Morality in a pill ? Not sure I like it or not.

harleysportster
atheist
harleysportster's picture
Posts: 3312
Joined: 2010-10-17
User is offlineOffline
Morality in a pill ? Not sure I like it or not.

http://thesheaf.com/opinions/2011/09/14/morality-in-a-pill-can-science-create-a-drug-that-improves-your-ethics/

 

Morality in a pill : Can science create a drug that improves our ethical decisions ?

Imagine going to the drug store, buying some pills, taking them and suddenly becoming a better person. As you read this, scientists are busy trying to make this a reality. They hope that someday people will be able to enhance their morals by popping a few pills.

 

The morality pill is one of modern science’s most audacious attempts to play God. Such a pill attempts to literally redesign the human organism. Because of this, some people (particularly religious folk) might write off the drug as unethical. But where should science draw the line when playing God? Maybe we shouldn’t have developed the atom bomb, or insulin — or Grapples (also known as grape-apples).

Today, neuroscience can explain the biology behind nearly everything our brains do. The field has given us the ability to create drugs that manipulate and “improve” many brain functions. For example, when someone is depressed, we can tell which neurotransmitters are failing. Consequently, drugs (like antidepressants) can be prescribed to “balance” those neurotransmitters.

And now, science can even know “the pathways in our brains that shape our ethical decisions,” according to Guy Kahane of Oxford’s Centre for Neuroethics. He adds we can find genes that lead some people to violence and others to altruism. It is this knowledge that scientists would use to develop their “anti-evil” pill. The science is not that far-fetched. Basically, the pill would tell the “moral” circuits in our brain to work harder.

Still, when I first read this, I didn’t believe it. I thought, “a pill can’t make you a good person. People only become good by working at it: by cultivating a moral code.” But looking around, I see a lot of people who are good at something simply because they take drugs.

Performance enhancers have led to superhuman feats in many fields. Think of steroids in sports, psychedelics in art or “study-drugs” in schools. Considering this, morality pills could very well enhance our goodness. But I wonder how marketable such a pill would be.

I’m not surprised people want to improve abilities like creativity, strength and focus. But who really wants to “enhance” their morals?

Imagine trying to push this morality pill: “It makes you feel totally responsible. You can just hear your conscience nagging you. It’s a real trip, man!”

Kahane admits the pill is a hard sell. “Becoming more trusting, nicer and less aggressive can make you more vulnerable to exploitation,” he explains.

Fortunately, his colleague devised a way around people’s resistance to be good. According to Julian Savulescu, the pills should be “obligatory, like education or fluoride in the water.” Governments doping the masses with drugs that make them agreeable — wasn’t there an Aldous Huxley book about that?

Indeed, science fiction has often cautioned us against miracle drugs. In A Clockwork Orange, Ludovico treaments rewire criminals into model citizens, as this magical morality pill would. In both cases, the drug makes humans peaceful, but it takes away their free will. To me, it’s this ability to choose that makes us truly human. That makes us more than mere computers.

Consider our capacity for love. Isn’t there a huge difference between actually being in love and taking a pill that tells your brain “you are in love”?

Whatever the case, plenty of people already use drugs that, as my friend puts it, “make people seem less shitty.” Some prescription drugs already exist that bare a strong resemblance to the morality pill. Prozac, for example, lowers aggression and hostility. Then there’s Oxytocin, the love hormone. Oxford researcher Tom Douglas says this substance “increases feelings of social bonding and empathy.” That all sounds pretty moral to me.

Some might even contend that psychedelics are analogous to this morality pill. The BBC documentary Psychedelic Science shows mystics and medical professionals alike who have used psychedelics to improve human behavior. Canadian psychiatrist Abram Hoffer, for example, treated thousands of alcoholic patients by administering LSD treatments to them.

In Brazil, the plant-based psychedelic Ayahuasca has been adopted by the Christian church União do Vegetal who give the drug at their services. Charles Grob, a researcher at UCLA School of Medicine, found churchmembers to be mentally and physically healthier than average.

Clearly, the science behind moral drugs has some credibility. It seems possible that one day we’ll live in a strange utopian or dystopian world that takes morality pills. But until that day comes, we’ll have to try being good on our own.

 

 

 

 

“It is proof of a base and low mind for one to wish to think with the masses or majority, merely because the majority is the majority. Truth does not change because it is, or is not, believed by a majority of the people.”
― Giordano Bruno


EXC
atheist
EXC's picture
Posts: 3141
Joined: 2008-01-17
User is onlineOnline
But being 'evil' is so much

But being 'evil' is so much fun.

