The means we choose define us more than do the ends we seek. For the means we choose are how we directly affect other people and the world around us. Any given end that motivates our chosen means may never be realised.
Our acts usually have purposes, and there is the issue of whether any particular act are likely to achieve their motivating purpose, but such purely instrumental judgments are not about moral justification, but causal efficacy.
Morality is more about constraining and directing our acts than our purposes precisely because acts matter more directly. Injunctions such as do not murder, do not steal and do not lie constrain our actions towards others: they are all about what means are legitimate, when and where given that we do such things to achieve other purposes (even if only for the thrill). Any care we have for why you wish to do these things is usually either very general (was it accidental or intended?) or an extreme case (self-defense, avoiding starvation).
To proclaim “the ends justifies the means” is to demand release from some or all of the normal constraints of morality. (Read more at Critical Thinking Applied.)
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