More cannibalism in the news: UK channel 4 to show artist eating dead baby. While some people are complaining, no publicly recognized principle is being violated. After all, cannibalism is a victimless crime in this instance. Further, we’re told by reputable authorities that unborn children have no moral worth, animals and human beings are not morally distinct, and in any case babies are industrial products to be genetically engineered and cloned. So why not eat a baby if it’s stillborn?
What the program shows is that the distinction between the human and the non-human is being abolished. That’s troublesome, because once the distinction is gone it’s not clear why one should stop short at the inhuman. In the last century human beings were sometimes treated as waste to be disposed of. Sentimentality and squeamishness may camouflage the fact, but it looks as if the stage is being set for much broader application of the same principle.