When do the ends justify the means?
I’m not sure that they do… I know that I will sit around and beat myself up about things that I have done – that weren’t even a big deal. Times that I might have disappointed people, or even just had a simple disagreement.
In the aftermath, there are two things that come into play when taking advantage of another. There is the guilt, or remorse – and then there is the issue of success, or satisfaction. I read the byline of a Vanity Fair article about Scarlett Johansson, how she won a Tony – and the excitement of the award was followed by a sense of emptiness. & if you ask me, Sco Jo deserved that award, she is a lovely actress. So just think of how it must feel after attaining a desire dishonestly?
Now I suppose some might debate Sco Jo’s acting abilities or style, fine – but I don’t think you could debate that she worked very hard for that honor. Contrariwise, I had the notorious bookkeeper, who stole my business’ profits, lied to me day after day, and put various other businesses under, so she could get as much as she could out of them. Unlike Scarlett, I think that this bookie has a hard time sleeping at night.
I suppose the one exception I would make would be if you were in direct bodily harm, then getting a little devious is ok. But I think that “the ends justifying the means” has a more covetous feel to it, rather than self-defense…