General / Off-Topic If there were a cure, should we use it?

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Humanity can't use it's brains properly.

2 major recurring problems emanate from the same place.

Let me digress: back in University, I had a conversation with a colleague from a different background about the main thing we needed to change, and we naturally picked things that were different. He wanted to fix Apartheid. I wanted to hobble Religion. So that's a question of our different life experiences, right? Wrong.

They are the same thing. They are both generated by the same piece of our brain. The same source for Religious Fundamentalism, and Racist Politics. It explains a lot when you think about it: like why the need for war and atrocities goes hand in glove with certain ideologies. We aren't talking about these issues themselves though. This is about the neuroscience, and what's ethical.

Overactivity in the same place in pur brains make us fearful of the Other - immigrants, people of other races, homosexuals, etc. And it makes us more religious. It's not a coincidence that the Harry Potter books are pilloried by religions, but reduce racism proportionally to how many you've read. Both are tied to Fear.

Well a lot of world problems, and forum moderation, would be solved if we could treat these brains. Of course, we can't change how people think, right? Wrong again.

We don't need drugs or surgery. It's non invasive, painless, and relatively free of side effects. TransCranial Magnetic Stimulation can shift people's brain activity to reduce their Fear, increase their tolerance for others, and lose their Faith.

Now maybe you're thinking this is a bad idea. That's good. Because enthusiasm for mind control is a scary prospect. What I want you to consider is a couple of extreme cases.

Suppose we have Isis supporters coming back to live in our neighbourhood? Yeah. That's happening all over the world. Religious hazard.

Or consider the conviction today, of the Charlottesville riot car killer. First degree murder, plus several severe injuries. Racist hazard.

Could it be acceptable to consider mind altering proceedures in situations like these, in order to try to rehab people? People who probably might get jailed or executed for simply having an overactive piece of brain? I'm looking at this as a better way to tackle the problem, rather than relying on a punitive model.
Maybe it's not criminal so much as an "illness" we can now safely treat.
It strikes me as being fundamentally wrong to artificially alter the way people think, do it the old fashioned way with education. Its a much slower generational process but it does work.

Medical treatment for the criminally insane via a court order would be more acceptable, except the legal system is pretty far from perfect everywhere and corruption is a normal part of all societies. It would need to be overwhelmingly obvious it was the only solution and have a huge amount of checks and balances.

Can the same treatment be used to increase racism and religion ?. That would probably receive more funding and governmental support in a lot of places. The more it was used the more support it would receive. Nightmare dystopian stuff.

TLDR : no thanks because people.

God, give me grace to accept with serenity
the things that cannot be changed,
Courage to change the things
which should be changed,
and the Wisdom to distinguish
the one from the other.

Living one day at a time,
Enjoying one moment at a time,
Accepting hardship as a pathway to peace,
Taking, as Jesus did,
This sinful world as it is,
Not as I would have it,
Trusting that You will make all things right,
If I surrender to Your will,
So that I may be reasonably happy in this life,
And supremely happy with You forever in the next.


Ian Phillips

Volunteer Moderator
You just got in there CMDR_Cosmicspacehead :D.

Politics and religion as the starting point for a thread is not going to get far.
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