21 June 2006

 

Ends and Means

This torture nonsense is built around the fantasy that "the ends justify the means." Well, human life on this planet is not what the physicists call a conservative system. In a conservative system, the amount of energy it takes to arrange for a physical configuration is independent of the path by which you make that configuration happen. So, if you move an electron through an electric field, the net amount of energy it takes to move it from position X to position Y is independent of the path you take from X to Y.

In human affairs, however, the path by which one gets from X to Y completely determines what Y actually is. One may get to a Y that seems to be the Y one wanted to get to, only to discover that since one took path A instead of path B, Y isn't really the Y you thought it was. Except for resembling the Y you wanted in a superficial way, it's completely different.

We should carefully choose our path to ensure that the results we desire are the ones we achieve. In human affairs, the means determine the ends.

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