In a discussion today that included thinking about how to respond to the apparent success of a political way of behavior the group found disturbing, wrong headed, and dangerous, the question came of whether it could be right to adopt the tactics of that party. In particular, it was asked whether by doing that one, or a group, could avoid becoming morally and ethically no better than the others. If one sets out to fight fire with fire, does one becomes just another arsonist?
So, the relationship between the ends and the means is on the table. What becomes of us if we compromise our values to fight for our values? Can the end justify the means? Or, must the means be congruent with the ends to succeed?
The problem of how to resist an evil does include all the moral and ethical complications of the context of self defense.
I incline to the position of the means needing to match the ends, that it is dangerous to compromise values to achieve them. And, with that, I will leave it there and invite comment.