Justice and the common good are issues that are often misunderstood when taking into account the difficulty of separating personal or religious morality and public service or the law. Everyone has there own influences into what the “good life” is and how to obtain it. Each person has their own understanding of how the good life may be practiced as well as shaped, either by personal choice or by societal standards. The issue is that if everyone has their own opinion on what the good life looks like and how to live it out, how can we as a society come to agree, much less understanding of how to best live?
Justice and the common good poses questions such as: is what is good for the many, also the good for me? Who is the arbiter in deciding what is the good? Does society decide? Do judges? Do I decide? Or perhaps my religion? What is moral law and how do I determine it?
Socio-political issues today cannot be intrinsically removed from moral biases unless if those issues are removed entirely from government judgment. Issues such as abortion, stem-cell research, gay marriage, etc. will ultimately presume a stance one way or the other and cannot remain neutral and govern the many, unless the decisions are left to individuals to make on their own.
It seems as if the place that justice and the common good must be is in the collaborative discussions, dialogues and education of people to people about important issues.
One of the core values of the American Red Cross is that it takes a neutral position in politics, war, and religion. That is why it is also known internationally as the Red Crescent. Justice and the common good as defined by the Red Cross is that it prevents and alleviates ALL human suffering, regardless of who you are. Justice and common good then are considered universal and common for all persons.