These people are incredible naive. People are the way they are because of the evolutionary advantages to their own survival.

This only proves that morality is a BS concept to begin with. People do everthing they do in order to get high, not for some moral imperative that comes for god or the devil.

The problem with drugs like cocaine and heroine is that they are so expensive that the behaviors people do to get high often involve something harmful to others.

It would be nice if getting high could be correlated with activities proven to be beneficial to society. Like people that don't want to study or work. Drugs could be used for motivation.

 

 

“Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by the rulers as useful.” Seneca


Answers in Gene...
High Level Donor
Answers in Gene Simmons's picture
Posts: 4214
Joined: 2008-11-11
User is offlineOffline
p { margin-bottom: 0.08in; }

p { margin-bottom: 0.08in; }

The brakes squeal on this one. You used A Clockwork Orange as yout type example. That was Kubrick. Lucas did it better in THX1138. The title is also Robert Duvall's serial number. He is the guy who puts the drugs in the water.

 

You do realize that your lack of movie trivia is an error that I, as an admin, could have trivially adjusted? I find humor value in not fixing it and calling you out. That and I live about two miles from the second most busy train station in North America. Make it injectable and everyone I hit is an instant addict. Unless I accidentally hit myself. Then the program ends there.

 

BTW, the reason why movie theaters are THX certified is because Lucas thinks that you should hear movies the way that they sound in his head.

 

NoMoreCrazyPeople wrote:
Never ever did I say enything about free, I said "free."

=


harleysportster
atheist
harleysportster's picture
Posts: 3312
Joined: 2010-10-17
User is offlineOffline
Answers in Gene Simmons

Answers in Gene Simmons wrote:

p { margin-bottom: 0.08in; }

The brakes squeal on this one. You used A Clockwork Orange as yout type example. That was Kubrick. Lucas did it better in THX1138. The title is also Robert Duvall's serial number. He is the guy who puts the drugs in the water.

 

You do realize that your lack of movie trivia is an error that I, as an admin, could have trivially adjusted? I find humor value in not fixing it and calling you out. That and I live about two miles from the second most busy train station in North America. Make it injectable and everyone I hit is an instant addict. Unless I accidentally hit myself. Then the program ends there.

 

BTW, the reason why movie theaters are THX certified is because Lucas thinks that you should hear movies the way that they sound in his head.

 

Actually, I did not write the article.  Laughing out loud I know I put the link up, but not the author's name. My mistake.

However, I DO suck at movie trivia, so you got me there.

“It is proof of a base and low mind for one to wish to think with the masses or majority, merely because the majority is the majority. Truth does not change because it is, or is not, believed by a majority of the people.”
― Giordano Bruno


harleysportster
atheist
harleysportster's picture
Posts: 3312
Joined: 2010-10-17
User is offlineOffline
EXC wrote:But being 'evil'

EXC wrote:

But being 'evil' is so much fun.

These people are incredible naive. People are the way they are because of the evolutionary advantages to their own survival.

This only proves that morality is a BS concept to begin with. People do everthing they do in order to get high, not for some moral imperative that comes for god or the devil.

The problem with drugs like cocaine and heroine is that they are so expensive that the behaviors people do to get high often involve something harmful to others.

It would be nice if getting high could be correlated with activities proven to be beneficial to society. Like people that don't want to study or work. Drugs could be used for motivation.

 

 

That's the way I feel.

“It is proof of a base and low mind for one to wish to think with the masses or majority, merely because the majority is the majority. Truth does not change because it is, or is not, believed by a majority of the people.”
― Giordano Bruno


Answers in Gene...
High Level Donor
Answers in Gene Simmons's picture
Posts: 4214
Joined: 2008-11-11
User is offlineOffline
You don't even begin to suck

You don't even begin to suck at movie trivia.  That is for the experts.

NoMoreCrazyPeople wrote:
Never ever did I say enything about free, I said "free."

=


b33p3rz
Posts: 10
Joined: 2011-10-12
User is offlineOffline
harleysportster wrote:And

harleysportster wrote:

And now, science can even know “the pathways in our brains that shape our ethical decisions,” according to Guy Kahane of Oxford’s Centre for Neuroethics. He adds we can find genes that lead some people to violence and others to altruism. It is this knowledge that scientists would use to develop their “anti-evil” pill. The science is not that far-fetched. Basically, the pill would tell the “moral” circuits in our brain to work harder.

