Is It the Thought That Counts?

In my reading of the Bible, Christianity essentially supports a consequentialist morality. See the following verses:

  • 1 Tim 5:8, “Anyone who does not provide for their relatives, and especially for their own household, has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.”
  • Matt 7:15-20, “15 “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. 16 You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thornbushes or figs from thistles? 17 Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. 18 A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. 19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 Therefore by their fruits you will know them.”

And there are others. I’m not the kind of guy to believe an interpretation with only a few verses, but I am the kind of guy to be too lazy sometimes to list out all the verses that support an interpretation.

I think the Bible advocates for doing the right thing more than thinking or intending the right thing, although it certainly declares that both together are better.

This relates to the whole application thing this site is built around.

Seems to me that thoughtless good action > actionless good thought, although good action with good thought is best.

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