Skip to comments.Manipulating morals: scientists target drugs that improve behaviour
Posted on 04/07/2011 12:17:36 PM PDT by Tolerance Sucks Rocks
A pill to enhance moral behaviour, a treatment for racist thoughts, a therapy to increase your empathy for people in other countries - these may sound like the stuff of science fiction but with medicine getting closer to altering our moral state, society should be preparing for the consequences, according to a book that reviews scientific developments in the field.
Drugs such as Prozac that alter a patient's mental state already have an impact on moral behaviour, but scientists predict that future medical advances may allow much more sophisticated manipulations.
The field is in its infancy, but "it's very far from being science fiction", said Dr Guy Kahane, deputy director of the Oxford Centre for Neuroethics and a Wellcome Trust biomedical ethics award winner.
"Science has ignored the question of moral improvement so far, but it is now becoming a big debate," he said. "There is already a growing body of research you can describe in these terms. Studies show that certain drugs affect the ways people respond to moral dilemmas by increasing their sense of empathy, group affiliation and by reducing aggression."
Researchers have become very interested in developing biomedical technologies capable of intervening in the biological processes that affect moral behaviour and moral thinking, according to Dr Tom Douglas, a Wellcome Trust research fellow at Oxford University's Uehiro Centre. "It is a very hot area of scientific study right now."
He is co-author of Enhancing Human Capacities, published on Monday, which includes a chapter on moral enhancement.
Drugs that affect our moral thinking and behaviour already exist, but we tend not to think of them in that way. [Prozac] lowers aggression and bitterness against environment and so could be said to make people more agreeable...
(Excerpt) Read more at guardian.co.uk ...
It’s called “Rialin”, it’s been supressing Red-Blooded American MALES(boys) for DECADES!
“It’s for the children.”
” A pill to enhance moral behaviour, a treatment for racist thoughts, a therapy to increase your empathy for people “
Hey - that could mean that Liberals would become extinct....
Yes, I was thinking that this had shades of Clockwork Orange in it when I read the headline.
Lazy or ignorant parents are viewed as victims.
The pharma companies, some bad behaviorist psychologist and counselor make a whole bunch of money.
Why are you complaining, everything is perfect?!/sarc
“Improve” behavior. Sounds like they’re admitting that there IS a standard of behavior, and that some behaviors are closer to that standard and are therefore better.
Now, who defined this standard and where is it?
Why is it “better” than other human defined standards?
And people 50 years ago were afraid of fluoride in their drinking water. Silly me.
“A pill to enhance moral behaviour, a treatment for racist thoughts, a therapy to increase your empathy for people in other countries -”
In other words, we can medicate away those evil conservatives and live in the perfect liberal PC utopia.
Because they know what’s better for you than you do, obviously.
Hold one a sec....maybe we could use this on johhny jihad...
The love bomb!
Must fire up the old water well!
SOMA - A gramme is better than a damme.
1984 all over again
It will be fun to watch those who are in favor of such intervention to eliminate racism run screaming into the night at the mention of the possibility of eliminating homosexuality.
More like Aldous Huxley’s ‘Brave New World’...
I haven’t read either. I got half way through Future Shock.
Agreed. Orwell's “1984” envisioned a world where the elites controlled the masses through pain. Huxley's “Brave New World” envisioned a world where the elites controlled the masses through pleasure.