Means to an end
Posted by Masakim on July 07, 2003
In Reply to: Means to an end posted by crackity jones on July 07, 2003
: does anyone know the meaning of the phrase:
: Justify the means to an end...
: or its something along those lines. if you do, can you please email me the answer. thanks
end justifies the means, the A good outcome excuses any wrongs committed to attain it. ... This proverbial (and controversial) observation dates from ancient times, but in English it was first recorded only in 1583.
From The American Heritage Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer
Exitus acta probat [The outcome justifies the deeds]. (Ovid, _Heroides_)
Cum finis est licitus, etiam mediasunt licita [Any means are justified if only the end could be achieved]. (The motto of the Society of Jesus)
The ende good, doeth not by and by make the meanes good. (S. Babington, _Exposition of Commandments_, 1583)