Saturday, May 16, 2009

Leaping Into Hysteria

...Some folks are taking more than a little fish oil and vitamin B to get a boost and the editorial board of the Christian Science Monitor has decided to get all bedwetty over it. F'rinstance:
The bigger danger in this new "mind hacking" is that it furthers the idea that people are material machines that can be altered like robots to perform ever-greater mental feats. The notion of life being more than molecules fades like a beautiful sunset behind a storm cloud.
Awww. Isn't that pretty? Kind of hides the way it ducks the reality.

Looky here, either we are meat machines and drugs work -- and the evidence appears to bear that out -- or not. Yeah, I'd like to think there's a ghost in the machine, too, but I haven't seen one. Which doesn't mean it's not there.

If somebody's abilities can be significantly boosted by a pill, how is that different to another person who can only function if they take a pill? Why is it okay for the latter to have 'em but not the former?

The CSM isn't sure but they're heap fretted. In their anguish, they muse, "...At some point this drug taking may no longer be a matter of free will." Well now, that'd be a whole different question with a whole other set of answers. How's that "nationalized medical coverage" look to you now?


Brigid said...

beer. . . . . . . donut

og said...

it's all a pretty delicate balancing act. While I'm not concerned about performance enhancing drugs- or, for that matter- any drugs,(since I don't use them) there are costs to all drugs. Steroids help with inflammation but compromise your immune system. NSAIDS also help with inflammation but can cause stomach trouble. There is colatteral damage with any drug.

The idea that some drugs or combinations of drugs can enhance mental or physical performance often comes with a long term cost that isn't apparent at first. I'm far more concerned with people losing their humanity than their soul. Though it might be hard to convince some that the two are separate.

Sam said...

I wasn't going to comment, but the Word Verification begs for it:


As Insty would put it, "indeed."

GeorgeH said...

It's the Christian Science Monitor after all. Christian Scientists don't have much use for meds of any kind.

Mark Twain's book on them is most entertaining, if you can find it.

Roberta X said...

My question is, if people do something, how can it not be human? Og?

og said...

very very simple:
outside of illness, which is of course a special case, if a healty human partakes of a substance that alters the human in such a way as to become a requirement for existence where it was not before, that human has lost some humanity.

Ritchie said...

I'm still looking for the windup key that's supposed to go in my back.