Debate Championship V-6th & 7th Jan '07

Posted: 13 years ago


"Do Ends Justify the Means?"

Introducing the teams we have

The "FOR" Team:

Arguing "Yes, Ends justify the Means."

    swordfishh  ash_sabihey
  • shikara



The "Against" Team:


Arguing "No, Ends do not justify the Means"



    Naughty_n_nice SmarterDesiKid
  • Evilgenius

 Please present facts and examples as much as possible to make your debate the winning one!

The rules are:

         The opening remark is to be 500-1000 words, one member from each team will do that and can prepare in advance.

         A closing statement again from each side, 500-1000 words at the end of 48 hours.

          Each side will have a color of their fonts – the 'For' side will post in Navy Blue – (# 000099); the 'Against' team will post in Dark Red (# 990000). Let us know if you have different preferences.

          References/Quoting from websites, encyclopaedias is highly appreciated and will gain you extra marks. Make sure to refer them in your posts too.

         You will all of course be civil and courteous to each other.  Inability to do so might result in deduction of marks.

         Use proper English. You can use common net lingo but do not argue in gangsta language or MSN language.  Do not write 'one word response' that is just your reaction e.g. 'Duh!' or 'Puh-leaze' by itself. Follow it up with some fact or logic or insight.

         Use pictures to demonstrate something and not as ornamental value. What we want is your eloquence not photo-editorial skills.

Other pointers:

•     The point of debate is express your point of view precisely and yet thoroughly – not proving other POV wrong or make other party admit they were wrong or having the last word. If at any point, in any part of the agreement, you realize that you have said all you could say…it is perfectly alright to move on to the next part f the topic. Do not take matters round and round just because you want to have the last word.

•     Smileys are condiments, not the main course.

•     Realize that this is all for fun so whatever the judgment, do not take it personally and PM judges with your disagreement or disapproval.

•     Above all, have fun!

Quoting guideline:


  When quoting your opponent or your team mate, please write outside the quote box. Judges will only read the material outside the box –in grey background as yours. If the quote already has a quote, please delete all previous quotes other than what you are referring to.


  We will be having three positions to award:


 -Winner of DC V

 -Runner-up of DC V

 -Winning Team of DC V


  This championship appreciates team work. Although you will shine in your own way but it is nice when there is a constant flow in the arguments of all the team members.  So use the PM service. You can also look at the previous championships [listed in Kaal-Sandook post] for familiarity.  


TIME:  Starting from Saturday, Jan 6 07, 9 AM EST (7.30 PM IST)

      Closing at      Monday,   Jan 8 07, 9 AM EST (7:30 PM IST)


   This topic will be closed until Debate Championship day. Any participant from above list can start with their opening statement. Whoever logs in first can get started.



 And best of luck to all of you Thumbs Up Looking forward for tough rebuttals and arguments.



T. ,Mythili Kiran and MNMS.


Edited by MNMS - 13 years ago
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Posted: 13 years ago
The thread is now open. On your mark, get set, GO!

Moderator's Note:
ONLY the contestants of the DC and the DC organizers are allowed to post messages in this thread.

Judges, if you have any comments, please PM either MNMS or T.
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Posted: 13 years ago

Well,To start with...

As someone rightly said : "It is not What you achieve! It is..How you achieve!!!"

Do ends really justify the means?

The simplest answer to this is "NO!".Why am i saying this?Basically,what this phrase actually means is that does it really matter that by which means/procedures u achieve your goals(ends).?Having achieved your goal matters ? OR the means by which you achieve them? If you achieve something ,your goal maybe,by some bad means is it justified?So basicaly what it says is...(in my case),that if you achieve your goals by some bad means ,unfair means then is it worth it? is it justified?

So...the answer to this is "NO"!! Its really not worth it..its simply ethically wrong to achieve ur goals by some bad means...! Ok..u may achieve whatever u have wanted to..but still...who knows how long that thing,that success is going to last!That success u wanted ..maynot last that much may fade away with time..But...Ur guilt inside U is not going to leave U! that's going to b with U forever!!! Your inner-self would keep on realising you that whatever u may had achieved but still...the means are wrong.......!!!they can be ethically wrong,legally.....!!