This feels entirely too Sci-fi movie waiting to start the dramatic music, or that may just be my cynicism. Either way the quote above scares me because studies done in Sweden based around Epigenetics showed how people that had these so called Violent Genes, were often less violent in how they handled situations. I think that if you have a developed "Violent" gene, it's epigenetics that control how violent you get, which means you have more of a control over any action you may commit.

It seems like a sort of backup idea, like someone who doesn't have this gene may not fully realize the entirety of the pain their causing or the effects the entire process has on other parts of the brain. Being angry and violent isn't healthy for you or anyone else, and it seems like more an evolutionary advantage to have this gene, to be more familiar with how to counteract naturally violent feelings.

This is why it makes me uneasy to hear that that is how they plan to develop these drugs. I completely understand the idea behind anti-depressants and I hold value in the field of understanding human emotions and brain functions, but this just feels like an insidious extension of "Thought police" where someone thinking about killing a kitten gets punished, and someone thinking about not killing a kitten, still gets punished because their thoughts wandered towards that guy they just saw punished for a thought, ESPECIALLY when anyone in Big Pharma wants to make a pill obligatory, trying to compare it at all to a simple element in a water supply to keep teeth clean.


Tapey
atheist
Tapey's picture
Posts: 1474
Joined: 2009-01-23
User is offlineOffline
I'm fine with it, I say go

I'm fine with it, I say go ahead and do it. I don't care about any philosophical dilemma about what it means to be human. Tbh a lot of the dystopian future novels I have read have some things I could get behind, some stuff is just silly fluff to make things bad in society but things like this drug, or the whole brave new world making people suited to the tasks they perform thing (alphas, betas etc.), I am completely fine with.

Whatever goes upon two legs is an enemy.
Whatever goes upon four legs, or has wings, is a friend.
No animal shall wear clothes.
No animal shall sleep in a bed.
No animal shall drink alcohol.
No animal shall kill any other animal.
All animals are equal.


luca
atheist
Posts: 400
Joined: 2011-02-21
User is offlineOffline
yet another morality

Quote:
Morality in a pill : Can science create a drug that improves our ethical decisions ?
It doesn't even make sense. Decisions are based on knowledge and feelings... Or you have this pill that gives you knowledge or you have a pill that repress feelings... If this drug really enhanced your conscience then I think you would feel awful. The problem expecially would be that you would depend from this artificial conscience and would not develop your own. Nonsense.

 


BobSpence
High Level DonorRational VIP!ScientistWebsite Admin
BobSpence's picture
Posts: 5908
Joined: 2006-02-14
User is offlineOffline
Seems pretty credible and

Seems pretty credible and reasonable to me.

Its not telling us what to do or not to do, but if it enhances the strength of the more positive and cooperative drives and emotions over the more combative and purely selfish ones, in a well-balanced and controllable way, it seems like a good idea.

If we are cool with the availabiility of alcohol and caffeine and tranquillizers and many other psycho-active substances, this seems a much more controlled and tunable moderator of our impulses, if it can be developed as described.

 

Favorite oxymorons: Gospel Truth, Rational Supernaturalist, Business Ethics, Christian Morality

"Theology is now little more than a branch of human ignorance. Indeed, it is ignorance with wings." - Sam Harris

The path to Truth lies via careful study of reality, not the dreams of our fallible minds - me

From the sublime to the ridiculous: Science -> Philosophy -> Theology


EXC
atheist
EXC's picture
Posts: 3141
Joined: 2008-01-17
User is onlineOnline
It sounds like this is

It sounds like this is acting like oxcytin, the hormone of love.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oxytocin

Some of the benefits:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-1028462/Scientists-childbirth-wonder-drug-cure-shyness.html

It is possible a treatment for autism.

It does have a dark side, too much can lead to destructive behaviors such as being overly trusting.

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/01/11/science/11hormone.html

 

“Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by the rulers as useful.” Seneca


Sapient
High Level DonorRRS CO-FOUNDERRRS Core MemberWebsite Admin
Sapient's picture
Posts: 7530
Joined: 2006-04-18
User is offlineOffline
The pill seems interesting.

