Which is more important, intent or impact?
While impact is certainly important, the intent allows you to predict future behavior by the same individual. Did they hit someone with their car with malicious intent? They should probably be sent to prison for an exceedingly long time, maybe psychologically evaluated. Did they hit someone with their car on accident? A less harsh sentence is likely appropriate. The impact in these situations is the same, but the intent makes all the difference in how the perpetrator should be treated following the event.
This is the “do the ends justify the means” argument. Impact is far more important, at least in my eyes
It depends but impact usually wins out
Good question, I'll say impact because sometimes people fail at what their intent was and change their minds about whatever is is that they were doing. Once the deed is done it's done, there's no going back.