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Prompt: If a goal is worthy, then any means taken to attain it are justifiable.

Write a response in which you discuss the extent to which you agree or disagree with the statement and explain your reasoning for the position you take. In developing and supporting your position, you should consider ways in which the statement might or might not hold true and explain how these considerations shape your position.

GRE Issue Essay Pool Answer Sample

I fundamentally disagree with the statement that “if a goal is worthy, then any means taken to attain it are justifiable.” While it is essential to pursue noble objectives, the means used to achieve them should adhere to ethical principles, legality, and the well-being of individuals and society as a whole.

One of the most significant reasons for my disagreement is that the end does not always justify the means, as it can lead to morally reprehensible actions. History is replete with examples where individuals or groups justified horrific acts, such as violence, oppression, and discrimination, in the name of noble goals. For instance, authoritarian regimes have argued that suppressing dissent and violating human rights are necessary for stability and economic growth. However, such actions violate fundamental ethical principles and human dignity, illustrating the danger of pursuing worthy ends through unjust means.

Furthermore, employing unjust means can undermine the legitimacy of a goal and its long-term sustainability. Achieving a noble objective through unethical or illegal methods can tarnish the reputation of the cause and erode public support. Sustainable progress and social cohesion often depend on the moral integrity of the means used to achieve goals.

Additionally, the notion that any means are justifiable to attain a worthy goal can create a slippery slope, leading to a culture of ends-based justifications. This can erode the rule of law and democratic principles, as individuals and organizations may become more willing to bend or break the rules in pursuit of their objectives.

In conclusion, while the pursuit of worthy goals is commendable, it is essential to recognize that the means used to attain them must be grounded in ethics, legality, and respect for human rights. The statement that any means are justifiable to achieve a worthy goal oversimplifies the complexity of ethical decision-making and can lead to harmful consequences. A more balanced and principled approach is necessary to ensure that our actions align with the values we seek to promote.


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