Atheist Richard Dawkins Is, Sort Of, Talking Approvingly About Cannibalism, Again

Richard Dawkins is among the world’s best-known atheists, having debated just about every major contemporary Christian apologist, including John Lennox, his Oxford faculty colleague, as well as philosopher William Lane Craig, and Ravi Zacharias.

Screen shot from Facebook.

Whatever you may think about Dawkins’ arguments against the existence of God, or how he performed versus Lennox, Craig or Zacharias, my interest here is in a strange but significantly revealing aspect of the evolutionary biologist’s recent statements about … cannibalism.

Tweeting the link Monday to a Forbes article about the growth of cell-grown meat products, Dawkins observed that “human steak could, of course, be cultured. Would you eat it? I wouldn’t, but it’s hard to say why. It would be cultured from a single nameable person. Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall served human placenta, also clone of 1 person, in this case the baby. I wouldn’t eat that either.”

Human steak could of course be cultured. Would you eat it? I wouldn’t, but it’s hard to say why. It would be cultured from a single nameable person. Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall served human placenta, also clone of 1 person, in this case the baby. I wouldn’t eat that either.

Let that sink in for a moment. Dawkins, one of the smartest people in the world, can’t say why he would not eat human flesh grown from a cell specifically for consumption by living humans. But he has no reason to oppose its consumption by you or me if it can be shown to “reduce suffering in the world.”

Not familiar with “cultured meat?” If you work on Capitol Hill, don’t be surprised if your job soon requires you to become knowledgeable about cultured meat because its commercial growth makes it all-but-certain that this will be an issue in Congress in the near future.

This is not the first time Dawkins has seemed to endorse the idea of eating human flesh. Two years ago, he tweeted this:

Note the “consequentialist morality” reference. That’s the idea that the morality of any particular act is determined solely by its consequences. As an example, the person who argues they should be able to do anything they want “as long as nobody else gets hurt” is thinking in terms of consequentialist morality.

Dawkins, as an atheist, sees the material universe as all there is, so whatever happens in it must be the product of physical processes that aren’t subject to moral judgements about their good or evil character. The consequentialist approach is simply applying what is an intrinsically  subjective standard to physical actions as if it is an objective measure.

From that perspective, there is no reason not to eat human flesh if there are no consequences that make the individual consuming it uncomfortable, for whatever reason. Thus, calling such an act “immoral” is merely a statement of opinion.

But then isn’t Dawkins’ view of the value of human beings, as he expressed it in a 2017 interview, also nothing more than his opinion:

“We put humanity on a pedestal miles higher than the surrounding territory. A human fetus that has approximately the anatomy and brainpower of a worm is accorded more status than an adult chimpanzee.”

Just remember: If the physical universe is all there is, then how can anybody logically claim an unborn human being is intrinsically more valuable than an adult chimpanzee?

Or that the chimpanzee is of less value than an infant human? Or that killing the one is in any way different from killing the other for any reason, or no reason at all? That’s why Hitler, Stalin and Mao were also advocates of forms of consequentialist moralities.


But Wait! There’s More!!

Check out this excerpt from a 2010 interview of philosopher Peter Singer by Richard Dawkins about eating “human roadkill” that was part of a documentary on “The Genius of Charles Darwin.”

Author: Mark Tapscott

Follower of Christ, devoted husband of Claudia, doting father and grandfather, conservative lover of liberty, journalist and First Amendment fanatic, former Hill and Reagan aide, vintage Formula Ford racer, Okie by birth/Texan by blood/proud of both, resident of Maryland. Go here: https://hillfaith.blog/about-hillfaith-2/

4 thoughts on “Atheist Richard Dawkins Is, Sort Of, Talking Approvingly About Cannibalism, Again”

  1. A man so irrationally hostile to faith, and venomous toward those who differ with him about it, is an unreliable source for moral guidance, regardless of the subject. Virtually all of human existence is an act of faith. Only in mathematics and similar artificial systems can we have provable certainties.

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  2. cannibalism? You mean like eating the flesh and blood of a man who was supposedly a blood sacrifice to itself?

    Christians have such interesting rituals.

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