Up@dawn 2.0

Monday, October 3, 2016

Do the Ends Justify the Means? (H3)


With the elections quickly creeping up on us, I think this is a philosophical question that requires special attention. As we learned, Machiavelli believed that a leader must be fierce, cunning, and most importantly keep up the APPEARANCE of virtue. This has created this stigma that the truth doesn’t actually matter, but how you are perceived becomes the common reality. With widespread media and more access to information than ever, this is becoming increasingly relevant. We often consider “the ends justifying the means” when that end is the moral and right thing. But that isn’t always the case. In terms of the elections, the candidates campaign team often take Machiavelli’s advice in creating the appearance of virtue in order to get their candidate elected, whether they plan on following through with their promises or not. This is demonstrated in the movie Our Brand Is Crisis which is based off a true story of a Bolivian election in the middle of political “crisis”. This brings to light the conflict between self-interest and true morality. Which is truly worse? Doing and saying immoral things in order to justify a moral end or doing and saying moral things that would in turn produce an immoral end? According to Machiavelli, it shouldn’t matter what the end result is, a good leader reaches his goals no matter what it takes. But is that really all it takes to be a good leader? Or should we be redefining what a leader is in order to make the idea of a good leader a more just and good person?

6 comments:

  1. Though common people would, I hope, denounce Machiavelli's political philosophy, I suspect many high-level politicians, including the two major presidential candidates, adhere to it fully. Perhaps current events right here in America will one day be viewed as one of the greatest modern examples of Machiavelli's legacy.

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    1. although it might be ethically right to denounce Machiavelli's views perhaps the fact that both of the main political candidates might lead one to understand that his view was the best way to get ahead in politics.

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    2. I think the issue is that roles in politics have become more of a game player role than a leadership role.

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  2. To me this definition of a leader is completely wrong. A leader's responsibility is to do what is needed to reach the goals that are in the best interest of the people he is leading A Leader should never focus on their own personal goals.

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  3. (H3) I believe there is so much more to a leader than what Machiavelli believed. You shouldn't strive to just look more virtuous, you should be more virtuous.

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  4. Kaite Berry H12:08 PM CDT

    I think it is interesting that while many people, more than many really, denounce this philosophy and the many politicians and leaders of our world that fit Macheavelli's ideas, we still see those types becoming leaders in democratic societies. Our nation is, mostly, appalled at the two choices we now have remaining, yet no one acted against it when there were almost 10 different Republicans and Democrats who were running. For us to change that leader ideal, we will first have to change ourselves.

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