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?
Posted by Sam Eisenberg at 11:20 AM