others.

It's one of the age old dilemmas; is it ok to sacrifice a few for the greater good? Sacrificing a few for the benefit of the greater good is having the ends being justified by the means.

How much is one life worth? After all, we're sacrificing lives every day in different ways. I'm sure we could have made the roads safer and all that crap, but we spend money on funding theatre and art.

To me it kind of depends. In some cases the ends may justify the means.

"It's at that point you realise Lady Luck is actually a hooker, and you're fresh out of cash."
Kitanica
Posted: Friday, July 20, 2012 6:01:16 PM

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That's kinda a bad example elit, you could ration food no ones gonna starve in a week
Guest
Posted: Friday, July 20, 2012 6:19:58 PM

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elitfromnorth wrote:
11 people are stuck in a life boat and they know where the go. They have food enough for 10 people for the entire journey, so they either have to throw one person overboard or all 11 of them starve. No one volunteers.

So, should they kill one man or should all 11 starve? Killing is wrong, but killing one man would save 10 others.

It's one of the age old dilemmas; is it ok to sacrifice a few for the greater good? Sacrificing a few for the benefit of the greater good is having the ends being justified by the means.

How much is one life worth? After all, we're sacrificing lives every day in different ways. I'm sure we could have made the roads safer and all that crap, but we spend money on funding theatre and art.

To me it kind of depends. In some cases the ends may justify the means.


Happens all the time in wars, etc.
CleverFox
Posted: Saturday, July 21, 2012 11:52:11 PM

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The ends never justify the means. It is much too easy to fool yourself into thinking you are doing something noble when you are really being the most selfish person possible. Do you think anybody really thinks of himself or herself as evil?


There are many people that think they have the strength to do things that others just don't have. I think it was Nietzsche that said morals were just rules for inferior people to follow or something along those lines. Look how that was used in every pogram, left wing or right wing, to kill people. Remember how the Russians czars persecuted Jews? The Nazis did nothing new, they just refined it.

Somebody mentioned DDT earlier in this thread. Should we save millions of lives today vs the possible billions of lives that could be ruined in the future? And I know I did say 'possible'. Personally, I think if we use DDT today that it will come back to bite us in a very big way but I also know that that is easy for me to say because my children aren't contracting malaria.

And don't give me that crap about 11 people in a boat. Those hypotheticals are so extreme that they could only really be judged if you were one of the people in them. And the people that come up with this hypotheticals are just trying to justify their own selfish behavior in the past instead of owning up to the selfish behavior.

Never trust people that never questions themselves. People that do things just because they "Know it in their guts" are the scariest people I have ever met. It means they don't have any factual basis for their opinions and aren't interested in finding the facts and come hell or high water, they will do whatever they feel is right no matter what the cost in suffering and lives is.

Yes, we can find many gray areas but when push comes to shove in your own lives, you know the right thing to do and telling yourself that it is for the greater good is just a cop out really meaning it is what you selfishly want.
nazhinaz
Posted: Sunday, July 22, 2012 2:03:36 AM

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As the means lead us to a certain end, pleasent or unpleasent, sad or happy.
So its the means that lead us to an end.
If we, say from Houston, drive towards Mexico, though all the time desiring, wishing and praying that we may reach Newyork, can we ever reach Newyork?
Obviously we will never reach Newyork; instead we may land deep into the Gulf of Mexico.
It is therefore as much or rather much more important to have correct means to reach a certain end.
Similarly, if we all would have kept praying to God Almighty to give us wings to fly, we could never have learnt to fly.
It is due to scientific progress and efforts finally put by Wright Brothers that we learnt to fly.
It is therefore very important to have a clearly defined vision to chart an achievable goal and find appropriate scientific means to achieve that goal.
If we have learnt to fly, does it somehow mean that all the prayers made in multiple centuries by those who never employed any approriate means that their prayers have been met?
Surely NO.
Guest
Posted: Sunday, July 22, 2012 6:19:11 AM

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SeaCreature wrote:


The road to Hell is paved with good intentions.


