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If you accept its ok to eat a chicken you must also accept some cases of cannibalism are ok

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 11/1/2015 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 11 months ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 340 times Debate No: 81890
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (5)
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Cannibalism will be defined as the consumption of the flesh of the same species.

All humans includes retarded humans, some of which are mentally worse off than animals. So if we eat animals it must also be right to eat some humans. If it is right to eat some humans this means cannibalism must be accepted by those that accept eating animals.

All retarded humans have to be seen as superior to animals as if just one was not that would show that cannibalism is not wrong in all cases. I shall address several arguments that could be given to show that the mentally disabled are superior to animals and why they fail.

A common argument many would give is not really an argument at all. Many people claim that someone of moral value is just anyone human. Midgely sums up my take on this well, "I think this is a very natural view but not actually a true one." However, this is a view inconsistent with several common beliefs. Religious carnivores would not claim God to be human yet still maintain he is of moral value. Also most would feel uncomfortable with such a theory that necessarily excluded aliens with equal or superior mental capacities from ourselves if they were to be discovered. Another problem with taking such a stance is the fact that we are constantly evolving. Humans today are different, albeit subtly, from humans 2000 years ago and its only because our taxonomic wording lacks preciseness that we are not classed differently from our ancestors. Those who assert human superiority must believe there was a point in history when the first member of the human species was born to parents not advanced enough to be classified as human. When it was born we could not know it was morally valuable until we observed its characteristics. We could not discover its value until we had some evidence of its level of intelliegene, emotional capacity or any other relevant characteristic. Without evidence there would be no reason to think it was any difference to its parents. If characteristics are what matters it makes sense to stick to discussing arguments surrounding them. The argument that all humans are valuable because they are endowed with souls also fails in the same way, as souls, granting they exist, may also be in animals unless we can give some evidence for this not being the case. I can see no source of this evidence that does not arise from observing characteristics.
Metaphysical qualities
Argument from free will? But determinism may be true" "One lesson to draw from this is that, if we are to postulate certain properties as
the basis of our worth, they had better be properties that we demonstrably have. Accounts of the morality of respect that base our worth on certain "metaphysical" attributes"such as that we possess a soul, or that we have been made in the image of God, or that we are endowed with free will"are always vulnerable to the possibility, or probability, that the favored attribute is in fact illusory."

Some mentally disabled people are no better, and in some cases, worse than animals when it comes to rationality, intelligence and capacity to be moral agents. So this means these qualities cannot be used as the reason against eating them. Our capacity for morality is relative to some extent to the rationality and intelligence one possesses as one needs to understand why they should act morally. If intelligence (IS IQ MEASURE OF INTELLIGENCE?) is what is considered valuable then this cannot work as some animals such as parrots have the intelligence of a four year old. Some humans are so mentally disabled that the average four year old would be more intelligent than them. Anacephelic humans certainly cannot be seen as more intelligent or rational than most animals since they have no brain and consequently no cognitive abilities.

Once we see it is misguided to think that the retarded are only valuable because they are human we have to look at whether there is any morally relevant characteristic that requires all humans be more valuable than all animals. This I will argue is not possible. Some humans have no cognitive abilities such as anencephalic humans are born with no brain. The only argument that could defend them is the argument they have souls, animals do not. This makes little sense even if we allow that souls exist. We infer that a being possesses a soul after observing their characteristics but anencephalic humans possess no characteristics that would make one believe they have a soul. And even if they did, all one need hold is that some animals demonstrate more characteristics of soul-possession than an anencephalic human. It appears that chickens have more evidence of possessing a soul than an anencephalic human which suggests they can be eaten if it is permissible to eat chickens. Characteristics of soul possession are themselves important. Here is a list of seven characteristics that could be used to show a being has a soul and also show whether that being is of moral value.

3.Self awareness
4.Capacity to be moral

These characteristics are some of the main characteristics that one may argue that suggest a being possesses a soul. As this talk of souls reverts back to what characteristics are important then we should ignore talk of souls and just focus on whether these characteristics actually make one valuable. So, as the soul argument collapses it reveals that characteristics are important but it appears that not all humans possess these characteristics. All that we need to say is that a human exists that is cognitively worse off than all animals. We find this in the example of anencephalic humans. Therefore, one wanting to maintain their carnivorous practices has to accept that cannibalizing them is permissible and even vegans should not object to eating them as they have no characteristic that suggest they are valuable. Therefore a farm scheme using anecephelics would be permissible.

