Ends Justify the Means

Define end…

Sea Gabriel:

Welcome to mythic deviant with C Gabriel. Today is cultural myth. The ends justify the means. Apparently we think that Machiavelli said this, but he didn't. He said that we should keep the results in mind when choosing our methods, which is entirely different. The ends justify the means informs us that it's all right to do something questionable. If it's in the service of the greater good as a director. For example, registering qualified individuals while normally perverse may be worth it. If it thwarts later terrorist activity, it's sort of like a first strike defense let's look, the end says that the story is over, but any SQL writer knows that stories are circular. The end of a story is most often the beginning of the story. Remember myths of a beginning in the normal. Uh, middle in the mythic world and an end back in the normal world that demonstrates what has been learned the beginning and the end are the same. We go on quest to learn things, and then we come home and start again, ends our beginnings. As human beings. We like to pretend that some arbitrary moment in five, 10, 2000 years as an end, but really time has never ended. And I can't say that. I predict that it will, at least not before we do time, just keeps going and sodas matter. One of the tenants of science, one of our favorite contemporary gods is the conservation of mass, which states that nothing is lost. Only transformed. There is no. This also applies to experience things that are done are never undone the repercussions. Go on eternally in the end. There's no end. There are only means life affirming means and death affirming means courageous means and fearful means honest means and deceitful means, but only means cause life has changed. Not completion. So let's look at life. Most of us agree that life ends. If the ends justify the means, then the point of our lives is to die and we should do whatever it takes to do so as quickly and as expediently as possible. But the point of life is not really death it's end, but life itself it's mean. The way we live and the things we do while we're alive are the actual point. The moment we die while potentially interesting is neither the place where we gain meaning nor the reason we live a life as well alive. It has constant growth gain and loss, fun and pain, peace and anger. Only death is stagnant and risk-free life is risky. Death is secure. Life is a me. Death is an end where the closest thing we come to one, even then all our little bits go on. It's really just a change we don't understand. So we tend to unreasonably empower it anyway to illustrate repercussions of the cultural myth. The ends justify the means I'm going with Oedipus the king. I love this bit of the Oedipus story, but not for the same reasons that Freud did. You'll notice that this is not about Oedipus being hot for his mom in Oedipus, his opinion, his identified end to avoid his horrific fate justified his means of abandoning his family and duties as upcoming. Once upon a time, there was a king Lyas and a queen Jocasta. They have a baby at a person. They take him to the local Syr for a quick blessing. The Sierra tells them that the baby will kill his father and marry his mother, which they find kind of pervy and disturbing. So they ask a herdsman to take the baby and kill him. Cause you know, that's what you. The shepherd takes the baby away, but does not kill him because, uh, he is a decent human being. Instead he gives the baby to a king and queen and the next town and they raise them as their own edifice grows up, believing that Polybius and Meropenem are his real parents, the actual moral of the story. Maybe don't lie to your kids. When he's an adult, he goes to an Oracle who tells him that he will kill his father and marry his mother. And he totally freaks. He immediately leaves town never to return on the way out. He meets a man at the crossroads and they do all thus, he kills his father. Then he gets to the next town, which he does not know is his hometown. The city is being besieged by a Spinx who is asking riddles because that's the kind of plagues they had. He correctly answers the riddle. What walks on four legs in the morning, two at noon and three at night. It's a human being who first crawls then walks then uses a cane. He saves the city and wins the grand prize. The queen who he does not know as his mother, he marries her and they have four children, two boys and two girls who, who prophecy fulfilled. When one for the Oracles, he then states that he will banish whoever had the bad grace to kill her husband, the prior king oblivious to the fact that it was him. Eventually the truth comes out and tragedy and Sue's leaving Jocasta, dead and epistle wandering the country blind each, get their own hand. There's more, there are two sequels because things don't end, but for now, we'll pause there. The first book. To me, this is the most dangerous repercussion of the ends justify the means myth. I think of it as shadow casting. It's the concept proven again and again, in both story and life that if we fear something enough, we will pretend it's an end, a terminal destination. We will then build our lives around combating a thing that doesn't exist until we create it. This actually making the situation we were trying to thwart. It's like