U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Religion and Spirituality
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 1.5 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
Jump to a detailed profile or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Business Search - 14 Million verified businesses
Search for:  near: 
Reply Start New Thread
 
Old 01-03-2009, 04:30 PM
 
Location: Nashville, Tn
7,917 posts, read 11,678,814 times
Reputation: 5307

Advertisements

I have two different scenarios to consider. Some of you may have seen the documentary about an airplane crash in South America in which the survivors ran out of the little food they had and finally out of the need to survive they ate some of the remains of those who had died in the crash. People in the home countries of the survivors have generally been supportive of what they had to do and realize that they all would have died if they hadn't resorted to cannibalism.
The second scenario is very different and it has occurred in virtually every culture at one time or another during it's history. In times of famine human beings have resorted to cannibalism but they have also killed other human beings in order to use their bodies for food as opposed to eating someone who was already dead. This seems wrong to me even if I was facing death but it's a difficult thing to understand. I'm sitting comfortably in my home and can smell the homemade soup I'm cooking. I've never had to worry about starving to death in my life so I don't know what the mentality of someone in that situation would really be. I do feel that I wouldn't bring myself to kill someone and would just starve to death. I don't recall that the Bible or any other religion really addresses this issue. Of course it says "thou shalt not murder" but cannibalism itself is not a topic that is discussed as far as I know. My feeling is that in the first scenario with the plane crash that the survivors did nothing immoral but killing someone even if you're starving to death is immoral. What do you think?
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 01-03-2009, 04:42 PM
 
Location: Mississippi
6,597 posts, read 8,741,898 times
Reputation: 3977
Hey Montana! How are you?

I read a book not too long ago called In The Heart of the Sea: The Tragedy of The Whale Ship Essex and it was essentially the story that Herman Melville was inspired by to write Moby Dick. It's a one-hundred percent true story and it involves a group of men who set out from Nantucket on a whaling ship. Since much of the Atlantic coast from New England to South America had been completely "whaled", they had to make their way all the way around the southern tip of South America and out into the Pacific to continue whaling.

What ended up happening was a whale attacked the ship and the crew divided up into three separate whaling boats. They set adrift hoping to make it to a set of islands in the Pacific but they were also scared of another set of islands closer by due to the cannibals that rumor told inhabited the island.

In the end, I think they were adrift for close to ninety days. Of the 20 or 30 initial survivors, I think only six or seven actually made it through the ordeal and while the people ate the bodies of those who died, they also grew to the point that they were forced to draw straws as to who got eaten next.

What ensues (keep in mind this is all true) is absolutely the most psychologically damning thing I can possibly think of. I don't want to ruin the book for anyone who is interested in reading it but I highly recommend it and I would suggest that one read it before making judgments or assumptions on whether or not it's "wrong" in desperate circumstances.

It's a quick read (about 250 pages) and should really get people thinking. And, keep in mind, every single one of those survivors were extremely and highly religious.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-03-2009, 04:51 PM
 
Location: where i belong
414 posts, read 519,439 times
Reputation: 53
Thumbs down Questions like these get on my nerves!

But for once I will give it a try ...

There are people sufficiently comfortable and saturated so as to think out scenarios like the ones you mention.
I do not believe or entertain thoughts like these ever. But I know from experience - and history - that you cannot predict a certain behavioral pattern, unless you have done some serious self-searching. At least this will work against any kind of manipulation, mentally and emotionally.

And before anyone comes to remind me: a few years ago, here in Germany we had the case of two somewhat misguided men in agreement to one killing and cannibalizing the other. Beyond comprehension to me, can't speak for anyone else.

Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-03-2009, 04:51 PM
 
Location: Nashville, Tn
7,917 posts, read 11,678,814 times
Reputation: 5307
I guess the only good thing I have going for me is the fact that I'm not a very big person and if I ever find myself in those circumstances maybe the hungry people will choose a bigger and fatter person that myself. I also remember something about cannibalism in the mid 1800's in the western US when a group of travellers were stranded. I can't remember if they started to kill each other for food but as I recall I think they did. I think it was called the Donner party but I'm not sure.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-03-2009, 05:12 PM
 
Location: Brussels, Belgium
971 posts, read 1,033,780 times
Reputation: 234
For the first scenario, I think most people would agree that cannibalism is acceptable.
The second one is... interesting. As it happens, in Dawkins' The God Delusion (which I just finished), there is a discussion of such dilemmas - when you could kill one to save many. It appears that deep down, humans beings do not approve the use of another human being as a tool, a mean to an end - even if it's to save many other lives.
Of course, when it is a reality and not a hypothetical question, our answer might be different...
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-03-2009, 05:13 PM
 
Location: where i belong
414 posts, read 519,439 times
Reputation: 53
Default Alright...

