Philosophy Things

Socratic Dialogue: The Most Blessed Gift From the Gods

Vegetarian: What is the most blessed gift bestowed upon all men from the gods?

Carnivore: Meat!

V: How splendid it is to see you today, Carnivore! I have been hoping to encounter someone who possesses as much enthusiasm on this topic as you have, and here you are in my presence today. Please tell me Carnivore, what is it that you find so wonderful about meat that it should be your most cherished gift from the gods?

C: Well, Vegetarian, I find meat eating to be very satisfying and wonderfully tasting. Every bite is like adding a friendly guest to the party in my belly, and each of these friends high-fives a taste bud as they enter. It truly is a marvelous experience, Vegetarian!

V: I see, Carnivore. The way you have described this meat eating tells me that it must surely be no other than the most blessed gift from the gods. Now tell me, is it the meat itself that brings you the pleasure, or is it the flavors by which the meat has been seasoned with that brings you such pleasure?

C: That is a good question, Vegetarian. I believe that it is the flavors by which the meat has been seasoned that bring me the most pleasure. For surely no sensible man would choose an unseasoned piece of meat over one that had been deliciously seasoned.

V: So it seems then that it is the seasonings that are the most blessed gifts from the gods, rather than the actual meat itself. And that perhaps the most cherished gift from the gods are the spices and herbs that make up seasonings that are to be most cherished.

C: So it seems.

V: And if one were to add these same seasonings to a food that had the same consistency as meat, but that was not actually meat, you may find it just as enjoyable?

C: Perhaps.

V: Now what if someone were to be so unfortunate as to lack a sense of taste, and they were therefore unable to distinguish between seasoned meat and un-seasoned meat? Would we then say that they too possess the most blessed gift from the gods?

C: Surely not, Vegetarian. They would not have this gift at all.

V: I see. I must say I am somewhat disappointed, Carnivore. All these years I have heard that you knew what the most blessed gift to all men from the gods was, but now it is obvious that you do not. For you at first thought that it was meat, and now it seems that you think it is seasonings. But through my questioning we have discovered that it cannot be seasonings, either, since not all men possess the sense of taste to experience such flavors. My search for the most blessed gift to all men continues…