pulling up all our plants so we don't get weeds. We will invariably get weeds because we've created a big block of soil with no plants in it, which is weed. Nirvana. Oedipus does this with his fate in his desperate attempt to avoid it. He creates it. Hitler did this as well. He was terrified that the German way of life would be diffused by the subcultures within it. So he attempted to get rid of them in doing so. He started a war that left his own people, devastated and broken Germany. Now at tones by accepting people from all over the world, thus diffusing the German way. Like Oedipus Hitler created exactly what he was trying to avoid. However, there was a point there when he was winning around 1940 Hitler was leading Germany to world domination and he made a great case about the end, justifying the means, but it wasn't the end and 70 years later, it still hasn't ended and it never will world war II, just like everything else in history will have repercussions until the end of time. Should that manage to occur? You can't really rule anything completely out, but it does seem improbable. So why do we have a cultural myth that clearly doesn't work most of the time because it's built on false premises because it is great. If we want to do something short-sighted, that will harm people, which for somebody. Is often, there's always that subversion thing where a few people like to get the masses to serve only them, rather than themselves. There is nothing a coward likes better than to get other people to do stuff so that they can pretend they're brave and strong leaders. This myth is great. When what we want to do is subvert other people's power and take advantage of them. But is there a way that we might actually use it for good. To me the key or here is determining what an actual long-term end might look like. It would have to be sustainable. It would have to be an actual solution and it would have to have a unified vision and structure that would support it indefinitely because any type of end isn't one. So how do we create an end that is honest and stable, and that has no backlash in it. And is therefore an actual end as far as our limited lives. I'm going to use vaccinations as an example right now in my neighborhood, vaccinations are strongly recommended for children, but not enforced. We can opt out with enough paperwork. Arguably our vaccination rate is around 89%. Some people want them to be mandatory for everyone. Some people choose not to vaccinate at all. And some people choose to vaccinate for some things, but not others. Vaccinations do quell outbreaks. And when we can predict that someone will die because they have lower immunities, we recommend that they not be immunized and a small percentage of people still die or arguably have other negative ramifications. This is a complex issue and details are not the point. The point is that many people have an ends justify the means attitude toward this practice. Here are some thoughts. The reason we have a two person procreation system is to ensure the greatest number of variations and personal genetics. So that in case there tragedy like a plague, we have some individuals who survive and our species survive. If we uniformly even accidentally kill off a subset of the population with a certain genetic makeup that falls outside of the norm, we're limiting the variation and our species gene pool. On the other hand, when we don't vaccinate, we're permitting and otherwise avoidable number of tragedies from diseases we're already familiar. So, which is more important. My child not getting sick or my species not going extinct, because that would be a big bummer for my kid too. Right. Do we prioritize individuals, communities that species, what is our end? Do we want to create a single immortal guy who will probably kill himself? Because he is so lonely. What are we trying to achieve? If we understand that the only legitimate definition of end is a sustainable ongoing means. If it lasts longer than we live, it will seem like an ad. How does this apply to our subcultures? What are the sustainable ongoing means? We're hoping to create by doing things like registering groups of people really pretend that our end is to reduce terrorism, but most two year olds have a good understanding of what happens when we escalate tension. Segregation is not an actual end. It needs constant maintenance. And even then it's just a means to a backlash and violence. Is that the best we can hope for is that the end we're looking for, or might we be better off if we work toward another end, like peaceful cohabitation? What if our end was something as inconceivable as mutual trust and respect? How do we in our lives identify ends that are really means to a better life. How do we avoid ends that are really just fear-based tricks to get us to do stuff that enslaves us when we feel overwhelmed or weak when we're frightened? I think we need to remember that the real point is a life well lived. Not alive well died. That a good life is a life lived through good means and not necessarily one in which the protagonist dies with finesse, though, it could be silly and wonderful. We will need to address good versus bad, but not today. Next time back to the shapeshifter until then our lives are stories, author responsibly.

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