Academic Master


Does The Ends Ever Justify The Means?

Does the end ever justify the means? The response to this inquiry relies upon what the outcomes or objectives are and what implies are being utilized to accomplish them. If the goals and outcomes are noble and right, and the process we are using to perform them are equally excellent and fair, at that point yes, the ends surely justify the means. However, that is not what many people mean when they use this statement.

Most utilize it as a reason to accomplish their objectives through any method, any process, or any pathway; regardless of how unethical, unlawful or dangerous the process might be. What this statement means for the most people implies is something as it is not making a minute difference how you get something you want as long as you are getting it. The ‘ends justifying the means’ usually implies accomplishing something positive end while supporting the bad process and then justifying the decent positive results. For example, aborting a girl child to save the marital life does not justify the killing. Although saving the marital life is ethically right but killing an innocent life is ethically wrong and cannot be justified by anyway. Ends justifying the means are important ethical dilemmas in moral discourses. And it involves questions like this: “If you could spare the world by killing somebody, would you do it?” If the appropriate response of the person is “yes,” at that point an ethically right result legitimizes the utilization of unethical means to accomplish it. Be that as it may, there are three unique things to consider in such a circumstance: the morality of the ends, the decency of the means, and the morality of the person involved in the process.

In this circumstance, the means (killing) is obviously unethical and so is the killer. But the end is an enjoyable task that is sparing the world. Is it a good thing that is allowing the killers to kill anybody when they need and then just justifying the means? As in the given scenario, I strongly oppose this statement that ‘Ends justify the Means.’ If I am getting caught to the fictional situation, I will not go for taking the drug that has been prepared by killing some innocent men (Lederman & Lederman, 2016).

Theoretical Background

Ethics, which is a vital facet of human research, is a practice as well as discipline. Doing the clinical research, it is very important to ethically justify the criteria for the research design, conduction of experiment, and reviewing the clinical investigation. All must be identified by the requirements and obligations of both the researcher and the human subject. In medical ethics, there is a major difference between two fundamental moral positions: deontology and consequentialism. Deontology states that whether an action is “great” or “terrible” relies on the actual nature of the action. Most of the people believe that there are specific activities which are intrinsically terrible, things like killing someone, plague, robbery, and so on. Some proponents of deontology, similar to Kant, have a firm believe that stealing something, for instance, is always awful. In other words, one cannot justify these actions. Consequentialism, on the other hand, states that whether an activity is “great” or “terrible” relies upon the outcome. According to them, there is a standard by which one can measure the results (generally “utility”), and propose that the best strategy is that increases utility. For consequentialists, the ends always do justify the means. The moral convictions and beliefs of majority of individuals fall into the mixture of both philosophies. Numerous individuals hold the deontological belief and have an opinion that some actions like torturing or raping a person are never justified; while these same individuals also hold the viewpoint of consequentialists that it is occasionally alright to lie, just as “white lie”.

A third one the utilitarian approach, according to this approach decisions and choices are made based upon the greatest good that is obtained for greatest number of people. This is quite close to consequentialist approach, since this is too based upon the proposition that actions determine the morality of some intervention. According to this approach, if the results is advantageous for a vast number of people then it is ok to harm few individuals. This approach is normally guided by the computed advantages or damages for an action based upon the empirical evidence. A few of cases based upon utilitarian approach in the clinical setting include using artificial respiration for premature babies or treatment the acid or fire burns victims based upon the availability of time. Although a wide range of people goes with this approach but for me the only thing which is right in its original essence is the right way to evaluate it. As in the case of given scenario, I will prefer to find another way rather using a drug that been made by killing innocent homeless people. For me choosing the right path and live in peace is far better than preferring the decision where the means needed to be justified by the end.