The pill seems interesting.  I'm not sure about forcing it on everybody.  I know a great many charitable, good, honest people that need no help.  I know a similar amount of people that could use a lot of help in being a good person... can we maybe figure out a way to get them the pill?  How about asking the people to take the pill?  Or educating children about the benefits and asking them to try it.  

As for real nasty and immoral people, I suppose we could (in a very nice way) make them take the pill.

 

 

- Brian Sapient


Buy popular atheist books and support the Rational Response Squad at the same time on Amazon.


Tapey
atheist
Tapey's picture
Posts: 1474
Joined: 2009-01-23
User is offlineOffline
Sapient wrote:The pill seems

Sapient wrote:

The pill seems interesting.  I'm not sure about forcing it on everybody.  I know a great many charitable, good, honest people that need no help.  I know a similar amount of people that could use a lot of help in being a good person... can we maybe figure out a way to get them the pill?  How about asking the people to take the pill?  Or educating children about the benefits and asking them to try it.  

As for real nasty and immoral people, I suppose we could (in a very nice way) make them take the pill.

 

 

If the pill makes people moral then there is no down side for moral people taking it. You may as well put it in the water supply unless you have issues with trying to enforce good behaviour, we already try to do it through laws, this just seems like a natural extension of that.

Whatever goes upon two legs is an enemy.
Whatever goes upon four legs, or has wings, is a friend.
No animal shall wear clothes.
No animal shall sleep in a bed.
No animal shall drink alcohol.
No animal shall kill any other animal.
All animals are equal.


Sapient
High Level DonorRRS CO-FOUNDERRRS Core MemberWebsite Admin
Sapient's picture
Posts: 7530
Joined: 2006-04-18
User is offlineOffline
Tapey wrote:If the pill

Tapey wrote:

If the pill makes people moral then there is no down side for moral people taking it. You may as well put it in the water supply unless you have issues with trying to enforce good behaviour, we already try to do it through laws, this just seems like a natural extension of that.

Does it make them moral.... or more moral?

 

- Brian Sapient


Buy popular atheist books and support the Rational Response Squad at the same time on Amazon.


Tapey
atheist
Tapey's picture
Posts: 1474
Joined: 2009-01-23
User is offlineOffline
Sapient wrote:Tapey wrote:If

Sapient wrote:

Tapey wrote:

If the pill makes people moral then there is no down side for moral people taking it. You may as well put it in the water supply unless you have issues with trying to enforce good behaviour, we already try to do it through laws, this just seems like a natural extension of that.

Does it make them moral.... or more moral?

 

Well OP says improve moral and ethical decsion making, but really there is only so moral you can be.

Whatever goes upon two legs is an enemy.
Whatever goes upon four legs, or has wings, is a friend.
No animal shall wear clothes.
No animal shall sleep in a bed.
No animal shall drink alcohol.
No animal shall kill any other animal.
All animals are equal.


Sapient
High Level DonorRRS CO-FOUNDERRRS Core MemberWebsite Admin
Sapient's picture
Posts: 7530
Joined: 2006-04-18
User is offlineOffline
Tapey wrote:Sapient

I could imagine a person getting altruistic to the point of negatively impacting their own life.  That would be too moral.  

- Brian Sapient


Buy popular atheist books and support the Rational Response Squad at the same time on Amazon.


Tapey
atheist
Tapey's picture
Posts: 1474
Joined: 2009-01-23
User is offlineOffline
But if everyone was like

But if everyone was like they I don't see how it could happen short of someone agreeing to a heart transplant while they were still using it, but no moral person would accept such a deal, at least in my books, a truely moral person couldn't accept something that would significantly harm the giver. Though I can see a situation where perhaps where someone was drowning and the moral thing might be to try help resulting in two deaths not one. The question remains, how moral does it make people and perhaps more importantly, what is moral?

 

This whole thing is very tempramental, one just has to ask the question, what is moral and it all goes to hell quickly.

Whatever goes upon two legs is an enemy.
Whatever goes upon four legs, or has wings, is a friend.
No animal shall wear clothes.
No animal shall sleep in a bed.
No animal shall drink alcohol.
No animal shall kill any other animal.
All animals are equal.


Answers in Gene...
High Level Donor
Answers in Gene Simmons's picture
Posts: 4214
Joined: 2008-11-11
User is offlineOffline
Sapient wrote:The pill seems

Sapient wrote:

The pill seems interesting.  I'm not sure about forcing it on everybody.  I know a great many charitable, good, honest people that need no help.  I know a similar amount of people that could use a lot of help in being a good person... can we maybe figure out a way to get them the pill?  How about asking the people to take the pill?  Or educating children about the benefits and asking them to try it.  

