Racist? Angry? Take a pill


More behavior-modifying pills marketed to the already heavily intoxicated masses. The saddest part is that the original article contains a poll asking Where do you stand on the idea of a pill to enhance moral behaviour? and 28% are actually FOR it.

Coming soon ... a pill to enhance moral behaviour.
Coming soon … a pill to enhance moral behaviour

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.


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96 Comments on "Racist? Angry? Take a pill"


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4 years 9 months ago

did I miss the citation for this article? where's the source?

4 years 10 months ago

Brave new world much?

4 years 10 months ago

This reeks of a combination of A Clockwork Orange and Brave New World style thinking

frank kinney howell
5 years 13 days ago
Yes a troubled mind is a wasted mind indeed!!!! Yes today you have 24 hour pill drive throughs? Yes i can remember when we had drive in movies? Yes even drive in resturants? Yes drug with counters where one could sit down and have a cherry coke? Yes down town hudsons department store 1957 and childrens toy floor…………. Yes young men and women of today the toy floor where if a kid was ask what do you want… that would be a very hard question to answer…………… because you just wanted to walk and LOOK at everything everywhere first! Yeah… Read more »
5 years 14 days ago
I have to admit this is a stupid idea for a pill. The issues stated can be solved in therapy. People don't need these pills to function in society. I have bipolar disorder as well as general anxiety disorder and I've stopped taking my meds. They were doing more harm than good so I'm taking herbal medicines but still struggling with my illness. However, there are many people who become stable on mood stabilizers, anti-depressants, etc since they either experience no side effects or they can tolerate the side effects. Mental illness exists and can be crippling to live with.… Read more »
5 years 21 days ago

i cant wait to try it! with some codiene robotussin mix it with jolly ranchers and some sprite, viola: miracle juice

5 years 24 days ago

Last time I checked the body already had that natural mechanism it call emotions. That is also why we are suppose to cultivate relationships to understand each other but with racist parents and a heavy media rotation of all kinds of dysfunctional practices all you get is puppets and puppet masters.

Vigilant Observer
5 years 24 days ago

Actually i don't see anything wrong with racists taking a chill pill, it's long overdue!!! 🙂 happy thoughts nothing but happy thoughts.

5 years 24 days ago

Anyone ever read the unabomber manifesto? I dont agree with blowing people up but his essay makes alot of sense when you look at how the world is now..

5 years 25 days ago


5 years 25 days ago

uh there's already a pill that increases empathy towards others and promotes social bonding.. it's called MethyleneDioxyMethAmphetamine.

5 years 23 days ago

of course the elite wouldn't want such a wonderful substance to be legal 😉

4 years 11 months ago

mdma is already ready to be legalised for treatment of post traumatic stress disorder. also its a widespread practice to go to your psycologist for a therapy session around california even though its not legal quite yet. I read it in Oprah magazine a couple months ago i think it was the feb 2011 issue? something like that?

5 years 24 days ago

MDMA = Ecstacy lol

Very clever.

You wouldn't want to take it every day, though, unless you wanna burn out your dopamine receptors….like permanently. 🙂

5 years 25 days ago

This is reminiscent of the song In The Year 2525 which starts out as:

In the year 2525

If man is still alive

If woman can survive

They may find

In the year 3535

Ain't gonna need to tell the truth, tell no lies

Everything you think, do, and say

Is in the pill you took today

5 years 25 days ago

If there were such a drug that could effectively induce "morality", its real power would be in the stoppage of the drug on selected people at their controller's choosing.

4 years 11 months ago

and afterwards we can all take a drug to cure us of our drug addictions!

Fun Ghoul
5 years 25 days ago

HOLY SHIT IT'S BL/ind !!!!!!!!!!

Howard Beale
5 years 25 days ago

The elite should be forced to take some anti-greed pills.

5 years 25 days ago
Hey Vigilant, have you read the lyrics of latest song from Ozzy Osbourne? here it is… I'm a rockstar, I'm a dealer I'm a servant, I'm a leader I'm a saviour, i'm a sinner, i'm a killer I'll be anything you want me to be Silent as a witness Make your heart race with a death kiss I'm a soldier in a blood war In the peace corp I'll be everything you'll ever be Loser number zero Play the victim, end up a hero I'm a teacher, preacher Liar, I am everything, anything I'm a mover and a shaker The… Read more »
Sarah Connor
5 years 24 days ago

Wow…..he's not called the prince of darkness for no reason. Lol

oh mannnnnn
5 years 25 days ago
the plastic culture is a passing fashion that will soon subside with the renewal of the spiritual consciousness. Willaru Huayta- born in the amazon jungle, a quechua native that lived the original way until he was given the duty to be a spiritual messenger for some of the most noble and loving people from the amazon and was told to go to the big cities to give us messages from incan priests who reside in the 4th dimension so much of our science is to me a waste of time and resources. in fact many natives say that investigating purely… Read more »
5 years 26 days ago
That last part reminds me so much of A Clockwork Orange. We all know how that turned out, I hope. I was on Prozac for years as a child, and a lot of bad shit happened to me because I was too agreeable with my deteriorating situation. It scares me looking back, how I just sat by and watched it all go to hell without protest. I never questioned my circumstances, and I was convinced that I needed medication to survive in society. I just know these new drugs will be used to abuse people by abridging their judgment. I… Read more »
5 years 26 days ago

Yeah take a pill to believe in terrorist bombings and when you're done, take another pill to see the aliens coming.

5 years 26 days ago

reminds me of the "soma" drug from brave new world by aldous huxley.

5 years 26 days ago

So, translating, the elite is saying "we can make people accept anything we do and accept anything *we* call moral and ethics, even if it is absurd!"

5 years 26 days ago

See that 100 year old queen from England (I can't recover now which one of the lizzard beths)? She is there in Bohemian grove deciding which vaccines we will take but she has spend her whole (long) life without medicating herself with ANY allopathic. Wow…. I wonder why….

5 years 26 days ago

What about her evil husband. He's 100+. Poor Diana.

little bunny fufu
5 years 26 days ago
VC…guys, i'm curious about something…what are your thoughts? the article states: "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." ok. "…field is in its infancy…", but is it really? aren't there several arguments floating around that speak to the contrary? i know there have been some credible sources state that we, as a modern society, are about 50 years ahead in science and technology, than what we actually live out in our day-to-day.… Read more »
5 years 26 days ago
we have already been pre-conditioned to take medication to fix our problems. When you get a headache you take a pill, when you have pain you take a pill, when ever you feel any kind of different you take a pill. Slowly ( as is the plan) more and more medication will be available (as a choice to begin with) then when the masses are controlled by this need then the take over of humanity will begin. We are already slaves. Ask yourself "am I really free to choose?" Without a bank account we cannot recieve payments for work, social… Read more »
5 years 26 days ago

watch the film "Limitless" already programming the idea to people that pills are good for you.

Also VC the main actor/hero has a book released in the film titled "illuminating the dark fields"….

Love to hear others thoughts on this.

Sarah Connor
5 years 26 days ago

Every single thing about that movie is WRONG. You must have missed my 'save your money and time' warning a few weeks back lol – the blood drinking, to get high, had me literally….hand over mouth. And oh the irony for me that the christian music station recommended it, I hadn't heard of it beforehand. Talk about blinders……

5 years 22 days ago

never heard of it, but now I am curious!