Factual Examples of History

Nobody can apply awful means to any remarkable and high end. It is just like a person who is constructing an extraordinary house by using terrible material – it is not an appropriate way. This given expression “the end legitimizes the means” has tricked all of us and we have never focused on its true meaning carefully that what does it’s saying. What we neglect to find in this announcement is merely the end. We all deny to see and precisely look at the means and how they influence the conclusions. Is it possible that whatever the end is we keep on ignoring the process? There are a significant measure of troubles and confusions when pitiful means are utilized to achieve admirable means. History has been filled with many examples that have focused on the experiments on humans. Although proper guidelines are available for using humans in clinical trials. Although some clinical trials have resulted in the successful invention of medicines, yet there are many flop experiment that has been resulted in the deaths of subjects. For example, In 1898, Freund almost executed his subject under study while exploring different avenues regarding X-beams to evacuate hair on moles. In 1857, carbon tetrachloride was utilized as a human tranquilizing despite the fact that a couple of animal’s studies would have indicated it to be inadequate. In 1905, Fletcher employed the detainees of a crazy shelter to consider beriberi. Some forty-three patients gotten the illness, and eighteen expired. The investigation is viewed as critical and is frequently referred to, yet nobody has said on the moral issues that were made. In 1902 a progression of analyses was performed on twelve common administration representatives to decide the impacts of nourishment additives. However, there was no confirmation of worry for the subjects’ welfare (Angell, 1997; Shapiro, & Meslin, 2001).

From 1932 to 1972 the scandalous “Tuskeegee try” occurred utilizing dark guys to decide the normal course of syphilis despite the fact that treatment had existed for quite a long time. Positively the evilest however among the most useless investigations of all were those led by Nazi doctors on regular Jewish folks, detainees of war and others entombed in inhumane imprisonments. All these deaths of innocent people do not justify the means.

Similarly, In Guatemala, during the time period of 1946 to 1948 scientists of USA infested many people with a mental health condition with sexually transferred disease (STD). Investigators from the Public Health Services of US-directed analyses on the hundreds of patients both male and female who were kept at Guatemala’s Mental Health Hospital. The scientists infused the patients with syphilis and gonorrhea —and insisted a significant number of patients to pass the illness on to others by having sexual relationships. The examinations were then, done in collaboration with the Guatemalan government. After that these trials were completed by PHS under the fabrication of syphilis vaccinations. In 2010, Susan Reverby, who was looking into a book on the Tuskegee syphilis tests, uncovered all of these experiments. Due to these reasons, the Secretary of USA Hillary Clinton allotted an apology to Guatemala. Even the President Barack Obama apologized to the President Álvaro Colom, who was having a view that these trials are unspeakable atrocity to humankind.

Similarly, another example from the history is of the Soviet creation of an assortment of products (oil, steel and so on), yet it came at a horrifying cost. A large number of Soviets passed on of open hunger, and thousands more were mistreated or sent to gulags during the Great Purge that accompanied the 5-year designs. It is not excessively troublesome, making it impossible to state that the sacrifice needed by the Soviet individuals were not worth primary pick up in the economy, be that as it may, it is not that straightforward. These changes in the Soviet businesses were expected what made it possible for the Soviets effectively repulse Nazi Germany in WW II, hypothetically sparing billions of more lives.

Another great example from the history would be the Holocaust that was performed by the Nazi administration. Is this end commendable after every one of the incidents that occurred? The example of great two World Wars is also another scenario. These problems are every occasionally found in time of war and the political field. On the other hand, governments were having no care of it as they just wanted to win by all means. They simply wanted triumph in spite of the fact that it implies losing numerous lives, property, and considerably more confidence. In these two major incidents, the main conclusion is the achievement, and any means that would add to progress is believed to be legitimized, yet not by everybody. Any success can be considered as the standard by which we as a whole measure the advantage of the means. Nonetheless, a few advantages are shallow and don’t keep going long. The abuse of the expression “the end always justifies the means” disclaims Machiavelli’s primary point – that “a ruler should consider future occasions and get ready for potential issues. On the off chance that a man truly thinks in a Machiavellian point of view, he or she would utilize vital intends to accomplish a conclusion to keep away from future confusions” (Bovee, 2009; McGowan & Mahon, 1995).

