A new friend of mine posts something he calls “provocative questions”. Provocative, in the sense that they cause his readers to ponder the answer.
The other day, he posed a question which was basically, “does the end justify the means?” He phrased the question slightly differently, but that was the meaning.
My gut feel is that “no, it doesn’t – we should be completely consistent in our behaviour”, so there shouldn’t really be a difference in our means and our end. But even as I wrote that, it felt like it would only be a matter of time before I thought of something to counter that. I certainly picked up that depending on whether I asked Does the end… versus Should the end…, I got a different answer.
“Time” came this morning, probably a full three days after he asked the question. I still believe that we should always behave in a consistent manner, but the exception is glaringly obvious. Pretty much any war we’ve ever had. In WWII, for example, the Americans dropped nuclear bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Was that about 100,000 casualties in each? Bad things, right? Except the events ended WWII, so probably saved lives overall.
Closer to home (both time and distance) I can look back at all the shenanigans in Northern Ireland, most of which are deplorable, but in the end, they got the right result. The troops are out and there is a peace, albeit quite fragile.
Funny, I wasn’t really even thinking of Fandango’s question, I was having a shower at the time! It might take a while, but I’ll get there.