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TheAngelOfWar
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TheAngelOfWar
206 posts
Nomad

http://www.debate.org/opinions/should-cannibalism-be-illegal

55 say Yes cannibalism should be illegal
45 say No cannibalism should not be illegal

Please. Someone give me reason to believe in humanity again.

  • 146 Replies
FishPreferred
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FishPreferred
3,173 posts
Duke
thebluerabbit
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thebluerabbit
5,345 posts
Farmer

well... i read some of the comments that say it should be legal and they are all pretty stupid like "what will happen when all other animals will die? how will we get meat?" and "its only religions fault that we dont eat humans" so yeah...

people dont have to eat meat... and most cultures where canibalism is ok ARE in fact tribes with a sort of religion, not to mention most living creature are not canibals. even creatures that are anti-social and kill each other dont end up eating the corpse.

my opinion on canibalism? its not as horibble as people make it to be.

in my opinion canibalism isnt a yes or no question. its a very large grey scale. most people treat canibalism as taboo because they feel uncomfortable eating something that is close to them physically/mentally/emotionally.

the most extreme case (that exists) are vegans. they see animals as close to us and therefore dont eat meat or what it makes. but whenever ive asked a vegan if he would eat meat that was prepared from an animal that died of natural causes and is definitely clean he would say no. its not about cruelty, its about being uncomfortable.

that explains the vegetarians. now this is a mini-scale with lots of grey in it... some dont eat meat but eat fish/birds. some dont eat any kind of meat but do wear clothes made of leather and such. some even dont eat meat except for schnizel (why? because it doesnt look like meat).

now, many eat eaters eat meat EXCEPT for inner organs. why? because when it comes to inner organs like brains, lungs, hearts and testicles it feels closer to us since the organs look the same.

and to the most extreme side, cannibalism. its ok to eat humans that are strangers but definitely taboo to eat people of the same tribe/family.

this explains so many things. like how in america cow is the most eaten meat but in india its not. while dogs are ok to eat in asian parts of the world while definitely not ok in the west. thats because of how close those animals are to us. in the west dogs are family and cows are products. in india cows are mothers.

overall, its not a question of right and wrong. its a question of what a person considers close enough to himself. the 2 most extreme cases would be a person who would eat anything but himself and a person who would starve becasue plants do have similarities to us (they live).

so yeah... ignoring being politically correct here, when a person judges you for eating meat because its murder and your being cruel. the fact they are alive points at their hypocricity. they just feel the disgust you dont feel when eating something because for them its close to themselves while not for you.

im not gonna judge anyone based on what they eat, maybe even if they eat people (im stretching it real far now) but i DEFINITELY would judge a person if they hurt someone to eat them. its not hyprocritical... just morally weak. but hey, we all need to eat to survive and eating the cow instead of the human, claiming its more moral is stupid in my opinion cause we both want to live and my will to survive isnt more important then the cows. justice should be blind and ignore species.

what can i say? i eat meat and dont feel guilty. if i was trapped on an island and my friend would kill an animal id probably eat it. but if i was trapped alone im pretty sure i wouldnt be able to kill it and starve to death.

philimaster
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philimaster
491 posts
Peasant

^ pretty much said it all

HahiHa
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HahiHa
8,212 posts
Regent

people dont have to eat meat... and most cultures where canibalism is ok ARE in fact tribes with a sort of religion, not to mention most living creature are not canibals. even creatures that are anti-social and kill each other dont end up eating the corpse.

The motives and superstitions behind cannibalism are not really religious, but cultural. As the wiki article put it, it can be &quotart of the grieving process" or a "celebration of victory against a rival tribe".

Wikipedia - Cannibalism: Reasons

Concerning cannibalism among animals, it is actually a widespread behaviour.

Wikipedia - Cannibalism (zoology)

As for me, I would condemn cannibalism as it clearly has no place in our society. When someone dies, we bury or burn them, we do not eat them(*); eating prisoners after a victorious battle would be seen as an atrocious war crime; also, from a modern biological point of view eating someone to 'absorb' whatever characteristics is nonsensical.

Eating a person means you either kill someone or eat a corpse. The grand majority of reported cases of cannibalism include murder and murder is obviously wrong. The second option is equally condemnable as desecration of corpses; besides, it poses a serious health hazard (only specialised animals like vultures are able to eat carrion and live). Other known health issues with cannibalism include the transmission of brain diseases via prions as in the case of the Kuru disease or other diseases from the consumption of other tissues.

