According to Maritain (1951), states that a human being is endowed with two intrinsic faculties namely intellect and will. Intellect enables a human being strive for truth or knowledge and the will enables him strive for good. In more clear terms, the object of the intellect is truth and the object of will is good. The abovementioned assertions explain why man frowns at infringements hindering hisher acquisition of the good and in particular, his good. In addition, this explains why pursuit of the good is of great concern in the modern world today. The good mentioned above is no different with the common good. This study establishes the purpose of law and how it acts as an avenue for goodness in man. The views of Aristotle on politics and ethics, Aquinas and his teachings as found in his Summa Theologica, George Wills Statecraft as Soulcraft and lastly, Joseph Piepers Leisure the Basis of Culture shall be used to support the above hypothesis. An analysis reflecting the enactment of law in the community and the intention of making men good shall be considered herein.

Law and Common Good
In modern language, communities realize that law and common good are concepts related to one another. Lawmakers are cautious not to enact laws that contradict (human good). This topic poses a serious moral dilemma in fact, it covers the whole social system structure characterized by politics, religion, culture and social settings at all levels. In this regard, the end of a given social system is good which eventually translates to what many refer to as the common good. Common good promotes the well-being of the human person and the entire community. This is because common good can mean denying one person access to what he deems good to himher for the sake of the good of others. For example, elimination of a criminal in the society for the sake of peace for many is a case where the common good is safeguarded for many. As noted above, the notion of good cuts across the entire social system and it is for this reason that legislation, churches, philanthropic organizations, civil society just to name a few get absorbed in deliberations seeking one ultimate goal, common good. Laws enacted from a political point of view or religious points of view are all aimed at inspiring man do good and intend good.

Law is an ordinance of reason for the common good, decreed by the authorities in charge of the community.  It becomes a rule of conduct and a frame within which man acts. From the above definition it can be noted that other issues like justice, rights and duties derive from the enacted laws. Law is never a univocal term this being the reason why its uses vary from one face to the next. A univocal term is that whose predication cannot be taken to mean something else apart from itself. Laws are of different levels, for example, eternal law, scientific laws, ecclesiastical laws, positive laws, civil laws and so on and so forth. However, eternal law is the supreme source of all other laws, or else, all other laws are in participation of the divine or eternal law. God, as the author of creation, cannot be exempted with being the rationale behind the laws enacted to aid man in his actions and endeavors. The intention to act in a manner which fosters common good, therefore, is not a creation of the state but it is there, in Gods will for creation. It is believed that laws are for man and not man for the law. This assertion is based on fact that man is a moral and a rational being. She should not be enslaved by these laws due to his rational disposition and freedom of the will.

Will has as its object the good, as noted above. So, it cannot be argued that laws by themselves make man good but that she is endowed with a natural desire for the good.  Laws, therefore act as a reminder to man on his duty to do good and to intend good. Prior to laws entrenched in the penal code (civil laws) man ought to be governed by the natural law. In this regard, man in a state without laws has got no reason to violate the good of others. By virtue of hisher endowment with natural law she has the disposition to do good and to promote common good as such. As Aquinas notes, the natural law is a participation in the wisdom and goodness of God by the human person, formed in the image of the Creator. The natural law expresses the dignity of the person and forms the basis of human rights and fundamental duties.

Without the fear of contradiction where law is found there you will find right, duty, morality, justice, freedom, equity just to mention a number of them. These translate to the major principles of morality where all laws for example scriptural laws from the Old Testament and New Testament, humanpositive laws, rights of nations and civil laws culminate. Natural law, on the other hand provides insights into understanding the essence of political authority. As mentioned above, laws are reservoirs from which other principles of morality derive. The presence of equity and fairness in a community is commensurate to the laws enacted. Not only are those, rights are defined by the laws in place. From the above position, it can be argued that a society with defective laws succumbs to defective rights or defective justice. Therefore, a cry by the citizens that there is no justice dispensed to them means either their rights are deliberately infringed by acts of impunity or the laws do not promote the well-being of all as it should. Consider the legal system citizens undergo a lot of legal injustices especially because laws in the penal code do not take into account the common good. Phrases like I got jailed because the ruling of the magistrate was bias indicates a legal injustice especially if the magistrate based hisher rulings on the laws as spelled out in the penal code. Constitutional rights cut across many countries and a majority of governments today are struggling to deliver a friendlier constitution to the citizens. A constitution is a compendium where most laws derive and it serves as the supreme authority for all other civil laws. No laws can be tolerated if they are not in agreement with the constitution.

