Where’s the beef? Ontology and tinned meat

Editorial note: If you have not yet read our mission statement above, please do so in order that you can put our blogs in context. 

31 January 2012

As from yesterday, when we published our key post on democracy, for the next week or so but not necessarily every day, we are going to publish extracts from our Mission Statement. This is partly because the Mission Statement makes for a very long read all at one go and partly because we want to assign different parts of the Mission Statement to the different categories in the sidebar to the right of this text. We can only do this after posting the article in question. The Mission Statement has been continually updated since it was first drafted late last year, so even if readers have had the stamina to check it out already from top to bottom there may be parts of the text as it now stands that are new to them.

We continue this process today with a post summarising the philosophical background to the blog.

 PHILOSOPHICAL BACKGROUND TO THIS BLOG

The fundamental view of this blog is that nothing has any meaning.

The fate of man is fundamentally tragic: we die. Faced with the certainty that we shall soon cease to exist, nothing that we do matters. Nor does it matter whether we do anything or do nothing.

We were not. We are. We shall not be.

That’s it.

Man’s existence is but a thin sliver of corned beef sandwiched between two thick slices of oblivion.

At the most basic philosophical level, moreover, it is meaningless to talk of good and evil.   The terms good and evil have no meaning in a meaningless universe. Even if this were not so,  no criterion exists which would enable us to distinguish between good and bad.

However. We are condemned to live for, at most, 100 years. We might as well, therefore, make the best of it. If we are to be executed in due course, as we all are, courtesy of the Grim Reaper, we might as well make the best of it while we can. There is no point in making ourselves miserable bemoaning the inevitable tragedy.  As the 17th C poet Robert Herrick said, “Gather ye rosebuds while ye may”.

How then can we best serve out our time? Our view is that the greatest human satisfaction derives not from riches or a luxurious lifestyle nor from worldly achievement nor from the adulation of the multitudes but from helping our fellow human beings as best we can.

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