Mercator is your first stop for news and analysis that places the dignity of the human person at the centre of everything.
For over 20 years Mercator has given a platform to perspectives on news and issues that puts people, not money, first. No clickbait, just real issues. It’s not about left or right, liberal or conservative: it’s about firm unchanged moral principles, common sense, and evidence.
We affirm that human beings are not machines, mere animals, or economic units. Human beings have inherent dignity and transcendent value and promoting human dignity is at the centre of everything we do. We are proudly dignitarian.
Whether it’s coverage of popular culture, family, sexuality, bioethics, religion, or law, we return to that core principle.
Mercator is named for Gerardus Mercator, the great Renaissance cartographer. Like Mercator we aim to open up new worlds and venture into uncharted seas. We explore new territory, and chart paths through murky and complex issues but we always keep our compass fixed on the dignity of the human person.
Who was Mercator?
Gerardus Mercator (1512-1594) was a great Renaissance cartographer whose work shaped the identity of the modern world. Using the latest reports of new discoveries, he created innovative maps which became known throughout Europe. A creative and skillful craftsman, he invented the map projection which bears his name and coined the term “atlas”. His first map made history: it was the first to use the term North America and the first to depict the New World as stretching from the northern to the southern hemisphere.
Mercator was born in 1512 in Flanders as Gerard de Cremere, but adopted the name Gerardus Mercator (which means "merchant" in Latin) as a young man. He lived through the turbulent years of the Reformation and participated in fierce intellectual battles. He was even jailed for seven months on suspicion of being a Lutheran, although it appears that he was actually a good Catholic. An interest in mathematics eventually led him into map-making at a time when Europeans’ knowledge of the globe was increasing at an unprecedented rate.
In 1569 he created the first Mercator projection: a wall map of the world on 18 separate sheets entitled: “New and more complete representation of the terrestrial globe properly adapted for its use in navigation”. Its novel feature was that lines of longitude, latitude and rhomb lines all appeared as straight lines on the map. Its defect, of course, was that the land masses at the top and bottom are enlarged and distorted. Nonetheless it became essential for hardy souls venturing upon unknown seas in search of wealth, knowledge, and adventure.
Mercator’s life and work are metaphors for what we aspire to: craftsmanship, setting accurate courses, opening up new worlds and venturing upon stormy, uncharted seas. His maps were accurate in the center and distorted at either side — a good image of Mercator’s editorial policy of balance and accuracy.
What we stand for
This is what Mercator 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. Mercator 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 Mercator 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 clichés. We respond with logic and evidence. We do our best to be civil and courteous.
These are Mercator’s principles.
We apply them with flair and a sense of humour.
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