The Ends Justify the Means Essay

The Ends Justify the Means Essay

Length: 1120 words (3.2 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Strong Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

The violence shown in the film Mississippi Burning displays one of the most inhumane images. It shows the unconditional hatred by the Caucasian Americans toward the African American people living in Jessup County. Throughout the film, it is suggested by Agent Anderson (a fictional FBI agent) that those involved in the investigation of three missing children needed to use more guttural tactics. This is often referred to as a “do whatever it takes” philosophy. In the film however, Agent Ward is particularly against using such tactics and avidly tries to avoid using them. Agent Anderson finally wins the argument between them and the more aggressive technique eventually prevails. The question that looms however is whether or not it is justifiable to use such hostile tactics. Can one say that because of the violence that culminated against the Black Americans it is okay to deploy the same amount of violence against the aggressors? Philosophers such as Martin Luther King Jr. and Henry Thoreau have written about such ideas and their concepts can be directly applied to the example presented in Mississippi Burning.
Dr. King echoed nonviolent protest even through his greatest struggles. In his “Letter From Birmingham Jail”, King still evoked the want for nonviolence against those who committed acts of injustice. Even though he deplored the actions that the members of the white community were doing, he still stressed the need for a peaceful campaign.
“It is unfortunate that demonstrations are taking place in Birmingham, but it is even more unfortunate that the city's white power structure left the Negro community with no alternative.” (King)
Dr. King was probably the most outspoken critic of the conditions in the South, mainly be...


... middle of paper ...


...if all peaceful means of solving the crisis at hand are unsuccessful and the resolution of this crisis is of utmost importance, than it is acceptable to use the means necessary to achieve that end.



Works Cited
Barnett, Horace. Interview by Henry Rask. Personal interview. 20 Nov. 1964.
Hornsby Jr., Alton. "Martin Luther King, Jr. "Letter From a Birmingham Jail"." The Journal of Negro History Vol. 71.No. 1/4 (1986): 38-44. Print.
King, Wayne. "FILM; Fact vs. Fiction in Mississippi." The New York Times [New York City] 4 Dec. 1988, sec. Movies. The New York Times. Web. 4 Nov. 2013.
Thoreau, Henry. "Civil Disobedience." A Yankee in Canada, with Anti-Slavery and Reform Papers (1866): 123-151. Print.
""You Shall Love Your Neighbor As Yourself"." Catechism of the Catholic Church. Washington, D.C.: United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, 2006. Paragraph 2309. Print.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

When the Ends Justify the Means in Machiavelli´s The Prince Essay

- ... Securing the state's power is just because it secures its citizens. Therefore, the state is justified in its actions, so long as it is projected towards this end goal in mind. This is where the phrase, “the ends justify the means” first blossomed. Machiavelli justifies his claim on the basis that men are inherently violent, ungrateful and disloyal. In short, Machiavelli has a rather pessimistic view of human nature. The only way to tame human nature into a cooperative fashion is for the state to exercise fear over its citizens....   [tags: Values, Morality, Authority]

Strong Essays
783 words (2.2 pages)

The Ends Justify the Means Essay

- The violence shown in the film Mississippi Burning displays one of the most inhumane images. It shows the unconditional hatred by the Caucasian Americans toward the African American people living in Jessup County. Throughout the film, it is suggested by Agent Anderson (a fictional FBI agent) that those involved in the investigation of three missing children needed to use more guttural tactics. This is often referred to as a “do whatever it takes” philosophy. In the film however, Agent Ward is particularly against using such tactics and avidly tries to avoid using them....   [tags: Mississippi Burning]

Strong Essays
1120 words (3.2 pages)

Social Influence Research - Do the Ends Justify the Means? Essay

- Social Influence Research - Do the Ends Justify the Means. To what extent does the importance of social influence research, justify the methods used in its investigation. The debate about ethics in psychology focuses on two areas: protection of participants and benefiting society. This is a double obligation dilemma as if some psychologists are not allowed to do certain experiments because of ethical restraints; this can cause problems with validity. In social psychology, these psychologists have an obligation to use their research skills to advance our knowledge of human behaviour, for the ultimate aim of human betterment....   [tags: Papers]

