The road to hell is paved with good intentions 英文諺語

The road to hell is paved with good intentions 手抱菩薩操屠刀

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MEANING

The intention to engage in good acts often fails. It points up the principle that there is no merit in good intentions unless they are acted on; people often mean well but do bad things ( this can be a strong rebuke, implying that the person you are addressing did something bad and his or her good intentions do not matter).

Very few people have bad intentions. But most of the problems in the world are caused by good intentions. They may not seem good to us, but they seem good to the one taking the action. Good intentions alone are not enough to make our actions moral.

All of us justify our actions to ourselves. It is human nature to do so. Leon Felsinger’s theory of Cognitive Dissonance posits that we feel psychic distress when we do things that consciously violate our own values, so we create justifications for what we do, allowing us to comfortably live with ourselves. Even Hitler, the modern symbol of ultimate evil, had good intentions, as did his followers. Otherwise, he would not have been able to convince intelligent, educated, enlightened Europeans that the world would be a better place without Jews and other impure people like homosexuals, Gypsies, blacks and intellectually deficient people. However, his good intentions spawned the most horrific genocidal crusade in human history.

During the Middle Ages and afterwards, well-intentioned witch hunters in Europe and America burned tens of thousands of women alive at the stake in the hope of ending epidemics, and they instilled paranoia in the populace, for anyone could be suspected of being a witch or a consorter with witches.

EXAMPLE

Kate: “I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to hurt your feelings; I only wanted to help you.” Frank: “Oh, yeah? The road to hell is paved with good intentions.”

 

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The road to hell is paved with good intentions 手抱菩薩操屠刀

 

複習英文︰

A leopard cannot change its spots

The pen is mightier than the sword

The pot calling the kettle black

The proof of pudding is in the eating