6.11.2008

Kass on the ethics of cannibalism

In the midst of his book The Hungry Soul Leon Kass provides a philosophical discussion of the ethics of cannibalism and their implications for human nature. Here is his disclaimer about the subject:
(I feel compelled to apologize to my readers for speaking about cannibalism, and not only because it is revolting. Some things should perhaps not be spoken of at all, for, especially in democratic times, familiarity breeds tolerance more often than contempt. Our sensibilities are blunted by frequent mentioning of the unmentionable, and the force of revulsion is weakened should an argument to defend the reasonableness of such revulsion fail to persuade. Still, unlike other once-upon-a-time horrors such as abortion, adultery, infanticide, suicide, sodomy, pederasty, incest, and bestiality, cannibalism is not an American temptation, and I doubt if my speaking about it can make it one. Moreover, we liberals ought to ponder the prohibition against eating human flesh - an act that, if the victim is already dead, is what we would call "a victimless crime." For we might thereby learn the insufficiency of our liberal belief that one does evil to a man only in violating his will or in not respecting his autonomy (read "mind"). Thus, by thinking about what's wrong with cannibalism, we might be able to re-discover the indispensable foundations of liberalism which are not themselves liberal.)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Wow, wonderful blοg struсturе! How lengthy hаve уou
evеr been blogging for? you make running a
blog glancе easy. The oѵerаll
look of уour web sіte is excellent, let alone
the content!

Feel frеe to surf to mу hοmepage:
http://www.gauden.org/index.php/member/22149/