Welcome to Scribd, the world's digital library. Read, publish, and share books and documents. See more
Download
Standard view
Full view
of .
Look up keyword
Like this
5Activity
0 of .
Results for:
No results containing your search query
P. 1
Marcus Berquist, Common Good and Private Good

Marcus Berquist, Common Good and Private Good

Ratings: (0)|Views: 259 |Likes:
Published by Sancrucensis

More info:

Categories:Types, Research
Published by: Sancrucensis on Jul 29, 2011
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

Availability:

Read on Scribd mobile: iPhone, iPad and Android.
download as PDF, TXT or read online from Scribd
See more
See less

05/29/2014

pdf

text

original

 
COMMONGOODANDPRIVATEGOOD(1)OnfirstthoughtsandsecondthoughtsPerhapsthetwogreatesttheoreticalquestionsconcerntheexistenceandattributesofGod,andtheimmortalityoftherationalsoul.Andonthesequestions,itseemsthatmostmen,atmosttimesandinmostplaces,havethoughtrightly.MengenerallyhavethoughtthatthereisaGod,andhavehadsomesenseofHispowerandwisdomTheyhavealsobelievedthatthehumansoulsurvivesthedeathofthebody,andeven,insomecases,thatthegoodsoulsarerewardedandtheevilpunishedintheafterlife.ThisisperhapswhySt.Paul,intheEpistletotheRomans,saysthatthereisnoexcuseforactingasifthesebeliefswerenottrue;theevidenceisconclusiveeventoamanofordinaryintelligence.AndyetSt.Thomas,whenhearguesthatDivineRevelationisnecessary,pointsoutthatevenwithrespecttowhatcanbeknownaboutGodfromthethingsHehasmade,mostmen,withouttheaidofrevelation,goseriouslyastray.Withoutfaith,hesays,thetruthaboutGodwillbeknownonly"toafew,afteralongtime,andwiththeadmixtureofmanyerrors."Howcanthisbe?
It
seemsthatourfirstconceptionsofthings,whicharevagueandindistinct,aregenerallyright.Moved,asitwere,bytheinstinctfortruthwhichbelongstotheverynatureofourunderstanding,ourfirstthoughts
ae
truethoughts.Withrespecttothesefirstconceptions,themovementofourmindisnatural,likethefallingofastone;itisnotwithinitspowertothinkotherwise.Butasthemindadvances,seekingaclear,distinct,anddetailedunderstanding,itbeginstogoastray.TheGreekphilosopherThales,oftencalledthefirstphilosopher,saidthatallthingscomefromoneprinciple.Inthis,hespokerightly:theoneisnecessarilypriortothemany.Butwhatisthisoneprinciple,inhisview?
It
is
water:
theabsolutelyfirstprinciple
becomes
thethingsofwhichitistheprinciple.Inthisheerredgrievously,butnotunreasonably.Ofallthethingsandprincipleswhichweexperience,thematerialsemstobeabsolutelyprior:itcanbewithouttheothers,butnottheywithoutit.Eventheagentsormakersweexperiencepresupposethematerialfromwhichtheyaremade.Wesee,then,inthelightofourFaith,thatThales'firstthoughtwastrue,buthissecond,false.(Onemightalmostsay,
inevitably
false.)Butifone'ssecondthoughtisnotright,whetaboutone'sthirdandfourththoughts?
It
seemsonemustgofurtherandfurtherastray.
 
