the end justifies the means

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the end justifies the means

A positive outcome justifies the methods one employs to reach it, even if they are unethical. I know you think that the end justifies the means, but stealing to feed the poor is still stealing.
See also: end, justify, mean

The end justifies the means.

Prov. You can use bad or immoral methods as long as you accomplish something good by using them. (Not everyone agrees with this idea.) Lucy got money for the orphanage by embezzling it from the firm where she worked. "The end justifies the means," she told herself. The politician clearly believed that the end justifies the means, since he used all kinds of nefarious means to get elected.
See also: end, justify, mean

end justifies the means, the

A good outcome excuses any wrongs committed to attain it. For example, He's campaigning with illegal funds on the theory that if he wins the election the end will justify the means , or The officer tricked her into admitting her guilt-the end sometimes justifies the means. This proverbial (and controversial) observation dates from ancient times, but in English it was first recorded only in 1583.
See also: end, justify

the end justifies the means

wrong or unfair methods may be used if the overall goal is good.
The Roman poet Ovid expresses this concept in Heroides as exitus acta probat meaning ‘the outcome justifies the actions’.
See also: end, justify, mean

the end justifies the ˈmeans

(saying) bad or unfair methods of doing something are acceptable if the result of that action is good or positive
See also: end, justify, mean
References in classic literature ?
Unhappily Orin Silver, a man of far-reaching aims, had died too soon to prove that the end justifies the means.
Divine sanction of the principle of the end justifies the mean is morally problematic and dangerous.
The exemplary leader does not live by the end justifies the means but by ensuring the means and the end are justifiably executed.
I suggest people rethink their position if they believe that in sports, the end justifies the means and that anything goes as long as it results in success.
It has retarded the growth of the democratic process in the belief that the end justifies the means.
The end justifies the means and the means justifies the end-a pragmatic calculus that is compatible with ongoing social trends.
A club statement read: "At a time when the world of football often resembles a jungle where the end justifies the means, we would like to acknowledge the exemplary behaviour of this venerable Scottish club.
The new technology resulting in three-parent babies once again mentions nothing about the human embryonic loss of life, simply our modern ideology is that the end justifies the means.
The end justifies the means, when acting in the name of God.
Directed by Christian Ditter (The Crocodiles), the film is a pleasant enough, light-hearted watch and the end justifies the means.
Marks said that he did not think the CIA had "any conscious strategy to subvert the churches" but that, "to the CIA, the end justifies the means.
Of course the end justifies the means and, thanks to our friends at some of the region's most popular venues and attractions, we had put together a pretty special list of prizes to fill each of the three goody bags we'll be giving away to our three lucky (and very clever, obviously) winners.
People may say the end justifies the means because they ultimately won the senior, but not for me.
The Catholic Church has always condemnded the principle that the end justifies the means.