Quote:
Originally Posted by MontanaGuy View Post
I guess the only good thing I have going for me is the fact that I'm not a very big person and if I ever find myself in those circumstances maybe the hungry people will choose a bigger and fatter person that myself. I also remember something about cannibalism in the mid 1800's in the western US when a group of travellers were stranded. I can't remember if they started to kill each other for food but as I recall I think they did. I think it was called the Donner party but I'm not sure.
...Mr. Montana, I can now appreciate your piece on public education, much as it triggers completely different (and quite witty) associations in my mind.
So ... kindly accept a thunderclap from a foreigner.

Last edited by lwowl; 01-03-2009 at 05:26 PM.. Reason: naturally, I would google before ...
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-03-2009, 05:32 PM
 
Location: Jacksonville,Florida
3,773 posts, read 6,982,859 times
Reputation: 1923
Just so you say grace first before you devour John or Mary J/k.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-03-2009, 05:33 PM
 
Location: Cushing OK
10,197 posts, read 7,725,420 times
Reputation: 8527
Quote:
Originally Posted by MontanaGuy View Post
I guess the only good thing I have going for me is the fact that I'm not a very big person and if I ever find myself in those circumstances maybe the hungry people will choose a bigger and fatter person that myself. I also remember something about cannibalism in the mid 1800's in the western US when a group of travellers were stranded. I can't remember if they started to kill each other for food but as I recall I think they did. I think it was called the Donner party but I'm not sure.
The two Indian guides were killed and eaten. The rest of the canabilism was done to those who died. Part of the tragedy is that had they had even one person who knew how to live off what they could find it would not have been necessary, but they had moved on down the trail against advise of those who knew the area.

One family did survive, the *entire* family. They never resorted to canabilism. They ate anything they could find or use. They did dig in the snow to find buried edibles. They chose to take the harder road, rather than the easier one.

The others did what they needed to to make it, in their eyes. I can't fault the eating of those already dead. Murdering the guides however was still an act of murder they could not justify.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-03-2009, 05:33 PM
 
Location: Swamps of Florida
3,423 posts, read 6,718,710 times
Reputation: 1874
I've seen that documentary MT, about the plane crash. It was somewhat disturbing to me, those man who survived did what they had to do, you can't blame them for wanting to stay alive, plus the people they used for meal were already dead.
Now, for the second, you have to look at the human nature and will to survive. You will never know how will you react when it comes to "live or die" situation. You know, when you fear something, running from a killer, or a dog, whatever, you can jump high fences that you'd otherwise would not attempt, fear has big eyes. You can't tell what you would do if your only chance to find food is to kill another human being. To me, i probably would rather have a company of that human instead of killing him/her (given there are only 2 of us) When you are in a group, you might be subjected to a pressure from the group, in order to survive you must kill, or be killed. What do you do? The answer is, you will never know, until you are in the situation, and i hope never to be in one.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-03-2009, 05:39 PM
 
Location: where i belong
414 posts, read 519,439 times
Reputation: 53
Question I also read Dawkins' God Delusion ..

Quote:
Originally Posted by Roxolan View Post
For the first scenario, I think most people would agree that cannibalism is acceptable.
The second one is... interesting. As it happens, in Dawkins' The God Delusion (which I just finished), there is a discussion of such dilemmas - when you could kill one to save many. It appears that deep down, humans beings do not approve the use of another human being as a tool, a mean to an end - even if it's to save many other lives.
Of course, when it is a reality and not a hypothetical question, our answer might be different...

... almost one year ago now, and saw him on quite a few TV talk shows.

IMHO a question whether cannibalism "is acceptable" (or worse: should be) contributes to "mind pollution" instead of encouraging people to
find in some "memory" the "state" of such not being necessary.
Utopia can't be all that boring.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Reply
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:

Over $84,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Religion and Spirituality
Similar Threads

All times are GMT -6.

2005-2014, Advameg, Inc.

City-Data.com - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25 - Top