So, your saying that all good people will end up in hell while the bad guys will get away with their crimes?
nazhinaz
Posted: Sunday, July 22, 2012 6:28:34 AM

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Han135 wrote:


So, your saying that all good people will end up in hell while the bad guys will get away with their crimes?

Let me stay in Hell, I will be comfortable with the company of Einstein, Freud, Darwin, Karl Marx and Engles.
Let Hitler, Masollini, Muhammad, Stalin all enjoy the fruits of Paradise.
Milik_the_Red
Posted: Sunday, July 22, 2012 6:54:05 AM

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It is always easy to excuse the crime when you were not the victim to it.

Should we applaud those who sprayed DDT for the lives saved by it? But what of those whose lives were lost because of it? Who speaks for them?


Surely silence can sometimes be the most eloquent of replies
- Unknown
MrNudiePants
Posted: Monday, July 23, 2012 7:55:37 PM

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Milik_The_Red wrote:
It is always easy to excuse the crime when you were not the victim to it.

Should we applaud those who sprayed DDT for the lives saved by it? But what of those whose lives were lost because of it? Who speaks for them?


Environmental experts have defined safe ways to use DDT that don't involve widespread spraying. Other environmental experts say that those environmental experts are full of shit. It comes down to which experts you choose to believe. Studies show that it does indeed seem to be safe if used in strictly prescribed ways. The only harm comes from misuse. So the question then becomes, "How many lives have to be sacrificed to disease to save other people from their own greed and stupidity?"
MrNudiePants
Posted: Monday, July 23, 2012 8:00:45 PM

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CleverFox wrote:
The ends never justify the means....


(snip)


Yes, we can find many gray areas but when push comes to shove in your own lives, you know the right thing to do and telling yourself that it is for the greater good is just a cop out really meaning it is what you selfishly want.


Okay, let's not deal with some hypothetical "11 people in a boat" scenario. Let's talk "Hundreds of people in a crowded movie theater."

If there had been an armed citizen in a certain movie theater in Colorado, and that citizen watched as a madman brought a rifle and a shotgun to bear on the otherwise helpless audience, would that citizen have been justified in killing the madman in order to prevent the killing of twelve people, and the wounding of fifty-eight more?
Milik_the_Red
Posted: Tuesday, July 24, 2012 6:48:40 AM

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MrNudiePants wrote:


Environmental experts have defined safe ways to use DDT that don't involve widespread spraying. Other environmental experts say that those environmental experts are full of shit. It comes down to which experts you choose to believe. Studies show that it does indeed seem to be safe if used in strictly prescribed ways. The only harm comes from misuse. So the question then becomes, "How many lives have to be sacrificed to disease to save other people from their own greed and stupidity?"


I understand what you are saying but to me before you can even begin making the call you have to consider the moral implications that come with making a decision that could harm another. It is not moral to actively save ten people if by doing so you cause the death of one who would not otherwise have been harmed.

Surely silence can sometimes be the most eloquent of replies
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Milik_the_Red
Posted: Tuesday, July 24, 2012 6:50:49 AM

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MrNudiePants wrote:


Okay, let's not deal with some hypothetical "11 people in a boat" scenario. Let's talk "Hundreds of people in a crowded movie theater."

If there had been an armed citizen in a certain movie theater in Colorado, and that citizen watched as a madman brought a rifle and a shotgun to bear on the otherwise helpless audience, would that citizen have been justified in killing the madman in order to prevent the killing of twelve people, and the wounding of fifty-eight more?


The armed citizen most certainly would have been justified. The madman lost his right to exist when he made the decision to harm others.

Surely silence can sometimes be the most eloquent of replies
- Unknown
WellMadeMale
Posted: Tuesday, July 24, 2012 5:31:06 PM

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Garza wrote:
Depends on the situation. Would you kill a convicted felon if it cured cancer?


Already tried that. Apparently didn't cure cancer. Although, why cure such a money maker like Cancer or any of the other thousand terminal illnesses? Don't be silly. Anyway - that convicted felon survived to become SKY-Nets prototype terminator, however he retained a humanistic flaw - compassion. And he sacrificed his own biological heart to enable the Leader of The Resistance to survive.

meh

Obscenity is the last refuge of an inarticulate motherfucker.
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