Citing a paper published by psychologists Jared Piazza and Neil McLatchie from the University of Lancaster in the United Kingdom, Newsweek makes the proposition that cannibalism might not be all that bad after all because some cultures throughout the world have been doing it since the beginning of time.
According to Piazza and McLatchie, most people find cannibalism disgusting and abhorrent not because it actually is, but because society has trained everyone to think this way. If it weren't for the concept being "overridden by our feelings of repulsion and disgust," more people would accept cannibalism as normal, these two contend, with the apparent approval of Newsweek.
Stopping short of actually promoting cannibalism, since they claim "there is no need to overcome our repulsion for the foreseeable future," Piazza and McLatchie contend that humans should start trying to overcome their aversion to human flesh because one day they might have to eat human flesh in order to survive.
"Many people develop disgust for all kinds of meat, while morticians and surgeons quickly adapt to the initially difficult experience of handling dead bodies," the two authors write in their paper. "Our ongoing research with butchers in England suggests that they easily adapt to working with animal parts that the average consumer finds quite disgusting."
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If you're still too grossed out by the thought of consuming human flesh despite all of this, that revulsion isn't a matter of reason, these two academics further claim. You're actually being unreasonable, they insist, because some people throughout history have had to eat other people in order to survive.
In their paper, they propose the story of the famous 1972 Andes plane crash as one prominent example, citing the fact that survivors almost starved to death before "succumbing to reason" and "eating those who had already died."
In other words, it's completely reasonable for people to eat other people – and if you don't agree, then you're the problem.
This is the type of new-wave leftist thinking that's apparently sweeping the editorial room at Newsweek, which gladly republished the manifesto on this topic, which first appeared in The Conversation.
Its stated goal is to get readers to rethink the idea of cannibalism by de-coupling it from the notion of "personhood and flesh." In other words, these two academics, along with Newsweek and The Conversation, want readers to stop thinking about human flesh as being human at all, and pretend as though it doesn't come from actual people.
If "we can't silence our thoughts about the person [the meat] came from," they claim, then this is simply a manifestation of our anti-cannibalism "bias" rearing its ugly head.
"For now," these two authors insist that it's okay to not embrace cannibalism because it isn't yet a necessity. But in their mind, it one day could be, seeing as how "philosophers have argued that burying the dead could be wasteful in the context of the fight against world hunger."
"... we're as happy as you are to continue accepting the 'wisdom of repugnance,'" they conclude, satisfied with at least having put the idea out there for people to chew on – no pun intended.
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