People Share The Best Examples Of 'The Road To Hell Is Paved With Good Intentions' They've Ever Seen
Frustrated | with the situation | Ashlee Martin | Flickr

Even those who mean well must deal with the consequences of their actions, which is to say that just because you intend to behave well doesn't mean you'll necessarily follow through with those intentions intact... or that others who take up your work or legacy will follow through either.

After Redditor PugMagic12 asked the online community, "What is the best example of 'the road to hell is paved with good intentions' that you've ever seen?" people weighed in. The examples, as you can imagine, were fascinating.

"If certain reports..."

If certain reports about him wanting to end slavery are true, then Eli Whitney inventing the cotton gin. Going by this theory, Whitney hoped that, since the gin drastically reduced the amount of labor needed to process cotton, then people would use slave labor less. Instead, though, cotton producers simply used more slaves to make even more money (thus, in turn, assisting in the establishment of "King Cotton").


"A tactician he was not."

Dr. Richard Gatling.

He thought that, by inventing a weapon that could fire more rounds than a platoon of soldiers in one minute, it would help reduce the amount of soldiers on the battlefield, thus reducing casualties.

A tactician he was not.


"My favorite one..."

My favorite one was the British in India trying to cut down the number of cobras. They put out a bounty on cobras. Then industrious locals seeing an opportunity to fleece the gringos started breeding cobras for the sole purpose to sell to the British for the bounty. The British officials got wise to what was happening and canceled the bounty program whereupon the locals simply released all of the cobras, exacerbating the problem.



In Canada we had this COVID-19 relief program called CERB. It gives you 2000$ a month if you meet certain requirements. One of the requirements is you must make under 1k during the 1 month period.

Anyway I had a job at school that pays my full tuition directly as a "scholarship", so it doesn't count as income, and get paid 300$ a month which does count as income. With my other job I make 500$ a month so I would still qualify for CERB. However my boss at my non-school job handed out bonuses for working during covid and mine totaled 300$. I had already applied for CERB so I had to pay back the money I had just recieved.

Basically instead of making just under 3k that month (almost all of which was going to paying my loans), I was only making 1.1k. RIP.


Happened at my dad's work in the early 2000's. Apparently somebody had dropped a USB flash drive on the front walkway. Some kind-hearted soul decided to make an effort to find out who it belonged to, and started their clue hunt by plugging in the flash drive.

To his work PC.

That was connected to the entire world-wide network.

Of their multi-billion dollar government IT corporation.

That was the moment a lot of people got a 3-day weekend, and an unfortunate handful got a 0-day weekend.


"They just made the problems..."

Student loans. The federal government made them easier to get which led to more people getting them and getting them in larger quantities which led to tuition rates rising and the current daycare system for 18-22 year olds that we have now. They just made the problems so much worse than if they had done nothing.


"I grew up in a poor family..."

I grew up in a poor family with a lot of veterans in it. I was always a nerd, so even though I hadn't applied myself much in high school, I could ace an entrance exam and so was planning on going to college.

Turns out, we weren't quite poor enough to qualify for enough assistance for me to go to any decent 4 year school, so I farted around for a few years, working a few random jobs and trying to find a trade that I could settle into, but with no real luck.

Eventually, I did what I could to get college money: I enlisted in the Army. Signed up for an 8 year term (well, I was supposed to do the last 3 years in the reserves, unless I got stop-lossed). I picked a certain MOS that happened to be a combat role, because we weren't at war or close to it, it had some really good college money for the enlistment bonus and the just under two years of training seemed like just the thing to prove to myself that I was as tough as I thought I was.

I shipped out for OSUT in 1999. I finished all my training and got my first active duty post in August 2001.


"Doomed to divide them."

The creation of the internet.

Intended to bring people together.

Doomed to divide them.


"Go figure."

The transport of prisoners to Australia.

To provide a private industry thr government started paying for captains to transport prisoners and were paid per head before leaving. However, to maximize profits they just....didn't...give prisoners provisions. They had something ike an 80% death rate.

Long story short, they started paying the ships for each living prisoner that made it to Australia and survival rates went north of 90%.

Go figure.


"Ten years down the road..."

I would say about half of the successful revolutions in all history.

