Why should we not obtain our goal, which is good, by any means whatsoever, even by using violence?
According to Mahatma Gandhi, the idea that the English obtained what they desired by the use of force is not an appropriate reality to be followed. He maintains that what the English gained in their pursuit was useless and anyone who intends to follow this ideology will attain the same useless goals. He further explains that nobody would wish to have useless gains after a struggle. With reference to the greater voting power obtained by the English in 1833, he insists that real rights are obtained by performance of duty and the English did not enjoy the ends since the means were not just, but rude. He also maintains that what the English obtained is the precise result of the means they adapted; wrong means, wrong ends (Misra, 2008).
Gandhi is strongly against the Machiavellian philosophy that asserts that the end justifies the means. He gives an example of saying that by planting a noxious weed, a person can get a rose from it (Misra, 2008). By this, he implies that everything that a person does reflects on the outcomes that they should expect. Goals are attained fairly in order to enjoy them. He also says it is only possible to cross the ocean by means of a vessel meant for such purposes and not a cart, since both the person crossing the ocean and the cart would find the ocean bottom. If you try achieving a goal using the wrong means, chances are that you might achieve wrong or useless results as described by Gandhi. In describing “means,” he links it to linking it to a seed and the “end” to a tree (Misra, 2008). He says nobody can pretend to worship God by lying prostrate before Satan. A person would be ignorant if he says he wants to worship God by means of Satan. He refers to the biblical verse that says, “You reap what you sow” (Misra, 2008). There is no way one could expect results from where they did not labor.
Martin Luther King Jnr. Also said in his writings that the means we use must be as pure as the ends we seek. He is an activist who is prominent for his teachings and following the teachings of Mahatma Gandhi (Burrow, 2009). Luther in his writings disagrees with the Machiavellian philosophy and makes assertions that are most appealing to God. He believes that in doing bad, one cannot argue that they have good ends. He maintains that means should not be detached from ends since they are both correlated (Burrow, 2009). The nature of the means an individual uses is the same as those ends they should expect to achieve. Just as he says the means should be as pure as the ends, therefore, impure means imply impure ends (Burrow, 2009).
In conclusion, both Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jnr suggest that in order to reach desired ends, it is in order to use ends that are related to each other. They do not support the Machiavellian philosophy on means and ends, and maintains this does not serve the general purpose of goal attainment.
Misra D. A. (2008). Inspiring Thoughts Of Mahatma Gandhi. New Delhi: Concept Publishing Company
Burrow F. (2009). Martin Luther King Jr. for Armchair Theologians: Armchair series, Armchair Theologians. Louisville, Kentucky: Westminster John Knox Press.