Cannibalism and Human Sacrifice - Part II

Written by Sam Vaknin

III. Chastening Reminders

Cannibalism is a chilling reminder of our humble origins inrepparttar animal kingdom. Torepparttar 132164 cannibal, we are no better and no more than cattle or sheep. Cannibalism confronts us withrepparttar 132165 irreversibility of our death and its finality. Surely, we cannot survive our demise with our cadaver mutilated and gutted and our skeletal bones scattered, gnawed, and chewed on?

IV. Medical Reasons

Infrequently, cannibalism results in prion diseases ofrepparttar 132166 nervous system, such as kuru. The same paternalism that gave rise torepparttar 132167 banning of drug abuse,repparttar 132168 outlawing of suicide, andrepparttar 132169 Prohibition of alcoholic drinks inrepparttar 132170 1920s - seeks to shelter us fromrepparttar 132171 pernicious medical outcomes of cannibalism and to protect others who might become our victims.

V. The Fear of Being Objectified

Being treated as an object (being objectified) isrepparttar 132172 most torturous form of abuse. People go to great lengths to seek empathy and to be perceived by others as three dimensional entities with emotions, needs, priorities, wishes, and preferences.

The cannibal reduces others by treating them as so much meat. Many cannibal serial killers transformedrepparttar 132173 organs of their victims into trophies. The Cook Islanders sought to humiliate their enemies by eating, digesting, and then defecating them - having absorbed their mana (prowess, life force) inrepparttar 132174 process.

VI. The Argument from Nature

Cannibalism is often castigated as "unnatural". Animals, goesrepparttar 132175 myth, don't prey on their own kind.

Alas, like so many other romantic lores, this is untrue. Most species - including our closest relatives,repparttar 132176 chimpanzees - do cannibalize. Cannibalism in nature is widespread and serves diverse purposes such as population control (chickens, salamanders, toads), food and protein security in conditions of scarcity (hippopotamuses, scorpions, certain types of dinosaurs), threat avoidance (rabbits, mice, rats, and hamsters), andrepparttar 132177 propagation of genetic material through exclusive mating (Red-back spider and many mantids).

Moreover, humans are a part of nature. Our deeds and misdeeds are natural by definition. Seeking to tame nature is a natural act. Seeking to establish hierarchies and subdue or relinquish our enemies are natural propensities. By avoiding cannibalism we seek to transcend nature. Refraining from cannibalism isrepparttar 132178 unnatural act.

VIII. The Argument from Progress

It is a circular syllogism involving a tautology and goes like this:

Cannibalism is barbaric. Cannibals are, therefore, barbarians. Progress entailsrepparttar 132179 abolition of this practice.

The premises - both explicit and implicit - are axiomatic and, therefore, shaky. What makes cannibalism barbarian? And why is progress a desirable outcome? There is a prescriptive fallacy involved, as well:

Cannibalism and Human Sacrifice - Part I

Written by Sam Vaknin

"I believe that when man evolves a civilization higher thanrepparttar mechanized but still primitive one he has now,repparttar 132162 eating of human flesh will be sanctioned. For then man will have thrown off all of his superstitions and irrational taboos."

(Diego Rivera)

"One calls 'barbarism' whatever he is not accustomed to."

(Montaigne, On Cannibalism)

"Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye eatrepparttar 132163 flesh ofrepparttar 132164 Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you. Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up atrepparttar 132165 last day. For my flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed."

(New Testament, John 6:53-55)

Cannibalism (more precisely, anthropophagy) is an age-old tradition that, judging by a constant stream of flabbergasted news reports, is far from extinct. Much-debated indications exist that our Neanderthal, Proto-Neolithic, and Neolithic (Stone Age) predecessors were cannibals. Similarly contested claims were made with regards torepparttar 132166 12th century advanced Anasazi culture inrepparttar 132167 southwestern United States andrepparttar 132168 Minoans in Crete (today's Greece).

The Britannica Encyclopedia (2005 edition) recounts howrepparttar 132169 "Binderwurs of central India ate their sick and aged inrepparttar 132170 belief thatrepparttar 132171 act was pleasing to their goddess, Kali." Cannibalism may also have been common among followers ofrepparttar 132172 Shaktism cults in India.