Starts out with young idealists fighting an unjust system to build up a new utopia for all people.

Ten years down the road you have concentration camps, famine and a paranoid dictator photoshopping his old compatriots out of the group picture.


"My ex friend..."

My ex friend told me she was unable to have lunch because of back to back lectures and so I bought her some butter chicken with rice and gave it to her during class. She proceeded to open the Styrofoam container and criticise the food i bought in view of the entire class. We were sitting at the front row. She haven't even tasted it and just looked at it for a few seconds.

The same friend, said she wasn't able to have breakfast and was hungry and wanted something to eat so I, being the forgiving idiot I was, got her a raisin cookie from subway. I gave it to her and she went to her lecture, after a while, i received a few texts from her saying how she wants to puke with the puke emoji. I thought the cookie has gone bad but no "I hate raisin" was her response. She sent "i wanna puke" a few more times.

There is alot more ungrateful s*** she did to me in spite of me never asking her to repay me or claim any favours from her. There's also the time when she tries to drag my entire family into s*** just to save her own ass and a few attempts at trying to use me as a scapegoat for her own issues.


"He didn't invent..."

The guillotine.

Executions weren't always quick in the past. If you were a commoner you were hanged. If you were lucky, that was a quick death. if you were unlucky, it could take several minutes.

If you were nobility, you were executed by beheading with a sword or an axe. Again, if you were lucky, it was quick. But if you were unlucky it could take 2 or 3 swings before you were put out of your suffering. The condemned person's family often paid the executioner to make sure his weapon was sharp before the execution so that their loved one didn't suffer. At one execution that was witnessed, the executioner was drunk and it took multiple swings to finally kill the condemned, with them screaming the entire time.

So a guy named Joseph-Ignace Guillotin decided to do something about it. He proposed a device that would make executions as quick and painless as possible, and it was to be used in all future executions for nobility and commoner alike.

He didn't invent the machine himself, others did, but it was built because of his proposal.

So, guillotine was introduced in France. The first public execution using the guillotine occurred in 1792.

The French Revolution, and the Reign of Terror, began in 1793. Between June 1793 and July 1794, seventeen thousand people were executed by guillotine.


"I've been manipulated..."

People who say the words "I was only doing doing what's best for you" without actually meaning it. If you genuinely want what's best for someone, you would never make them feel discouraged even if you know what they want might not end well. If it's brings harm to them or others, then yes you should try to look reason with them. But if it's not, and they're just trying to find or pursue what makes them happy, let them. People need to grow and learn on their own, that means making mistakes, being hurt, and learning from the bad. You can't always shelter someone from the pain and dark of what life entails. If you truly care for someone, you're there for them during the aftermath, supporting them, not abandon them because you told them so already.

I've been manipulated by those words so many time, being fooled and was only being controlled in reality. If someone really wants what's best for you, they'd listen to your reasons, not just their own.



Vaping was invented as a way to help smokers quit smoking, but instead, non-smokers picked up vaping and are addicted to the nicotine in vapes. Ironically, these vapers are actually spending far more money on vaping than smokers spend on tobacco!


"After decades of repression..."

The Swedish drug policy. After decades of repression we are now the country in Europe with the highest drug related deaths.


"I rent my condo out..."

I rent my condo out to students attending school in the area. I try my best to be a good landlord. I had this one girl from Europe and and her parents fly into the city to help her move in. I allowed them to move their luggage and furniture in early. I would help her build the furniture while she and her parents explored the city. Things were fine, and when I noticed December's rent not showing up in my account, I chalked it up to the Christmas season so I'd let it slide a few more days.

Turned out she abandoned the unit, and her dad tried to sue me to get their last month's rent cheque back.

I don't go out of my way for my tenants anymore.


"The invention..."

The invention of the internet.


"Obama's response..."

Obama's response to Russian meddling in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.



The Keurig guy just wanted to make good, convenient coffee. Eventually it hit him that his cups weren't biodegradable, the company that now makes K-cups hasn't listened to his ideas to make a biodegradable cup, and the little unrottable, unrecyclable plastic cups are selling to the tune of billions of dollars per year. He's not happy with the environmental impact he's personally had and has left his invention behind to work on clean energy.


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