As for real nasty and immoral people, I suppose we could (in a very nice way) make them take the pill.

 

Well, in order to forcibly medicate someone, you need to get some type of legal finding that they are not capable of making sound medical choices on their own.  At present, few psychiatrists are willing to classify criminal behaviour as a disease meriting treatment.  Of course, if this pill works as it is supposed to, then that might change.

 

As for putting it in the water, I see a problem there as well.  What about all the people who drink bottled water?

 

On the other hand, if we could find a way to distribute it in the bible belt, then I could see quite a few ministers changing how they do business once they are forced to see what uteer crap they are pulling.

NoMoreCrazyPeople wrote:
Never ever did I say enything about free, I said "free."

=


Sapient
High Level DonorRRS CO-FOUNDERRRS Core MemberWebsite Admin
Sapient's picture
Posts: 7530
Joined: 2006-04-18
User is offlineOffline
Tapey wrote:But if everyone

Tapey wrote:

But if everyone was like they I don't see how it could happen short of someone agreeing to a heart transplant while they were still using it, but no moral person would accept such a deal, at least in my books, a truely moral person couldn't accept something that would significantly harm the giver. Though I can see a situation where perhaps where someone was drowning and the moral thing might be to try help resulting in two deaths not one. The question remains, how moral does it make people and perhaps more importantly, what is moral?

 

This whole thing is very tempramental, one just has to ask the question, what is moral and it all goes to hell quickly.

You seem to working under the assumption that everyone will be moral by this time this super moral person comes around.  I'm saying if you put it in the water supply, then Super Moral man will appear overnight while a lot of other people will have a lot of moral growth to go through.  I'm assuming that it's not like a switch, that it helps with propensity toward morality.  The person is likely to reject it for quite a while, especially our most moral.  Of course there's the immoral people who store up bottled water, and the people that figure other ways around getting the pill.

You can't work under the assumption that other people will be moral and therefore this uber-altruist will not be allowed to cause harm to himself.  

I'm speaking of the transition period, if they put it in the water then over a long time period I suppose it could level the moral playing field.  

It's not happening anytime soon, not in America at least.  Religious people will reject it on the grounds that they are already the epitome of morality.  Fox news will suggest they force criminals, gays, atheists, muslims, Africa, and Europe to take the pill.   

 

- Brian Sapient


Buy popular atheist books and support the Rational Response Squad at the same time on Amazon.


Tapey
atheist
Tapey's picture
Posts: 1474
Joined: 2009-01-23
User is offlineOffline
Sapient wrote:Tapey

Sapient wrote:

Tapey wrote:

But if everyone was like they I don't see how it could happen short of someone agreeing to a heart transplant while they were still using it, but no moral person would accept such a deal, at least in my books, a truely moral person couldn't accept something that would significantly harm the giver. Though I can see a situation where perhaps where someone was drowning and the moral thing might be to try help resulting in two deaths not one. The question remains, how moral does it make people and perhaps more importantly, what is moral?

 

This whole thing is very tempramental, one just has to ask the question, what is moral and it all goes to hell quickly.

You seem to working under the assumption that everyone will be moral by this time this super moral person comes around.  I'm saying if you put it in the water supply, then Super Moral man will appear overnight while a lot of other people will have a lot of moral growth to go through.  I'm assuming that it's not like a switch, that it helps with propensity toward morality.  The person is likely to reject it for quite a while, especially our most moral.  Of course there's the immoral people who store up bottled water, and the people that figure other ways around getting the pill.

You can't work under the assumption that other people will be moral and therefore this uber-altruist will not be allowed to cause harm to himself.  

I'm speaking of the transition period, if they put it in the water then over a long time period I suppose it could level the moral playing field.  

It's not happening anytime soon, not in America at least.  Religious people will reject it on the grounds that they are already the epitome of morality.  Fox news will suggest they force criminals, gays, atheists, muslims, Africa, and Europe to take the pill.   

