We will ignore the question if choice is real or not. 

Intention is only an excuse for doing harm if you really have no choice and have tried hard to find more choices. Most of us use the good intention excuse to get called good though what we do causes grave harm.  Only the intender can know the truth even though she or he often does not.

We must be careful to be fair when assessing an intention by another.  Yet we are pressured to put the best interpretation or spin on what anybody does and ignore any signs of recklessness. 

There is a debate is about whether intentions are as good as we are told. Only the evidence can tell you how to evaluate an intention.  You cannot read the mind of another.  Often you cannot read or clearly see your own intentions.  Assuming their intention is good means you are suggesting it may be bad but you decide to forget that.  So there is a judgement there at the back of your mind.

So there is no direct evidence.  You have to embrace indirect evidence.  Also, this will be based on how you see that the number of people seeming to be genuine inside is statistically significant.

People will take advantage then regarding how their motives cannot be seen by others.  Plus good intentions go wrong anyway but you never know if the person meant more of that harm than they say.

We all know this.  Arguing that God does his good in the people he made and so we should assume their intentions are good is going to get us to put down our guard too much.

Here are the problems with giving everybody the benefit of the doubt.

First what if the intention is bad, or as bad as it is good, and you are glorifying it or accepting it?

Second it is biased to try to justify and bias never exists in a bubble but diffuses into lots of things and soon the whole apple barrel is corrupted.

Third it is up to the evidence to show what kind of intention may be present and sadly only indirect evidence tells you what you should believe is there. We should be extremely cautious when something cannot offer straightforward evidence.  Indirect evidence is okay but the danger is it may be interpreted wrongly.

Fourth you are seeing the intention as good for you want the praise that comes from people who think that you are too good to see the bad in anyone.

Fifth it is downright terrible if what the supposedly good intention is doing is costing innocent people a lot of suffering.  That covers God's intention too.  If God is hurting people, for he does not care or is spiteful, then we need to know and more importantly they need to know.

Sixth, you do not want to encourage or be a part of the universal human weakness which sees good intention where there is no intention, a bad intention or an indifferent one.  If you make that mistake you become part of the reason why people disguise bad or semi-good intentions as good ones.

Seventh, free will if real may be still inactive or as good as.  Eyesight when your lids are glued shut is real but as good as inactive.  So sensing you can see though all you have is blackness remains a valid experience.



Eighth, you want to believe your intention is good or better than an alternative. Why?  For it self-rewards.  You get a glow.  You feel something moving inside reaching for the self-reward. Which is why your intention is still very much about you even if no glow comes for some reason.  In many this glow fix progresses until eventually they don't care what harm they do with "good" intentions as long as they feel and/or think they meant well enough.  Altruism is a myth propagated by Jesus and Kant and others.  Another glow appears too.  You want your intention to be good or great even if is bad or just okay and mediocre.  Why?  Because you don't want to feel that others rarely have good intentions for you.  That is too scary and threatens your need for relationships and safety.  All that tells us good intentions are less good than you want to think and are arsenic for they get weaker over time.





If you know not think or believe that the person is the kind of person/God who might look as if they are doing evil when they are trying to do good. The problem with thinking or believing is that you are taking a risk over opinion -  a risk that could be as good as approving of the harm done to others.

What about complexity - things can be more complex than we realise which means that the evil we see or think we see is part of a bigger picture and one that is for the best?  The answer is that we know from evidence that few things really are that complex.  The argument from complexity applies usually to the leaders of a country which makes it very worrying indeed.  They use it as an excuse to wage war with huge loss of life.

You can consider holding that somebody's intentions are probably good if they personally indicate to you that they are trying to achieve some good and you see evidence. It is not your job to decide what they intend so they have to tell you and tell you why.  They have to let the evidence speak.

If you are remembering that if an intention is not good then it is bad or uncaring (ie both bad and good which is also to say neither!)

It is thought, "If imputing good intentions to others encourages you to do good better for you believe you are part of their plan for good then fine."  But you have to be sure the intentions are good if that collaboration is to happen.

How does this apply to God?   It is actually worse because:

Faith by default is really about evil and that it will be overcome.  Faith then is not about goodness.  Doctors are about the evil of pain and suffering - it is all negative and sterile.  Faith is aggressive in a sense. 

The believer cannot know that God might be intending good.

The believer that seems to think she does know.

The person who simply decides that the God or other person intends good when there is so much harm allowed and done is condoning. It is better to admit that the other person is bad and that you do not care than to make things worse by trying to paint evil as good or okay.

Condoning evil means you regard a clearly bad deed as well-intentioned and thus you as good as reward it.


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