Saint Thomas Aquinas

Friday, June 24, 2011

Understanding the Common Good

I believe that many Catholics do not understand the true definition of the 'Common Good' as it has been traditionally understood in the mind of the Church. If there is one article which I think illustrates and explains the common good in light of how it has been distorted by modern philosophical error, then I highly recommend Charles De Koninck's article titled, 'On the Primacy of the Common Good: Against the Personalists and The Principle of the New Order'. Lucky for you it is available on the internet!

In the article De Koninck lays out how human dignity is to be properly understood, and how it should be viewed in light of the common good. Critical errors are exposed which propose a recognition and elevation of human dignity, yet fall far from a legitimate understanding of what human dignity really is. De Koninck addresses the position of the modern personalists and compares them to the Pelagians of the early Church. Once you digest De Koninck's work on the common good, you will be more prepared to see just how far many in the Church have gone astray in understanding it, and as a result became suspect moral theologians. There is no shortage of bad moral theologians in the Church to be sure, and perhaps if we share good articles like this one (On the Primacy of the Common Good: Against the Personalists and The Principle of the New Order) we will have better ones in the future.

"We believe that modern personalism is but a reflection of the Pelagian heresy, speculatively still more feeble. It raises to the level of a speculative doctrine an error which was at the beginning only practical. The enslavement of the person in the name of the common good is like a diabolical vengeance, both remarkable and cruel, a cunning attack against the community of good to which the devil refused to submit. The denial of the higher  dignity which man receives through the subordination of his purely personal good to the common good would ensure the denial of all human dignity."

Charles De Koninck, 'On the Primacy of the Common Good: Against the Personalists and The Principle of the New Order'.

No comments: