So awhile ago, I had lunch with a good friend, Yong Hee. He asked me my thoughts about “ends justifying the means”, ie if the end is strong enough, can it necessarily justify the means to achieve it.
I thought for awhile, and later asked him in return: If someone declares that to have peace,
we need to kill everyone else (so that there is no conflict, hence peace) … is that still right?
Many of our daily decisions do not result in life and death, but on very grey areas where it’s hard to delineate right from wrong. I personally find it important to see the means as part of the end as well, i.e. the actions themselves are part of the result, and not separate from the derivative result that we are pursuing.
The other thing to also consider … as I mentioned to him is the very fact that we are even having second thoughts about certain course of actions … often these are tell tale signs that perhaps the balance is not there.
Chinese translation: http://buddhavacana.net/2013/05/29/和平的代价/