Many people think that the end they are aiming for excuses all the bad things they have to do to get there. The ends justifies the means means that they are willing to do anything to get what they want, even if it means hurting or killing other people.
A good example of this is when scientists use animals in their experiments. People will say, but it’s to get cures for human diseases. They use the ‘ends justifies the means’ as an excuse to torture animals. The animal’s life is a misery as they are caged, poked with needles, have parts of their bodies cut off, given diseases, poisons etc. But people believe that’s okay because it will make things better for humans some day.
The ends justifies the means shows a willingness to look the other way when hurting or killing other beings. It means our ego tells us that what is happening is okay because it does not affect us negatively. In fact, in the end, we will benefit from it, so it’s okay. All that matters is us.
Just because the ultimate outcome will get them what they want does not mean it does not destroy them. If someone kills one thousand men to save their country how does killing one thousand men affect them personally? If they are able to kill one thousand men then there is something ethically wrong with them. They lack empathy and compassion. Those are not good traits. Those are not the traits you want in someone who lives in your community.
When you die the only thing you take with you is your character. If you are able to commit attrocities and tell yourself that the ends justifies the means, what kind of character do you have?
The ends justifies the means is an excuse people use to cover their desire to kill, hurt and abuse other beings. The desire is the problem. Other people do not have that desire. They are unable to hurt other beings no matter what the ultimate outcome will be. Beware of those who make excuses to hurt or kill other people. They will make it seem like they have no choice. They will say things like, “if we do this then [insert positive outcome]”. A good person does good no matter what and does not use excuses to do bad things.
The ends justifies the means is a warning against doing bad things then wrapping them up in shiny wrapping paper so it doesn’t seem like we did anything bad.