In every political system, justice is a very essential virtue that every would-be leader ought to possess. Exaltation of justice as the highest virtue is in consideration of Platonic theory where virtues of temperance, courage and wisdom culminate. Whenever a government or a human person acts within the frame of the abovementioned virtues, human flourishing suffices. Common good is not limited to materiality. This means that common good implies more than just tangible things. Giving food to a hungry person is promotion of common good. An act by the United Nations to promote peace in warring nations is promotion of common good. Deliberations on global warming and environment conservation is promotion of common good, and last but not least, the fight against nuclear weapons is promotion of common good. To reiterate, common good is beyond material things as many think.
Aristotle notes very clearly that worth-while life cannot be qualified by the status one holds in the society or possession or respect accorded to himher by others. Essentially, perfection of the soul is what counts. Educating the self in the light of virtue and growing in virtue is what every individual should strive for, period. The establishment of common good as an issue transcending tangible things as aforementioned echoes Aristotles assertion that good is both intrinsic and extrinsic. This, therefore, clearly indicates that satisfaction of appetites in man is not entirely promotion of common good. Appetites are of a material nature as they involve eatables, money, possessions or pleasure as far as sex is concerned. It is laudable for the state to provide its citizens with material well-being say good infrastructure, technology, good agricultural practices and good sanitation however, it must expose their citizens to virtue. The leadership accorded by the state must be a commitment to virtue and in so doing it will succeed in providing leadership sure of equity and fairness, peace and prosperity. Common good, in such a leadership, suffices.

There are diverse tendencies in the society that vary from one level of the social system to the next. Pro-lifers strongly assert that life begins at conception. Human rights activists will not rest until human life is preserved and safeguarded against injustice, killings and unwarranted punishment by the state in form of arbitrary use of force through the police force. Procreation is such a strong desire for every human being and well reflected in family life through marriage. Associations leading to friendship are encouraged by every state which constitutionally, is classified as freedom of association. Civil societies are a manifestation of freedom of association, for example, unions protecting the rights of workers, welfare associations among citizens and Youth Empowerment Programmes to mention a few. As mentioned earlier long, the faculty of intellect in man inclines himher towards truth hence the reason why education is an inalienable right to everybody especially children. Today, whenever a parent denies sending hisher children to school or a in a case whereby a father fails educating the children in the case of divorce, the two cases are offences in law. It is incumbent upon the state to educate its citizens so that they can have an integral growth and development. As Aristotle notes, every man seeks happiness by living a good life and importantly, a life of virtue. Only a good law can aid man live a good life. Education and leisure also help man grow in virtue. In addition, a good law aids man to grow hisher soul. Therefore, the attitude of mind formed in the citizens conforms with the kind of legislations applied to them.

Love for God attracts the whole idea of religion. In every constitution there exists a clear demarcation between the state and religion. On no account can the state interfere with matters of religion or the vice-versa. The two remain separate entities and every entity plays a role in championing the common good. Whereas the state uses the civil laws as outlined in the penal code or code laws to ensure flourishing of the human person in this case citizens, the church uses its ecclesiastical laws to ensure flourishing of the faithful in this case the Christians. Common good for the faithful is manifested by hisher struggle towards eternal life. This is what the church or religion defends. Muslims fight for their rights basing their arguments on the Kadhi Doctrines hence Kadhis Courts.

Notably, the tendencies mentioned above raise fundamental rights issue. In a bid to facilitate these fundamental rights, laws are put in place to see to that. This is because there is an inherent good in every inclination that contributes to the well being of man. Preservation of life covers the basic needs of man namely, food, clothing and shelter. It also covers health, good sanitation, and zero-tolerance to pollution and everything else that is detrimental to mans physical well-being. The good, in this case, is health and more fundamentally, life. Topics in matters of life are of concern both to religion and state. In the commandments of God life must be preserved. It bars us from killing or taking an innocent life. This is the law and the teaching of the church. The state, through sound legislation upholds zero-tolerance to killing or destroying innocent life.

Acts like euthanasia and abortion continue raising eyebrows between the state and the church. From a religious point of view abortion is killing but from a civic point of view debates still suffice on whether life begins at conception or at birth. If the state legalizes abortion and to reiterate, legalizes abortion, it means that the laws recognize abortion. In other words, if abortion from a legal point of view is justified then it becomes a legal right. But since the church pegs its position on the commandments of God and other teachings of the church it cannot condone the position of the state on abortion. Here what suffices is the conflict between the civil law and ecclesiastical law or church law. Furthermore, a conflict between the state and the church as of the above case is based on the common good. It is not the law that is frowned upon but it is because common good is at stake. Assuming that abortion is a violation of the human good it follows then that the law legalizing abortion is defective.

Procreation is within the design of marriage and family life. The intended good here are children. There are laws safeguarding the children against abuse, torture and exploitation. In the structure of most constitutions, children rights are well elaborated in what is called childrens act. In the United States, the Health reform protects the children by providing them with a comprehensive health assurance service be it physical or mental. The health and development of the child is held in very high esteem.

In the light of principle of subsidiarity, the government is obliged to protect the interests and rights of vulnerable families say by providing them with homes in the case of refugees or displaced people. Laws on absurd sexuality inclinations like homosexuality or gay marriages stem from the aspect of procreation. It is a debate of global concern whether to legalize or recognize gay people or not. Again, what is at stake here is the common good So, what should be established here is if legalizing gay marriages leads to human flourishing or common good. This should be the basic investigation for the lawmakers in any state with respect to this. Divorce act also stem from the aspect of procreation and the laws spelled therein must comply with the principles of the common good. In the point of view of the church procreation is interpreted from the commandments of God especially the part which condemns adultery and exhortation of the children to obey their parents at all times.

