The Good and the Common Good A Tract Book Essay By Anthony J. Fejfar, J.D., Esq.

, Coif © Copyright 2007 by Anthony J. Fejfar

Plato argued that the end of man, both as an individual and as a society, was the Good. Aristotle, on the other hand argued for the Common Good as did Thomas Aquinas. In the Treatise on Law, in the Summa Theologica, Thomas Aquinas argued that the end of law is the common good. I argue that Plato was right and that the end of law is the Good. In theory, the common good means something more than just the view of a conventional majority. Unfortunately, with extreme relativism the tendency is to interpret the common good not as a heuristic or a principle or a metaphysical quiddity, but instead to interpret the common good as a conventional majority. It is clear that the Good does not represent the will of a conventional majority. The Good is defined as the Truly Worthwhile. In the first instance the Truly Worthwhile means that the scale of values of all participants in society is assumed to begin with Rational Self Interest, and the to proceed


with Autonomy as fundamental values. Rationality implies the use of Logic. The Self is the True Self, where deep in one’s heart one is at once both oneself and God, the True Self is me, as the Holy Spirit in me. It is the True Self in my heart that I follow. Autonomy means Self directed. An autonomous person is one who follows the Self in him or her. A Self directed person chooses to voluntarily, and creatively help others. An autonomous person rejects authority as invalid. Reason is the only authority, not some authoritarian person. The autonomy of all persons must be promoted. This means the provision of meaningful work in a well ordered society that works. It is assumed that if a person pursues Rational Self Interest and Autonomy, that that person will choose rationally, Constitutional Democracy, individual rights, a regulated economy, and a right to self defense.

Bibliography Bernard Lonergan, Insight John Rawls, A Theory of Justice