 

No transition is ever perfect, a question of how much collateral you can accept, any major change has consiquences. For me if it is a choice between business as usual and a rough transition period then morality ever after, I don't really see a problem. We allow millions to die every year through inaction and now suddenly there is a problem with a few people dieing or being harmed? I know there is a difference between directly causing a death through a choice you make and letting it happen through inaction but the result is the same. Yeah this whole thing is unrealistic in real life as it would have to be world wide as any place that didn't do it would have a distinct advantage and it would be far to easy for the people adding it to the water to abuse that power and a hole host of other problems even if the drug worked perfectly and consistantly among all people. but in concept I say go for it, force people to conform to certain standards of behavour.

Whatever goes upon two legs is an enemy.
Whatever goes upon four legs, or has wings, is a friend.
No animal shall wear clothes.
No animal shall sleep in a bed.
No animal shall drink alcohol.
No animal shall kill any other animal.
All animals are equal.


b33p3rz
Posts: 10
Joined: 2011-10-12
User is offlineOffline
Too moral

Tapey, being too altruistic can hurt your life in ways more than jumping into a dangerous situation to save someone, and trying to give up an organ while being alive. Have you never met someone in your life that is an enabler, like they always help people and they can't say no, even though it complicates their lives to the point that it harms them?

Also with the brain being a very complex organ, overdosing with this drug wouldn't just cause "more moral" people, it would cause deeper hormonal imbalances and the like, that arise from fucking with brain chemistry (Sorry I don't like it >.< ) It could even cause almost a complete opposite reaction in someone that is already moral.

I don't think this is some "Too far to go" ideas or against nature bla bla, but to start trying to influence one of the biggest points of societal workings with the "Take a pill" mentality, can only be wrong. Subjective morals come from knowledge and experience as well as inter-brain workings and gene sequences, not hardware manipulations like drugs. Morals (good and bad) should be taught and experiences as you grow up, leading to a comprehensive view of exactly why you hold the good morals you do as an adult.

Just like the only way for violence and bigotry to triumph is it to be taught to each subsequent generation, we need to take charge as human beings to influence the correct morals, not defer to another supplement. Who knows, after teaching humans how to live in harmony for a couple generations, evolution might take care of this very issue for us, instead of a drug trying to do so with impossible to predict side effects.


EXC
atheist
EXC's picture
Posts: 3141
Joined: 2008-01-17
User is onlineOnline
b33p3rz wrote: Just like

b33p3rz wrote:

 

Just like the only way for violence and bigotry to triumph is it to be taught to each subsequent generation, we need to take charge as human beings to influence the correct morals, not defer to another supplement. Who knows, after teaching humans how to live in harmony for a couple generations, evolution might take care of this very issue for us, instead of a drug trying to do so with impossible to predict side effects.

Evolution's 'goal' is survival. The reason why violence and bigotry exist is because they have often worked to the benefit of those who practice them. Violence against Indians lead to the white man's survival and their cultural extinction. This what to expect in a competitive world. Evolution only cares about what works, not any one's opinion about what is moral. If theft works as a beneficial survival behavior, then the only way to eliminate theft is to remove this correlation.

So how does this "teaching humans to live in harmony" work? Doesn't it require removal of the causes of disharmony and not just teaching?

We already force society's morals on individuals via the prison system which is about as inhumane as we can be. It takes away almost all freedom a person has, but this is currently the best technology we have to force society's morals on the individual. We already know prison's effectiveness, side effects and costs, and they're not very good.

 

“Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by the rulers as useful.” Seneca


Tapey
atheist
Tapey's picture
Posts: 1474
Joined: 2009-01-23
User is offlineOffline
b33p3rz wrote:Tapey, being

b33p3rz wrote:

Tapey, being too altruistic can hurt your life in ways more than jumping into a dangerous situation to save someone, and trying to give up an organ while being alive. Have you never met someone in your life that is an enabler, like they always help people and they can't say no, even though it complicates their lives to the point that it harms them?

Also with the brain being a very complex organ, overdosing with this drug wouldn't just cause "more moral" people, it would cause deeper hormonal imbalances and the like, that arise from fucking with brain chemistry (Sorry I don't like it >.&ltEye-wink It could even cause almost a complete opposite reaction in someone that is already moral.

I don't think this is some "Too far to go" ideas or against nature bla bla, but to start trying to influence one of the biggest points of societal workings with the "Take a pill" mentality, can only be wrong. Subjective morals come from knowledge and experience as well as inter-brain workings and gene sequences, not hardware manipulations like drugs. Morals (good and bad) should be taught and experiences as you grow up, leading to a comprehensive view of exactly why you hold the good morals you do as an adult.

