The expression, “the ends justify the means” rattled around in my head earlier while I was lifting weights.
We ask if the ends justify the means when examining the morality of our or someone else’s actions or deeds.
Or we proclaim it defensively…the ends justify the means is a promise as a way of explaining what we did without remorse.
It’s a wonderful expression because it deconstructs the path to action and to fate. We don’t always do things simply because we plan them; rather, we tend to reverse our thoughts midstream and try to restructure the events in our mind to render them more palatable to ourselves, and thus, everyone else. When we ask if the ends justify the means, we are really reconnoitering in our soul and conscience and trying to determine a reason to justify the shit we did. We are not really looking at it objectively, we’re simply trying to paint ourselves in a favorable light when the light is scarce.
We know what we are going to do before we do it. Any deliberation or painstaking self-examination is mostly a put-on. Such displays of indecision are a cosmetic indulgence that make it seem as if we have doubts even though, in our heart, there are no doubts. We are looking to rationalize our future actions. They are a done deal, etched in stone. We aren’t going back. We will find every reason to make the ends justify the means. We will engineer an acceptable course of action after the decision is made.
I want to update the expression.
I believe that the “ends negate the means.” The end is all that matters. Nothing else does, not your motives, your intentions…none of it matters. All that matters is the end. Whatever road you traveled to reach this final spot…? Well it doesn’t exist. It never did. It didn’t do anything other than lead you to this spot. The end negates the means meaning that it rendered the meanings useless. Ultimately, declaring that the end is meaningless as well. Unlike the dictum that “the ends judge the means.” I thought of this one as well. This is the opposite of the ends negating the means, for this means that the ends cannot be valued and discerned without first examining the steps culminated in the ends. From this perspective, the route is the more important than the end. The end is merely a sum of choices that has little significance other than the actions that brought it about. This is a perspective that values circumstances and behavior as the most important facets of life for they join to valuate the end. This perspective believes the end means something whereas I do not believe the end matters at all. This is why I believe the end negates the means. Its own means! It’s like a snake swallowing itself. My devaluing and trivializing of its precursors and building blocks is thus announcing that the end itself is valueless and trivial.
The end means nothing. Meaning, the means mean nothing either, for it they did, the end would mean something. The end is barren.