Cannibalism and Morality
I read this article a week ago:
It was insanely gripping and has led me to a debate in my head all week.
Basically this article talks about an old early website that was used for those interested in cannibalism to meet, and either eat or get eaten by one another. The article has interviews of some of the creators of the website and the cannibals themselves, and they have very interesting takes on the world.
It presents us with a question. Is it wrong to eat or kill someone if they ask you to? For me I’ve been struggling with the question because yes, it is disgusting to me, but is it wrong if both parties agree? It also goes back to a more warped physician assisted suicide question (which, funny enough- I don’t find some cases of physician assisted suicide to be wrong- but I find cannibalism to be morally repulsive- even if it is agreed upon).
The easier question is: If someone wants a person to do something society would call conventionally wrong to them, and the other person does it, who is at fault? Is anyone at fault?
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Our bodie and minds are the only things we truly own in this life. One should undoubtedly have the right to do what they please as long as no one else is harmed in the process.
The only issue I have is why do these people desire this? I would find it hard to believe that a properly working brain would want such things. Suicide in itself is obviously a complex issue but at its core it is the product of a malfunctioning organism (and I think a lot of things become much easier when we think of ourselves and others this way.) At the same time perhaps this is an issue with the individual vs the society they live in.
Morally wrong? No. Biologically? Yes. I believe someone should have the right to kill themselves but at the same time i feel certain that something has broke down inside (outside of issues that cannot be solved such as health etc).
I cannot truly feel what they feel not will I ever but I can imagine it I something akin to the pleasure one feels during intercourse, becoming a part of another human being.
@alexandriabee, I think I understand what you are saying that people who do things that society doesn’t agree with are not necessarily wrong. For example, one of the biggest things I can’t stand about the workplace is how someone else pretty much forces their values on you. And I also think that a lot of evil gets by in this society under our noses, because of what’s beaten into our heads about what’s “right” and what’s not.
HOWEVER, the fact that this is cannibalism we’re talking about here I think absolutely matters. It’s a little bit different than someone saying they should be able to get a tattoo and proudly display it. I mean, I just have to call into question the sanity of a person who says they want to kill and eat another human being, let alone the sanity of a person who they want to be killed and eaten. Neither of these things are decisions you can say you want to do at the time, only to think later “oh shit, I guess I change my mind about this whole cannibalism thing.” What if the person who says they want to be eaten isn’t thinking clearly, and just needs to actually think and talk about it to realize that it isn’t what they really want? And the killer/eater as well? Once they have killed a person, they have to live with it forever.
@theskafish, Those are great points, and certainly warrant some discussion. But I don’t think that changes the fact that nobody should have the power to tell anyone what they can and can’t do with their own life, or dictate what happens between consenting adults. Sure I think cannibalism is crazy, sick, disgusting, etc. But I also think people have to be a little off to gauge their earlobes, or get lip discs. Scarring and body mutilation seems weird to me, bondage and S and M are strange (pain + sex = ?)… But the point remains that what I (or anyone else) think should have no bearing on what a consenting adult can do. It’s simply not my place to judge.
@smalls, but don’t you think that somewhere, anywhere, there’s just got to be a line drawn in the sand? What if, for some reason I wanted to light someone on fire, and found someone who consented to it? When do we say that a person simply isn’t fit to give consent to something because it just isn’t remotely sane? I very much believe in freedoms for people, but I also believe that although the borders of sanity might cover a ton of ground, some of these things adults consent to are simply over that border line, and rather than going through with it they should get help from somebody.
@theskafish, Let’s say that’s true, and somebody wants to be eaten, or set on fire, and whoever is in power deems these things to be insane and makes the person seek help. Say that person is found to be in control of their mental capacity in all other areas, but they still wish to go through with it? Do we let them? Do we lock them up to prevent them? What would it solve? We haven’t changed their way of thinking, they would more than likely still want to do it, all we’ve done is imprisoned somebody for WANTING to do something. That’s the problem with a lot of the thinking of today, that we somehow have to save people from themselves, everybody knows what’s best for everyone else. It may still seem crazy to everybody else, but that person wants it, and they’ve found another consenting adult to do it with, who is anybody to stop them? It’s not our life, why should we interfere? It has no bearing on anybody else, if it did directly affect someone else then it would require their consent. I don’t see any other system as being reasonable, as long as there’s consent what rational argument is there against it?
@greenbird9183, You should watch the movie called “grimm love”, its about the same thing as the article, but in a movie form. Its an absolutely fascinating movie, but obviously not for everyone, and definitely not for the faint of heart. There definitely is cannabalism in it.
@shaniquaaa, RIGHT?! That’s what happened to me as well. I wonder if it is because I have been raised in a culture that draws a large line between stuff like abortion, physician assisted suicide- and murder. With cannibalism, it is something so far removed from society, and an extremely taboo fetish at that.
And it isn’t like other animals and insects don’t eat their own kind. I know for sure that spiders, some species of birds occasionally eat their young. Maybe it is some weird primal urge that we are just so removed from that we could never really understand what the drive would be to either eat or be eaten by another.
AND it is THIS lack of understanding that makes us find it so repulsive? It’s strange because a lot of times even people who try to have a wider empathy for others can’t understand it all. We all have our limits. Or at least I do.
@yoinkie, Thanks! I’ll check it out.
But doesn’t anyone here feel like cannibalism is just grossly disrespectful of human life, and disrespectful of the individual? I feel it is almost like rape (even with the consent given, do they really have the mental faculties to give it?), and this cannibal site was some real sickos taking advantage of seriously unhealthy people (those who said they wanted to be killed and eaten.) My guess is that those who said they wanted to be eaten had MASSIVE self-esteem issues that just needed a little help, needed someone to show them there’s something to live for. Maybe that’s what their strange request really was, some sort of cry for help, some desperate attempt to get someone’s attention.
And did anyone read the article about the guy who made the site???? The guy who said if anyone sued him out of business, he’d kill their whole family? Man…..guys like that make me wish people like Punisher or Rorschach were real. That statement just blew me away at what kind of person he is, I truly hope someone goes vigilante on his smug ass. I consider myself a pretty liberal guy in most respects, but I think we should take a tough stance with the sickos.