Other sources attribute cannibalism torepparttar 132173 16th century Imbangala in today's Angola and Congo,repparttar 132174 Fang in Cameroon,repparttar 132175 Mangbetu in Central Africa,repparttar 132176 Ache in Paraguay,repparttar 132177 Tonkawa in today's Texas,repparttar 132178 Calusa in current day Florida,repparttar 132179 Caddo and Iroquois confederacies of Indians in North America,repparttar 132180 Cree in Canada,repparttar 132181 Witoto, natives of Colombia and Peru,repparttar 132182 Carib inrepparttar 132183 Lesser Antilles (whose distorted name - Canib - gave rise torepparttar 132184 word "cannibalism"), to Maori tribes in today's New Zealand, and to various peoples in Sumatra (likerepparttar 132185 Batak).

The Wikipedia numbers amongrepparttar 132186 practitioners of cannibalismrepparttar 132187 ancient Chinese,repparttar 132188 Korowai tribe of southeastern Papua,repparttar 132189 Fore tribe in New Guinea (and many other tribes in Melanesia),repparttar 132190 Aztecs,repparttar 132191 people of Yucatan,repparttar 132192 Purchas from Popayan, Colombia,repparttar 132193 denizens ofrepparttar 132194 Marquesas Islands of Polynesia, andrepparttar 132195 natives ofrepparttar 132196 captaincy of Sergipe in Brazil.

From Congo and Central Africa to Germany and from Mexico to New Zealand, cannibalism is enjoying a morbid revival of interest, if not of practice. A veritable torrent of sensational tomes and movies adds to our ambivalent fascination with man-eaters.

Cannibalism is not a monolithic affair. It can be divided thus:

I. Non-consensual consumption of human flesh post-mortem

For example, whenrepparttar 132197 corpses of prisoners of war are devoured by their captors. This used to be a common exercise among island tribes (e.g., in Fiji,repparttar 132198 Andaman and Cook islands) and is stillrepparttar 132199 case in godforsaken battle zones such as Congo (formerly Zaire), or amongrepparttar 132200 defeated Japanese soldiers in World War II.

Similarly, human organs and fetuses as well as mummies are still being gobbled up - mainly in Africa and Asia - for remedial and medicinal purposes and in order to enhance one's libido and vigor.

On numerous occasionsrepparttar 132201 organs of dead companions, colleagues, family, or neighbors were reluctantly ingested by isolated survivors of horrid accidents (the Uruguay rugby team whose plane crashed inrepparttar 132202 Andes,repparttar 132203 boat people fleeing Asia), denizens of besieged cities (e.g., duringrepparttar 132204 siege of Leningrad), members of exploratory expeditions gone astray (the Donner Party in Sierra Nevada, California and John Franklin's Polar expedition), famine-stricken populations (Ukraine inrepparttar 132205 1930s, China inrepparttar 132206 1960s), andrepparttar 132207 like.

Finally, in various pre-nation-state and tribal societies, members ofrepparttar 132208 family were encouraged to eat specific parts of their dead relatives as a sign of respect or in order to partake ofrepparttar 132209 deceased's wisdom, courage, or other positive traits (endocannibalism).

II. Non-consensual consumption of human flesh from a live source

For example, when prisoners of war are butchered forrepparttar 132210 express purpose of being eaten by their victorious enemies.

A notorious and rare representative of this category of cannibalism isrepparttar 132211 punitive ritual of being eaten alive. The kings ofrepparttar 132212 tribes ofrepparttar 132213 Cook Islands were thought to embodyrepparttar 132214 gods. They punished dissent by dissecting their screaming and conscious adversaries and consuming their flesh piecemeal, eyeballs first.

The Sawney Bean family in Scotland, duringrepparttar 132215 reign of King James I, survived for decades onrepparttar 132216 remains (and personal belongings) of victims of their murderous sprees.

Real-life serial killers, like Jeffrey Dahmer, Albert Fish, Sascha Spesiwtsew, Fritz Haarmann, Issei Sagawa, and Ed Gein, lured, abducted, and massacred countless people and then consumed their flesh and preservedrepparttar 132217 inedible parts as trophies. These lurid deeds inspired a slew of books and films, most notably The Silence ofrepparttar 132218 Lambs with Hannibal (Lecter)repparttar 132219 Cannibal as its protagonist.

III. Consensual consumption of human flesh from live and dead human bodies

Armin Meiwes,repparttar 132220 "Master Butcher (Der Metzgermeister)", arranged overrepparttar 132221 Internet to meet Bernd Jurgen Brandes on March 2001. Meiwes amputatedrepparttar 132222 penis of his guest and they both ate it. He then proceeded to kill Brandes (withrepparttar 132223 latter's consent recorded on video), and snack on what remained of him. Sexual cannibalism is a paraphilia and an extreme - and thankfully, rare - form of fetishism.

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