Now besides life, knowledge, play, aesthetic experience, friendship, practical reasonableness, and religion, there are countless objectives and forms of good. But I suggest that these other objectives and forms of good will be found, on analysis, to be ways or combinations of ways of pursuing (not always sensibly) and realizing (not always successfully) one of the seven basic forms of good, or some combination of them.
What does Finnis mean here by a basic form of good? Discuss whether this list of seven basic forms of good neglects anything important about what makes life worth living.
By basic form of good, Finnis is referring to those fundamental aspects in one’s life that determines whether or not they live a good life. For example, Friendship is one of the most important aspects in one’s life, if one is at war with everyone, their life wouldn’t go as well as if they’re socially accepted and liked. According to Finnis, Friendship involves acting for the sake of one’s friend’s well-being. This means that friendship is basically having someone who cares about you and would work to make you happy in every possible way, and he believes that having that in one’s life is essential. The list of seven goods, in my opinion, does not neglect anything important about what makes life worth living because every other aspect of one’s life is a means of pursuit of these seven basic goods. For instance, to gain Sociability, one would try to act in a socially acceptable way this includes being polite, generous and morally good. That way, one can gain Friendship, which is listed according to Finnis, as a basic good.
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