Means and Ends

Ends are purposes or goals toward which we aim. Means the the methods and devises we use to achieve or realize those ends.

In current political discourse we are endlessly focused on means even when we use the language of ends. If someone or some group claims a different set of means than we do, we assume that they must be seeking different ends. We know that our ends are good, just, and loving; since their ends differ, they must be the opposite of good, just, and loving.

But what if our ends mostly overlap? What if multiple parties seek very similar ends through very different means? Do we have the ability to discern that is happening? Do we have the patience and will to check things out? Or do we just jump to the quick and easy judgment that the Other Team is stupid and evil, while we laud our own virtue?

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