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Internet Goosing the Antithesis

Friday, July 28, 2006

Question of the Day #55: Is it the thought that counts?

What is more important, actions, or intentions? Why?

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9 Comments:

At 7/28/2006 8:19 AM, Blogger Zachary Moore declaimed...

I would think that intentionality is a large part of morality. If I intend to murder you, but fail, have I been immoral?

 
At 7/28/2006 8:39 AM, Blogger Francois Tremblay declaimed...

"If I intend to murder you, but fail, have I been immoral?"

Well, yes.

 
At 7/28/2006 10:03 AM, Blogger Zachary Moore declaimed...

Right, and if I don't intend to murder you, but do so accidentally (say, by serving you a meal made with peanuts to which I am unaware you are deathly allergic), have I been immoral?

 
At 7/28/2006 11:10 AM, Blogger Francois Tremblay declaimed...

"Right, and if I don't intend to murder you, but do so accidentally (say, by serving you a meal made with peanuts to which I am unaware you are deathly allergic), have I been immoral?"

Depends. In the context you gave, I would say probably not. I assume you mean a convivial dinner sort of thing?

 
At 7/28/2006 11:33 AM, Blogger Zachary Moore declaimed...

Sure, sure. So it seems to me that proper actions tend to be manifestations of proper intentions- meaning that being a moral person is not only acting moral, but more importantly, intending to be moral.

 
At 7/28/2006 12:11 PM, Blogger Francois Tremblay declaimed...

Well, sure.

 
At 7/28/2006 1:16 PM, Blogger Joe Otten declaimed...

Intentions are more important when judging character. But it is actions that have to be punished or rewarded - there are no magic insights into a person's true character.

 
At 7/31/2006 12:49 AM, Blogger Francisco Rodriguez declaimed...

What if one does the right thing due to honest but mistaken reasons?

 
At 7/31/2006 1:15 PM, Blogger Zachary Moore declaimed...

That seems morally neutral to me.

 

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