Is it wrong to do something from an ulterior motive?

I think that it would be okay if you knew that people don’t mind serving your ulterior objectives, but most of the time we don’t know this and we can’t assume it (in fact we assume the opposite), so most of the time it would be wrong.

I would say further though, that if it is entirely possible that something has two effects then, those effects could be other goods and so it is not at all absurd to assume that acting from ulterior motives is good or that it is good to be used for ulterior purposes.

It’s not sinful (so long as your motives aren’t sinful, anyway). However, the “reward” would only be that of your motive, nothing more.

Example: If someone writes books on pro-life subjects for the purpose of selling lots of books and he does indeed sell books, that is his reward. He should expect no further reward based on the lives that might have been changed by those reading his books since that was not his motive.

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