Monday, May 05, 2008

Cannibalism – Thinking Outside the Box


[Leonhard Kern (1588–1662): Menschenfresserin (female cannibal)
Ivory, Schwäbisch Hall, c. 1650. "Finger Lickin' Good"]


A lot has been said about the problems of overpopulation, food shortages and global warming. Many solutions have been suggested, however nothing has been too successful. For one thing, once we find ways to grow more food, people just have more babies and the problem never ends.

I have the solution – cannibalism. If we could convince people in poorer, overpopulated countries such as India, China and Africa to eat each other, we could solve all the above problems simultaneously. Recently, there have been predications that global warming may indeed lead to cannibalism; it would be wise to get a head start.

The most obvious candidates for consumption would be the weaker and tenderer people – that is children. Before they are able to grow up and begin reproducing, they can be caught by law enforcement officials, harvested so to speak, and rather than wasting their bodies, they would be eaten. Human flesh apparently tastes like pork. The same recipes can be used for both. The most appetizing option would be for the Hormel company to produce a new version of Spam - Man Spam. This would provide a huge new source of protein for the developing world.

There is really nothing new about this. Just the opposite, people make good eating. Cannibalism was probably practiced in all primitive societies. You didn't hear about overpopulation in those days. It's natural and eco-friendly. Nothing artificial added. Instead of cannibalism, which has negative connotations, let's call it human recycling.

I am certain that some religious fundamentalists will make a big stink about this and claim it’s against the Ten Commandments or some other superstition. These are the same idiots who are against abortion or any other type of progress. However science and reason are on my side. I hope Richard Dawkins is reading this. I’m sure he would understand.

Now we just need education. The New York Times can write some positive articles and editorials. National Geographic can do a documentary about neo-cannibalism. Hollywood can produce movies depicting glamorous young people snacking on "long pork". Human recycling can be taught in public schools. Martha Stewart can put it on her show. Just like homosexuality went from being disgusting and illegal a few years ago to being fashionable today, cannibalism can do the same.

Human recycling and Man Spam is the solution!


(My point of course is, that without the Torah to guide us, anything could be rationalized.)

47 comments:

brnh said...

Seems like "a modest proposal" to me.

Cameron said...

JP: I am certain that some religious fundamentalists will make a big stink about this and claim it’s against the Ten Commandments or some other superstition.

CH: I don't recall any commandment against eating human flesh. Seems to me the practice is probably fine so long as the person died for reasons other than murder. Gives 'Kosher' food new meaning eh?

JP: These are the same idiots who are against abortion or any other type of progress.

CH: I don't recall which commandment was 'though shalt not abort a fetus'? The bible quite clearly does not equate a fetus with a person.

JP: However science and reason are on my side.

CH: Not to mention Mark Twain.

JP: I hope Richard Dawkins is reading this. I’m sure he would understand.

CH: I'm sure if he did he would laugh out loud and then move on to forget you ever existed.

JP: My point of course is, that without God, everything is permitted.

CH: Except that curiously, this is not the case. Atheist China doesn't practice cannibalism - I wonder why? Ditto for other secular European countries (Denmark, Holland, the Czech Republic, etc.). Bizarre eh? Despite the fact they don't believe in God they still don't behave immorally. How do you explain that I wonder?

jewish philosopher said...

Cam, it's quite simple. Even so called rationalists like you still retain some irrational ideas about the sanctity of human life. Especially if there are police nearby.

Why don't you please enlighten me, how does Man Spam differ from regular Spam, from your point of view?

badrabbi said...

JP;

I read your previous blog in which you shamelessly attempted to justify slavery. For God's sake, you are willing to justify a man's bondage of another man only because you want to defend your senseless faith at all costs.

Here, in this blog, you blonder again. You make the foolish assumption that the prohibition against cannibalism is Torah given.

