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Manipulating morals: scientists target drugs that improve behaviour
The Guardian (UK) ^ | April 4, 2011 | Amelia Hill

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 ...


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Constitution/Conservatism; Culture/Society; Government; News/Current Events; United Kingdom
KEYWORDS: behavior; drugs; experimentation; morals

1 posted on 04/07/2011 12:17:43 PM PDT by Tolerance Sucks Rocks
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To: Tolerance Sucks Rocks

It’s called “Rialin”, it’s been supressing Red-Blooded American MALES(boys) for DECADES!


2 posted on 04/07/2011 12:19:03 PM PDT by US Navy Vet
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To: 3D-JOY; abner; Abundy; AGreatPer; Albion Wilde; AliVeritas; alisasny; ALlRightAllTheTime; ...

PING!


3 posted on 04/07/2011 12:19:47 PM PDT by Tolerance Sucks Rocks (Follow me on Twitter @mpetrie98)
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To: Tolerance Sucks Rocks
Photobucket
4 posted on 04/07/2011 12:22:51 PM PDT by Tzimisce (Never forget that the American Revolution began when the British tried to disarm the colonists.)
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To: Tolerance Sucks Rocks

“It’s for the children.”


5 posted on 04/07/2011 12:23:24 PM PDT by BenLurkin (This post is not a statement of fact. It is merely a personal opinion -- or humor -- or both)
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To: Tolerance Sucks Rocks

” 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....


6 posted on 04/07/2011 12:24:08 PM PDT by Uncle Ike (Rope is cheap, and there are lots of trees...)
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To: Tzimisce

Yes, I was thinking that this had shades of Clockwork Orange in it when I read the headline.


7 posted on 04/07/2011 12:28:46 PM PDT by RickB444 (Worry about and distrust anyone who fears a lawful person owning a gun.)
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To: US Navy Vet
Normal kids or poorly disciplined ones are diagnosed as ill.

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

8 posted on 04/07/2011 12:29:10 PM PDT by Red6
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To: Uncle Ike

“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?


9 posted on 04/07/2011 12:31:36 PM PDT by MrB (The difference between a Humanist and a Satanist - the latter knows whom he's working for)
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To: Tolerance Sucks Rocks

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uGQF8LAmiaE


10 posted on 04/07/2011 12:37:22 PM PDT by broken_arrow1 (I regret that I have but one life to give for my country - Nathan Hale "Patriot")
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To: Tolerance Sucks Rocks
***...but scientists predict that future medical advances may allow much more sophisticated manipulations.****

And people 50 years ago were afraid of fluoride in their drinking water. Silly me.

11 posted on 04/07/2011 12:40:10 PM PDT by Ruy Dias de Bivar (Click my name. See my home page, if you dare!)
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To: 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 -”

In other words, we can medicate away those evil conservatives and live in the perfect liberal PC utopia.


12 posted on 04/07/2011 12:48:43 PM PDT by CSM (Keeper of the "Dave Ramsey Fan" ping list. FReepmail me if you want your beeber stuned.)
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To: MrB

Because they know what’s better for you than you do, obviously.


13 posted on 04/07/2011 12:50:17 PM PDT by Pecos (Liberty and Honor will not die on my watch.)
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To: Tolerance Sucks Rocks

THX 1138


14 posted on 04/07/2011 12:52:01 PM PDT by Crim
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To: CSM

Hold one a sec....maybe we could use this on johhny jihad...

The love bomb!

*snicker*


15 posted on 04/07/2011 12:53:40 PM PDT by Crim
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To: Ruy Dias de Bivar

Must fire up the old water well!


16 posted on 04/07/2011 12:53:51 PM PDT by Ruy Dias de Bivar (Click my name. See my home page, if you dare!)
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To: Tolerance Sucks Rocks
...future medical advances may allow much more sophisticated manipulations.

SOMA - A gramme is better than a damme.

17 posted on 04/07/2011 12:55:38 PM PDT by sima_yi ( Reporting live from the People's Republic of Boulder)
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To: Tolerance Sucks Rocks

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WhNM2K8cmU8

1984 all over again


18 posted on 04/07/2011 1:15:01 PM PDT by mountainlion (America land of the free because of the Brave.)
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To: MrB
While we "can't legislate morality," apparently we can medicate it.

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.

19 posted on 04/07/2011 1:21:12 PM PDT by Sherman Logan
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To: mountainlion

More like Aldous Huxley’s ‘Brave New World’...


20 posted on 04/07/2011 1:27:16 PM PDT by sinsofsolarempirefan
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To: sinsofsolarempirefan

I haven’t read either. I got half way through Future Shock.


21 posted on 04/07/2011 1:33:14 PM PDT by mountainlion (America land of the free because of the Brave.)
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To: sinsofsolarempirefan
“More like Aldous Huxley’s ‘Brave New World’”

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.

22 posted on 04/07/2011 2:09:10 PM PDT by Towed_Jumper ("Western science will fly you to the moon. Islamic religion will fly you into buildings.")
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