St. Thomas has an interesting thing to say about a certain hierarchy of values that seems like a real poke in the ribs.
But a man’s will is not right in willing a particular good, unless he refer it to the common good as an end: since even the natural appetite of each part is ordained to the common good of the whole. (ST I-II q.19 a.10), emphasis added)
It is not sufficient — it is not good — to think only of what is good for me personally, says Thomas. Rather, I need to think about what is good for me in relation to the common good and for the sake of the common good. What comes to my mind immediately upon reading what Aquinas says is what God says in Genesis 2: “It is not good for the man to be alone.” Stated positively, it is…
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