Strong Essays
851 words (2.4 pages)

Anti-Trust Legislation & Microsoft: Do The Ends Justify The Means? Essay

- Anti-Trust Legislation & Microsoft: Do The Ends Justify The Means. Anyone who uses a computer today has likely heard of Microsoft, the maker of Microsoft Windows. Over the past few years, as Microsoft’s software has dominated the market, Microsoft has been involved in a number of anti-trust lawsuits, claiming that Microsoft has engaged in unfair business practices which are monopolistic and anti-competitive. By the end of these proceedings, Microsoft was found to be in violation of federal anti-trust laws....   [tags: Microsoft Argumentative Persuasive Essays]

Strong Essays
2544 words (7.3 pages)

Essay on Embryonic Stem Cell Research: Good Ends do NOT Justify Immoral Means

- Few advances in modern science have generated as much excitement and public debate as the discovery of human embryonic stem cells (hESC). The debate over the use of embryonic stem cells in research has polarized the global community along the lines of those who argue that such research holds the promise of medical breakthroughs for many currently incurable diseases and ailments, while opponents condemn such research as it involves the destruction of a potential human life and is seen as humanity “playing God”....   [tags: Legal Issues, Modern Science]

Strong Essays
2066 words (5.9 pages)

Essay about The Ends And The Means

- Choice #1 - The Ends and the Means The phrase “the end justifies the means” originates from the most famous writing of Niccolo Machiavelli titled On Principalities which is most commonly referred to as The Prince (McCormick, 2014). Machiavelli endorses with this phrase the approach of doing anything that is required to obtain the end result you desire. The doctrine does not discriminate between the technique used, be it good or evil, truth or lies and so on in order to obtain the preferred end results....   [tags: Morality, Ethics, Political philosophy, Religion]

Strong Essays
889 words (2.5 pages)

What It Means to be a Just Man Essay

- What It Means to be a Just Man For many years, dating back to the first birth of man there has been the ultimate question of what makes a man just. This question has been pondered by numerous great philosophers. The question is varied to answer because of a multitude of opinions due to the nature of human diversity. Whether or not there is an objective answer to the question still remains a mystery. Plato and Epicurus have both given their detailed opinions of what makes one just. Plato believes that justness is something that comes from a more internal location dealing with the soul this disagrees with the idea that Epicurus holds which is justness is more of a physical or external matt...   [tags: Papers]

Free Essays
876 words (2.5 pages)

Essay on Animal Farm - The End Justifed the Means

- END – Achieve freedom from humans and be able to look after themselves The means to get this was by Napoleon and Snowball taking charge and organizing the events in the other animals’ lives JUSTIFY – To whom was justification needed. - Other Animals - Pigs The animals believed that whatever the means, no matter how hard their lives would become, all would turn out for the best. Therefore, Squealer and Napoleon were able to justify this means to an end for them. Napoleon and Squealer were happy and felt that the means was justified because they were advantaged over the others....   [tags: Animal Farm Essays]

Free Essays
496 words (1.4 pages)

Government Is Editing History For It 's Own Means And Ends Essay

- Government is editing history for it’s own means and ends. Texas is changing its history books to fit its political agenda “implementation of the curriculum changes and new standardized test be stopped for being racially or ethnically offensive or historically inaccurate”. To better suit its views and the way it sees things, they change the history books to follow that point of view that Texas sees. This is a good way to influence the younger generation to support the actions that they do because they have the same views due to the changes of the text....   [tags: Nineteen Eighty-Four, Ministry of Truth]

Strong Essays
1185 words (3.4 pages)

Essay on Sociologist Views on the Means and Ends of Socialism

- Sociologist Views on the Means and Ends of Socialism Socialism is a very broad ideology, encompassing many different ideas and viewpoints. Different socialists have disagreed on both the ways in which they believe socialism should be achieved and implemented, and on what exactly it is that they want to achieve. The two main viewpoints I am going to look at in terms of the means of achieving socialism are revolutionary socialism and evolutionary socialism, and in terms of the aims of different socialists I am going to discuss Marxism, including orthodox communism, and also social democracy and the 'third way'....   [tags: Papers]

Strong Essays
2348 words (6.7 pages)