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Intention 

Conscious or willful purpose to do something. One's intention is freely chosen and not forced. In terms of moral theology, intention is associated with moral responsibility for an action. For example, a person who intentionally destroys a vase by knocking it off a table is responsible for the damage. But a person suffering from an unexpected seizure is not responsible for the damage if an involuntary movement knocks the vase off the table and breaks it. The outward actions and results may be much the same, but the difference of intent distinguishes these two cases. However, a degree of intent may be found in actions involving negligence or recklessness. For example, a driver who intentionally exceeds the speed limit may not intend to hurt anyone. But the driver has a degree of moral responsibility if others are hurt in an accident caused by the driver's excessive speed. Of course, that driver's responsibility is not the same as one who intended to hurt others by causing an accident. 




Glossary definitions provided courtesy of Church Publishing Incorporated, New York, NY,(All Rights reserved) from "An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church, A User Friendly Reference for Episcopalians," Don S. Armentrout and Robert Boak Slocum, editors.
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