Scientists warn that drugs of the future will be designed specifically to control the human mind
2011 04 19
By Ethan A. Huff | NaturalNews.com
It may sound like something out of a science fiction plot, but Oxford researchers say that modern conventional medicine is gradually developing ways to change the moral states of humans through pharmaceutical drugs, and thus control the way people think and act in various life situations. These new drugs will literally have the ability to disrupt an individual’s personal morality, and instead reprogram that person to believe and do whatever the drug designer has created that drug to do.
"Science has ignored the question of moral improvement so far, but it is now becoming a big debate," said Dr. Guy Kahane from the Oxford Centre for Neuroethics in the UK. "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."
While this may sound good in theory, mind control is already a very dangerous side effect of existing drugs. Take the antidepressant drug Prozac, for instance, which has been known to cause those taking it to lash out in violent rages.
Read the full article at: naturalnews.com
Racist? Angry? The answer may be in a pill
Coming soon ... a pill to enhance moral behaviour. Photo: Erin Jonasson
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 moving closer to altering our moral state, society should be preparing for the consequences, according to a book reviewing scientific developments in the field.
Drugs such as Prozac, which alters 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", says the deputy director of the Oxford Centre for Neuroethics and a Wellcome Trust biomedical ethics award winner, Dr Guy Kahane.
"Science has ignored the question of moral improvement so far but it is now becoming a big debate," he says. "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 interested in developing biomedical technologies capable of intervening in the biological processes that affect moral behaviour and moral thinking, says a Wellcome Trust research fellow at Oxford University’s Uehiro Centre, Dr Tom Douglas. He is a co-author of Enhancing Human Capacities, published this week.
"Drugs that affect our moral thinking and behaviour already exist but we tend not to think of them in that way," he says. "[Prozac] lowers aggression and bitterness against environment and so could be said to make people more agreeable. Or oxytocin, the so-called love hormone ... increases feelings of social bonding and empathy while reducing anxiety. Scientists will develop more of these drugs and create new ways of taking drugs we already know about."
But would pharmacologically induced altruism, for example, amount to genuine moral behaviour? "We can change people’s emotional responses but quite whether that improves their moral behaviour is not something science can answer," Kahane says.
He also admits it is unlikely that people would rush to take a pill that would improve their morals.
"Becoming more trusting, nicer, less aggressive and less violent can make you more vulnerable to exploitation," he says. "On the other hand, it could improve your relationships or help your career."
Kahane does not advocate putting morality drugs in the water supply but does suggest that if administered widely, they might help humanity tackle global issues.
"Relating to the plight of people on the other side of the world or of future generations is not in our nature," he says. "This new body of drugs could make possible feelings of global affiliation and of abstract empathy for future generations."
The chairman in ethics in medicine and director of the centre for ethics in medicine at the University of Bristol, Professor Ruud ter Meulen, warns that while some drugs can improve moral behaviour, others - and sometimes the same ones - can have the opposite effect.
"While oxytocin makes you more likely to trust and co-operate with others in your social group, it reduces empathy for those outside the group," he says.
He says deep brain stimulation, used for Parkinson’s disease, has had unintended consequences, leading to cases in which patients begin to steal or become sexually aggressive.
Meulen suggests moral-enhancement drugs might be used in the criminal justice system. "These drugs will be more effective in prevention and cure than prison," he says.
Article from: theage.com.au
Happy Eating: mood-boosting foods (Video)
Good moods make some superstition-prone
Light, Circadian Rhythms Affect Vast Range of Physiological, Behavioral Functions
Computer Software decodes emotions over the phone, predicts behavior
Feeling Nervous? 3,000 Behavior Detection Officers Will Be Watching You
EU Plans Massive Surveillance Panopticon That Would Monitor “Abnormal Behavior”
Dr. Russell Blaylock on Nutrition and Behavior (Video)
Healthy Eating: Artificial food additives affect children’s behavior
U.S. charity pays female drug addicts in Britain to be fitted with contraceptive coils
Life-saving drugs are less effective when it’s sunny
FDA Approves Depressant Drug For The Annoyingly Cheerful (Satire)
Health Authorities Want Depression-Causing Drugs Added To Water Supply
Scientist haunted by misuse of drugs he invented
Ex Drug Rep - Manipulating Doctors (Video)
Is Exercise the Best Drug for Depression?
Pharmaceutical Ads (Video)
Big Boozers Attract Big Pharma
"Loughner Acted, from His Perspective, in a Moral Fashion"
Morality is Modified in the Lab
Engineering Oblivion: Eugenics, the Remaking of Man and Unmaking of Morality
Power without Compassion, Might without Morality (Video)
Moral judgments can be altered ... by magnets
Scientists discover how to ´turn off´ brain’s morality center
Latest News from our Front Page
If Someone Secretly Controlled What You Say, Would Anyone Notice?
2014 10 01
The subject enters a room in which a 12-year-old boy is seated. A 20-minute conversation ensues. The subject quizzes the boy about current events and other topics to get a sense of his intelligence and personality. But the boy is not what he appears to be.
Unbeknownst to the subject, the boy is wearing a radio receiver in his ear, and ...
Obama has had accurate intelligence about ISIS since BEFORE the 2012 election, says administration insider
2014 10 01
‘President Barack Obama’s intelligence briefings have provided him with specific information since before he won re-election in 2012 about the growing threat of the terror group now known alternatively as ISIS and ISIL, an administration insider told MailOnline on Monday.
‘Unless someone very senior has been shredding the president’s daily briefings and telling him that the dog ate them, highly accurate ...
Can holding a magnet against your head help defeat depression?
2014 10 01
Former GP Sue Mildred suffered from crippling depression and anxiety for 20 years.
On two occasions it was so severe that she ended up in hospital, and for 15 years she was unable to work.
Sue, 51, has tried antidepressants, talking therapies and, out of desperation, even ECT (electro-convulsive therapy), where an electric current is passed through the brain.
This did ...
Extremists to have Facebook and Twitter vetted by anti-terror police
2014 09 30
Theresa May to announce new Extremist Disruption Orders to strengthen counter-terrorism if the Tories win the next general election
Extremists will have to get posts on Facebook and Twitter approved in advance by the police under sweeping rules planned by the Conservatives.
They will also be barred from speaking at public events if they represent a threat to “the functioning of democracy”, ...
Scottish Independence: Protesters demand revote
2014 09 30
Pro-independence campaigners gathered outside the Scottish Parliament for the second day in a row, this time to demand a revote of the September 18 referendum.
While yesterday’s “Rally For A Revote” saw the return of Saltires and Yes banners to Holyrood, it did not match the turnout for the “Voice Of The People” rally held on Saturday, when up 3000 people ...
|More News » |