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Eating other people in survival situations

  1. Mar 24, 2007 #1
    Is it okay for people to eat each other in survival situations such as on rafts at sea, or should we be willing to die instead of stooping so low?
    My own personal thought on this is that when the human body gets desperate for nutrition and water the brain (in most people) shuts down its morality circuits and "squeamishness" circuits and says; "Hey! I don't wanna suffer no more - get munching!" Maybe the prefrontal cortex gets damaged
    http://www.sciam.com/article.cfm?chanID=sa003&articleID=76613503-E7F2-99DF-3E772052740833A2&ref=rss

    What do you think?
     
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2007
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 24, 2007 #2
    Are they first dead ? If yes, then yes, if no, then no.
     
  4. Mar 24, 2007 #3

    radou

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    Blah, if you can eat them dead, you can eat them alive as well. "Hey, gimme that arm, will you!!" :tongue2:
     
  5. Mar 24, 2007 #4
    I think it's "nicer" to eat something(one) after they die rather than chew on them and listen to the screaming. (Farm stuff)....BUT if I was REALLY starving, I would break their neck first, then chow down...it comes down to a situation that most of us have never been in (nor will ever be).
    How can you know what you would do? You do not.
    You might consider your morality and your convictions, but if it boils down to eat or be eaten, I'd be EATING...
     
  6. Mar 24, 2007 #5

    baywax

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    Say you're drifting alone for too many days. Which part of your own body are you going to start eating?
     
  7. Mar 25, 2007 #6
    Even reading this thread is nauseating. :yuck:
     
  8. Mar 25, 2007 #7

    arildno

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    If you accept the dictum that in all situations there exists at least one option that it is morally permissible for an individual to make in order to heighten his chances for physical survival, it follows that yes, there may be extreme cases in which it is permissible to eat another person.
    (Of course, that other person will have the same right to eat you).
     
  9. Mar 25, 2007 #8

    radou

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    If we start answering this questions, I think this thread will get out of control and end up locked. :tongue:
     
  10. Mar 25, 2007 #9

    arildno

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    My left earlobe.
    I have never liked it much.
     
  11. Mar 25, 2007 #10
  12. Mar 25, 2007 #11

    radou

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    How on earth would you do that?

    I'd eat a piece of my bottom, but I don't know how on earth I'd do that.

    (Assume, of course, you don't posess any cutting device.)
     
  13. Mar 25, 2007 #12
    Hey radou,do you have any recollections of certain thread yesterday mentioning some "primitive tribes" that inhabit region of Balkan ? :uhh:
     
  14. Mar 25, 2007 #13

    radou

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    You can't be serious. :tongue:
     
  15. Mar 25, 2007 #14
    I know one thing for sure:I haven't eaten human meat (raw / roasted/cooked) for nutrition purposes yet.Fortunately.
    BTW,few years back I read this book describing true true story of plane crashers:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alive:_The_Story_of_the_Andes_Survivors

    Frightening and fascinating.
    There is a translation of it in Croatian you can get in libraries/bookstores.
     
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2007
  16. Mar 25, 2007 #15

    radou

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    Really? That's interesting. :biggrin:
     
  17. Mar 25, 2007 #16

    arildno

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    The only reason why we regard eating others as "morally difficult", even when it is our sole chance of physical survival, is that such situations happen to be so rare that our habituation mechanism hasn't been set in motion.

    If it were a common-place situation we found ourselves in, we wouldn't think it morally difficult to do so at all. And, we would still have the right to call ourselves moral individuals with a conscience.
     
  18. Mar 25, 2007 #17

    baywax

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    Actually, your body would be eating it's self. Your whole body would be your kidney pie, so to speak:yuck:
     
  19. Mar 25, 2007 #18

    arildno

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    Perhaps it is better to have a kidney pie than a meat loaf..
     
  20. Mar 25, 2007 #19
    You could feed yourself and do crude "plastic" surgery at the same time!
     
  21. Mar 26, 2007 #20

    radou

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    Perhaps that's the beginning of a whole new era of plastic surgery.
     
  22. Mar 26, 2007 #21
    You cant ask a question like that. The first question you have to ask is if you would eat human as delicacy. If so, you would have no problem eating a man if you were starving. On the other hand you would be very afraid to eat another man if you never given it any thought. Both questions create very interesting investigation.
     
  23. Mar 26, 2007 #22

    radou

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    Well, I guess that the "delicacy-issue" most definitely wouldn't create an interesting investigation.
     
  24. Mar 26, 2007 #23
    I forgot to mention that I love Nietzsche. So.. Would a noble man eat another man in any circumstance? or.. Would a surviver of things resort to their last chance like they always do? Examples of 2 very different lifestyles and mindsets.
     
  25. Mar 26, 2007 #24
    if above question can be rephrased to "would you rather eat someone or starve to death", I say I would eat someone.

    our Mother Nature is the greatest judge of all things; She would punish me for not eating with death, and reward for eating with another few moments of life, so She probably thinks eating others for your own survival is good thing. you might say, such an extreme cannibalism is naturally selected.
     
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2007
  26. Mar 26, 2007 #25

    baywax

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    So the criteria for a large majority of the members of the team (that gets lost and starving) would only be those people with lean muscle, no trans fatty acids, eat a lot of garlic and are already partially marinated in wine or beer.
     
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