What if Lab-Grown Meat is Made from Human Tissue?


Evolutionary biologist and atheist intellectual, Richard Dawkins, used his Twitter account to open the discussion about the possibility that we eat “human meat” grown in the lab. Dawkins tweeted an article about lab-grown meat from The Independent, along with some questions meant to spur thought and discussion. “Tissue culture ‘clean meat’ already in 2018? I’ve long been looking forward to this,” he writes. “What if human meat is grown? Could we overcome our taboo against cannibalism? An interesting test case for consequentialist morality versus ‘yuck reaction’ absolutism.”

There is a good reason for lab-grown meat and it lies in the fact that our resources are decreasing rapidly. Lab-grown meat could offer an alternative to beef, chicken and pork that doesn’t put as much of a strain on the environment. The cost of this type of meat is still high but in the years to come the lab-grown meat is probably going to become cheaper.

But the questions that Dawkins asked are already raising concerns among numerous people who replied asking about ethical implications of his tweet. “Anyone who’s studied cannibalism — or mad cow disease — knows that cannibalism has consequences beyond being taboo. Prion disease is a well-documented neurological condition that can result from eating the flesh or organs of your same species. It’s not clear whether lab-grown human meat would cause the same condition, but it’s way too early to say”, stated Peter Hess at Inverse.

Derek Davison, one of the Twitter users who replied on Dawkins’ tweet, joked about the scientist jumping from lab-grown meat to cannibalism. He said that Dawkins thought, “Finally I might one day sup freely on the most forbidden of flesh.”

While there have been some interesting comments, Peter Hess at Inverse went further with his criticism stating in his article that “a 2017 study found that most people — including atheists — think atheists are more likely to be serial killers, so when a noted atheist like Dawkins brings up cannibalism, we might be more inclined to take him somewhat seriously.” In the end he added that it is hard to tell how serious he is here.

So atheists are not only cannibals but they are more likely to become serial killers? And now with this Dawkins’ tweet there is also a possible proof that a noted atheist intellectual is craving human meat, which probably includes both attributes? Richard Dawkins is a scientist, first of all, and the question he asked is something a scientist would ask in an abstract sense. That is something Dawkins already explained in one of his speeches: “Moral philosophers say things like, ‘What is actually wrong with cannibalism?’ There are two ways of responding to that: one is to shrink back in horror and say, ‘Cannibalism! Cannibalism! We can’t talk about cannibalism!’ The other is to say, ‘Well, actually, what is wrong with cannibalism?’ Then you work it out and you tease it out and you decide yes, actually, cannibalism is wrong, but for the following reasons. So I’d like to think that my moral values at least partly come from reasoning. Trying to suppress the gut reaction as much as possible.”

We should all adopt this kind of thinking and try to use as much reasoning as we can in everyday life.

Photo Credits: Huffington Post

If you like our posts, subscribe to the Atheist Republic newsletter to get exclusive content delivered weekly to your inbox. Also, get the book "Why There is No God" for free.

Click Here to Subscribe

Donating = Loving

Heart Icon

Bringing you atheist articles and building active godless communities takes hundreds of hours and resources each month. If you find any joy or stimulation at Atheist Republic, please consider becoming a Supporting Member with a recurring monthly donation of your choosing, between a cup of tea and a good dinner.

Or make a one-time donation in any amount.