Focuses on how fairly or unfairly our actions distribute benefits and burdens among the members of a group. This fairness approach asks what is fair for all stakeholders, or people who have an interest in the outcome.‖
Fairness requires consistency in the way people are treated.
The principle states: ―Treat people the same unless there are morally relevant differences between them.‖
The Common Good fairness Approach
This approach to ethics assumes a society compromising individuals whose own good is inextricably linked to the good of the community. Community members are bound by the pursuit of common values and goals. The common good is a notion that originated more than 2000 years ago in the writings of Plato, Aristotle, and Cicero. More recently, contemporary ethicist John Rawls defined the common good as ―certain general conditions that are…. equally to everyone‘s advantage.‖
In this approach, we focus on ensuring that the social policies, social customs, institutions, and environments on which we depend are beneficial to all. Examples of ―goods‖ common to all include affordable health care, effective public safety, peace among nations, a just legal system, and an unpolluted environment.
Appeals to the common good urge us to view ourselves as members of the same community, reflecting on broad questions concerning the kind of society we want to become and how we are to achieve that society. While respecting and valuing the freedom of individuals to pursue their own goals, the common good approach challenges us also to recognize and further those goals, we share in common.