If the speiciest abandons anencephalic humans their case is lost. However, it remains to ask to what degree one has to be mentally handicapped to be excluded from having moral value. It appears right to suggest that anyone mentally handicapped to the degree that they are worse off than all animals in the characteristic that we select as making one morally valuable. We do not have to pin down what characteristic but just to say that, of the possible characteristics that might be relevant, if an animal possesses it to a greater degree a human that human can be treated as we treat animals. So we could easily argue that any human that is less rational, intelligent, self-aware, emotional, moral or have less desire for future life than all animals is not morally valuable and so we should have no qualms in eating them if we eat animals. There are obviously different levels of these characteristics so exactly how much does one need to possess of these? It is difficult to draw a line but it seems that most, judging by their culinary practices, are convinced the line is drawn with any animals below it. So we can say that any human that is worse than animals is not valuable. So if we test a chimpanzee for all the possible factors like IQ and get the scores we just exclude any humans below those scores. Of course this may mean we include humans we do not as its unlikely that the line of value is drawn exactly at the point that is just enough to exclude chimps.


You misunderstood the meaning of cannibalism. Cannibalism is when you eat someone/something that is the same species as you. Chicken is not the same species as you so technically it is not cannibalism.
Debate Round No. 1


My argument is as follows.
1. One accepts its ok to eat chickens (or any other animal for that matter)
2. There is no morally relevant differences between chickens and anencephalic humans.
3. Therefore, its ok to eat anencephalic humans

1. Anencephalics are humans as they posses human DNA
2. Eating a being of human DNA whilst being a human is cannibalism
3. Therefore, eating anencephalics is cannibalism.

If its ok to eat anencephalics and doing so would be cannibalism then you admit that some cases of cannibalism are permissible.


If you were in the middle of no where with one person then be my guest and cook them and eat them but what if that human has a parasite inside them or something that will make you very sick. Would it be worth to eat the human but then suffer after?
Debate Round No. 2


There is the argument that human meat is bad for you but that does not mean cannibalism is not ok. Just because coke is bad for you it does not mean those who consume it are morally wrong.
Furthermore, many animals have parasites but I assume you don't think its wrong to eat them.

So as you can give no proper argument will you accept that if one eats animals they have to also accept that cannibalism is not always wrong?


Yes but it wouldn't be nice for our bodies to accept the same species entering us. The reason why we can eat meat is because in the cooking process, it kills the parasites but when you eat meat that is the same species as you then it is not good for your bodies because people who are known to be cannibals turn out to be very sick.
Debate Round No. 3
5 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 5 records.
Posted by JBphilo 11 months ago
Does my argument convince you personally?
If you eat meat and accept it you are either:
1. Accepting cannibalism is not always wrong
2. Being inconsistent

Which is worst?
Posted by JBphilo 11 months ago
I just have to prove that a carnivorous human cannot maintain their carnivorous practices as well as their consistency if they want to oppose cannibalism.
Posted by JBphilo 11 months ago
1. Being human is irrelevent to the debate over value. If you think not then tell me why not.
2. If I was to accept this it would not mean it is actually wrong. The law does not make morality. Is there a reason to condemn the cannibal if they eat an anencephelic human with no one finding out. It effects no one as no one knows.
3. I am not worried about chickens- this argument applies to any animal we eat. It reveals the inconsistencies of most humans who oppose cannibalism yet are unwilling to go vegetarian.
Posted by Atmas 11 months ago
I would say that there is just three points to be made against Pro.
1. Chickens are not human, there is no way around that fact.
2. Civilized humans prohibit cannibalism because we're aware of how dangerous it is to the consumer and the population around the consumer. (Look up Kuru).
3. We do not eat the animals we eat because they're dumber, we eat them because they can be caged, tamed, and bred easier than other types. If Lions could be as tame as cows, we would be having Lion Steak. Pigs are vastly smarter than even dogs, tests putting them at the level of a 3 year old. Their meat is also very similar to human... so why are you worried about chickens?
Posted by dsjpk5 11 months ago
Pro has the impossible task of proving everyone HAS to accept something.
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