Quote of the day—Me

The good-intentioned think that they are being a sort of saint, when really they are just arrogant meddlers.

December 24, 2014
Perils of the well-intentioned
[No, not Joe Me, but another blogger.

This is my model of many, perhaps even most, anti-gun people. Particularly the casual supporter of restrictions upon our specific enumerated right to keep and bear arms. They have good intentions but they are unwittingly attempting to enable evil. They think they know best when really they don’t even begin to understand the subject material.

This reminds me of many other quotes of a similar nature. Such as perhaps the most famous:

If I knew for a certainty that a man was coming to my house with the conscious design of doing me good, I should run for my life.

Henry David Thoreau
(1817-62), U.S. philosopher, author, naturalist.
Walden, “Economy” (1854).

Or Daniel Webster:

Good intentions will always be pleaded for every assumption of authority.   It is hardly too strong to say that the Constitution was made to guard the people against the dangers of good intentions. There are men in all ages who mean to govern well, but they mean to govern. They promise to be good masters, but they mean to be masters.

One could claim this one is older and better known:

The road to hell is paved with good intentions.

And superficially they would be correct. But the original meaning is quite different than what we have in the current context.—Joe]


6 thoughts on “Quote of the day—Me

  1. I must demur. I would not give meddlers the grace of calling their intentions good. The intent to meddle, carrying with it as it does consequent limitations on liberty, is never good.


  2. What is ironic is that the common man on the street, intending to do good in some way (being a “good Samaritan”), is often held liable when things go wrong (even when it would at first appear he’s shielded by “good Samaritan” laws, which has had a dramatic chilling effect on helpful behavior) and yet congressmen and bureaucracies never are, even when it’s clear their assumed good intentions have gone BADLY awry.

  3. “Of all tyrannies a tyranny exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber barons cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience. They may be more likely to go to Heaven yet at the same time likelier to make a Hell of earth. This very kindness stings with intolerable insult. To be “cured” against ones will and cured of states which we may not regard as disease is to be put on a level of those who have not yet reached the age of reason or those who never will; to be classed with infants, imbeciles, and domestic animals.” – C. S. Lewis

    • And here I was about to reference that specific quote. Well spoken, sir.

    • To add my usual addendum to that quote:
      “those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.” Worse, unlike the robber baron, they dare not sleep, for their conscience will plague them should they fail to maintain our torment, even for a moment.

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