WHAT COULD GO WRONG: Neuroscientist Proposes A ‘Morality Pill’

Written by Wes Walker on June 26, 2014

I bet our the Overlords of Social Engineering can hardly wait: a Morality Pill.

Great! Let’s chemically imitate ordinary compounds in the body that are released during times of trust-building, or happiness. What could go wrong?

Obviously, having commercially-available (whether legal or black-market) opiates hasn’t had any socially problematic effects, has it?

That notwithstanding, it looks like Molly Crockett (Oxford) is suggesting what compounds would serve as good candidates for what journalists have dubbed a “morality pill”.

Looks like Aldous Huxley was prophetic when he built “soma” into his “Brave New World”.

Again: what could possibly go wrong?

Here is an excerpt:

Molly Crockett, a neuroscientist at Oxford University, is proposing a series of drugs that could become what journalists are calling a “morality pill.”Crockett says, “Recent studies have shown that by shifting people’s brain chemistry you can change people’s personalities.” Crockett suggests a couple of chemical candidates for the “morality pill.” One is the hormone oxytocin, which sometimes is called the “moral molecule.” Some studies suggest that oxytocin increases a person’s levels of trust, empathy, and cooperation. However, other research suggests the hormone boosts envy and gloating. Oooops! Sounds kind of like a Jekyll and Hyde effect.

A second candidate is serotonin, which is often called the “happy hormone.” Crockett says this might enhance certain moral qualities, such as empathy. That would make raising kids easier, right?

“I think the place to start,” Crockett says, “is that there are probably certain types of moral behaviors that we would want people to want to do,” such as altruism. Now that of course is an interesting use of “we.” Who is we? Which virtues do we want, and who gets to decide? Crockett? The government? You and me?

Read the whole article here.