The discussion surrounding addiction to gambling highlights how practical reasonableness seems to be the precondition for the exercise of the other goods. If so, it becomes impossible to deprioritize it as one loses the capacity to choose other goods upon becoming an addict. The problem with Finnis’s theory is that practical reasonableness is classified as one of the basic human good but it also concerns and affects one’s participation in the other basic goods. As an individual pursues the 7 basic goods, practical reasonableness helps one to prioritize one’s pursuit of the goods.
Thus, if an individual loses his or her practical reasonableness as in the case of an addict, one loses the capacity to choose to pursue the other goods. In his discussion of the common good, he states that the common good is “a set of methodological requirements of practical reasonableness which taken together, structure our pursuits of the goods. ” Implicit in this statement is that practical reasonableness is needed to enable us to make sense of our participation in the basic goods and the common good of society.
If so, then an addict who is forgoes his exercise of the basic good of practical reasonableness will not be able to participate in the pursuance of the common good of society. Accordingly, if the common good is a set of conditions that allows individuals to pursue their goods, and the government is required to help individuals secure the common goods, paternalism would be necessary. Thus, laws that aim to help an individual secure common goods is justified as it protects an individual from forgoing their practical reasonableness, which is required to pursue the common good.