But you are wrong:

The Torah NEVER provides for a prohibition against cannibalism. IT NEVER DOES. In painstaking detail the Torah enumerates all the animals that we can or can not eat. It never tells us the we can not eat humans.

Rambam (Maimonides) in (Hilkhot Ma'akhalot Asurot 2:3) writes:

"The human being, though it is said about him (Bereishit 2:7), 'Man became a living beast' [possibly implying that he is technically considered an 'animal'], is not included with the species of hoofed animals. He is therefore not included in the prohibition, and so someone who eats the meat of a person or his fat, from either a live or dead [person], does not receive lashes."

Thus, clearly, in the Torah, there is no prohibition against Cannibalism. This lack of mention of cannibalism in the Torah (or Talmud) has vexed many a rabbi, including Rabbi Kook, who writes:

"The Torah therefore had no need to write an explicit prohibition in this regard, for a person does not need a warning with regard to that towards which he has already acquired a natural sense, which is as good as explicit." (This quotes I got from http://www.vbmtorah.org/parsha.63/26shemini.htm)

In other words, the rabbi writes that the ethics or cannibalism is so entrenched into out innate morality that a prohibition of it was unnecessary in the Torah.

So here comes JP (who by this and last post has more than ever convinced his audience that he is an idiot) claims that cannibalism is morally wrong because the Torah says it is so. He argues that left to their own devices, men will cook and eat their own children! Yet he has failed to demonstrate where in his Book it is written that cannibalism is prohibited.

Brother, with friends to Judaism like you, who needs enemies?

jewish philosopher said...

The main problem with cannibalism, from a Jewish point of view, is obtaining the human flesh. Murder is one of the Ten Commandments.

However, from the secular point of view, how does Man Spam differ from conventional Spam? Because of the grief caused to the parents who will lose their children? But this is the lesser of two evils. Much more grief will be caused ultimately by over population, famine, global warming, etc.

The human distaste for cannibalism is certainly artificial and based on religious beliefs. Remote natives in New Guinea still enjoy human meat with gusto, as did all of our ancestors at one time.

jewish philosopher said...

You just need to change your attitude a little. When you see a person, instead of thinking "sacred" (obviously absurd from a secular point of view) think "tasty".

badrabbi said...

Cannibalism is a prime example of morality not derived from religion. Consider that the prohibition against cannibalism is not a religious one (note my above comment). So if the bible never told us not to eat human flesh, how have we come to abhor this practice?

Also, JP, you say: "The main problem with cannibalism, from a Jewish point of view, is obtaining the human flesh. Murder is one of the Ten Commandments."

This last statement of yours implies that Judaism has no problems with cannibalism; that the only issue is the murder that needs to be committed in obtaining the flesh. Here, you make the profound mistake of misrepresenting the Jewish religion, by saying that cannibalism would be OK but for the act of murder. In effect, you are saying that the problem with cannibalism is not the act of eating human flesh but the act of taking a life in order to do so!

This is, of course, absurd. Thus, according to you, it would be OK according to Orthodox Jewish tenants, to eat the flesh of prisoners who have been executed following a judgment by a proper court of law (since such executions are not considered murder)! Will you eat the flesh of executed prisoners, JP? (Of course for your purpose we will assume that the prisoner has been ‘sheckhted’ properly to make them Kosher!!!).

In effect, with this post, you have indicted Orthodox Judaism for the very act that you are accusing the secular man of. You have successfully shown that Judaism seems to condone cannibalism.

Congratulations!

jewish philosopher said...

"So if the bible never told us not to eat human flesh, how have we come to abhor this practice?"

With no belief in non-physical things, like the soul, you wouldn't.

The consumption of human flesh is complex halachically. However, as I said, the main problem would be obtaining the flesh due to the prohibition of murder. However I see no reason why you should have any problem, Bad.

jewish philosopher said...

Any morality which secularists claim to have is either the result of left over remnants of religious feelings or a fear of the police.

badrabbi said...

