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This was a question here:

Do all good and/or all pleasant intentions have pleasant outcomes for one/or another?

It may be good to investigate in frames of the Buddha-Dhamma.

And could that be always traced by anyone, the line of cause and effect?

4 Answers 4

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The question is full of assumptions, and significant in that the words skill and effort do not appear in it. The Buddha continually stressed the point that skillful intent and effort in action are required to maximize control over results, that is, good Karma is skillful Karma. Courses of Action is an example of this teaching.

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No. Chasing pleasant can lead to unpleasant:

AN10.104:1.1: “Mendicants, consider a person who has wrong view, thought, speech, action, livelihood, effort, mindfulness, immersion, knowledge, and freedom.
AN10.104:1.2: Whatever bodily, verbal, or mental deeds they undertake in line with that view, their intentions, aims, wishes, and choices all lead to what is unlikable, undesirable, disagreeable, harmful, and suffering.
AN10.104:1.3: Why is that?
AN10.104:1.4: Because their view is bad.

Only this works:

AN10.104:3.1: Consider a person who has right view, thought, speech, action, livelihood, effort, mindfulness, immersion, knowledge, and freedom. Whatever bodily, verbal, or mental deeds they undertake in line with that view, their intentions, aims, wishes, and choices all lead to what is likable, desirable, agreeable, beneficial, and pleasant.
AN10.104:3.2: Why is that?
AN10.104:3.3: Because their view is good.

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I would guess that the thought process of someone asking this question goes along the lines of this:

"I want pleasant/good outcomes for myself. I learnt that intention leads to outcome. Therefore, if I have good intention, I can create good outcomes for myself. However, I sometimes also see that people who pleasant/good intention don't necessarily receive good outcomes. I want to know for sure, that pleasant/good outcomes come from pleasant/good intentions, if not I have wasted all this time & effort cultivating good intention when I can simply get pleasure through other means. So I will ask others."

Some hypothetical questions:

What do you mean by 'one'?

What do you mean by 'other'?

What do you mean by 'good'?

Is 'good' the same as 'pleasant'?

If someone tells you "yes, pleasant & good intentions result in pleasant & good outcomes". How do you know that for sure yourself?

And could that be always traced by anyone, the line of cause and effect?

Allegedly the Buddha could trace the entire chain of cause and effect "as far as ninety one eons" (Majjhima Nikaya)

The rest of us supposedly can't, though some can see more than others. The way you can see more than others is to first cultivate good intention & observe the result through your own experience.

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  • Another process in the asker might be, I believe such-and-such an intention is good and yet it has an unpleasant outcome for myself or.others. Does this speak against my belief that the intention is good?
    – Dannie
    Apr 13 at 1:37
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Good intention (kusala) have always pleasant results for the actor, likewise bad, while it's not sure when and where such seeds arise. Good therfore to know what's good (withdraw from sensuality, not-harming, not-conflicting) and bad (greed, aversion, holding on views). One's good deeds are also best for others, yet can not avoid there fruits ripe, of course, and so the best intentions are at the noble eightfold path, for an end of kamma.

Doubts may arise when unpleasing experiences follow good deeds, but good to be sure that it's not necessary related until maybe thought bad for good.

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