On the Ends Justifying the Means, and What It Means for the Stability and Endurance of Our Country

January 11, 2009 at 4:38 pm | Posted in American politics | 1 Comment

I was just reading this article on the new season of 24 and thought this second to last paragraph revealed much:

That’s how it has to be. Jack Bauer represents the delicate balance between acceptance and discomfort as far as what is right in defense of the nation. He epitomizes the notion that the ends always justify the means when the result is a safer country, and yet the country that he inhabits is far less overtly safe than the real world.

That’s a very good point and observation. For those who believe that the ends always justify the means tend to have a less safe world. It is one of those inherent contradictions. To be more safe as a country, you have to limit what you can do, the ends do not justify the means because the moment you start using those means, the end changes and is no longer what originally desired.

It’s pretty interesting that in the world of 24, no matter how much torture they employ, no matter how many bad guys they kill, they somehow just can’t get peace, can they? Isn’t that interesting. Surely all that violence and destruction wears on the psyche of the people inhabiting that world.

Maybe there’s a better way…

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  1. It’s pretty interesting that in the world of 24, no matter how much torture they employ, no matter how many bad guys they kill, they somehow just can’t get peace, can they?

    Well, in this case, I’m pretty sure it’s just a case of the writers not wanting to take the series in a boring direction and put themselves out of a job. As Nibley has pointed out, peaceful societies don’t have much in the way of history that get written down. The Nephites’ peace with the Lamanites after the visitation of Christ lasts for over two hundred years, but how many pages of the Book of Mormon go into the details of what happened during those years? “Happy is the nation whose annals are a blank” is how Nibley put it, if I remember correctly.

    And in parallel with the writers of “24”, one might be able to make the claim that America (the government) doesn’t really want peace, because it would put the military and all their contractors out of jobs, too. If Satan can’t buy up armies and navies and rule the Earth with blood and horror, what kind of fun is that?


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