I can not help but to think that JP is somehow a perverted genius, who really is an atheist incognito, attempting to expose Orthodox Jewish fallacies by pretending to be orthodox himself!

It has got to be! Otherwise, he would have to be completely devoid of a remnant of intelligence.

jewish philosopher said...

You can't think of anything smarter to say?

DrJ said...

"Any morality which secularists claim to have is either the result of left over remnants of religious feelings or a fear of the police."

I have already disproven this. Love of family and children. Abolition of slavery. Equality of women and minorities. Child marriage and labor laws. These all came from social development, and have now become part of our legal system, thus "fear of police".

Your argument about cannabalism is wrong. The Torah doesn't ban eating human flesh. The abhorrence comes from cultural sense of profane and disgust. Thus we don't cook and eat our family pet when it dies. (alhough a Korean or Thai might). Most animals of prey do not eat their own, and they are pretty unaware of religion. Unless we're mentally ill we don't marry our own children. No Torah prohibition required. We don't defecate or fornicate in public. Although people used to....We all grieve for the death of loved ones.
These all originate from instinctual feelings of kinship, privacy and hygiene.

jewish philosopher said...

I think that societies institute whatever rules seem expedient to them for the good of the majority. They may prohibit murder, but allow the extermination of minorities, for example. Slavery also may be encouraged or prohibited depending on the circumstances. Everyone in a given society then must follow these rules or be punished.

In this post I am merely pointing out that the only reason secular societies prohibit cannibalism would seem to be because of residual religious feelings about the sanctity of human life; ideas which I agree with. However I don’t believe that a secularist can give any convincing logical argument to prohibit it.

Unmolested Altar Boy said...

Jacob the wide diversity of religious thought and practice seems to indictate that religion is more of a rationalization for moral behavior than the generator of it.

The fact that religious societies societies institute whatever rules seem expedient to them for the good of the majority. They may prohibit murder, but allow the extermination of minorities, for example. Slavery also may be encouraged or prohibited depending on the circumstances.

Further supports evidence of the first paragraph's claims


Of course people have morality outside of religon. Why? Because we evolved a moral sense.

Unmolested Altar Boy said...

By the way Jacob, what sins is your god punishing you for?

Since naked chicks mistaken me for the divine, I'd have to say from personal experience, it'd take a lot to convince me that I should inflict cerebal palsy on a man's children as a form of discipline.

jewish philosopher said...

Consider this: If pigs were reproducing out of control and their waste was threatening to poison the environment and end life as we know it, what would we do? Of course, round most of the pigs up, butcher them and everyone gets free ham and pork chops.

Today, with over population and global warming, this is basically what is happening – but with humans, not pigs. Why don’t we employ the same solution?

I would say, because God commanded us not to murder.

However, what can an atheist or an agnostic answer? That cannibalism is unnatural? That isn’t true. Primitive societies often practiced cannibalism and with good reason – people make good eating. Remember that until recently, homosexuality was considered to be unnatural, disgusting and immoral. That’s changed. So can our attitudes about killing and eating excess people.

This question is actually far from merely theoretical. The Bolsheviks robbed and murdered the wealthy, working them to death in labor camps, because they believed that society would as a whole benefit from this. Atheists have a track record of doing outrageous things based on some ridiculous theory, and after all, why not? Without God, everything is permitted. This is what makes atheism such a great menace to mankind and this is why Torah is so essential.

DrJ said...

"I would say, because God commanded us not to murder"

Except for killing gentiles, then it's not murder. Except for Sabbath violators, then its not murder. Except for harlots, then its not murder. Except for someone who curses God's name, then it's not murder

All I'm saying is that the Torah is NOT the source of ethics, but rather a reflector of ethics at the time.

We've come a long way.

The Torah is currently being used for immoral purposes to increase suffering. As an example to the hypocritical stand regarding ending the suffering of the terminally ill. Or the embarrassing ultra-orthodox Jewish position regarding organ donation.

