Blocking the means

This root of the law rests on the assumption that an act may be designated as illegal if its use may facilitate another illegal act. In other words, television could be made illegal because it television might facilitate watching pornographic movies.

The principle rests on the assumption that the means to an end takes on the value of the end. If the end is illegal, so are the means to it.

What is rarely acknowledged is that a particular means may be used to arrive at different ends, where a few may be illegal but others may be legal.

Moreover, what is rarely highlighted is that equating the value of the means with the value of the end also works in reverse: when the value of the end is legal, the means also becomes legal.

If the means takes on the value of the end, then committing mass murder to achieve a caliphate is justified because the end is desirable. The principle is Machiavellian, as it conveys the notion that the end justifies the means.

This “principle” imparts the view that what makes an act legal or otherwise is whether it “leads to” a legal result or not. Thus, this root of the law should be re-examined.

[Disclaimer: Readers are advised to check the veracity of the statements made in this post for themselves. If any reader finds an error in this post, kindly inform me].