With the Best of Intentions

No U.S. president can justify a policy that fails to achieve its intended results by pointing to the purity and rectitude of his intentions. ~ Paul Wolfowitz, “Statesmanship in the New Century,” in Kagan, R. and Kristol, W, eds. Present Dangers: Crisis and Opportunity in American Foreign and Defense Policy, San Francisco, 2000, p. 335


Moral justification is a powerful disengagement mechanism. Destructive conduct is made personally and socially acceptable by portraying it in the service of moral ends. ~ Albert Bandura


An explanation of cause is not a justification by reason. ~ C. S. Lewis


I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I have ended up where I intended to be. ~ Douglas Adams


Accept good advice gracefully – as long as it doesn’t interfere with what you intended to do in the first place. ~ Gene Brown


It is difficult to say who do you the most mischief: enemies with the worst intentions or friends with the best. ~ E. R. Bulwer-Lytton


History will be kind to me, for I intend to write it. ~ Sir Winston Churchill


No explanation ever explains the necessity of making one. ~ Elbert Hubbard


Explanation separates us from astonishment, which is the only gateway to the incomprehensible. ~ Eugene Ionesco


Congress is functioning the way the Founding Fathers intended-not very well. They understood that if you move too quickly, our democracy will be less responsible to the majority. ~ Barber B. Conable, Jr


Maybe intentions are the lies in the dark we tell ourselves when who we are falls short of the mark and when we destroy our neighbor we can say “I never meant any harm.” ~ Danielle Donoho


The greatest thing in family life is to take a hint when a hint is intended – and not to take a hint when a hint isn’t intended. ~ Robert Frost


Hell isn’t merely paved with good intentions; it is walled and roofed with them. ~ Aldous Huxley


Concentrated power is not rendered harmless by the good intentions of those who create it. ~ Milton Friedman


The object of most prayers is to wangle an advance on good intentions. ~ Robert Brault


Excuses are the tools with which persons with no purpose in view build for themselves great monuments of nothing. ~ Steven Grayhm


Usually, terrible things that are done with the excuse that progress requires them are not really progress at all, but just terrible things. ~ Russell Baker


I may have said the same thing before… but my explanation, I am sure, will always be different. ~ Oscar Wilde


Our great democracies still tend to think that a stupid man is more likely to be honest than a clever man. ~ Bertrand Russell


Try as hard as we may for perfection, the net result of our labors is an amazing variety of imperfectness. We are surprised at our own versatility in being able to fail in so many different ways. ~ Samuel McChord Crothers


Wisdom is what’s left after we’ve run out of personal opinions. ~ Cullen Hightower


If nobody spoke unless he had something to say, the human race would very soon lose the use of speech. ~ W. Somerset Maugham