DrJ said...

Let's see if we all understand you JP.

You've previously agreed that some of the Torah's ethics represented concessions to norms and needs of ancient times. (ie slavery, captive women, polygamy, sexual norms, laws of kings)

You've also previously agreed much of modern societies' ethics revolve around changing social agreement (equality, cannabalism, capital punishment)

Yet you assert the existence if other "immutable" Torah ethics, and then use them as a "source" for modern society's morality!


How do you know which category the Torah "ethic" falls into? Maybe the ban on murder or cannabalism is only contextual, like sacrifices or interest or trumah?

The truth is that we use human reason to decide. So human ethics and "divine" ethics are no different at all. We Jews just change things a bit slower than everybody else.

Psychologically speaking, awareness of a "divine" judge might affect a person's behavior differently that that of earthly law enforcement. In the case of Judaism, it doesn't seem to work very well because we seem to constantly be sinning and being punished (by your reasoning).

jewish philosopher said...

DrJ, apparently, in your opinion, if we would take two identical twins, and raise them in two identical homes, except that one had Orthodox Jewish parents and was taught Orthodox Judaism and the other had atheistic parents and was taught atheism, they would each have about the same likelihood of ultimately becoming violent criminals. After all, Orthodox Judaism basically just mimics whatever the ethics are in the surrounding world, besides being a little more backward.

Of course, it’s impossible to actually do an experiment like that with large numbers of people and see what happens. However consider a few statistics. Each year about 6 out of 100,000 Americans is convicted of murder, 3 in 10,000 are convicted of robbery, 2 in 10,000 are convicted of rape. There are about half a million Orthodox Jews in the United States. How many have in the past 400 years been convicted of murder, rape or robbery? As far as I know, and correct me if I am wrong, a grand total of zero. And my opinion is that these statistics are not meaningless flukes, but rather they are symptoms of a generally gentler and kinder society.

And when exactly did Jews go around killing gentiles and harlots? Are you reading blood libel stories or something? Jews seldom used the death penalty before abolishing it 2,000 years ago. (I guess sometimes we are a little ahead of the world, not behind it, as you suggest.)

On the other hand, atheists have demonstrated the most extreme brutality imaginable time and again in recent history. . Forty million fetuses are aborted each year, with the agreement if not active participation of atheists. They are usually moral degenerates who are a hazard to themselves and others

I see no reason, other than fear of law enforcement, that atheists wouldn’t have their neighbors over for dinner. Not as guests, but on the menu.

The idea that there are no consequences to our actions other than the obvious physical ones is a lie that is poisoning society.

DrJ said...

You are avoiding addressing my points by restating the well known cohesiveness present in the orthodox community-- which I acknowlege and can be explained by a number of reasons.

Religionist have also exhibited extreme brutality and you know this from history.

You are distorting my statements in referring to killing harlots and gentiles. But you know and I know what the biblical ethic was.You know that halacha defines murder as killing only another Jew. Why did we stop using the death penalty? Why did we stop trying to identify bastard children who are not allowed to marry? Because we figured out that it was bad.
If you're talking statistics and divine punishment, here something to ponder:

1. Annually 500 Israelis receive the divine death penalty, delivered by auto accidents.
2. 10,000 Israelis every year are punished by god be being smitten with a stroke.
3. 7000 Israelis annually are given a divine death penalty by cancer.
4. 6.75 out of every 1000 infants born are given the death penalty by perinatal mortality.

Of course I don't believe that these are acts of God but you do, and He's a Hangin' Judge. And according to you, the victims deserve it for their sins.

jewish philosopher said...

"Religionist have also exhibited extreme brutality and you know this from history."

I'm resposible for the crimes of every idolator or deranged Arab?

"You know that halacha defines murder as killing only another Jew."

And you know that Orthodox Jews are better to gentiles than they are to each other. When was the last time a yeshiva student stabbed a black man in Brooklyn?

