Intentions VS Actions

Home Forums Exploring Intentions (Kun Long) Intentions VS Actions

This topic contains 2 replies, has 3 voices, and was last updated by Profile photo of Jake Getz Jake Getz 7 years, 9 months ago.

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    Profile photo of Karina Fox
    Karina Fox

    Despite our intentions, it’s the results of our actions that have an effect on the lives of the people around us.  Now life isn’t always black and white, when we hurt someone it doesn’t always mean that we set out with the goal to cause harm but this doesn’t mean that the damage is any less. The question that has been plaguing me is,  does it really matter what the intention is if in the end someone gets hurt? I often see people using intentions as an excuse to make their mistakes look  less bad, if they didn’t mean to do it then it’s not really their fault right? I make mistakes every day, and I struggle every day with trying to own up to them and I fail a lot. I want to be the type of person who makes amends for my actions and who doesn’t try to hide behind whatever my intentions may have been. At the end of the day I believe that it’s our actions that we should be judged on,  make amends for, and be congratulated for.

    Profile photo of anonymous

    Do people need to be judged? What is the role of this judgement? Are you saying that our laws should treat people the same, regardless of their intention? Or that in choosing who we respect and choose to learn from we need to judge people based on their actions? Or that in choosing friends we must be able to judge who we value and who we don’t, again through their actions? Or is this judgement for some other person?

    I personally agree with much of what you said. I think we need to be able to say, “this is the kind of person I want to be,” “this is how I will choose to do things,” and the only place this choice is reflected is in our actions. When finding role models, we need to be able to make this judgement. I think anyway that the reason we think about what we do, and make choices with intentions is exactly in order to control our actions, and conversely, that the only reliable way to control and change our actions is to think with intentions, and make choices. So who we are is ultimately determined by our actions, and that is how we can judge people.

    The only part I would clarify for myself is that I think no judgement can abolish our responsibility to have empathy for others humanity. I think, whatever someone’s actions, we must still recognize that they are basically a conscious human being, and in this most profound way like us. And while we may choose to act in a different way from someone else, or to try to stop them from carrying out the intentions, that for me should be the limit to this judgement. This isn’t just an intellectual point. For me it means that we can’t forget that even people guilty of the worst crimes are people and should be treated as such. We can’t just lock them away and pretend they are completely different from ourselves because they aren’t, and so while I think we can judge that people shouldn’t be allowed to live in free society, and punish and imprison them for this reason we should never allow ourselves to make them suffer just because they are “bad people.” We should understand the magnitude of the judgements we make. It is possible to do something terrible in a single moment, and while someone IS responsible for that moment, they themselves are not only that moment, still feel in real ways, and we should never forget this.

    Profile photo of Jake Getz
    Jake Getz

    Kuvee, not matter how much we say we do not judge, I believe we inherently form our opinions of people based on what we know of them. Also I feel that it is safe to say people are different from others, in the same way that people are individuals in how they think about things they are different in how they would react to the same intentions. I feel as if there must be a middle ground, while no you can’t lock up people with wrong action and ignore them, you also can not treat those who have done wrong as if they are humans who have done no wrong. Some combination of restraining those who have done wrong from doing more wrong regardless of intentions as well as not forget that they are humans who deserve your empathy.

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