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  1. #1
    I could do things Hard's Avatar
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    Default Intent: Do you care?

    I have seen this appear in several places recently, and I feel it deserves its own topic. It's the matter of intent. Does it matter to you?

    Some people seem to think that intent doesn't matter at all and they don't factor it in most of the time. Others, seem to think that intent does matter, and it's very often considered.

    I don't believe this to be a black and white situation (I can see in various contexts how intent would or would not matter), but it seems like some lean one way over the other. So, which way do you lean, how much so, and why?
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  2. #2
    Senior Member Opal's Avatar
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    Default

    By "intent" do you mean the motive underlying an action? If so, yes.

  3. #3
    LadyLazarus
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    Intent is everything.
    The result may be the same in the end, but the underlying motivations are what distinguishes between genuine malice and misplaced benevolence in regards to the original intention of a person. Some people are malicious on purpose, others are-what may be perceived by outsiders as- malicious, by accident, the difference lies on whether their malice was intentional. I believe malice may be excused if the individual's motivations were not so, however I would never be able to forgive someone who intended to hurt me.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Opal's Avatar
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    Default

    To elaborate, I place more importance on intentions than the symptoms of intentions (actions). I find present motives offer windows into the future, "accidents" often form patterns. Ignoring implications feels like the equivalent of skimming the back of a book and putting it down.

  5. #5
    The High Priestess Amargith's Avatar
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    People make mistakes and need space to learn. So yes, intent matters greatly. In some circumstances though, competence and results are however extremely important and knowing your limitations equally so - in those moments, intent may be less important.

    Lastly, having the right intention means significantly less without the determination to grow and learn from your mistakes. Laziness, fear or other priorities might make someone's intent of less value when they fail to actually focus and learn from their mistakes in the past and just repeat that same mistake over due to not investing in themselves and growing as a person. While this is understandable and also part of the learning process, one should at least take precautions to keep your lack of competence from harm others through your actions - possibly by stepping down or refraining from undertaking those actions.
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  6. #6
    Senior Member prplchknz's Avatar
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    Yeah, though I can't often deduce what it is.
    In no likes experiment.

    that is all

    i dunno what else to say so

  7. #7
    Senior Member Forever_Jung's Avatar
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    Intent pretty much always matters, IMO. If someone tries to suffocate me, but manages only to cure my hiccups, I'm not going to thank them just because the outcome was positive.

    That being said, there are some grayer areas. For instance, some stores have charities where they raise money for public schools by asking customers for cash donations. So sure, the school gets a grant to buy supplies/books/equipment, but the store gets all of that money back because the school has to spend their whole grant at the store anyway (the grant is given in the form of a store credit). The store is REALLY asking customers to donate money to the store (indirectly), which (aside from just getting the money) generates good publicity and gives them a tax break. This to me, is essentially money laundering, but whenever I say stuff like that people say: Oh hush you, at least the school gets their supplies. I see their point, but it still bugs me.

    I discussed it with my family one time, and I thought it was interesting that my dad and I (who both use Ji) thought it was crooked while my brother and mom (who both use Je) told us we were fussing over nothing. They focussed on the outcome, we focussed more on the intent. I know it's a small sample size, but it was kind of neat.

  8. #8
    Senior Member cafe's Avatar
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    I care up to a point. I am glad when someone has good intentions, but regardless of their intentions, if they are making my life unpleasant, I want them to knock it off. If someone hates me but leaves me alone, I can usually live with that fine.
    “There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old’s life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs.”
    ~ John Rogers

  9. #9
    Senior Member ceecee's Avatar
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    It matters a great deal to me.
    I like to rock n' roll all night and *part* of every day. I usually have errands... I can only rock from like 1-3.

  10. #10
    Temporal Mechanic. Lexicon's Avatar
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Amargith View Post
    People make mistakes and need space to learn. So yes, intent matters greatly. In some circumstances though, competence and results are however extremely important and knowing your limitations equally so - in those moments, intent may be less important.

    Lastly, having the right intention means significantly less without the determination to grow and learn from your mistakes. Laziness, fear or other priorities might make someone's intent of less value when they fail to actually focus and learn from their mistakes in the past and just repeat that same mistake over due to not investing in themselves and growing as a person. While this is understandable and also part of the learning process, one should at least take precautions to keep your lack of competence harm others through your actions - possibly by stepping down or refraining from undertaking those actions.


    Quote Originally Posted by cafe View Post
    I care up to a point. I am glad when someone has good intentions, but regardless of their intentions, if they are making my life unpleasant, I want them to knock it off. If someone hates me but leaves me alone, I can usually live with that fine.
    ^ ^ Agreed.

    Intent matters to me, in terms of observing what has actually transpired vs my own perception of the person's motivations. One can deduce at least a few things from the action of executing said intentions itself, but uncovering the individual's motivation behind it brings more dimension to explore, understand, and reconcile, one way or another. In extreme situations, external behavior trumps intent, much of the time. It took me awhile to realize the value of that, as one might run the risk of developing poor boundaries when focusing entirely on the intent alone (perhaps over-empathizing). Understanding the why does not necessarily justify the what.
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