"the victims deserve it for their sins"

So stop sinning.

To some degree I see what you are saying. Higher levels of education world wide has improved the level of human rights. Poor people and women will not tolerate oppression as they once did. Nevertheless, we are far, far from being on the edge of some 1960's type Age of Aquarius filled with peace, love, harmony, flowers, beauty, etc. For many people life is horrible and violent. Between radical Islam and global warming things may get worse and atheism will not help.

I have a solution.

Unmolested Altar Boy said...

Jacob,

We tried the god solution in the Dark Ages. It did not work. Radical Islam is trying the god solution now, it is not working. Hell America is trying the god solution right now- it is not working.

Anyway, what is your god punishing you for by giving your kids cerbal palsy?

Hell, the trolls like myself who ply this self-published rag have tried the god solution. It failed.

Rebeljew said...

This particular post is too stupid to comment on. However this
http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20080507/sc_afp/sciencebiologygeneticsplatypus_080507184740

is clear evidence of a transitional form, a well known zoological curiosity, part mammal, part bird, part reptile. Its genome clearly shows how all three are related.

Interestingly, it is also very ingenious. It got off the ark, designed a seacraft, and navigated itself to the island nations of Australia and Tazmania.

jewish philosopher said...

Unmolested, I fail to see your point. Comparing Islam to Judaism is like comparing craniosacral therapy to neurosurgery. If you knew someone with a brain tumor and you gave him the name of a distinguished neurosurgeon and he replied “Been there, done that. I have already gone to a craniosacral therapist and it was just a waste of money.” would that sound reasonable to you?

Different religions are totally different and I’m not a fan of Islam. Atheists however all have the common characteristic of denying any divine reward and punishment and I am suggesting that this attitude has made possible horrendous atrocities in the past and contributes to great cruelty and suffering in the present.

Rebel, thanks for the link. Actually, platypus evolution is poorly understood and is seen by some as proof that evolution is false. Of course, as I have pointed out, evolution cannot really be disproven since it is a fantasy based on hormones.

By the way, I have a post about the flood.

Unmolested Altar Boy said...

Let us look to Croatia during the Second World War. Before the war, Croatia had a small, but noticeable Jewish population. Most Jews were secular, well assilimated but there was a contigent of Orthodox Jews like yourself.

Then Hitler invaded. The Jews in Croatia divided along the lines of those who tried the God solution and those who did not.

Guess who survived? The Jews that ditched God and were members of the Ustashi, Tito Partisans, or fled for their lives.

What happened to the Jews that counted on god to save them? Well, the lucky ones ended up at Auschwitz. The less fortunate ended at Ustashi camps like Jasenovac.

Also, despite all the communist atrocities, the number of victims, per capita, who have died because of violence has plummented in the 20th century. We are far more civilized now then we were back when religion reigned unchallenged.

Back to the point you keep avoiding, do you think your god struck your kids down with palsy because of your tendency to make shit up?

jewish philosopher said...

You seem to be saying that a disproportionately high number of Orthodox Croatian Jews died in the Holocaust. What makes you think Orthodox Jews didn't join the partisans? Sources please?

You seem to be saying the there were fewer violent deaths per capita in the 20th century than in let's say the 15th century or the 5th century. Does that mean that Stalin was more humane than Catherine the Great for example? Sources please?

Unmolested, I continue to be awed by your eloquence.

Unmolested Altar Boy said...

"What makes you think Orthodox Jews didn't join the partisans? Sources please?"

First, for future reference, when you disbelieve the widely held consensus on a topic, it is your responsibility to challenge it. It is not the obligations of the experts to provide remedial tutoring.

But since the ADA and IDEA mandate special assistance for special people, I'll be magnanimous enough to provide sources.

Hannah Arendt's book on Eichmann pages 181-185. The page numbers vary between editions, so if the information is not there, use the index.