Thehistoryofhumanreligionsbearsthisoutonlytoowell.Monotheismgiveswaytopolytheism,andthemanygodsrecognizedareinvestedwiththepasssionsandfolliesofhumanbeings,and,inalltoomanycases,arediabolicalratherthandivine.OneregardswithdismaytheimpressiveremainsofhumanreligionsinCentralAmericaandtheFarEast,whichconfirmsodeterminatelytheaccountsgivenintheOldTestament,inwhichnearlyalltherepresentationsofthedivinehavebeendegradedintothebestialanddemonic.ButitisonlythelightofFaithwhichrescuesusfromsuchdisorders;withoutthatlight,weshouldlikelyallofusgofatallywrong,inonewayoranother,andprobablybeevenmoremistakenthanourpredecessors.Asurveyofthefuneraryandburialcustomsoftheancientsalsoindicatesunmistakeablythedisorderwhichinfectsouroriginaltrueconceptionoftheimmortalityoftherationalsoul.Whenweconsider,forexample,thearrangementswhichweremadeforthefutureblissofthepharaohsofEgypt--buriedastheywerewithalltheirpossessionsandunderhugepyramids--wecanonlywonderwhatconceptionoflifeafterdeathcouldreasonablyhavesupportedsovastaneffort.IreadrecentlyofaChineseemperor,apparentlythebuilderoftheGreatWall,whosetombhasbeendiscoveredinthemidstofagreatarmyofclaysoldiers,wellprepared,itwouldseem,towagewarfortheiremperor,foreverandever.InstructedbytheCatholicFaith,wereadilyseetheabsurdityofsucharrangements,whilealsorecognizingthealmostinevitablehumanweaknessofmindthatleadstosuchirrationaldisorders.Youmaywellwonderwhatallofthishastodowiththesubjectofthislecture,whichisthecommongood.Thisisitsrdevance.Withrespecttoourconceptionsofthegoodingeneral,andofcommonandprivategoodinparticular,thesitutationIhavedescribedalsoobtains,thoughlessmanifestly.Ourfirstvagueandgeneralconceptionsofthegood,andofthecommongood,aretrueandcertain,fortheyareamongtheobjectsnaturallyknowntous.Butasweseekamoredistinctanddetailedunderstanding,wearepronetoconfusionsanderrors.Further,becauseaconsiderationofthegoodhasanimmediatebearingonchoiceandaction,ourowndesiresareverymuchinvolved.Ifthesedesiresareunformedordisordered,wearenotlikelytothinkwellaboutthegood.InAristotle'swords,"Aseachmanis,sodoestheendappeartohim."BecausetheproblemIhavebeendiscussingismanifestinthequestionmentionedbefore--concerningtheexistenceandattributesofGodandtheimmortalityofthehumansoul--Ithoughtitbettertospeakofhowitarisesinthesecasesbeforehand.Yetweshallsee,asweproceed,howourunderstandingisalsopronetogoastraywhenwearethinking
 
aboutthegoodingeneral,andaboutthecommongoodinparticular.(2)OnthegoodingeneralJustasallourtheoreticalreasoningsbeginwiththenotionof
being,
sodoallourpracticalreasoningsbeginwiththenotionofthe
good.
OurfundamentalconceptionofthegoodisstatedbyAristotleatthebeginningofthe
NicomacheanEthics:
"thegoodiswhatalldesire"--astatementoftenquotedbutseldomsufficientlyconsidered.Wearenotsayingthatourconcernwiththegoodis
only
practical;werecognizemanygoodswhichcannotbetheobjectsofourpursuit,andnoexplanationofanyexistingthingcanbecompletewithoutanaccountofthegoodwhichisitsperfection.Forthegoodisthecauseofcauses.Rather,wearesayingthatthereisnopracticalthinkingorreasoningwhichdoesnotbeginwithaconsiderationofthegood.Andfromthisfirstnotionofthegood,asSt.Thomasnotes,immediatelycomesthefirstaxiomofthepracticalreason:goodistobedoneandevilavoided.Sofarsogood.Toseethatthegoodisthedesirableistherightfirststep,astepweallmake,atleastimplicitly.Aristotledeservesourhonor,notfortakingthisstep,butforpointingout
tha
itis
thefirst
step.[Understandingaprincipledoesnotalwaysinvolvetherecognitionthatitisaprinciple.]Butasweseektoclarifyournotionofthegood,andworkoutsomeofthedetailsaboutit,weencounterquestionsanddifficulties.Thefailuretoanswerthesequestionsrightly,andresolvethedifficultieswhicharise,willleadtoseriousconfusionsandmistakeslateron,whenwecometoconsidercommongoodandprivategood.Onesuchquestionwhicharisesconcernstherelationofgoodnesstobeing.Sincetheydifferinnotionordefinition,onemightsupposetheyalsodifferinreality.Anddowenotsaythatitisonethingforsomething
tobe,
andquiteanotherforit
tobegood?
Viewedunderthisaspect,thegoodappearstobesomethingotherthanbeing,asortofqualityaddedtothebeingofathing.Anditsmodeofpredicationseemstosupportthis,foritissadinanswertothequestion
howisit?
However,suchanopinionaboutthegoodcannotbesustained.
It
isevident,uponreflection,thatwhenwedesiresomething,wedonotdesiresomequalitywhichitpossesses,butthethingitself.Whenasickmandesireshealth,hedoesnotdesireitinvirtueofsome
additional
qualityofgoodnesswhichithas.
It
wouldbestrangeindeedtosayhedesiresthegoodnessofhealthratherthanhealthitself.Amansufferingfromthecoldmightdesirefireforitswarmth,buthe

Activity (5)

You've already reviewed this. Edit your review.
1 thousand reads
1 hundred reads
Sancrucensis added this note
As far as I know.
Edward Langley added this note
Is this complete?
Sancrucensis liked this

You're Reading a Free Preview

Download
scribd
/*********** DO NOT ALTER ANYTHING BELOW THIS LINE ! ************/ var s_code=s.t();if(s_code)document.write(s_code)//-->