Thursday, May 2, 2013

A Cultural Stigma

During the second World War, an experiment was conducted, using conscientious objectors that volunteered, studying the effects of long term starvation.

It was quite miserable for the test subjects, and one went so far as to chopping his hand with an axe to get out of the experiment. However, none of them started to eat one another.

Today's news talks about how the colonists in Jamestown, in a limited instance or two, resorted to cannibalism. Some comment that they didn't know conditions were quite that bad.

I have never experienced the craving agony that comes from long term starvation, but I wonder if it is normal to resort to that in times of dire hunger. The people at Jamestowne didn't think so, since they executed someone who was caught eating someone else.

To me, the most disturbing part of the article was the following line:

"There was a cultural stigma against killing someone for food."

To say that the reason that cannibalism was wrong for them is because of the cultural stigma against it is a sure sign of the type of moral relativism that can lead to bigger problems than isolated instances of cannibalism.  Surely it is wrong to eat people for other reasons than just the fact they they had a cultural stigma against it. If that is the primary reason, then maybe we too will soon be able to finally throw off our fetters of archaic cultural stigma and we too can finally eat people without fear of repercussion.

Here is the article where I read about it:
Cannabalism at Jamestowne

Here is a little fun (and foresight???):

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