Modern Believing

WHOSE GOOD? WHICH COMMUNITY? THE INDIVIDUAL, THE WHOLE, AND THE COMMON GOOD

Modern Believing (2013), 54, (4), 288–299.

Abstract

The question of how and in what way the good of an individual being and the common good of a whole are interrelated and interdependent seems to be a perennial one. Is the good of the individual achieved by aligning him- or herself to a preordained social order? Or do individual/personal human rights come prior to any alignment? There was a fierce debate among Catholic philosophers on this topic during and after World War II both in North America and in German-speaking countries. A somewhat similar debate has subsequently emerged between animal protection advocates and environmentalists: the protection of each individual sentient animal versus the preservation of the biotic community as a whole. This essay outlines the different positions and tries to find some common ground on the common good.

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Details

Author details

Remele, Kurt