Ends

We need to find a form of life that is valuable in itself. What can make a life meaningful? Candidates for this role need to be worthwhile in themselves and not just means to future ends. They need to treat each human life as an autonomous being-for-itself, not merely a being-in-itself to serve some cause beyond it. They need to satisfy our aesthetic and ethical needs, as being both tied to the present moment and existing across time. And there is no reason why such meaning should not be found in this life and not only in a supposed life to come.

Truett’s Rules: (1) It’s better to demonstrate than to dictate. If you set the example, you won’t need to set so many rules. (2) Fifty percent of the battle ends when you make up your mind.

In wonder all philosophy began; in wonder it ends; and admiration fills up the interspace. But the first wonder is the offspring of ignorance: the last is the parent of adoration.

The history of all the world tells us that immoral means will ever intercept good ends.

THERE is a soul above the soul of each,
A mightier soul, which yet to each belongs:
There is a sound made of all human speech,
And numerous as the concourse of all songs:
And in that soul lives each, in each that soul,
Though all the ages are its lifetime vast;
Each soul that dies, in its most sacred whole
Receiveth life that shall forever last.
And thus forever with a wider span
Humanity o’erarches time and death;
Man can elect the universal man,
And live in life that ends not with his breath:
And gather glory that increase still
Till Time his glass with Death’s last dust shall fill.

Most of the dangerous aspects of technological civilization arise, not from its complexities, but from the fact that modern man has become more interested in the machines and industrial goods themselves than in their use to human ends.

Moral ambiguity creates mental cramps of various sorts, which lead to reflection, discussion, and argument… Morality resists theoretical unification under either a set of special-purpose rules or single general-purpose rule or principle, such as the categorical imperative or the principle of unity. If this is right, and if it is right because the ends of moral life are plural and heterogeneous in kind and because our practices of moral education rightly reflect this, then we have some greater purchase on why the project of finding a single theoretically satisfying moral theory has failed.

Means are not to be distinguished from ends. If violent means are used, there will be bad results.

Every man of action has a strong dose of egotism, pride, hardness, and cunning. But all those things will be forgiven him, indeed, they will be regarded as high qualities, if he can make of them the means to achieve great ends.

As surely as we are driven to live, we are driven to serve spiritual ends that surpass our own interests… We are not only in need of God but also in need of serving His ends, and these ends are in need of us.

It is as if a divine cunning operated in human history, using our instincts as pretexts for the attainment of goals which are universally valid, a scheme to harness man’s lower forces in the service of higher ends.

This is the difference between religion and philosophy. Religion begins with the sense of the ineffable; philosophy ends with the sense of the ineffable. Religion begins where philosophy ends.

A fixed idea ends in madness or heroism.

God is withdrawn from both ends of time, for his life is not Time but Eternity, the archetype of time. And in eternity there is neither past nor future but only present.

I have tried to make it clear that it is wrong to use immoral means to attain moral ends. But now I must affirm that it is just as wrong, or even more so, to use moral means to preserve immoral ends.

Immoral means cannot bring moral ends, for the ends are pre-existent in the means.

We must come to see that peace is not merely a distant goal we seek, but it is a means by which we arrive at that goal. We must pursue peaceful ends through peaceful means.

Private property is… a system of legal rights and duties. Under changing conditions the system must be kept in accord with the grand ends of civil society.

It is loyalty to great ends, even though forced to combine the small and opposing motives of selfish men to accomplish them; it is the anchored cling to solid principles of duty and action, which knows how to swing with the tide, but is never carried away by it – that we demand in public men, and not sameness of policy, or a conscientious persistency in what is impracticable.

Holiness is of a twofold nature; it begins as a quality of the service rendered to God, but it ends as a reward for such service. It is at first a type of spiritual effort, and then a kind of spiritual gift.