Just like the only way for violence and bigotry to triumph is it to be taught to each subsequent generation, we need to take charge as human beings to influence the correct morals, not defer to another supplement. Who knows, after teaching humans how to live in harmony for a couple generations, evolution might take care of this very issue for us, instead of a drug trying to do so with impossible to predict side effects.

I feel my response to sapient deals with your first doubt, a moral person would simply not take advantage. So if there was a pill that could make everyone moral there would be not problem on the front.

To the second point, as the drug does not exist, I am speaking as if it were perfect with only one effect, making someone more moral, if it really existed I suspect you would be right and it would have some less desired effects as well and that changes things but because this is all theory with no specific drug in hand it makes no sense to make up side effects to something that does not exist. If it does exist one day we can look at its side effects and see how it changes things.

You say can it can only be bad but you never say why if you could take a pill and become moral it would be bad, you just say it is better teach and learn morals naturally, its better to work with what you have then change it completely with the only benefit you list being that you now why you hold good moral belief. Let me assume that reason was a good reason, what is stoping you from knowing why you hold good moral belief as someone takes this pill? You still know why what you do is moral, you are just more inclind to follow through sticking to your morals.

To your last point, once again you have not actually given any reasons why a pill is bad. Have you thought about it like this, maybe the pill is what you need for a few generations so things can change? Personally I would think humans will always need a little help being moral though.

 

I am aware it goes against human nature, truely there does seem to be something inside of us that screams no whenever something like this comes around. I feel it to, but without good reason to be against it I cannot say it would be bad. I can only see good points. It is not like you are even changing people that much,they are still very much themselves, the downsides really don't seem toexist once the system is in place assumig a perfect drug.

Whatever goes upon two legs is an enemy.
Whatever goes upon four legs, or has wings, is a friend.
No animal shall wear clothes.
No animal shall sleep in a bed.
No animal shall drink alcohol.
No animal shall kill any other animal.
All animals are equal.


Sapient
High Level DonorRRS CO-FOUNDERRRS Core MemberWebsite Admin
Sapient's picture
Posts: 7530
Joined: 2006-04-18
User is offlineOffline
Tapey wrote:I am speaking as

Tapey wrote:

I am speaking as if it were perfect with only one effect, making someone more moral

"more moral" eh?  

HA!  I win.

- Brian Sapient


Buy popular atheist books and support the Rational Response Squad at the same time on Amazon.


Tapey
atheist
Tapey's picture
Posts: 1474
Joined: 2009-01-23
User is offlineOffline
Sapient wrote: Tapey wrote:

Sapient wrote:

Tapey wrote:

I am speaking as if it were perfect with only one effect, making someone more moral

"more moral" eh?  

HA!  I win.

Oh how silly of me

 

must...punish..self..

 

 

 

 

Obligatory disclaimer: Do not watch video if you are in anyway affected by violence.

 

 

Though in all seriousness I do not think it makes a difference in the long term either way moral/ more moral.

 

The way I see this problem is the same as that of the lotus eaters. For those unfamiliar with the lotus eaters dileama it goes like this. If you could eat this plant that would make you completely happy and forget about everything in life, you are are completely apathetic would you eat it, it is garenteed happiness for the rest of your life but all you do is eat this plant. You forget about any children, wife, job, all the good and all the bad and just live in happiness, would you do it? Or would you go home and live life as normal trying to be happy? From the outside the life of a lotus eater looks pretty bad as all they do is eat the plant, but they are completely happy. Thats how I see this thing from the outside it might look dodgy but once you start it wouldn't seem so bad.

Whatever goes upon two legs is an enemy.
Whatever goes upon four legs, or has wings, is a friend.
No animal shall wear clothes.
No animal shall sleep in a bed.
No animal shall drink alcohol.
No animal shall kill any other animal.
All animals are equal.


Vastet
atheistBloggerHigh Level ModeratorSuperfan
Vastet's picture
Posts: 10736
Joined: 2006-12-25
User is offlineOffline
I would never take this.

I would never take this. Morality may start in the head, but it's still subjective to experience. A pill can't change experience. Not yet at least.
And there's evidence that immoral and amoral people can make significant contributions to humanity.
My morality is part of who I am, and I'd never take something that changed me so drastically and permanently. I'd fight any application of this that wasn't directly tied to a reimaged justice system.

