The Moralist and the Wine Blogger
THIS CONVERSATION GAVE ME PAUSE:
ME: What do you mean?
Public relations for wine. Promoting the drinking of wine and blogging about wine.
Inconsequential? My clients don’t think so. Some of my Fermentation readers don’t think what I write is inconsequential.
I don’t mean you don’t accomplish anything. Of course you do. It’s just that the consequences of selling wine and wine blogging don’t really play an important role in anyone’s lives. It doesn’t help people. People’s lives aren’t bettered and they don’t really flourish more because you write press releases and go on about wine ratings or wine laws or natural wine.
You mean there’s no moral or ethical element to what I do for a living.
Don’t I get points for the fact that the totality of my life includes not only press releases and comments on wine ratings, but also attempts to be a good person who does occasionally bring joy and happiness to others and that this reflects a certain amount of empathy?
Yes, you get points. But think about how much time you spend doing the morally neutral stuff versus the morally positive stuff.
I’ve never thought about that too deeply.
Most people don’t. And that’s why most people live lives like you, in which the vast amount of your time is spent in pursuit of unimportant consequences.
If I closed down Wark Communications and stopped blogging and spent that time working in a hospice for the dying or as a psychologist helping people cope or as a doctor healing people, would I accrue more points.
That’s exactly what I’m getting at, Tom. That is worthy use of your time. Let me put it more bluntly: If you are not working to improve the well being of others then you are missing the opportunity to live a good life and wasting the most precious commodity we all possess—a life lived in close proximity to other conscious, living beings.
But suppose I tell you that with my blogging about wine, some people read me and express a certain amount of gratitude for the enlightenment and entertainment they get from my efforts? Isn’t this something beyond “morally neutral”? Isn’t that being the source of pleasure something of value?
Not compared to the kind of pleasure you could be delivering with more fundamentally valuable efforts?
How about this: wine is one of those things that bring sensual, intellectual and social pleasure to human beings and being one to promote its consumption is aiding others in enjoying these values?
You are rationalizing, Tom.
You mean to say I’m being selfish.
Yes. And in the extreme.