(*) This is another cultural thing. Defiling the body or harming it in any way is condemned by many cultures. It is very disrespectful towards the corpse and the family of the deceased. Add to that beliefs in a judgement day for which the body needs to be preserved imperatively (the church condemned cremations until relatively recently because of exactly that).

nichodemus
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nichodemus
14,920 posts
Grand Duke

This brings to my mind that voluntary cannibalism case in Germany, where a man (Armin Meiwes) posted an internet advertisement for willing victims to be killed and eaten. What would be the legal ramifications on cannibalism if the act itself was conducted willingly? Armin was in the end given a sentence based on the charge of manslaughter, which upon a retrial, was "upgraded" to that of murder and a life sentence. Armin was given his sentence in part because there was a nagging question of whether the cannibalised participant was willing, or legally capable of doing so (He had downed alcohol right before he was eaten).

But what is interesting, is that in Germany, the UK and the US amongst other countries, all do not have a specific body of law on cannibalism. In the UK especially, though it isn't explicitly stated, it's often taken in the rare few cases that cannibalism is legal so long as death occurs naturally, though that'll also bring up a myriad number of issues concerning laws on desecrating corpses. (Which is in most cases, what cannibals can only be charged with). So it isn't even a case of whether cannibalism should be legalised, it already is. In fact, the German courts had a hard time trying to charge Armin based on the murder charge, never mind cannibalism.

In another case, English this time, (Regina v. Dudley & Stephens), four sailors were cast adrift, and one fell into a coma. Two of the others killed him, and they all cannibalised his body. Subsequently, the killers were charged for murder, but not cannibalism. I think it interesting that the charges raised did not include cannibalism, and indeed the public at the time were very sympathetic to the castaways.

So back to the question from OP, cannibalism is already legal, though cannibals will most likely run into the arms of the law due to the whole host of other charges they can be slapped with.

FishPreferred
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FishPreferred
3,173 posts
Duke

some dont eat meat but eat fish/birds.
They can't not eat meat by eating the meat of birds or fish.

now, many eat eaters eat meat EXCEPT for inner organs. why? because when it comes to inner organs like brains, lungs, hearts and testicles it feels closer to us since the organs look the same.
No, I'm fairly certain it's because they were rarely or never fed those as a child, and don't see them as "edible" parts.
nichodemus
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nichodemus
14,920 posts
Grand Duke

now, many eat eaters eat meat EXCEPT for inner organs. why? because when it comes to inner organs like brains, lungs, hearts and testicles it feels closer to us since the organs look the same.

Lots of culture eat inner organs. (Haggis?) I ate pig offal soup/noodles before, and it's very common where I come from. How about foie gras? I think our cuisines are littered with examples of inner organ eating.

It's a nice potential point being raised, but unfortunately, I don't think it's really relevant? Maybe there's some serious research into it, but I haven't seen any so far.

TheAngelOfWar
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TheAngelOfWar
206 posts
Nomad

So the shock from seeing this for the first time has worn off and I will do my best to give my perspective.

I was actually looking at an article about the most scariest things on wiki and came across a cannibal section. The one that nichodemus pointed out.

The question at hand is should it be 'ILLEGAL'. I say absolutely no. As you can see in the comments of the debate site you can see that most people who defended the negative (no it should not be illegal) give some crazy answers. When it comes down to having no other animal left in the world or pure survival situations we humans are human. If we need to eat we hunt as a group, if we need to be safe we stay in the group, we are indeed social animals that do not kill each other for food even in bad conditions, your case must be EXTREME in order for it to even come close to being justified. Most of the people who defended the negative clearly were being outright unreasonable or defended it as if it were an opinion or consent issue. It's not. You can't agree to murder someone and have it not be murder (or manslaughter at least). The article I was reading actually involved a person finding another person he met online that allowed himself to be eaten (for some reason) not only did he get eaten, he was cannibalized ALIVE. One does not simply say it's okay for me to be tortured, killed and be eaten in the process.

The fact that this is near 50% is scary to me honestly.

