Which matters more – good intentions or good results?
Maybe it is a philosophical question to some.
Maybe it is a religious question to others.
Or maybe it is an everyday life question we ask ourselves quite often.
Maybe we ask it when we are in a competition and have a chance to outdo rivals, but only through conspiracy and deception.
Maybe we ask it when we are taking an exam at school and see an opportunity to do well on it, but only by cheating or bribing the evaluator.
In these cases, we ask “should we insist on good ends even if it means using wrong means?” Maybe those who feel no shame or guilt using bad means will answer “yes”… but their good ends will always be valued less compared to god ends obtained using right means, and risk receiving harsh criticism if they turn out to be not so good after all.
Maybe we ask it when we are in consideration of spending a large amount of money on discovering a new way to resolve disputes, but without acknowledging its potential downsides.
Maybe we ask it when we try out for a sports team to fulfill a childhood dream, knowing perfectly well that giving your best will still not get you on the team.
In these cases, we ask “will right means have worth even when they lead to bad ends?” Maybe those who can afford mistakes and failures will answer “yes”… but their means will be doubted for their righteousness if they keep leading to bad ends, and risk being deemed acts of hypocrisy or selfishness even if good ends are finally achieved.
I think the question is made so difficult largely because we all come to know at some point in life that using the right means seldom assure obtaining good ends. But I believe that it can be made less difficult by bringing it out in the open – who says you have to find the answer on your own?
You know what they say… two eyes see more than one. So, maybe if we can get enough people to come together to have no blind spot within our field of vision, we will surely find the right means to obtaining good ends.
Early in March, my town began probing into a case in which a deal was made that was once praised for promising good ends is now being called into question because we are seeing sub-par results. As I make this post on March 27, 2017, the plot continues to thicken, with wrong means and bad intentions becoming apparent. But one thing is clear: nobody said to the person making the deal “you don’t have to do it on your own.” We must not repeat history by leaving the person in charge of the matter now on her own to right all wrongs she did not commit.