The Soviet Union founded a progression of five-year designs, from 1928 to 1941, with an aim to support the Soviet economy. Farms were collectivized, and excellent additions were made in Martin Luther King Jr. passed on because of the demonstrations he began still the ends are met. The Whites during his time opposed his belief as the Whites likewise maintain the prospect that the ends justify the means. According to them, what has been done to the Negroes is done because of self-protection. The work of government is to protect the State, so they followed up on what was needed: they gave the African Americans what they deserve. The passing of Martin Luther King Jr. is another example of both the ends and means must be honorable that it can be defended without a second though. Martin Luther King Jr. is a remarkable example to be taken when talking about this expression that “the end legitimizes the methods.” As Thayer said, “Be solid is consequently the first and last precept for countries and sovereigns to watch, and Machiavelli teaches them how to utilize their quality.” In this scenario, Martin Luther King Jr. knew what means he had to use for his remarkable and desirable end.


Any broad explanation, for example, is more terrible than useless in overseeing human activities, when it concerns the lives of others. It advances group attitude and vigilante activity. In all conditions, where a man’s life is in a critical position, each different case must be painstakingly weighed. What makes an individual “bothersome,” and to whom would they say they are unnecessary? What results will the murdering of the individual being referred to have upon others? Who will be influenced positively, and who will be impacted negatively? No comprehensive explanation, similar to “the end legitimizes the means,” ought to ever be utilized by the sensible mastermind. There is an almost negligible difference amongst death and murder, and “means” utilized can be disastrous at times, more than anything the “troublesome” could do.

Individuals who seek after their fantasies and their objectives will probably take a way that is loaded with complications. It is realized that objectives are accomplished through assiduous work. The way to achieve such objectives are unique concerning the objectives itself. One thing must be remembered, however; both the ends and the means need be honorable and excellent. What I have demonstrated is that the conclusions or goals of any specific person can directly be sustained by the ways used to accomplish it if they are sufficiently admirable. As Machiavelli calls attention to, Be that as it may, to practice the keenness the ruler must read histories, and concentrate there the activities of distinguished men, to perceive how they have borne themselves in war, to analyze the reasons for their triumphs and thrashing, to keep away from the last mentioned and mimic the previous. There are a lot of horrendous cases in defending indecent, illegal, and wrong means yet Machiavelli shows us to learn from our pass that one should try to achieve ends through honorable and great means.

All in all, we are everything except people who fail more often than not. The qualities that we have as people are what makes us people. Any methods we utilize which abuses our impression of ethics and uprightness can never legitimize the end or the objectives regardless of how commendable they may appear to be. As found in the Martin Luther King Jr. case, there are inevitability a thousand tactics to accomplish one single end, and it is reliant upon you whether go and achieve the ends through honorable means or through immoral means.

To close, there are numerous situations where the means legitimize the ends. However, with the moral rules and morals sheets set up the members are as a general rule appropriately ensured. And in the present case scenario, I am against harming others to research them, but if the proper informed consent is taken, minimal risk has maintained, and everything is done without hurting others then there is no harm in it. Moreover, if researchers and experimenters are finding new drugs and medications without harming others, then this is, of course, a greater good.

And clearly, ends do not justify the means.


Lederman, N.G. & Lederman, J.S. (2016). Do the Ends Justify the Means? Good Question. But What Happens When the Means Become the Ends? Journal of Science Teacher Education, 27: 131.

Shapiro, H., & Meslin, E. (2001). The ethics of international research. N Engl J Med 2001, 314, 139–42.

Angell, M. (1997)/ The ethics of clinical research in the Third World. N Engl J Med, 337, 847–9.

McGowan, R. A., & Mahon, F. (1995). The ends justify the means: The ethical reasoning of environmental public interest groups and their actions. Int J Value-Based Manage,8, 135.

Bovee, W. G. (2009). The end can justify the means–but rarely. Journal of Mass Media Ethics , 6, 135.




Calculate Your Order

Standard price





Pop-up Message