This question was sparked by a story I read in the news today. A young man killed three people in a drunk driving accident last week. The father of the drunk driver said that his son was a good person and didn't mean to hurt anyone.
And I'm sure that's true. He didn't mean to kill anyone, but because he made an irresponsible decision three people died. Is he accruing negative kamma for this, even though he didn't "intentionally" kill those people?
As another example, I think we'll all agree that if I'm driving mindfully and a squirrel darts out leaving me no chance to hit the brakes, and I run over him, there's no kamma there. What if we change that slightly, and I'm talking on my cell phone and admiring a jogger instead of watching the road, and I hit a squirrel that I could have avoided had I been driving more mindfully? I still didn't "intentionally" kill the squirrel -- so is there unwholesome kamma being generated by this action?
My gut instinct is to say, "yes, there is" to both examples. I don't see how those examples could be considered the the same as a complete accident in terms of kamma. But given that neither example was an "intentional action", I don't know if that is correct? Perhaps since they intentionally acted in an irresponsible way their kamma is bound with whatever results from their irresponsibility?
Anything in the suttas on this, or anything similar?
"To reach beyond fear and danger we must sharpen and widen our vision. We have to pierce through the deceptions that lull us into a comfortable complacency, to take a straight look down into the depths of our existence, without turning away uneasily or running after distractions." -- Bhikkhu Bodhi
"No man ever steps in the same river twice, for it's not the same river and he's not the same man." -- Heraclitus