A man is walking along a canal when he sees someone struggling in the water. Intending to help, he seizes a lifebuoy and throws it to them. Unfortunately, it hits them on the head, knocking them out, so they drown.
His intentions were good, so: would you give him a medal?
Trying to get rich, a woman spends thousands of pounds on the National Lottery. A quarter of this money is given to a hospital to buy extra equipment, which saves several peoples’ lives.
The consequences of her actions were good, so: would you give her a medal?
A gunman arrives at a man’s house and demands to know where the man’s children are hiding. The man knows it is wrong to lie, so he tells the truth. The gunman finds the children and shoots them dead.
The man’s actions were good – he told the truth, so: would you give him a medal?
Think about the reasons for your decisions in the three cases above.
Which is the most important thing in deciding between right or wrong:
- your intentions – what you are trying to achieve, or
- the consequences – what happens because of your actions, or
- the actions themselves
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