On occasion I think it's a good idea to play devil's advocate or simply question some things we take to be true, regardless of whether they are actually true. I want you guys to understand I am not arguing for legalization of cannibalism or suggesting you go out and eat people. Re-read the first sentence of this post. It says nothing about legalization or recommendations to eat people.
Here are some things I think are worth thinking about:
-Any arguments against something being unnatural is not a valid argument. Lots of things are unnatural. Like computers. There are also other animals that eat each other.
-It may cause diseases. That's just for the person eating. If he gets fucked, that's his problem. People do unhealthy shit to themselves all the time.
-Arguments about violation of the rights of the deceased isn't an argument about the intrinsic immorality of cannibalism but the immorality of cannibalism without prior consent. Having sex with a person without consent is immoral but it does not make sex itself immoral. Consequences of actions are situational and must of course be judged for each situation, but they do not make the act itself immoral.
-Obviously cannibalism that follows murder is immoral. But for the sake of argument, that's not what I'm talking about. Assume the person that's dead would be perfectly cool with you eating him or her.
-Arguments about family and friends being sad would be irrelevant given a person has no relatives that know about or care or are still alive. One has to balance the feelings of family members versus personal freedom versus the need for food, ei, is human flesh all that is available as food for the time being? This is a more complex question but one that does not render all of cannibalism regardless of the situation to be immoral.
-Arguments about cannibalism is wrong because it leads to 'universal widespread abhorrence': Are wrong. Some cultures are fine with eating other humans. In fact, in the past humans used to eat humans all the freakin' time. What one particular culture feels about an action isn't an argument. We can also reverse the argument: You may feel child pornography is wrong, child rape is wrong, child marriages are wrong, but past cultures have found it acceptable enough. In short, how people used to or still feel about an issue isn't a valid argument.
On top of that, the fact that many people have an opinion does not prove anything. This is an argument ad populum, a logical fallacy. You can feel guilty for something you've done that's not necessarily immoral; if I run over a dead cat with a car, I'd feel disgusted and some would feel guilty, saying 'poor cat' even though the cat is already dead. I consider something to be immoral when it unfairly visits suffering to an individual. Dead people can't suffer. If dead people had feelings, how would their bones feel being buried in a wooden box and then stuff under dirt? Or perhaps we cremate bodies, in which case it's worse than eating it, we've utterly obliterated their body. If a person asked to be eaten once dead, how can this possibly go against the wish of the once-alive person?
-This is not an argument for legalization of cannibalism, this is purely an academic, hypothetical discussion. This term has raised some hackles so let me clarify: This is discussing the concept, whether it is moral or inherently immoral and has no bearing on actual changes in policy. I call it 'academic' because instead of convincing you of a change in policy or importance of my message, I'm merely debating to try to glean some new insight, in this case, insight on cannibalism. This means, any argument about how tricky it is to implement legalization of cannibalism is completely irrelevant and attacking this would be a strawman. Saying allowing cannibalism leads to a slippery slope or necessarily leads to issues due to supply/murder for cannibalism/etc is also a strawman.
-In addition, just because something is currently illegal does not mean something is immoral. That's a non-sequitur.
-The argument isn't that it causes happiness, therefore cannibalism is not immoral. It's that it does not visit unfair suffering to the parties involved. Instead, cannibalism offends our sensibilities, somewhat irrationally. Ensure your argument is not an appeal to emotion, brought about by socialization and conditioning.
-Please do not make personal attacks against me, this is purely a hypothetical, something I think is interesting.