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Related to justifying: proving, analyzing

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

justify something by something

to try to explain why something needs doing or why it is acceptable to do something. You cannot justify violence by quoting proverbs. Your action was totally justified by the circumstances.
See also: by, justify

justify something to someone

to explain something to someone and show why it is necessary. Please try to justify this to the voters. I can justify your action to no one.
See also: justify

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 periodicals archive ?
Thus, the action selected by a state under conditions of indeterminacy will be fully determined by justifying reasons.
If alternatives are incomparable with respect to the choice value, perhaps the fact that an alternative is not worse than the others can be a justifying ground.
Since justifying the suspect's force and B's force is undesirable, the tentatively amended objective theories are untenable.
2) This issue is an extremely important one in any analysis of DA, for if CP does not deter more effectively than other forms of severe punishment, then this particular justifying argument cannot hope to succeed.
Also, the specificity and detail in an anonymous call may become an important issue in justifying the police response.
While the Third Circuit in Lanning ruled that the public safety nature of a job will not change the Title VII requirement of business necessity, there is no reason to believe that public safety should not play a role in justifying a physical fitness standard as a business necessity.
In a concurring opinion, two of the justices noted that an anonymous tip with certain features or in certain situations may make it more reliable, justifying police action.
The main rationale justifying the Company's consolidation with the Merging Companies is to optimize the utilization of the assets concentrated in the Netia Group in order to maximize economic results.
White make it clear that an anonymous tip that merely identifies a person, but does not show that the tipster has knowledge of concealed criminal activity is not sufficient to establish a reasonable suspicion justifying a stop and frisk.
Margins are tighter, but companies such as Fastweb, Lyse, Acantho and Colt are justifying to investors connections that impose strict ROI timescales; and, most notably, they are meeting these ROI targets.
Clearly, the majority decision rejected an absolute ban on the use of unexplained flight as a factor in justifying reasonable suspicion.
Paul Strassmann, speaking on "Justifying Investment in Information Technology in an Era of Scarce Funding", demonstrates how new analytic techniques can be applied in justifying a portals-based infrastructure.
Occasionally, the signs are a pretense - set for the sole purpose of justifying the detention of drivers who take steps to avert the nonexistent roadblock.
It is the first tool to give users a simple, intuitive, drag and drop interface and a structured framework for simplifying individual decision making, building consensus among multiple decision-makers, and justifying decisions through automatically prepared graphs and reports.