Ultimate end

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The Ultimate end is a concept in the moral philosophy of Max Weber, which individuals act in a faithful, rather than rational, manner.

"We must be clear about the fact that all ethically oriented conduct may be guided by one of two fundamentally differing and irreconcilably opposed maxims: conduct can be oriented to an "ethic of ultimate ends" or to an "ethic of responsibility." This is not to say that an ethic of ultimate ends is identical with irresponsibility, or that an ethic of responsibility is identical with unprincipled opportunism. Naturally nobody says that. However, there is an abysmal contrast between conduct that follows the maxim of an ethic of ultimate ends—that, is in religious terms, "the Christian does rightly and leaves the results with the Lord"—and conduct that follows the maxim of an ethic of responsibility, in which case one has to give an account of the foreseeable results of one's action." [1] (From Politics as a Vocation, Max Weber, 1918).

The "Ultimate End" is out of the hands of the actor. So long as he/she acts in a moral (Christian) manner, any bad results, or negative ends, are not the responsibility of the actor and ultimately a result of God's will or other forces.

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External links[edit]

Online edition of Politics as a Vocation

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