flickr /benidormoneThis is what MercatorNet stands for: reframing ethical and policy debates in terms of human dignity, not dollars and cents or political calculation. We place the person at the centre of media debates about popular culture, the family, sexuality, bioethics, religion and law. MercatorNet isn’t liberal. It isn’t conservative. We don’t want to be trapped on one or the other side of the culture wars. If you want a label, try “dignitarian”.

How do we define human persons? They are men and women who have an intellect to know the truth and a free will. Their bodies express their spirit in a way that makes them unique in the universe. They are not machines, animals, or cost centres, but beings with a transcendent value. They need loving families to flourish. They only thrive in a society whose laws recognise their dignity.

What about God? We believe in God (the editor is a Catholic), but defending human dignity is a task for people of every religion and of none. “What a piece of work is man! How noble in reason! how infinite in faculties! in form and moving, how express and admirable! in action how like an angel! in apprehension, how like a god! the beauty of the world!” — that’s Shakespeare, not the Bible. Religion adds clarity and conviction to the task of defending human dignity. But the arguments advanced in MercatorNet are based on universally accepted moral principles, common sense and evidence, not faith.

We oppose moral relativism, scientism, crass commercialism, utilitarianism, and materialism — in short, any ism which reduces persons to ciphers and treats them as soulless machines. We delight in dissecting media cliches. We respond with logic and evidence. We do our best to be civil and courteous.

These are MercatorNet’s principles. We apply them with flair and a sense of humour. If you like the package, sign up for our regular updates so that you won’t miss out on the fun.