:: Sunday, September 14, 2003 ::
This post is to vote for Virtue Pure's On Roleplaying post in the Truth Laid Bear New Blog Showcase. I really liked it.
:: Friday, September 05, 2003 ::
:: Justin 5:24 PM [+] ::
Minds and Meds
What constitutes personhood seems to me to be an eternally slippery concept. Especially slippery when forced mental alteration is brought into the picture.
A simple example involves a schizophrenic and the decision of whether or not to forcibly adminster drugs. Certainly, the old "personality" will be altered, but is that such an awful thing? And shouldn't a better-then-tenuous connection to reality be a requirement of assuming one has the moral agency to make such a decision for oneself? The fact that one is person-shaped does not grant individual sovereignty.
On a related note, we not-quite-schizophrenics need to confront the fragile notions of self that might prevent us from leading happier lives. Prescription mind-altering chemicals cannot fix an empty and unfulfilling life, but they can allows us to confront our problems better by tuning the biofeedback noise in our brains to a more agreeable volume. Such drugs are not "shortcuts" to happiness, nor circumventers of free will; agency must be excercised to choose to take them, and true happiness found while on them. "Hacking" the brain neurochemically towards the ends of improvement is no more a circumvention device, a 'cheat', or other negative euphemism connoting "destructive of one's basic personality", then meditation, listening to music, or reading Popper. So lets drop our pretensions and march bravely towards our drug-assisted future happiness.
:: Justin 11:05 PM [+] ::