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Lectures / 10/08/2009 7:30 pm

Vortrag 10.08.2009

Is Happiness a Prescription Drug – Is there such a thing as an intelligent policies on drugs?

“Happiness”, as modern brain science would have us believe, is above all a question of the hormonal balance in the areas of our brain that are in charge of our emotions. We “feel up to scratch” when the levels of endogenous substances in our heads are right. That’s all there is to: our brains are natural born junkies. So what would be more obvious than to try and give happiness a hand up? And, whilst we’re about, a hand up to our ability to concentrate, to our memory, our intelligence, our social competence… Why not?  Because “mind doping” before exams, job interviews, tricky negotiations or important dates with a potential lover  would be unfair? That is hardly to the point

Mind doping und neuro enhancement brought about by targeted doses of lifestyle pills promise us a better, more intensive, more relaxed and better balanced lives. What if these pills are neither harmful nor addictive? Does that not mean that the time has come for a new, intelligent policy on drugs that takes into account what we now know about the neuro-chemical processes that go on in our brains and to decriminalize what in any case we cannot prevent from happening in the globalized black markets?

On a more principled level: Shouldn’t free people in a free society be allowed to determine the states of their own brains as they see fit? And doesn’t the philosopher Thomas Metzinger have a point when he asks: “What’s more dangerous: an LSD state of consciousness or an RTL one?”

continuative Links:


  • Metzinger, Thomas: Intelligente Drogenpolitik für die Zukunft, in: Könneker, Carsten (Hg.): Wer erklärt den Menschen?, Frankfurt/Main 2006, S. 229-237.
  • Schleim, Stephan: Dragee zum Glück?, in: Könneker, Carsten (Hg.): Wer erklärt den Menschen?, Frankfurt/Main 2006, S. 222-228.
  • Ach, Johann u. Pollmann, Arnd (Hg.): no body is perfect. Baumaßnahmen am  menschlichen Körper - Bioethische und ästhetische Aufrisse, Bielefeld  (transcript) 2006.
  • Schöne-Seifert, Bettina u. a. (Hg.):  Neuro-Enhancement. Ethik vor neuen Herausforderungen, Paderborn (Mentis) 2009.