If i take it in this sense only,that achieveing good by bad means is not worth it,then there is one example that i wanna quote here which is full proof of this thing that having achieved your goals by bad means does give u timely success but not inner peace...

Example is of Partition of India and Pakistan to gain independence.Their or Our goal was to simply achieve a land of peace..yes..not a piece of land ut a land of Peace...where there is nothing but peace only between the people.We used weapons of war...almost everything that could b partition the two very same almost every sense....!! result:We came out successful..we did gain independence ....but independence ....only for our people...not for their hearts!! what means did we apply? we used weapons,,destruction was there....what not! we did came out successful..but...still......instead of 'closeness'..we have distances..,instead of 'love',we have 'hatred'! Instead of' peace'..we have 'wars'!------This is the result of achieveing good(independence),through bad(weapons) means..which's not at all justified!Doing Partition in itself is a bad means...if we take it as other view also..!Having divided something is in itself,a wrong thing...............because Power,strength lies in being as a 'Whole'....not in some deteriorated form.What's the point here is that the wrong means we used for independence........was 'the very thought of Partition'!!!!!

Edited by Evilgenius_S.S™ - 13 years ago
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Posted: 13 years ago


TOPIC:  Does the End Justify the Means?

"The end justifies the means" is a saying coined by the great political thinker Machiavelli in his book The Prince.

         This maxim encompasses two beliefs: (courtesy: Wikipedia)

    Morally wrong actions are sometimes necessary to achieve morally right outcomes. 
  •  Actions can only be considered morally right or wrong by virtue of the morality of the outcome

    And how true! History bears testimony to this fact. A good outcome excuses any wrong committed to attain it.
    Jeremy Bentham's utilitarian views too subscribe to this ideology. After all society is all about the greatest good of the greatest number! A morally questionable act done for the collective good of the masses is justified any day.

    There are many situations where man needs to compromise with his beliefs and principles, just to achieve an outcome that is good and desired. Lets have a look at the Mahabharata for instance- Krishna and the Pandavas used shrewd tactics and broke the rules of the war to defeat the Kauravas. The outcome- Good prevailed over Evil.
    What about the numerous instances when the UN Security council has had to intervene to resolve the situation in many countries. The USA attacked Iraq by force- the means were morally questionable. But the outcome has been a good one with Saddam Hussein being punished for all the crimes that he had committed. It is the end that matters. It is achievement that matters.

    It is better to tell a lie that will do good than tell a truth that can devastate. At times ignorance is true bliss. It is not wrong to keep people ignorant about something by telling a lie instead of telling a truth that hurts.

    Stem Cell Research is a field fought with ethical and moral controversy. But, as they say- The show must go on. This is a field that can create miracles in the field of Life Sciences. Yet, we do have to adopt morally unacceptable means to achieve the desired outcome. Playing with 'life' which is vested in a tiny embryo inside a mother's womb is considered a sin. But it is completely ok to commit this 'sin' just for the betterment of mankind.

    Prisoners need to be subjected to rigorous imprisonment so that law and order is maintained in this society. Let us imagine a hypothetical situation of dangerous terrorist conspiracy. It is right to torture a person to make him reveal who it is. After all we would be saving hundreds of lives. Many say using of hypnotism, truth serum and lie detectors on prisoners are gross Human Rights violations. But I would say these are necessary evils. These actions can only be justified by the usefulness of its outcome.

    What about a starving man? Is it wrong for him to steal from a rich man who squanders money? Is it wrong for him to fight for his survival not depriving anyone of anything… (Depriving a rich man of the food he would have wasted cannot be considered deprivation!)

    Whats more... The Ends justify the Means even in fiction. Let us look at Robin Hood for instance. He stole from the rich and gave the money he got to the poor. Now the means weren't right at any cost. Infact stealing is considered a sin in every religion. But doesn't the outcome overshadow the means he adopted? His efforts helped in feeding many hungry souls. The rich did lose a bit of money but they could do without so much.

    In a nutshell-

Edited by swordfishh - 13 years ago
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Posted: 13 years ago
Sorry for the delay posting. My son had fallen sick soi had to take him to doc. Here is my opening statement that I prepared.
oops double post! deleting one!

