Quotations about   means

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As the means, so the end.

Mohandas Gandhi (1869-1948) Indian philosopher and nationalist [Mahatma Gandhi]
In Young India (17 Jul 1924)

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Added on 14-Aug-15 | Last updated 14-Aug-15
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Act so that you treat humanity, whether in your own person or in that of another, always as an end and never as a means only.

Immanuel Kant (1724-1804) German philosopher
Metaphysics of Morals [Metaphysik der Sitten], ch. 2 (1797) [tr. Beck (1969)]
Added on 7-Aug-15 | Last updated 25-Sep-15
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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.

Martin Luther King, Jr. (1929-1968) American clergyman, civil rights leader, orator
Letter from Birmingham Jail (16 Apr 1963)
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Added on 31-Jul-15 | Last updated 31-Jul-15
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Let us diligently apply the means, never doubting that a just God, in his own good time, will give us the rightful result.

Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865) American lawyer, politician, US President (1861-65)
Letter to James C. Conkling (26 Aug 1863)
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Added on 24-Jul-15 | Last updated 24-Jul-15
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If one takes care of the means, the end will take care of itself.

Mohandas Gandhi (1869-1948) Indian philosopher and nationalist [Mahatma Gandhi]
In Harijan (6 Feb 1939)
Added on 17-Jul-15 | Last updated 17-Jul-15
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The companion before the road, and the road before the destination. But without the destination there is no road, and without the road there is no companion.

Abdal Hakim Murad (b. 1960) British Muslim shaykh, researcher, writer, academic [b. Timothy John Winter]
“Contentions 2,” # 7
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Added on 24-Apr-15 | Last updated 24-Apr-15
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The ambitious deceive themselves when they propose an end to their ambition; for that end, when attained, becomes a means.

François VI, duc de La Rochefoucauld (1613-1680) French epigrammist, memoirist, noble
Réflexions ou sentences et maximes morales [Maxims], # 32 (1665-1678)
Added on 8-Apr-15 | Last updated 8-Apr-15
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The free way of life proposes ends, but it does not prescribe means.

Robert Francis Kennedy (1925-1968) American politician
The Pursuit of Justice, “Berlin East and West” (1964)
Added on 15-Sep-14 | Last updated 15-Sep-14
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DARLA: You really think that safety can be plucked from the arms of an evil deed?

Steven S. DeKnight (contemp.) American television screenwriter, producer
“Angel,” 4×17 “Inside Out” (2 Apr 2003)
Added on 22-Aug-14 | Last updated 22-Aug-14
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For when the One Great Scorer comes
To write against your name,
He marks — not that you won or lost —
But how you played the game.

Grantland Rice (1880-1954) American sportswriter
“Alumnus Football,” l. 63ff (1908)

For more information on variations in this poem and quotation from it, see here.
Added on 11-Feb-10 | Last updated 10-Oct-17
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I have almost reached the regrettable conclusion that the Negro’s great stumbling block in his stride toward freedom is not the White Citizen’s Counciler or the Ku Klux Klanner, but the white moderate, who is more devoted to “order” than to justice; who prefers a negative peace which is the absence of tension to a positive peace which is the presence of justice; who constantly says: “I agree with you in the goal you seek, but I cannot agree with your methods of direct action”; who paternalistically believes he can set the timetable for another man’s freedom; who lives by a mythical concept of time and who constantly advises the Negro to wait for a “more convenient season.” Shallow understanding from people of good will is more frustrating than absolute misunderstanding from people of ill will.

Martin Luther King, Jr. (1929-1968) American clergyman, civil rights leader, orator
Letter from Birmingham Jail (16 Apr 1963)
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Added on 12-Jun-09 | Last updated 19-Jan-15
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If one begins all deeds well, it is likely that they will end well too.

Sophocles (496-406 BC) Greek tragic playwright
Fragments, l. 715.
Added on 22-Dec-08 | Last updated 31-Aug-15
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“Imagine that you are creating a fabric of human destiny with the object of making men happy in the end, giving them peace and rest at last, but that it was essential and inevitable to torture to death only one tiny creature — that baby beating its breast with its fist, for instance — and to found that edifice on its unavenged tears, would you consent to be the architect on those conditions? Tell me, and tell the truth.”
“No, I wouldn’t consent,” said Alyosha softly.

Fyodor Dostoyevsky (1821-1881) Russian novelist
The Brothers Karamazov, Part 2, book 5, ch. 4 [Ivan] (1880) [tr. Garnett (1912)]
Added on 20-Aug-07 | Last updated 24-Jul-15
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We may draw good out of evil; we must not do evil, that good may come.

Maria Weston Chapman (1806-1885) American abolitionist, editor
“How Can I Help to Abolish Slavery,” speech, New York (1855)
Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 29-Dec-15
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