I’m a bit late to the party and just started looking at the course. So far it’s been informative and helpful. I just had a question based on the reading by Bhante Dhammika. I think I may try to find a way to contact him, but if not maybe someone here can help?
In the reading, Bhante Dhammika mentions that “It is the intention behind an act that gives it its ethical quality.” There are examples like the different intentions for cutting into someone’s flesh (a doctor vs. an assailant). My question is, is the quality of the intention (and therefore the quality of the karmic fruit/result) solely determined by how one feels?
For instance, some people have no qualms about lying. Some find it quick and useful at getting out of situations. My best friend often recommends I lie to avoid uncomfortable interactions. If I were to lie, say with the intention of getting myself out of a sticky situation, and presumably I felt no remorse for that (I even might forget it), would my intention be wholesome? Or at least not unwholesome? So the kammic seed I planted should be of the same quality, right?
The example of a judge ordering the death penalty also comes to mind. If s/he feels no qualms whatsoever about doing that (they may even consider it moral justice), then would their kammic intention and then result would be positive or neutral vs. someone who kills out of anger or revenge?
Just some thoughts that came to mind.