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)