DRUGS AND THE FUTURE ... ( Lynda Farida)
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le 8 Novembre 2007 à 16:55
From the day Eve plucked the forbidden apple from the Tree of Knowledge, man has had an insatiable curiosity about himself, his purpose, his natural and supernatural destinies, his physical and psychological composition, and the causes of his behaviour. Consequently, he has used all the available means to fulfil his incessant desire to control and improve man. Precisely when man first learned that chemicals could affect his mental or physical state is a secret of history, but ever since, knowing what chemicals can do has impelled man to search continuously for naturally occurring chemicals and, when he became able to do so, to create synthetic ones. The acquisition of the power to produce chemicals which can manipulate man's behaviour caused man to strive to learn how these work and where they act in the body so that he could make better and safer substances to alter human behaviour. Today we have drugs and chemicals which stimulate and counteract fatigue, which are potent pain-easers, which suppress or increase appetite, which induce sleep or cause wakefulness, which enhance or suppress human sexuality, which induce or suppress fertility, which alert or stultify intellectual performance, which can improve mental and emotional illness or produce temporary and permanent insanity, which can cause synthetic mysticism, which lengthen or shorten motor performance and endurance, which cause or subdue aggressiveness, or which can produce pleasure or pain. In short, we now have drugs and intoxicants that can enable man to change and control individual and group human behaviour.
What are the drugs on the horizon?
Drugs to combat boredom: Futurists confidently forecast that in the next twenty-five years man will have more and more time for leisure and idleness. This, they predict, may become a major problem, for it could, as it has in other historical eras, lead to sloth, boredom, melancholy, despair, and an increase in suicide. Hence, they are pressing scientists to make drugs to counteract the sloth of the future.
Drugs to induce hibernation and to ease the pains of hunger: Although agricultural experts are optimistic saying that the world can feed its growing population, there are those who insist that famines are imminent. They warn if the quantity of people is not limited the world's food supply will be insufficient to meet the demands for it. To avoid starvation to hundreds of million of people they suggest that in time of shortage, many people may be placed in hibernation for relatively short periods.
Drugs to raise intelligence to very high levels: Drugs now are being used to prevent or delay loss of intelligence, but to cope with the demands generated by scientific and technological developments, increased intellectual capacities are deemed imperative. Currently scientists are studying drugs to raise or lower IQ, to enhance attention span, to improve memory, to increase capacity to absorb knowledge and to heighten verbal, arithmetical, or artistic abilities or talents at will.
Drugs which will increase longevity: The quest for the fountain of youth has never ceased. Longevity, it seems, is associated both with a stable DNA and with freedom from degenerative diseases which apparently are initiated by mutation in a single cell. If DNA can be stabilized and undesirable mutations controlled, longer life should result. Since a stable DNA could be an ingredient of the legendary elixir of youth, it will alter life expectancy.
Drugs to transport man to mystical heights: Already many individuals are seeking instant satori through the use of psychedelic drugs and other intoxicants. It is expected that this trend will continue, most cloistered and unadventurous individuals will demand chemicals which will speed up transport to pinnacles of emotion and psychological experiences men otherwise would never have known.
Drugs to produce temporary incapacitation of a population: To subdue unruly groups and rioters or the enemy during war, in as humane a way as possible, humanists want scientists to develop chemicals which would temporarily incapacitate a population. They envision very potent substances which in very minute quantities, could be placed in an aerosol bomb. This would be exploded and its content inhaled or absorbed through the skin, rapidly rendering people incapable of normal activity.
These are only few of the drugs in the offing which can and will be used to manipulate and control human behaviour. Society must be aware of these trends and give serious consideration to them and to their implications good and evil- for the individual and society, before they are realities. No one wants to prevent progress but, at the same time, science should not be allowed to forge ahead unsupervised simply on the justification advanced by many scientists, namely, that what science can do, it must!