Nearly every person in the world has goals. All of these people want to accomplish these goals. But some people believe that it is okay to do things that would be frowned upon in order to accomplish their goal. This type of situation makes people question if the methods used in order to accomplish a goal are worth the outcome. So, do the ends justify the means? No matter the situation, the actions are taken in order to accomplish a goal is not excused. Certain actions such as cheating may provide the person with a higher score but it is also an action of deceit since it prevents the person from truly earning a grade that represents their knowledge. One of the instances, when this could be an issue, is when people cheat on an exam. The person would cheat in order to receive a good grade but the fact is that they cheated and essentially lied about the knowledge that they have in order to receive a higher grade/score on the exam.
This grade may help them but the grade is nothing but a lie. In the short run, the person may have a better grade in a class, but in the future, the person will not know anything that they were supposed to learn. Although lying is not publically acceptable, at times it is considered necessary and even recommended, to lie to other people. Lying has become a common practice in the society of today. It has become so common that people have come up with an excusable type of lie: the ‘little white lie’. Can any lie be little? Even if the lie may not harm a person, they are still entitled to the truth. If someone asked a question they should at least receive the truth. But there are instances when it is better to lie. During World War II, many people helped hid the Jewish population in order to prevent them from being slaughtered. If the people that hid them had spoken the truth when the Nazis came looking for the Jews, then thousands more would have died.
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So, at what point does a lie become unacceptable? When someone lies they may not tell the truth in order to prevent a person from having their feelings hurt, or to even save a life. But there are other instances when a person lies just to prevent another person from knowing the truth. Who determines which lies are acceptable and which aren’t? Torture can provide the possibility of useful information, but many times torture may extract wrong information while making the torturers lose their humanity. Torture can be used to try and get information from the prisoners, but the thing is that the people completing the torture may be losing a part of their humanity. Then the prisoner is also being hurt and damaged emotionally. The ends produced by torture are supposed to be useful information, but many times this information is not useful and may just be a lie. When a person is constantly in pain they will say whatever it takes in order to make the person stop torturing them.
When it comes to the issue of the ends justifying the means taken in order to accomplish them, there are certain questions which someone needs to take into consideration. If someone is aiming to save the life of a child is it acceptable for them to kill multiple people just to save one life? This makes people wonder about the innocence of children and if it is better to save the life of someone that will live much longer over the life of someone that has already experienced life. If a person is trying to stop a global issue is it acceptable for them to commit mass murder in order to accomplish this goal? This brings up the issue of global warming. Global warming can be reduced and even stopped if a large amount of humans in the world were to die. So would it be okay for someone to kill billions of people in order to save the life of a planet and to provide a safe habitat for future generations?