for the sake of good consequences

English translation: the end does not justify the means

17:17 Sep 9, 2008
English language (monolingual) [PRO]
Social Sciences - Philosophy
English term or phrase: for the sake of good consequences
Hi, can you please help me interpret the sentence below?

"Max Weber famously distinguished an ethic of ultimate ends from an ethic of responsibility. In the former, absolute moral imperatives must not be violated **for the sake of good consequences**, but an ethic of responsibility must focus on the results".

Does this mean that if absolute moral imperatives are violated, bad consequences will ensue? Or am I completely out of track here?

Thanks in advance for your help.

Adele
Adele Oliveri
Italy
Local time: 21:34
Selected answer:the end does not justify the means
Explanation:
A popular truism. Means you can't do bad "immoral" things, even if the end goal is "good."

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Note added at 4 mins (2008-09-09 17:21:45 GMT)
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The other ethic is also commonly described as: "If you wanna make an omelet, you got to break some eggs," meaning the end does justify the means.
Selected response from:

Mark Berelekhis
United States
Local time: 15:34
Grading comment
Thank you Mark and a special thanks to David for his comment in the "discussion" section. I was simply reading the sentence the other way round (i.e. the only way to get good consequences is to adhere to strict moral principles). Thanks for enlightening me! :-)
4 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer



SUMMARY OF ALL EXPLANATIONS PROVIDED
4 +8the end does not justify the means
Mark Berelekhis


Discussion entries: 1





  

Answers


3 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +8
the end does not justify the means


Explanation:
A popular truism. Means you can't do bad "immoral" things, even if the end goal is "good."

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 4 mins (2008-09-09 17:21:45 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

The other ethic is also commonly described as: "If you wanna make an omelet, you got to break some eggs," meaning the end does justify the means.

Mark Berelekhis
United States
Local time: 15:34
Works in field
Native speaker of: Native in RussianRussian, Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 4
Grading comment
Thank you Mark and a special thanks to David for his comment in the "discussion" section. I was simply reading the sentence the other way round (i.e. the only way to get good consequences is to adhere to strict moral principles). Thanks for enlightening me! :-)

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Patricia Townshend (X)
45 mins
  -> Thank you, Patricia.

agree  Jack Doughty
1 hr
  -> Thank you, Jack.

agree  Ken Cox: and my sympathy for Adele -- even a native speaker has to read this twice to figure out what is meant.
1 hr
  -> Thank you, Ken. Philosophy tends to be pesky.

agree  mili gutierrez castro: for me the key word is "absolute" along with imperative, meaning that it would be justifiable to violate some "minor" moral principles
1 hr
  -> Thank you, Maria.

agree  Demi Ebrite: One must not go against their moral imperatives in order to obtain or create good consequences.
3 hrs
  -> Thank you, debrite.

agree  Heather Shaw
4 hrs
  -> Thank you, Heather.

agree  orientalhorizon
8 hrs
  -> Thank you, oriental.

agree  Phong Le
10 hrs
  -> Thank you, phong.
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