Story of Man Eating another Man is Disturbing but Is It Wrong?

The story of a naked man eating the face of another naked man is making its way around the internet. This took place in broad daylight on the MacArthur Causeway in Miami, Florida. The police shot and killed the cannibal. Were the police right to do this?

Cannibalism is not something people want to think about, even though it’s been the subject of several TV shows and many films. In “To Serve Man,” a Twilight Zone episode, the subject of cannibalism only comes out at the end.

In Soylent Green (1971), starring Charlton Heston (1923–2008) and Edward G. Robison (1893–1973), an adaptation of Harry Harrison’s Make Room! Make Room! (1966), we learn that the little green wafer that is being used for food in a densely populated future is made from dead humans, thus the famous line, “Soylent Green is people!”

There was also the understatedly gruesome and creepy Night of the Living Dead (1968), directed by George Romero who had done film work for the children’s series Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood.

We mustn’t forget Armin Meiwes, a real-life cannibal who ate Bernd Jürgen Brandes who had responded to the following advertisement posted by Meiwes, “looking for a well-built 18 to 30-year-old to be slaughtered and then consumed.” This was described as a “tricky case . . . because Cannibalism is not a recognised offence under German law” and the defense argued that “since the victim volunteered,” it was not murder.

We shudder in disgust and horror as Hannibal “the Cannibal” Lecter in Silence of the Lambs (1991) tells how he ate a man’s “liver with some fava beans and a nice Chi-an-ti.” Even the story of the Uruguayan Rugby team’s cannibalism high in the Andes in 1972, forever immortalized in the movie Alive (1993), makes us uncomfortable. The same is true of the Donner Party (1846–1847), survivors who many claim ate the remains of their dead.

Given materialistic presuppositions, can cannibalism be morally wrong? If we’re animals there should be no aversion to killing and eating human flesh since we are — according to evolutionists — animals who evolved by killing off and eating our less fortunate evolutionary neighbors.

What is wrong, given evolutionary assumptions, that the stronger man dominated the weaker man? That’s how we got here. In the distant evolutionary past, our ancestors killed and ate competing organisms to stay alive. The organisms that got eaten did not survive.

It happens every day in the wild, as the saying goes, “Nature, red in tooth and claw.” Homo sapiens are the result of our long ago superior animal ancestors forcing their will on inferior animals. We got here, say the evolutionists, because of millions of years of bloody struggle.

Michael Dowd, a minister and author of the book Thank God for Evolution!: How the Marriage of Science and Religion Will Transform Your Life and Our World, writes the following in his recently published article “Thank God for the New Atheists”:

“Let the story of evolution be told in ways that engender familial love and gratitude, that we are related to everything — not just monkeys, but jellyfish and zucchini, too.”

If we’re related to zucchini, and it’s OK to eat zucchini, then, given evolutionary assumptions, why was it wrong for one naked man to eat another naked man? Maybe his inner-zucchini was his distant evolutionary past came out?