The Instigator
funwiththoughts
Con (against)
Losing
1 Points
The Contender
LayTheologian
Pro (for)
Winning
2 Points

Cannibalism is inherently immoral

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 1 vote the winner is...
LayTheologian
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 10/14/2013 Category: Politics
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,139 times Debate No: 38855
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (3)
Votes (1)

 

funwiththoughts

Con

This'll be interesting.... (Note: I am not playing devil's advocate)

First round is for Pro to present his opening argument. BOP is on Pro. I do not believe that cannibalism is inherently immoral.

In anticipation of at least one argument, cannibalism does not require murder-obviously killing people and then eating them is immoral, however, I do not believe that it is immoral to eat someone who is already dead.
LayTheologian

Pro

Given that you have not defined what it is to be moral or immoral, Pro could advance the claim that Cannibalism is inherently immoral on any number of grounds, cherry-picking from various moral philosophies to find one that fits. Divine command would be the most obvious, but Kant's philosophies could work, and Pro could basically just keep throwing until one stuck. In exchange for not doing that, I would like to amend the resolution a bit (seeing as how we have 5 rounds, I don't think it's unreasonable to sacrifice one to clarify terms).

The new resolution would read: "Cannibalism is immoral by Mills' Utilitarianism except in the case of necessity for survival." If this is acceptable, simply reply to that effect, and we can begin. If not, you can make an argument in your first round, or simply reply to the effect that my proposal is unacceptable.
Debate Round No. 1
funwiththoughts

Con

I accept the new resolution.
LayTheologian

Pro

LayTheologian forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 2
funwiththoughts

Con

As my opponent forfeited and the BOP is on him I have no need to make an argument.
LayTheologian

Pro

Sorry for missing the deadline. Got sidetracked.

Utilitarianism holds that an action's morality can best be judged by the utility it generates. Happiness and survival are utility-positive; unhappiness and death are utility-negative.

Cannibalism is utility-negative except in the case of necessity to survival. Why? Because cannibalism transfers prions.

http://en.wikipedia.org...(disease)

http://www.sciencedaily.com...

Prions kill people.

Killing people generates disutility.

If cannibalism is not necessary to life, cannibalism is therefore of negative utility. QED
Debate Round No. 3
funwiththoughts

Con

According to your own ScienceDaily source:

"They say it's the most likely explanation for their discovery that genes protecting against prion diseases -- which can be spread by eating contaminated flesh"

Note the word "contaminated"-prion diseases are spread via the eating of those who have misfolded prions, so if one eats a non-contaminated individual, it does not cause prion diseases.
LayTheologian

Pro

That's certainly the case, but Cannibalism promotes the spread and perpetuation of these diseases and, due to its long incubation time, it can be impossible to determine which corpses are safe to eat and which are not.
Debate Round No. 4
funwiththoughts

Con

That's true, but unless the corpse is in fact unsafe to eat, it does not kill/harm anyone, regardless of whether or not the person eating it know this. Therefore cannibalism does not necessarily kill people, and is only potentially immoral, not inherently.
LayTheologian

Pro

If I was unclear about the change made to the resolution, I apologize. That said, the new resolution does not include the claim that cannibalism is "inherently" immoral. According to utilitarianism, the only thing that is inherently immoral is disutility, and the only thing that is inherently moral is utility. All other things are either moral or immoral in relation to moral agents.

A prion outbreak among cannibals would be far more dangerous than, say, an outbreak of mad cow disease. Why? Because with mad cow disease, for instance, the prion is transmitted from one vector to one target. The person who eats the cow is not in turn eaten, and so cannot pass the disease on to others. With kuru, however, just one person with the disease can easily pass it on to several others who eat him. This makes cannibalism unsafe as a societal practice, and therefore immoral by utilitarianism.
Debate Round No. 5
3 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Posted by jniles 3 years ago
jniles
@funwiththoughts I do now...
Posted by funwiththoughts 3 years ago
funwiththoughts
@jniles: You realize I'm Con, right?
Posted by jniles 3 years ago
jniles
Really ? Eating other humans is immoral... Ya don't say!
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by AndrewB686 3 years ago
AndrewB686
funwiththoughtsLayTheologianTied
Agreed with before the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Agreed with after the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Who had better conduct:Vote Checkmark--1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:--Vote Checkmark3 points
Used the most reliable sources:-Vote Checkmark-2 points
Total points awarded:12 
Reasons for voting decision: Due to a strong bias this was difficult to judge. Conduct goes to con because pro forfeited one round. Only one argument was introduced and was argued quite poorly, so no one gets points for arguments. Pro was the only one who used sources, so naturally he wins in that regard. I would prefer to see a rematch of this debate.