Personhood is an excuse

John C. Wright on "aborticide." It's a bit graphic, but it's a graphic topic.

Let us take the hypothetical one step further. Suppose I live in a country where unborn homo sapiens are not considered human. Suppose my laws forbid the eating of human flesh, on the ground that it is cannibalism. I go to an abortionist, find a baby who is only halfway out of the womb, coming out feet first. The abortionist drives a pair of scissors into the babies fragile skull, and suctions out this brains. I take the rest of the flesh home and cook it up for a meat sandwich. Michael Valentine Smith and Hannibal Lector come by and eat with me. A little tiny perfectly formed baby hand sticks out of one side of my sandwich as I wolf it down.

Is my action legally not an act of cannibalism, on the grounds that what I ate was not a human?


John Foust said...

Wow, next thing you know, you won't want people eating placentas.

David Casper said...

Actually, I'd prefer that they didn't because it's just plain gross, but it's really not the same thing then anyway, is it?

John Foust said...

So you draw the line between self-cannibalism and other-cannibalism? Chimp sandwiches are OK? What about eating animal fetuses or fertilized, growing eggs?

Is cannibalism only the eating of human flesh, or does this thought-experiment wish to erase all laws against the desecration of now-dead human tissue?