The Ever-Droll Tom Kreitzberg Clarifies Things

Paving Material

The Road To HellThe Streets of Hell
Good IntentionsYesNo
The Skulls of BishopsNoYes

Just wanted to clear that up.

Tom’s invaluable blog is found here.

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  • Andy, Bad Person

    And good old Thomas Aquinas would probably disagree with the road to hell’s material component.

    • Tom K.

      In the sense that something that is immaterial can’t be used as a material, you mean? Or in the sense that the specific difference between the road to hell and the road to heaven — understood metaphorically — cannot be good intentions being present in the former, since good intentions are necessary for virtuous acts and not necessary for vicious acts?

      • Andy, Bad Person

        I meant that truly good intentions, proceeding from a well-formed conscience, do not lead to sin at all, and therefore not to hell. Naturally, there are plenty of excuses disguised as good intentions, and intentions proceeding from negligent conscience, that are indeed sinful. I wouldn’t call either of those “good intentions,” though.

        • Tom K.

          I take the aphorism to mean that evil is commonly done with good intentions.

          Since St. Thomas taught that evil can be done with good intentions, the only thing I can see him objecting to is the “commonly.” How common it is is an empirical matter about which I have no data, so I could only offer the somewhat circular counterargument that it seems to happen often enough that we have formed and sustained a proverbial warning against it.

          But if you’re suggesting that, whenever “good intentions” are mentioned in connection with evil acts, they aren’t objectively good intentions, then that certainly doesn’t follow from St. Thomas’s teaching.