Edited by shikara - 13 years ago
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Posted: 13 years ago
Does the end justify the means? – A phrase give to us by utilitarian philosophy.
When we consider this statement we must consider first the context in which the word justify is used. Because if we do not consider what is meant by justification, we cannot talk about the means employed to achieve it, good or bad.
When we say that something is "justified," we are concluding the action is right in our eyes. Society as whole decides the moral compass along with our own conscience decides what is that it is right. For example, if a person refuses to pay a bill for merchandise they did not receive, we would say that they were justified. They are in the right. But if a signed receipt can be offered to show that someone in the family received the merchandise without informing them, the store would be justified in demanding payment.
The very statement does the end justify the means implies that nothing can justify a means except the end which is intended. A means can be right only in relation to an end, and only by serving that end. Therefore, the first question to consider about the means proposed as a way of achieving any objective is will it work? Will this means, if employed, accomplish the purpose we have in mind? If not, it is certainly not the right means to use.
When we speak of the end we always consider it to be a conclusion which is for the betterment of society. This brings us to the heart of the matter. Since a bad end is one that we are not morally justified in seeking, we are not morally justified in taking any steps whatsoever toward its accomplishment.   For example a person's purpose, the end may be something like earning a lot of money. With such an end in view, certain immoral means will help achieve that faster. While the person would be right, from the point of view of expediency and efficiency, they are not right morally in taking these steps as a means to the end. And thus he is not morally justified in employing such means. What I am trying to say is no means can be justified to be right by a bad end or rather a morally corrupt end.
But the key question then becomes what about a good end, a morally correct end? Based on my comments above we are always morally justified in working towards their accomplishment. So are we also morally justified in using any means which will work to achieve it? My answer to that question is plainly yes. I believe if the end is really good and for the betterment of society, and if the means really serves the end then there can be nothing wrong with the means. The end we have achieved has justified the means.
I would also like to add for the benefit of naysayers, if an action is morally incorrect, it cannot really serve a good end, even though it may on the surface appear to do so. Let us take the example of the Iraq war. People in power, such as George Bush, try to condone their use of violence or fraud by making it appear that their injustice to individuals was for the social good and was justified. But since the good society involves justice for all, a government which employs unjust means does not really achieve a good end, which in this case would be justice and fairness to all. And thus when we look at this situation and say well see the end does not justify the means, we are not looking too closely as if we were to we would see, our example is wrong. Let us take another example of the Mahabharata, in which Krishna used means of debatable morality to deprive Karna of his protective earrings and armor, to make him gift away all the protective Dharma earned by him through his unrivalled philanthropy. But in this case the small lapse of morality was justified for the greater good. As Karna in spite of being such an honorable and loyal man, was due his disdain of Arjun and friendship with Duryodhan supporting the immoral side and therefore to achieve the greater good, Krishna was justified to cause this ambiguous morality method.   In fact Hindu mythology is full of such examples where certain cloudy moral activities were used in order to achieve the greater good.
I would like to conclude by saying, in order to justify the means we must look at the end it causes. If we fail to ask whether the end in view is really good, or we fail to examine carefully how the means will affect the end. If we were to examine this we would clearly see that the end does justify the means.

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Posted: 13 years ago
Originally posted by swordfishh

What about a starving man? Is it wrong for him to steal from a rich man who squanders money? Is it wrong for him to fight for his survival not depriving anyone of anything… (Depriving a rich man of the food he would have wasted cannot be considered deprivation!)

I disagree..!If someone steals for his god,his survival...then morally and ethically its wrong!! But it can only b right in his eyes only! He thinks its right,thats why he's doing it!Only God is there to provide food,shelter,basic things to everyone..then why not trust him?? Why follow the evil path?The reason is lack of ur belief in God! It means that your very own belief is weak...!!!Your are weak in your religion!Because at the end of the day,its only"U" who is answerable to "yourself"...

I would like to quote here some really good points in this it is..

