Ends

Wisdom denotes the pursuing of the best ends by the best means.

Life as a sum of ends has a right against abstract right. If for example it is only by stealing bread that the wolf can be kept from the door, the action is of course an encroachment on someone’s property, but it would be wrong to treat this action as an ordinary theft. To refuse to allow a man in jeopardy of his life to take such steps for self-preservation would be to stigmatize him as without rights, and since he would be deprived of his life, his freedom would be annulled altogether. Many diverse details have a bearing on the preservation of life, and when we have our eyes on the future we have to engage ourselves in these details. But the only thing that is necessary is to live now, the future is not absolute but ever exposed to accident. Hence it is only the necessity of the immediate present which can justify a wrong action, because not to do the action would in turn be to cause not to do the action would in turn be to commit an offense, indeed the most wrong of all offenses, namely the complete destruction of the embodiment of freedom.

Every attempt at social leveling ends with leveling to the bottom, never to the top.

Art is the response to the demand for entertainment, for the stimulation of our senses and imagination, and truth enters into it only as it subserves these ends.

Human life, because it is marked by a beginning and an end, becomes whole, an entirety in itself that can be subjected to judgment only when it has ended in death. Death not merely ends life, it also bestows upon it a silent completeness, snatched from hazardous flux to which all things human are subject.

The effect of power and publicity on all men is the aggravation of self, a sort of humor that ends by killing the victim's sympathies.

Age and youth look upon life from the opposite ends of the telescope; to the one it is exceedingly long, to the other exceedingly short.

Men are not rational beings, as commonly supposed. A man is a bundle of instincts, feelings, sentiments, which severally seek their gratification and those which are in power get hold of the reason and use it to their own ends, and exclude all other sentiments and feelings of power.

Time: That which people are always trying to kill, but which ends in killing them.

Who in the rainbow can draw the line where the violet tint ends and the orange tint begins? Distinctly we see the difference of the colors, but where does the one first blendingly enter into the other? So with sanity and insanity.

Education begins by teaching children to read and ends by making most of them hate reading.

Everyone is biased, whether they know it or not, in possessing fundamental goals, purposes, and ends. If we understand that, we can be properly skeptical of all historians (and journalists and anyone who reports on the world) and check to see if their biases cause them to emphasize certain things in history and omit or give slight consideration to others.

Act only on that maxim [intention] whereby you can at the same time will that it should become a universal law. Act as if the maxim of your action were to become by your will a universal law of nature. Always act so as to treat humanity, whether in yourself or in others, as an end in itself, never merely as a means. Act always as if to bring about, and as a member of, a Kingdom of Ends [that is, an ideal community in which everyone is always moral].

All our knowledge begins with sense, proceeds thence to understanding, and ends with reason, beyond which nothing higher can be discovered in the human mind for elaborating the matter of intuition and subjecting it to the highest unity of thought.

That in the order of ends, man (and with him every rational being) is an end in himself, that is, that he can never be used merely as a means by any (not even by God) without being at the same time an end also himself, that therefore humanity in our person must be holy to ourselves, this follows now of itself because he is the subject of the moral law, in other words, of that which is holy in itself, and on account of which and in agreement with which alone can anything be termed holy. For this moral law is founded on the autonomy of his will, as a free will which by its universal laws must necessarily be able to agree with that to which it is to submit itself.

We gain our ends only with the laws of nature; we control her only by understanding her laws.

Men do not attract that which they want, but that which they are... The “divinity that shapes our ends” is in ourselves, it is our very self. Man is manacled only by himself: thought and action are the jailers of Fate - they imprison, being base; they are also the angels of Freedom - they liberate, being noble. Not what a man wishes and prays for does a man get, but what he justly earns.

Metaphysics begins and ends with God.

All true science begins in the love, not dissection, of your fellow-creatures; and it ends in the love, not the analysis, of God.

The creed which accepts as the foundation of morals, utility, or the Great Happiness Principle, holds that actions are right in proportion as they tend to promote happiness, wrong as they tend to produce the reverse of happiness... Pleasure and freedom from pain, are the only things desirable as ends.