Uncontacted tribes

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Maxcady10001
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Uncontacted tribes

Post by Maxcady10001 » October 18th, 2017, 11:21 am

Why is it important for tribes currently uncontacted bythe modern world to remain so? Why are there foundations that exist for the sole purpose of keeping these tribes uncontacted? Especially, since they practice atrocities such as cannibalism. How come people, who would be outraged if their neighbors were cannibals, advocate for the preservation of the culture of these tribes?

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Albert Tatlock
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Re: Uncontacted tribes

Post by Albert Tatlock » October 19th, 2017, 6:05 am

Maxcady10001 wrote: How come people, who would be outraged if their neighbors were cannibals, advocate for the preservation of the culture of these tribes?
Because they're not their neighbours and it's nothing to do with them. Why is cannibalism a worse reason to kill someone than any other? I don't know if you've noticed but people kill one another in the "civilised" world and the fact that victims don't tend to get eaten won't be much consolation to them.

Steve3007
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Re: Uncontacted tribes

Post by Steve3007 » October 19th, 2017, 6:06 am

I didn't know that there were such foundations. I guess they must have watched Star Trek and decided that its unethical to impose values from the outside, or some such thing.

These tribes who allegedly practice cannibalism: what are the circumstances under which they do it? Do they kill their fellow tribes-people for the sole purpose of eating them?

If not, there are lots of societies that sometimes kill some of their members, for various reasons. And I don't see anything morally wrong in eating human flesh, per se. If I was stranded on a desert island with a bunch of other people and I knew I was going to die, I'd see absolutely nothing wrong with them eating me. "Tuck in!" I'd say. Obviously make sure I'm properly cooked or cured and avoid eating certain parts for health reasons.

Exactly the same thing would happen if I was buried and then plants grew and the plants were eaten. Just slightly delayed.

-- Updated Thu Oct 19, 2017 11:07 am to add the following --

Albert beat me to it with essentially the same message.

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Albert Tatlock
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Re: Uncontacted tribes

Post by Albert Tatlock » October 19th, 2017, 6:15 am

Steve3007 wrote: Albert beat me to it
That's something I don't hear very often.

Maxcady10001
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Re: Uncontacted tribes

Post by Maxcady10001 » October 19th, 2017, 7:04 am

Albert Tatlock, are you suggesting the reaction of the family of a man murdered would be the same if the man was also eaten. I do believe it is a consolation for most people to not endure both murder and cannabalism. Just because of the taboo nature of cannibalism. But cannibalism is not a worse reason to kill someone than any other.
Steve3007, If interactions between tribesman and modern society increased do you believe they would uphold or abandon their current values(the tribesman) ? And there is a Vice special on a New Guinea tribe that do eat people as a dish. I would put in a link but new users are not allowed. Also, you could say there is nothing morally wrong about anything.

I guess I don't see what is wrong with imposing values on a another culture, from birth one has values imposed on them from a culture they did not choose. And, If interactions between two cultures causes a change in values for one of them, why is it considered forced? Perhaps members of the other culture would rather have a different value system.

Is there already a discussion posted about eating people?

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Scribbler60
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Re: Uncontacted tribes

Post by Scribbler60 » October 19th, 2017, 1:47 pm

Maxcady10001 wrote:Why is it important for tribes currently uncontacted bythe modern world to remain so? Why are there foundations that exist for the sole purpose of keeping these tribes uncontacted? Especially, since they practice atrocities such as cannibalism. How come people, who would be outraged if their neighbors were cannibals, advocate for the preservation of the culture of these tribes?
I think it has less to do with maintaining the tribe's cultural integrity than it has to do with infecting them with diseases for which they have no immunity.

And cannibalism, while still practised in some very remote areas, is exceedingly rare. https://www.spectator.co.uk/2017/02/eat ... unhealthy/

Maxcady10001
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Re: Uncontacted tribes

Post by Maxcady10001 » October 19th, 2017, 10:45 pm

Scribbler60, Do you see the immersion of their culture in modern culture as inevitable? If so, shouldn't there be an effort to begin building immunity now instead of continuing absolute isolation?

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Scribbler60
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Re: Uncontacted tribes

Post by Scribbler60 » October 20th, 2017, 8:09 pm

Maxcady10001 wrote:Scribbler60, Do you see the immersion of their culture in modern culture as inevitable? If so, shouldn't there be an effort to begin building immunity now instead of continuing absolute isolation?
All I can offer is my opinion on this, as I have exactly zero expertise in such matters and am willing to be set straight by someone with knowledge of these things.

I don't necessarily see the assimilation of various tribes as inevitable. I do know that there are movements afoot in the Amazon basin that looks to ensure that tribal groups maintain their distinct culture and identity, while at the same time offer them things like medical care.

There's a Netflix show on this that I saw just recently that looks at this exact situation. Turns out it's available on Youtube as well. 47 minutes. Well worth the time spent.

