The road to hell is paved with good intentions

This page is about the saying "The road to hell is paved with good intentions".

Possible interpretation: 1) People who believe they are doing good can end up doing bad (the law of unintended consequences). 2) There is no value in simply planning to do good if you don't actually do it.

Origin: This proverb may have its roots in a statement in French by St Bernard of Clairvaux (c.1150): "L'enfer est plein de bonnes volontés ou désirs." ("Hell is full of good intentions or desires.")

hell (noun): (according to various religions) a place of suffering where bad people go after death
paved with: covered with; constructed with; made of
intention (noun): a plan; an aim

Quick Quiz:

The saying "The road to hell is paved with good intentions" may suggest that we should

a. plan good actions

b. put our good intentions into action

c. repave the road

Saying of the Day

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Contributor: Josef Essberger