Constitutionally, freedom of association is recognized and infringement on this right is an offence in law. The government must put in place laws that enable a friendly atmosphere. In a bid to promote a friendly environment wars should only be for the sake of peace for a particular nation or among many nations. Any decision to wage war on an enemy must be that it is for the sake of the common good.  Acts of corruption or fraud derive their illegitimacy from this fact for embezzling of public funds is another serious offence in law. Corruption is becoming a major issue all over the world because of the dangers it poses to the well-being of others. It deprives of them their rights in terms of distributive justice. Every person in the community deserves an equal share, more importantly each and every person in the community should get what she has labored for. Corruption or fraud involves to a greater extent, stealing from the publics account thus prevents the government in not fulfilling its budgeted goals, like payment of salaries and wages. Democracy is believed to be the best form of government and a channel to promote human welfare. It accommodates the views and interests of the citizens at all times. However, its extremes lead to serious violation of human rights. This happens especially when might is equated with correctness. In often occasions, democracy suppresses the interests of the minority. As mentioned above, democracy endangers the rights of the few or weak. This indicates that democracy, in a wider population may not promote equality and fairness and seemingly can only work in smaller populations where the voice of the minority can easily be heard. Collective responsibility and unity as a working nation provides a democratic framework that is embedded on just freedom.

The government must accord due respect to citizens lives and more so, by safeguarding their fundamental rights. This is achieved through good laws as spelled out in the constitution. The choices made by citizens in a democratic system should be regulated by laws since some choices do not do justice to the quest for human well-being. Free markets involve choices but they in themselves cannot be regarded as good. They should be counterchecked through good laws. The free markets should be a stream where values stem. Therefore, every government should ensure that its legislative policies incline the citizens towards the good. In modern world, taking a rest or from work is highly neglected. People want to work themselves so that they can generate more profits.

According to Pieper leisure only suffices when an individual rests from work. However, this pause should be used to sharpen the brain through education fellowship and above all, it should be a moment to contemplate avenues leading to good life. One cannot have space for this precious moment if she does not set aside some time for it. The state should provide its citizens with ample space so that they can find it easy to spend some time in contemplation and educative activities. It is the role of the state to ensure that its citizens are involved in leisure.  Leisure is not merely for the sake of work. As Pieper notes, The essence of leisure lies in celebration. Celebration is characterized by three elements namely relaxation, less-strenuous, and the superiority of dynamic leisure in all purposes. He continues to argue that celebration as the culmination after stop from work is not leisure at all. Rather, celebration marked by work is not leisure at all.

Leisure from time immemorial is regarded as one of the most enjoyable moments of human beings. Every man of good sense gets involved in leisure for relaxation purposes or for other motives.  It is believed that leisure is an element of the common good. Leisure involves mental contemplation, again, while at leisure individuals get involved in acts of meditation. They are able to contemplate reality, make sense out of it and discover realitys importance to themselves. This contemplation enables the mind to conceive the author for that reality and even get involved in divine fellowship and glorification. Such acts of the mind have a philosophical orientation and as such become an emancipation of the human mind from the contamination as a result of corruption, bias and prejudice. A mind free of bias or prejudice overcomes utilitarian interests and hence serves for the interest of others. A philosophicallyoriented society works for the well-being of all. Laws grounded on philosophical principles detach themselves from greed and instead strive for the human empowerment and betterment. Communities should liberalize education and free the mind from the chains of enslaving ideologies manifest in cultures or traditions. Such communities enjoy leisure to the maximum. George Will notes that, Justice is a disposition of the mind. A community whose organization is rests on philosophical guidelines is always a just society. The aforementioned state of mind can only suffice on philosophically-oriented society.

From our study we can see that laws determine rights and duties. A claim to demand justice is viewed in many perspectives, for instance, in a natural perspective or in a legal perceptive or in a religious perspective. Majority of people do not succeed in fighting for their rights simply because they do not know the law. Citizens should make it their initiative to read their laws if they are to succeed in ensuring that their rights are adequately realized. Lawmakers should pay special attention to common good while making laws. They should know that the laws they make affect the human lives in a very deep manner. In fact, the laws of a state can determine the destiny of its citizen not only economically or socially but also on eschatological viewpoint. We have seen that the state and religion in their unique ways have a responsibility to safeguard the common good. My view that the state can determine the eschatological destiny of the citizen is because the civil laws are of a moral nature. Therefore, civil laws that contradict church laws like in the case of abortion may lead to destruction of souls. It is important for the law makers to note that some citizens justify their actions by quoting the laws in place. Comments like, I have a right to say or do what I want can be justified by the freedom of expression clause in the constitution. So, regulations should be put in place where common good is the principal measure. The whole issue of laws and in particular, rights must lead man to do good must put in man an intention to do good must punish man for failure to do good. This good is none else but common good.    


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