Do you help using an index?

Also check out Tomasevich's books war and occupation and the Chetniks, Djilas' Wartime, and Nila Ginger Hofman's Renewed Survival.

Hofman's book is hilarious at times. Croatia's Jewish community center served the best pork sausages in Zagreb.

As for sources about the decline of violent death see Keeley's War before Civilization and Shermer's book The science of Good and Evil.

Josh said...

I'm still in awe how bad rabbi completely destroyed your argument and you fail to recognize it.

Premise: If not for the Torah's ban on cannibilism people would eat each other.

Proof from Jewish Sources: In fact the Torah does not prohibit it because it is common sense (not religion) that deems this disgusting.

Conclusion: Jacob's premise is faulty based on our own mesorah. How can you not admit this when confronted with our own sources which contradict you?

On another note clearly there are some things considered common sense that don't depend on religion because we explain mishpatim as those things which people naturally do anyway without divine command.

It's unfortunate you will respond to this post by ignoring the point as you always do so I'll repeat it one more time.

You claim that if not for the Torah 's ban on cannibilism which somehow is ingrained in everyone's psyche from the old days whether they understand it or not, people would slaughter each other and heck why not it would be better for society.

We have provided Jewish sources which show in fact that the Torah does not prohibit cannibilism because it is common sense that such actions are repulsive, therefore this ingrained disgust comes from common sense not Judaism.

Thank You.

jewish philosopher said...

According to Torah, the killing of innocent people in order to obtain food, decrease the population and improve the environment is prohibited. This is true regardless of whether the victims are Jews, gentiles, young, old, etc.

According to atheism, there is no rational reason to refraim from killing innocent people in order to obtain food, decrease the population and improve the environment. Since doing so, it could be reasonably argued, benefits the majority, the murders would be perfectly ethical from the atheistic point of view.

I think this highlights the difference between Torah morality and atheistic morality and helps us to better understand why all atheistic governments have a poor human rights record.

Regarding the disgust which most people feel regarding eating human flesh, this is surely no more "natural" or "instictive" than the disgust for homosexuality.

Thank you.

Josh said...

Except for the fact Rabbinic authorities seem to believe that the eating of other humans is something the Torah didn't have to prohibit because it's self evident.

And that there's no Torah prohibition of killing Non-Jews.

DrJ said...

In addition to Josh's comments-

JP I think I can clarify your point. The Torah addresses the prohibition of intentional killing of another Jew outside of a court sentence. It doesn't specify that you can't kill to eat the flesh, steal organs, or use the fat for fuel, bones for soap, or for teaching medical students anatomy, nor does it specify that you can't use the body for these purposes if somebody is already dead. It simply says you can't kill. All ethical systems, including Judaism, have differing levels of tradeoff between individual and society, and it is not black and white. For example. the Torah permits us to send soldiers to war to sacrifice themselves for the sake of the welfare/safety of society. The ban on killing is not absolute. The Torah permits capital punishment, which is in essence sacrificing the individual in order to act as a deterrent from others repeating the act. It permits killing in self defense. So it is true that by Torah rules your are banned from killing humans for food, although I don't think that the Torah is the sole source of that ban. Since eating humans is taboo in most societies,and so is killing, it would clearly follow that you can't kill to eat humans.

Modern ethical systems recognize individual/societal tradeoff, and also place limits on how much an individual is required to sacrifice for the welfare of other people. The Torah has certain lines, and other ethical systems have different lines.

jewish philosopher said...

Josh, you're wrong. See the commentary of R. Yosef Karo, Kessef Mishneh, on Maimonides, Mishneh Torah, Hilchot Rotze'ach 2:11 where he writes that a Jew will be punished by God for killing a gentile. The Rema (YD 79:1) says that human flesh is Biblically forbidden to eat. Therefore both the killing of a gentile and the eating of his flesh would be forbidden by the Torah. Period. I'll chalk your comment up to ignorance, possibly influenced by some blood libel type anti-Semitic webpages you have probably been browsing.

