The possibilities are endless, so much so that even the possibility that the possibilities aren’t endless is a possibility!
The ends don’t justify the means; the means justify the ends! Why is this? First let me start with why the ends don’t justify the means. This is because the means are in themselves an end at the most surface level, thus if one considers an evil method to be justified by a good achievement, in using the wrong means, one has already gone against the principle that good ends are the most important, therefore that notion is self-defeating and actually doesn’t make any sense. Now, the reason that means justify the ends; it is because – once again – a means is in itself an ends at the very most surface. By partaking in good measures without being concerned with the results, one will be ensured that a good outcome is achieved immediately at the surface level and that no end – no matter how good – will be able to justify an evil or incorrect action. Therefore in conclusion, one acts good and kind without being concerned as to how one appears or what one receives in return; rather one is only concerned with his or her way of going about every single thing along with all things in general.
Just to clarify how a means, method or measure can in itself be considered an ends, result or achievement. This is because it is not a product that is only being received, it is also a concrete manifestation of what is being given. What is being given is a ‘way’, although a way is not something that one can necessarily experience with the senses, it is the source of all things that can be sensed, if it is a good way. If it is a bad way, the results can only be limited to that which pertains to bad things. With a good way, one may not even be concerned with the results of it, because being occupied with such things may end up becoming an obstacle as to how one goes about things. This means that the possibilities are endless when one is not concerned with the product of his or her actions and that the potential results are limited when one is engrossed with what one shall receive for his or her efforts. Even if one does receive the product of his or her expectations, it may not be what one truly wants and it also may not be anything good or deserved. Even if one is perfectly satisfied with what he or she has gotten, if one had to go about getting it in an immoral way, then every piece of one’s journey cannot therefore be good, and since giving and receiving are two sides of the same coin and occur simultaneously throughout the course of either action (giving or receiving), everything one receives cannot be good in that case then.
The only case in which an immoral, dishonest or harmful mode of conduct may be justified is that it is somehow able to bring one to realize it is not the correct way of going about things by seeing it for what it truly is first-hand. Before ever having gone through any such misbehavior, one may already have been able to acutely sense that one should not partake in such actions, however any self-doubt may lead one to committing them anyway. After this has happened it may lead one to continue this way until his self-doubt is dissolved by an epiphany resultant of a connection made in his or her mind relating his or her current situation to his or her own actions and thus coming to confide back into his or her original understanding. The other case is that one continues going about things incorrectly until one reaches a point that everything of his is no longer any good to the extent that he becomes the worst possible of all things: destroyed.
From another perspective this is also a good thing as it does not allow the worst of things to exist, not because the worst of things should not exist, but because the worst of things can be seen as non-existence or no longer existing. Why is no longer existing considered the worst of things? This is because – as inferred previously – good things are the source of unlimited potential and therefore everlasting existence, bad things are truly the source of limitation, which when brought to an extreme point is no longer being able to exist, thus being completely eliminated. Ironically, as aforementioned, the result that the worst of things automatically reaching a point of non-existence is actually a good thing.
Now, if one thinks that he or she is justified in doing wrong things with the excuse that it is to bring him or her to an understanding that those are indeed truly bad things, it will probably not work as it would therefore be going against the precedent-ally illustrated principle that the ends do not justify the means; as one would be practicing one form of doing a bad deed to ensure a good result. The key point here is that one would be doing so knowingly rather than being a result of a genuine doubt in oneself, even the feigning of doubt would not work, nor seeking to achieve authenticity of being unsure as it would all be the result of the same erroneous mindset.
To clarify more precisely, a ‘way’ when looked at from an external perspective does have an immediate form, as the method is manifesting completely, however when one attempts to distinguish its form while performing it, it becomes practically impossible to pinpoint. Conceptualizing a way as an end-result which can be sought is missing the point as the actor performing it is unable to experience it materially though it is certainly manifesting itself in a real way. What I was referring to above, therefore, was one being concerned with one’s course of action for oneself rather than its appearance and/or effect in any way, though it does have a physicality and can be an omnipotent link to any particular or infinitely grand-scale occurrence.