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Re: Uncontacted tribes

Post by Burning ghost » October 24th, 2017, 2:46 am

In Papua New Guinea tribes there would eat people who had committed crimes because they believed that if they didn't the evil spirits would move onto someone and cause more death and destruction.

Whether you believe what they do or not, once you understand the beliefs these people have the reasoning for eating someone may very well be a good one, and a moral one. It may even be considered as an act of honouring some dead hero somewhere? Perhaps eating the body of a mighty warrior who'd died in battle would be part of an honorary system of the society?

If you judge the act of cannibalism as "barbaric" you're only able to see it as such because your cultural heritage has deemed it 'wrong'. No doubt many tribes around the world would regard some of the ways you act in everyday life as "barbaric" too. I am sure they'd have a lot to say about dropping bombs on people and games where children play-act killing fellow humans purely for fun.

Right now we are also losing a vast number of languages that we'll never be able to recover. Think about how these languages have progressed over time and how unique they are. Many linguists are scouting the globe trying to record languages before they die out completely. Preserving diversity of human culture is certainly important as is being able to integrate.

If we can keep our distance form these peoples and in the future devise a non-intrusive way of studying their culture the pay-offs for anthropological studies would be beyond valuation. Imagine having spy devices that could track these people day and night, learn and study completely unknown languages and cultures, habits and techniques, medicines and belief systems.

We have so much we could learn from them and they have so much to teach us. Why destroy such a unique, and possibly nearly extinct, future opportunity?

We've already destroyed a great deal of human diversity in an extremely short period of time due to the advances of technological communications and economic progress. We should treat every unique aspect of human culture that has weathered the storm as our most valuable possessions because once they're gone we cannot recreate anything of their like again anytime soon.

note: If their atrocities were so subhuman then the society would simply collapse. Societies function based on innate and accepted "laws". Murderous societies die out because they all murder each other. That is why humans have not killed each other out yet. If we're more 'advanced' than these hidden tribes then we should be advanced enough to not destroy them by trying to rationalize their demise as justified on our terms not theirs. They pose no threat. The only threat posed is our inability to regard their existence as truly unique and a jewel in the crown of human that could hold untold treasures for our future understanding of who and what human beings are all about.

-- Updated October 24th, 2017, 5:02 am to add the following --

Apologies for poor writing. I purposely try not to reread what I've written before I post unless absolutely necessary. This particular post has so many errors in it that I thought I better say something! :)
AKA badgerjelly

Maxcady10001
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Re: Uncontacted tribes

Post by Maxcady10001 » October 30th, 2017, 7:22 pm

It doesn't really matter if they consider cannibalism moral, because any act can be considered moral due to its subjectivity. I did use the wrong word, when I called their common practice an atrocity. I was trying to emphasize the difference in value systems, and how most people would believe the value system of modernized people to be superior, especially when I said most people would be outraged if their neighbors were cannibals. Would you disagree with that? If modernized people did not believe eating people was "wrong" and only done by the least advanced and civilized people, then they would do it. They clearly believe their values are better.
If I began a tribe somewhere in the Congo or Amazon or somewhere scarcely populated, and as a tribe, we acted by all of the same rules as the New Guinea Tribe, the United Nations would act as soon as any rumor of cannibalism spread. Do you believe it would be allowed? And why not? We would be living just as the New Guinea tribe, and we would have just as much value for anthropologists in a few thousand years, as the New Guinea tribes have now.
it would not be allowed because we would "know better". Having experienced modern culture and then to suddenly "regress", we would be considered completely "immoral" and "wrong". There would certainly be outrage.
It is also impossible to non-intrusively study any culture. Even just placing recording devices in their environment would be an intrusion. To study and learn from any culture, one must be immersed completely. Undoubtedly, any of the spying devices you mentioned would invoke claims of inhumane treatment. Following a person as though they were a "simple animal", is what would be said. Think about all of the outrage that comes from any report of the government spying on citizens. As if recording devices would be allowed uncontested by the public.
Why can't we record all aspects of their culture (language, customs, beliefs) and then begin the inevitable integration process? How long can they be isolated from society? Surely not another thousand years, or even a hundred, with the growing global population how long can they remain completely isolated? It just seems completely unrealistic that they can remain isolated. Instead there should be a slow integration process, because if there is no process, then their assimilation will probably be forceful and harm them (think about the feud between these tribes and farmers in South America, and other forced encounters between them and the modern world where they were gunned down or harmed some other way).
Also, a bold but defensible claim, is that the value system of modernized people does lead to a better quality of life (would you argue that we suffer less?). There does seem to be a correlation between the least advanced tools and a diet of human flesh, which brings me to why should their culture be preserved? If it is a regression of the modern world to a more ancient one (the reason anthropologists study them), why after a record has been established do they need to remain isolated and have their culture preserved in real time rather than on paper?
Also, being advanced technologically will not stop economic progress and the need for more resources, resources that are especially important in the areas where these tribes are situated.

Sorry I answered so late, I never check the Ethics Forum.

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