FishPreferred
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FishPreferred
3,173 posts
Duke

You can't agree to murder someone and have it not be murder (or manslaughter at least). The article I was reading actually involved a person finding another person he met online that allowed himself to be eaten (for some reason) not only did he get eaten, he was cannibalized ALIVE. One does not simply say it's okay for me to be tortured, killed and be eaten in the process.
Torture and murder have nothing to do with it, and apparently some people are okay with being cannibalized.
nichodemus
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nichodemus
14,920 posts
Grand Duke

What if a person says that he is willing to be eaten, after he is dead? That'll skip the potential murder/culpable homicide argument.

TheAngelOfWar
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TheAngelOfWar
206 posts
Nomad

torture and murder have nothing to do with it, and apparently some people are okay with being cannibalized.

You cannot let someone eat you to death or let someone assault you (let alone bite your flesh off) without the other person committing a felony because agreeing to break the law is still breaking the law.

"What if a person says that he is willing to be eaten, after he is dead? That'll skip the potential murder/culpable homicide argument."

It messes with people on a psychological level. In the game "Fallout" cannibals get "the shakes" which is also true for real life cannibals. It's like taking a big pill of PTSD, your doctor isn't going to give you a green light (hopefully).
FishPreferred
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FishPreferred
3,173 posts
Duke

You cannot let someone eat you to death or let someone assault you (let alone bite your flesh off) without the other person committing a felony because agreeing to break the law is still breaking the law.
Cannibalism is not eating someone to death or a form of assault, so the point is moot.

In the game "Fallout" cannibals get "the shakes" which is also true for real life cannibals.
No, it isn't. "The shakes" is a delirium caused by alcohol withdrawal. Eating the flesh of the same species has nothing to do with it.
nichodemus
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nichodemus
14,920 posts
Grand Duke

@TheAngelOfWar raises an interesting point that we had touched on earlier; most cannibalism cases that are prosecuted, end up in the cannibal being prosecuted however these are on charges of murder and/or desecration of corpses, because most cannibals obtain the source of their fiendish meal that way.

Therein lies the legal grey area, there is no charge of cannibalism in most countries. So can we truly say that cannibalism is even outlawed? What if a person willingly donates flesh? A British artist once ate donated human parts in public, and he was allowed to do so because there are no laws against it. (The authorities tried to convict him based on the charge of exhibiting a disgusting object in public, but that was later dropped. In any case, the example serves to show that to convict him, they had to bring in another charge, because cannibalism specifically, is not illegal.)

It is true that there are potential medical side effects (Kuru as @Hahiha mentioned, or "the shakes" as @TheAngelOfWar mentioned), but these sidestep the main concern that is quoted when people voice their opposition against cannibalism, which is that they find it disgusting and morally/culturally shocking to do so. Again, what if the person who donates the flesh is willing to do so?

FishPreferred
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FishPreferred
3,173 posts
Duke

What about when someone eats his/her own flesh? As long as they don't malinger or file for disability pension, there's really no way to immoralize it.

TheAngelOfWar
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TheAngelOfWar
206 posts
Nomad

No, it isn't. "The shakes" is a delirium caused by alcohol withdrawal. Eating the flesh of the same species has nothing to do with it.

It's shaking similar to how a person who has a mental break down or went through extreme trauma but of course not all cannibals would have it because clearly not all of them would be in a sound state of mind.

What about when someone eats his/her own flesh? As long as they don't malinger or file for disability pension, there's really no way to immoralize it

We feel bad for people who kill and harm themselves because it's morally incorrect to let a person inflict self harm whilst knowing about it, also eating yourself isn't exactly healthy in any way.
Again, what if the person who donates the flesh is willing to do so?

What if someone was about to kill his/herself because of depression? Letting him/her kill his/herself is really mean (in general) and would really not be nice.
Therein lies the legal grey area, there is no charge of cannibalism in most countries.

There is also no law that directly states that you can't eat raw animal legs in public, hide in a bush dressed as a wanted criminal to scare people walking by, or cut yourself in public because there should not have to be such a law in the first place. Now the question "what if it was done in public whilst I was there." well I'd call the police and find an item to use as a weapon (preferably a polearm type) and start walking away with it pointed at said person because being cannibalized is not on my bucket list (not that I have one). In terms of evolution being self terminated in a painful way by your own will is a big no no for humans unless it is for 'the greater good' which in terms of evolution is the survival of our species or subspecies and what not.
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