Essay Example: The Person and the Common Good

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Middlebury College
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At the beginning of chapter four of The Person and the community Good, Jacques Maritain defines a human society as a society of persons having studied the person's characteristic features which proved that personality of a person depends on the nature to relate to one another. He states that a person is entitled to the society's membership by dignity. This is to distinguish the human society from the animal society (Maritain, 2014). The difference between a person and an individual is that an individual is not regarded as a person in an animal's society thus making the distinct lack the value of moral. Therefore, the individual is not a subject of right. Another difference is that in a person, the sound of the body profits the entire society while the real personal benefits only the individual human. The author also says that a common good is common to all members when referring to a person as opposed in the individual case.

The human society differs from the animal colonies in that; it is made up of a human person while the animal's colony can only be regarded as a society in an inappropriate language since it is made of mere animals. The social unit in human society is a person, not an animal. The following are the three purposes why a person needs Society: A person would need society to be perfect as a person, the need for knowledge and the urge of communication amongst persons and finally a person needs the Society for love which requires the relationship with others (Maritain, 2014). The three aspects drive a person into the formation of society for socialization and social communication in response to the law of nature of life such as intelligence and love. A person would also need a society for them to fulfill the condition of an everyday existence and for the development of both the person and the society itself.

In the story The Option for the Poor Arise from the Faith in Christ, Gustavo Gutierrez says that being in solidarity with the poor is to ensure that those without a voice find a voice. By so saying, the author implies that the poor are to be shown compassion. The poor should also be treated in the same way as the rich in the society (Gutierrez, Lassalle-Klein, Nickoloff, & Sullivan, 2012). The author is implying that the poor are supposed to be advocated for. Those who do not have the voice can be helped to find a voice without abandoning the poor through the following ways. Firstly is by engaging the poor in various developmental programs in the community. Secondly, the wealthy classes are advised to share with the poor to help in improving the conditions of the poor. Finally, the poor are to be remembered during the prayer for God to bless them too.

It is important to help the voiceless to find a voice for the following reasons. First is to create a sense of belonging in the society so that the poor also feel that they too are part of the community. Secondly is to bring a balanced development in the community and finally to improve the living condition of all the community members (Gutierrez, Lassalle-Klein, Nickoloff, & Sullivan, 2012). To show solidarity with the poor can be achieved by empowering them. The empowerment can be done by giving the poor loans to start businesses. Setting up social amenity centers like schools and hospitals is also a show of solitary with the poor and leads to general development.



Gutierrez, G., Lassalle-Klein, R., Nickoloff, J., & Sullivan, S. (2012). The option for the poor arises from faith in Christ. Theological Studies, 70(2), 317-326.Maritain, J. (2014). The person and the common good. University of Notre Dame Pess.


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