One of the toughest things I deal with (philosophically) is when I am discussing things with people and they do not understand the concept that "the ends can not justify the means" -- or even worse, when they just believe that it can. They want their goals so bad that they will compromise their beliefs to get there (and probably achieve the wrong goals in the process).

Put yourself into any "evil" tyrants head in the world throughout history -- and they believed that the ends justified the means. I have a hard time believing that most of them THOUGHT they were just pure evil (whether they were or not is a separate issue). I imagine that most of them just thought they were doing good -- they just believed that the ends (their utopia) justified the means with which they got there (usually taking rights and freedoms, tyrannized the innocent and so on). They wanted harmony and control at all costs and believed that would be good for society (and themselves) -- and the means was just a necessary reality.

Think of Adolph Hitler -- what did he really believe? He believed that the rights of the many outweighed the rights of the few (the tyranny of the masses). That Europe and the Jews were responsible for the depression and Germany's situation. So he felt that taking over was necessary. That eliminating the enemies through fear and even murder was acceptable. He probably believed that the final solution was justified because of the great harmony a homogenous society would offer. Of course we know him as a murdering genocidal threat to humanity -- but why? Because the ends can not justify the means -- his good intents (to empower Germany and his ideals) are irrelevant -- his actions are what mattered, and they were wrong.

This gets into my other little philosophical altruism -- that "you are what you do". It doesn't matter what you think are, or wish you were -- it matters what you are doing. If you steal, for whatever reasons, then you are a thief. If you assault someone, or intimidate someone, then you are those actions as well. All of your actions define who you are at a given time in your life. The trick is to stop doing those actions that you don't like, or that aren't the actions of a person that you want to be. Do the actions of a person that you want to be (charity, compassion, forgiveness) and you are that kind of person too. You are what you do.

You can look at Ho Chi Mihn, Castro, Pol Pot, Kim, Sadam Hussein or any present day tyrant (or past one) and it almost always comes down to the same thing -- they tried to do good (in their minds), but their means sucked. They freed themselves from one tyranny by creating a worse one. They believed that the first tyranny was wrong, and needed to be stopped, that the people were downtrodden, that the evil rich were taking more than what they thought was fair, the masses were exploited, that wrongs were being done, and so on. According to many their ends (goals) were noble. They were righteous. Yet they rationalized their actions -- war, extermination of their enemies (who would take them back to that "bad" place), fear, murder -- whatever means it took to achieve their ends -- usually to stop the same. They were hypocrites that believed that the actions of the other side justified their own actions -- or worse. Once they started down a path it was hard to stop. They had to compromise their beliefs (in compassion, humanity, etc. -- the MEANS) -- and by the time they achieved their ends, they had no principles/beliefs left (if they even started with them). They failed because they believed their ends justified the means -- and that corruption ate them alive.

Look at the failures and violence being perpetuated today. This is all around the world. The Jews were wrong in how they took over Israel -- and the Palestinians were wrong in how they fought back. Look at the IRA. They are rightly protesting against what they see as an enslavement (or occupation) by a foreign government. You may not agree with their view -- but the point is that they do. Their goals aren't wrong -- freeing North Ireland -- it is the means which is wrong. The bombing of innocents (even the innocent soldiers of that occupying force) is a means with which they are trying to achieve the ends (and many other nefarious and ugly means). They feel justified because of the means with which the other side (England) has used to keep what it sees as a noble ends (protecting the rights of its citizens, civilizing Ireland, protecting it's property and so on). Both sides goals may be noble -- but that can not forgive the actions done in the name of their respective goals. They are the sum of their actions -- not the sum of their goals

To sum it up..all i can say is

What is going to define who your life is NOT what you've achieved (like some naively think), those are like possessions (that you can't take with you). What is going to define you is how you achieved those things. On your deathbed you are going to want to look back at your life and realize that it is better to have tried and failed using the right means, than to have succeeded using the wrong ones.

(Courtesy :

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Posted: 13 years ago
Note to contestants:

It was clearly stated in the rules that only ONE opening post is required , the next one will be considered as a rebuttal by the Judges.

There are only 25 hours left in the contest. This is to remind all the contestants that we will NOT EXTEND the deadline of the contest.

T. and MNMS Edited by MNMS - 13 years ago
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