Sunday, April 8, 2012

ethics established by existing practice?

“By arguing that the widespread use of antidepressants like Prozac has established the ethical foundation of using drugs to alter thought patterns and behavior, scientists contend that ‘manipulating morals’ through ‘pharmacologically-induced altruism’ should also be acceptable.”

well, now I see how these people establish what is ethical, to the point the
Journal of Bio Ethics or whatever that thing is called can argue for killing
children up to three years old. (They correctly enough argue it seems, that
abortion itself is no different, but instead of pulling back from abortion they
push for extending the age at which a child can be killed on whim.)

Widespread use of something, practice of something, already established,
is the basis for determining what is ethical.


When the Hippocratic Oath was invented (doomed by its calling on a false
god's name but the ideals in it were godly) widespread practice of the time
was apparently to give potions to induce abortion and take fees of either a
set per service kind or any outrageous amount one could get, as BOTH are
prohibited. Usually prohibitions follow existing practices rarely are the
possibilities looked at ahead of time and prohibited, though the "do no harm"
concept would be an exception.

Instead of questioning the use of psychopharmacology, they argue it is in
place, so extend it.

Now, the existing psychopharmacology though it includes some outrageous
failures, is in play because of the agreement of the patients generally, that
the conditions they are in are unpleasant at best and obviously disabling
and its needs correcting. The target is to achieve or recover normal human
functioning, aside from any issue of what they are being functional in order
to accomplish.

The latter is normally addressed by morals and ethics and laws. The rash
of murders and suicides linked to Prozac use or sudden disuse in the case
of the Columbine Massacre, is mostly likely because when you are
disabled by depression, you can't get anything much done, good bad or
indifferent. A person who is determined on grounds other than mood swing
of the moment, to kill themselves or others, may well find themselves now,
once the burden of depression is lifted, able to accomplish their goals.

The flaw is to assume that people are solely the product of mood and so
forth. That ideas might be held to regardless of empowering or disempowering
conditions never seems to cross some peoples' minds.

But a drug to alter racism, etc. strikes me as unlikely to work, except in those
cases where it is solely the result of personal inadequacy feelings being
compensated for by a superiority complex disguised as science or cultural
"truth" (great great great granddaddy was a racist and slave holder and what
was good enough for him is good enough for me sort of thinking).

And since the purpose is to change not only mood and mental functioning,
but mental CONTENT, this indeed moves over a line perilously near to
some kind of robotizing of the target person.

Let's get back to the basis for establishing ethics.

These people argue if something is already established practice, it is therefore

This means that ultimately, you can take any godawful traditional cultural
practices and mandate they be kept going no matter how evil, and any opposition
to them, except perhaps to their introduction among populations not already
doing such, and incl. any desire to escape by emigration, is ipso facto itself
unethical at best, insane at worst.

So here comes slavery, female genital mutilation, honor killing, torture of animals,
human sacrifice, slave raiding, even aggressive imperialism incl. mass murder
and all forms of entrenched traditional corruption and racism and ethnic nationalism
forced arranged marriage, pedophilia, rape, homosexuality, exclusion from the
definition of homosexual those who have sex with their own gender but do so only
playing the role of their physical gender, selling of children, castration of boys to
make them permanent high tenor singer or attractive as slaves for the harem or
even as sex slaves for male homosexuals who being jocker types are excluded
from the category of homosexual, nepotism, bribery, killing of one out of every
pair of twins, and anything else you can think of, as being okay because existing
practice for that people, or the subculture at issue. And don't forget big pharma,
big agra and big govt. in bed with each other along with bank ownership of
everything, as being something that is ethical because it exists, and anyone
opposing it to be drugged.

Subculture - ah yes, here comes the criminal castes of old hinduism before the
Brits overhauled India to some extent.

Any ethical examination has to be based on something other than merely
existing practice. Now, pharmacology to help psychiatry can be defended on
the basis of what it is to accomplish - restore sanity - and that it sort of

But programming attitudes and ideas by drugs is another matter, and even if
you can find an ethical basis for it, the mere fact that psychpharmacology is
already accepted is not a reason for this. Indeed, this whole discussion would
reasonably be cause to reconsider psychopharmacology and while I don't
recommend throwing it entirely out, the idea that long standing practice is
the basis for determining acceptabilty of anything, let alone using it as a
springboard to something else, is NOT ethical. It is the opposite of ethics,
which presupposes some overarching correct standard to be discovered,
and deployed, even if need be against existing practices.


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