Professional atheist Richard Dawkins continues to push the envelope against a God-deluded world, proposing that cultivating and eating human “meat” might help society overcome its “taboo” against cannibalism.
Commenting on an article from the UK’s Independent newspaper, which touts the benefits of lab-grown “clean meat,” Dawkins tweeted earlier this month that perhaps something similar could be done with human flesh, which would assist western culture in shedding yet another irrational remnant of its Judeo-Christian roots.
Dawkins said that eating lab-grown human meat would provide an “interesting test case for consequentialist morality versus ‘yuck reaction’ absolutism,” which keeps people from doing things just because they seem morally repugnant.
Tissue culture “clean meat” already in 2018? I’ve long been looking forward to this. https://t.co/p41NR3NEZn
What if human meat is grown? Could we overcome our taboo against cannibalism? An interesting test case for consequentialist morality versus “yuck reaction” absolutism.
— Richard Dawkins (@RichardDawkins) March 3, 2018
The Independent article cites Josh Tetrick, the CEO of clean meat manufacturer JUST, who claims that “clean meat”—made from stem cells harvested from living livestock and then grown in a lab—could be on restaurant menus by the end of the year.
Familiar meat products such as chicken nuggets, sausage and even foie gras will be manufactured using the process and could be served in restaurants in the US and Asia “before the end of 2018,” Tetrick said.
Richard Dawkins suggests taking the procedure a step further and producing human “meat,” which presumably would also come from stem cells.
As an absolute materialist who denies the existence of anything that cannot be measured by science, Dawkins is a moral pragmatist. There is no soul or afterlife in the Dawkins world, so morality is defined by the here and now and the value of human actions is judged solely by their effects.
Whether Dawkins’s Brave New World — where every taboo is bulldozed and nothing is forbidden — would make people happier, better, or more fulfilled, is far from self-evident.
For now, dinner guests in the Dawkins home would be well advised to choose a seat near the door, in case their host decides to change up the menu.
Follow Thomas D. Williams on Twitter Follow @tdwilliamsrome