Do you believe in the 'common good'? What does the phrase mean to you?

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posted on Apr, 3 2012 @ 06:12 AM
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The phrase 'common good' or variations have been used in many state constitution preambles and freedom oriented declarations. IMO the meaning/intent is not well defined.

I have sadly encountered it's use in what I consider to be very abusive court rulings with a simple statement of 'not in the best public interest' and no mention of any law having been violated.

I would appreciate a common person (not that ATSers are common) view of what it means to you and/or what you would like it to mean.

Is it a political/legal and/or economic concept?

Does/should it prohibit industry specific or social class beneficial legislation?

Can/should it exclude those who don't have skin in the game?

Do you feel you benefit from or are hindered by it?

Should it be given a specific binding legal definition?

Thanks




posted on Apr, 3 2012 @ 06:19 AM
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Iam a strong believer in working together for the common good and I think it means everyone suffering for a while to make it better in the long run, the long run should be for our kids.
But it doesn't really happen does it? too many people are selfish and only think of the here and now.



posted on Apr, 3 2012 @ 06:38 AM
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First, one could question why we need specific laws in the first place. If we could ever conceive of a world where we were responsible for our own lives and the primary law was something to the effect of "Pursue your happiness with minimal interference of others doing the same", we might just be getting somewhere as a sentient species.

Why do we feel we must control and administer to others so persistently? Why can we not encourage self-determination, self-discipline, allow mistake-making, revel in our differences? Why do we choose the oppressive path? We have other options.

If "in the common good" means destruction of our environment for economic growth, why would we even consider that as a viable option or excuse for immoral behavior? Yet we do! If "in the common good" means that our government owns us body and soul, why would we allow this in the first place? Why do we defer authority over our own sovereignty to anyone or anything other than the body walking in our shoes?

We need a major rethink, not a redefinition.



posted on Apr, 3 2012 @ 10:26 AM
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reply to post by oghamxx
 

Unfortunately when the phrase "for the common good" is enshrined in a country's constitution/political mandate,it becomes what is best for those in power at the time,perhaps in that case it should be written as:"for the good of the few at the expense of the many".



posted on Apr, 3 2012 @ 10:33 AM
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Originally posted by boymonkey74
and I think it means everyone suffering for a while to make it better in the long run, the long run should be for our kids.


And for them to make it better in the longer run for theirs and the even longer run for their's theirs, etc.,

In this theory, no one even enjoys what they apparently did for their kids because their kids are now doing the same for their kids.

Common good is a mathematical concept for sloppy thinking.



posted on Apr, 3 2012 @ 10:48 AM
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reply to post by nake13
 

It has been my observation that regardless of the form of government, be it democracy, socialism, theocracy, monarchy, communism.... they all have one thing in common. The few rule the many for the benefit of...... the few.



posted on Apr, 9 2012 @ 06:37 AM
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reply to post by oghamxx
 


Is the public good a political/legal and/or economic concept?

All of the above, at least.

A common good may be strictly defined as one in which all members of a group or community share. Specific examples range from the air we breathe, through property rights held 'in common' by all members of a group (such as rights to a piece of land on which all members of a community may graze their cattle, hunt or gather firewood) to the services and benefits, such as law enforcement or the public transport system, which larger societies create for the use and benefit of their members, and even rights such as freedom of movement, expression or assembly.

This strict definition does not require all members of the group to have an equal share in the common good. However, nobody may be denied his share of the benefit from it except in very unusual circumstances. These are commonly defined by law or tradition.

A less strict definition uses 'the common good' as a synonym for 'the public interest.' This is much trickier to pin down. The term is most frequently heard in discussions relating to an action or proposed action that is thought to affect the public weal. The difficulty here is, of course, that some people may perceive an action or programme as being of benefit to the general public, while others will perceive it as detrimental. Often these opposed positions will reflect the holders' private interests, so that the debate over the common good masks a struggle between factions each seeking to secure its own interests. Libertarian types will often deny the concept of the public good altogether, claiming that only individual interests exist. I feel this is going rather too far.


Should it be given a specific binding legal definition?

In a free, democratic society, strict definitions of the common good or the public interest are neither possible nor desirable. Everyone has a right to his or her own opinion. All deserve a hearing and some merit serious consideration. The subsequent debate may be heated, but so long as the mechanisms of peaceful decision-making retain their democratic integrity and a reasonable degree of transparency this is not really a concern.


Does/should it prohibit industry specific or social class beneficial legislation?

Only if the benefits to the industry, class or other select group are enjoyed at the expense of other members of society. Which they very often are, of course.


Can/should it exclude those who don't have skin in the game?

Such as a property qualification for voters, you mean? There used to be one in the early days of the franchise, in England and elsewhere, but this was soon found to be impractical as well as socially unjust.

Some people seem to think that non-taxpayers shouldn't vote, or shouldn't be entitled to state support when unemployed. Aside from being selfish and wicked, such policies are ultimately very stupid, because they result in unrest, insurrection, repression, state violence against citizens and ultimately to the breakdown of society.


Do you feel you benefit from or are hindered by it?

Pardon me for saying so, but that is exactly the wrong question to ask. When honourable men and women consider the public interest, they first set aside their own.

edit on 9/4/12 by Astyanax because: of too many Ayn Rand quotes.





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