Common Good Approach LEARNING PLAN 5 – ETHICAL THEORIES PRESENTATION CHELSEA CHRISTIE KEITH JENSEN SARAH VAN BERKEL ASHLEY SCHWIND O C T O B E R 2 0 TH, 2 0 0 9 Common Good Approach Summary THIS APPROACH ASSUMES A SOCIETY WITH INDIVIDUALS WHOSE OWN GOOD IS LINKED TO THE GOOD OF THE COMMUNITY. Community members are bound by the pursuit of common values and goals. Summary continued… Summary continued… For the benefit of the community, this approach focuses on ensuring: •Social Policies •Social Systems •Institutions •Environment Summary continued… Examples of goods common to all include: •Affordable healthcare •Effective public safety •Peace among nations •A just legal system •Unpolluted environment Summary continued… This urges us to… View ourselves as members of the same community Reflect on questions concerning society Discuss how to achieve that society Summary continued… To achieve a common good one must respect and value the freedom of individuals to pursue their own goals. This approach challenges people to recognize and further the goals they have in common. Influences on the Development of the Common Good Approach MORE THAN 2,000 YEARS AGO THIS APPROACH ORIGINATED IN THE WRITINGS OF PLATO, ARISTOTLE, AND CICERO. Influences continued… For example, Plato developed an ideal that generated political agreement that produced unity. Plato did this by assuming certain states of being were good by nature and that human kind could come to know at least part of that good. Influences continued… John Rawls defined the Common Good as… “Certain general conditions that are… Equally to everyone’s advantage.” Criticism of the Common Good Approach INDIVIDUALISM “FREE-RIDER PROBLEM” PLURALISTIC SOCIETY Criticisms continued… Individualism Personal rights Historical traditions Individual freedom Individual goals & interests Criticisms continued… “Free-rider problem” Available to everyone even those who don’t do their part. Enough “Free-riders” = Common Good will be destroyed Criticisms continued… Pluralistic society Different people have different ideas. Impossible to agree on one social system. Application of Common Good Approach POLLUTION Application continued… How is the common good of society affected by pollution? Application continued… Pollution affects not only humans but the whole ecosystem Health risks • Cancer • Physical deformities • Reduced energy levels Application continued… Environmental Risks Soil pollution Disrupt photosynthesis Acid rain Ozone holes Water pollution Application continued… From a common good approach we as a society are linked to the good of the community. If we reduce pollution the WORLD as a whole would benefit. Review Questions 1. HOW COULD YOU SEE YOURSELF USING THE COMMON GOOD APPROACH IN YOUR OWN LIFE? 2. IS THE COMMON GOOD APPROACH PRACTICAL IN TODAY’S PREDICAMENTS? 3. ARE THERE ANY OTHER CRITICISMS AGAINST THE COMMON GOOD APPROACH?