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Cannibalism - Essay Example

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Philbrick (2001) traces the history of this practice to the eating of human flesh by the fellow persons travelling on the ship. Since long fishermen and sailors have been sustaining…
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Cannibalism
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Cannibalism

Download file to see previous pages... Philibrick (2001) traces the history of cannibalism and relates it to how the sailors and fishermen actually used to slaughter their own mates in the face of what is called an absolute necessity. He presented a side of history of cannibalism which is based on slaughtering humans in order to fulfill the needs of other humans under extreme conditions. He justifies cannibalism mostly on the basis of the acute needs which have to be fulfilled in order to actually allow others to survive. Therefore, the sense of civility did prevail in those who actually attempted to consume the flesh of their fellow travelers. This historical account provides a different dimension of how cannibalism has been practiced out of necessity (Sandel, 2010).
It is critical to understand that from a relativist approach it may be difficult to justify or even define cannibalism, as it draws the line between what an acceptable behavior actually is and what it is not. Cannibalism has colonial roots; European invaders used it as a tool to civilize those who were engaged in such horrifying practice. As such, cannibalism was also used as a reason to use violence and killing against those who were practicing it in the New World. This dimension of cannibalism can suggest some sort of historical distortion about this practice in order to validate brutal attempts of using violence against those communities which were involved in this practice (Salisbury, 2001).
Cannibalism can also be an act of revenge and anger, which lead to this practice even to date; cannibalism has also been viewed from this perspective by different tribes in Amazon. Cannibalism has also a compassionate face; during funerals, it is a practice caused by compassion. This kind of argument is relatively different from that of what typical anthropological theory actually stated. Cannibalism can also be based on the overall worldviews of those who practice it; it ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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