But DrJ, what is to stop an atheistic ethical system from permitting or even mandating human recycling and Man Spam? Secular ethics seem to be concerned with what will be best for society; why isn't cannibalism arguably good for society, just as Stalinism and Maoism were thought to be a few years ago?

Without God, everything may be permitted.

Josh said...

You say the Rambam but yet,
Rambam (Maimonides) in (Hilkhot Ma'akhalot Asurot 2:3) writes:

"The human being, though it is said about him (Bereishit 2:7), 'Man became a living beast' [possibly implying that he is technically considered an 'animal'], is not included with the species of hoofed animals. He is therefore not included in the prohibition, and so someone who eats the meat of a person or his fat, from either a live or dead [person], does not receive lashes."

"

Discuss.

jewish philosopher said...

Rambam still prohibits human flesh, and in any case Ashkenazim would follow the Rema.

Unmolested Altar Boy said...

"all atheistic governments have a poor human rights record."

Yet, as science and basic math has shown, the number of deaths by violent means has plummeted during the 20th century. Even if it hadn't, the records of atheist regimes are mixed. Tito's Yugoslavia was vastly superior to most theocracies as an example.

I'll chalk your comment up to ignorance, possibly influenced by limited education that is primarily focused on the make-believe

Jacob, if the Holocaust was God's punishment for the Jewish Enlightenment, then what his he punishing you for by inflicting palsy on your children?

Or if you have not done anything wrong, perhaps your god is punish your wife for misdeeds?

jewish philosopher said...

Unmolested, you are a true credit to the atheistic community.

Joseph said...

If we look at the secular parts of the world, we don't see high crime rates. In fact, given their low birth rates after a few generations we won't see much of anything.

One way to look at that is to realize that secularism is lame. So when Einstein thought of religion as a crutch he was right ... but not in the way secularists think.

JoJo said...

Doesnt the torah prohibit eating an animal that eats another animal? All kosher animals are herbivore, so theres the problem with eating humans.

jewish philosopher said...

"Doesnt the torah prohibit eating an animal that eats another animal?"

Not exactly. For example, don't big fish eat little fish, but we may eat big fish.

JoJo said...

Hence fish isnt meat. Go on.

jewish philosopher said...

Turkeys eat insects; I think they are considered to be omnivores, not strict herbivores.

JoJo said...

Meat seems to be limited to birds and mammalls. There's kosher types of locust, but you're not flaishig afterwards, just like with fish.

alex said...

"without God, everything is permitted."

That line, of course, comes from The Brothers Karamazov.

Part of me really believes this. However, I've seen a responsible writer put the brakes on it. I'm interested in your opinion of this essay:

http://www.yutorah.org/showShiur.cfm/705187/Rabbi_Yitzchak_Blau/Ivan_Karamazov_Revisited:_The_Moral_Argument_for_Religious_Belief

jewish philosopher said...

Thank you for the link. It's a little too technical for my taste, frankly.

I think that there may be some sort of natural, intuitive ethics; however the point of this post is that without the Torah it is possible to plausibly rationalize any behavior, no matter how horrendous.

shoshi said...

the problem with cannibalism is that it transmits a weird kind of creutzfeld-jacobs disease. So I personnally wouldn't go along with it. But if you want to, feel free. You can start with people who died anyway... Is there a kashrut problem in cannibalism?

shoshi said...

PS: I think cannibalism is a religious act in societies who practice it (cf. Yanomami indians who burn and eat their own deaht, fayu in Iryan Jaya, etc)

jewish philosopher said...

My point in this post is that atheists often make the argument that "You don't need God to be good. People are naturally good. People will automatically create peaceful societies because this will be of the most benefit to everyone."

I see no basis for this and on the contrary, cannibalism might really be of the most benefit to everyone, besides being part of basic human nature.