Proud Canadian, Enlightened Atheist, Gaming God.


luca
atheist
Posts: 400
Joined: 2011-02-21
User is offlineOffline
nz nz nz

I am still unconvinced. Maybe under prescription, if there's the case... But we have a conscience, and when it's functioning it's not natural to stimulate in excess what is not going bad. Other than that, it's a cure for the symptoms, not the causes.


harleysportster
atheist
harleysportster's picture
Posts: 3312
Joined: 2010-10-17
User is offlineOffline
luca wrote:I am still

luca wrote:

I am still unconvinced. Maybe under prescription, if there's the case... But we have a conscience, and when it's functioning it's not natural to stimulate in excess what is not going bad. Other than that, it's a cure for the symptoms, not the causes.

I think if such a pill were ever perfected, it should first be administered to sociopaths in the prison system (unbeknownst to them) and carefully observe them to see what the results might be.

I would be willing to put forth such a mandated use, ONLY to those that have proven themselves to be a danger to society.

But as far as FORCING everyone to take such a drug, against their will, irregardless of their behavior, is not the right thing to do in my opinion.

“It is proof of a base and low mind for one to wish to think with the masses or majority, merely because the majority is the majority. Truth does not change because it is, or is not, believed by a majority of the people.”
― Giordano Bruno


luca
atheist
Posts: 400
Joined: 2011-02-21
User is offlineOffline
12

harleysportster wrote:
luca wrote:
I am still unconvinced. Maybe under prescription, if there's the case... But we have a conscience, and when it's functioning it's not natural to stimulate in excess what is not going bad. Other than that, it's a cure for the symptoms, not the causes.
I think if such a pill were ever perfected, it should first be administered to sociopaths in the prison system (unbeknownst to them) and carefully observe them to see what the results might be.

I would be willing to put forth such a mandated use, ONLY to those that have proven themselves to be a danger to society.

But as far as FORCING everyone to take such a drug, against their will, irregardless of their behavior, is not the right thing to do in my opinion.

Yes but what would this pill do to a sociopath or to someone who clearly has problems living in the actual society? Would this enchance their corrupt morality or would CORRECT their corrupt morality? I don't see how it could be 100% the second answer, because it's based on knowledge too, not only "insights".

 

HEY who put the atheist label under my name? I didn't ask for that badge...


harleysportster
atheist
harleysportster's picture
Posts: 3312
Joined: 2010-10-17
User is offlineOffline
luca wrote:Yes but what

luca wrote:

Yes but what would this pill do to a sociopath or to someone who clearly has problems living in the actual society? Would this enchance their corrupt morality or would CORRECT their corrupt morality? I don't see how it could be 100% the second answer, because it's based on knowledge too, not only "insights".

 

HEY who put the atheist label under my name? I didn't ask for that badge...

I agree with your point Luca. That was why I said, IF such a pill were to ever be perfected (and to be honest) I don't think problems of sociopathic behavior and criminal behavior could be fixed by a pill until neuroscience has a better understanding of the brain.

I read an article about the functions of the sociopathic mind, in a psychology magazine recently, and their are some advancements being made in that field. Of course, there are the questions of social environment, a sociopath's childhood, possible genetic pre-dispositions, etc. etc.

To me, morality should be the minimalization of harm as much as possible.

But, in my opinion, a word like morality is such a subjective and relative term, that it would be hard to have clear cut lines as to what is moral and what is not.

For instances, fundies see Atheists as immoral, some people see smoking a cigarette or drinking a beer as immoral, sex outside of marriage as immoral, a woman's right to choose as immoral, etc. etc.

Immorality in my opinion is murder, stealing, lying, etc. But even then the line can not be clearly drawn. Were people who hid Jews during the Holocaust and lying to the Nazis immoral ? Is a starving homeless man that may steal food immoral ? Is killing someone in defense of your life immoral ? I would personally say no.

Can we even say that a completely delusional person, suffering with a severe mental illness, that commits a crime as a result of that behavior immoral or insane ?

I just don't think that giving people a bunch of pills to make them more altruistic is the ultimate answer. Science made one day prove me wrong. But there is a whole lot more to morality than simple altruism and as others have stated, altruism can be detrimental when taken to extremes and often times altruism is done for purely selfish and alterior motives by some people.

“It is proof of a base and low mind for one to wish to think with the masses or majority, merely because the majority is the majority. Truth does not change because it is, or is not, believed by a majority of the people.”
― Giordano Bruno