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The Ideal Drug

  1. Mar 1, 2009 #1
    If one day we were to engineer a deep-brain stimulation device that would bring you happiness whenever you wanted it, how would the government try to regulate it, if at all?

    Do you think it will be priced at a pay-per-use rate (each time you activate it, it will cost you lots of $) or buy-once-becomes-yours?

    buy-once-become-yours will probably be extremely expensive at first, but will become cheaper as new technologies further develop.
    but pay-per-use will probably stay expensive, since companies will form trusts to keep their businesses lucrative in the long run

    Would this be a world where $$$ has the absolute power to buy happiness?
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 1, 2009 #2
    I don't think it would be ever possible to buy happiness with money.

    First, how one will define happiness?
    If one is drunk and/or unconscious of all his responsibilities - no worries at all - is he happy?
    If yes, then there are many drugs now that can make people happy.
  4. Mar 1, 2009 #3


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    It would have to be called Soma. Read Huxley's "Brave New World".

    Or one could go with direct electrical stimulation of the brain. See Niven's known universe series, especially "Ringworld Engineers".
  5. Mar 1, 2009 #4


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    Anything that instills a false sense of euphoria would be bad for society. If you are happy, no matter what your circumstances are, what would be the need to achieve anything, or make your life, or of those you love better. Why try to be healthy? Why work? Why care about anything? You're happy, right?
  6. Mar 1, 2009 #5
    Then should we get rid of Buddhism and many eastern religions that emphasize being happy with what you have? It's been proven with MRI scans that Buddhist monks have much lower stress levels than the average person.

    I actually made a post about that quite a while back
  7. Mar 1, 2009 #6


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    Making a choice to give up material things and accept what you have is not the same as artificially induced "happiness". It's not even close.
  8. Mar 1, 2009 #7


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    Does one pay for air or sunlight?

    Happiness is a matter of choice, so why would one need to buy it?

    One element of Buddhism is overcoming (or letting go of) craving or insatiable desire, and then realizing happiness.
  9. Mar 1, 2009 #8
    It's not simple as that. I don't think they (Buddhism or related. I'm not sure about Taoism or Confucianism) tell you to overcome your needs and not do any work/achieve anything (needs != desires/lust etc). Neither that they refrain from material world.
  10. Mar 1, 2009 #9


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    http://www.gethappy.com/watchmore.html [Broken]
    Last edited by a moderator: May 4, 2017
  11. Mar 1, 2009 #10
    The drug already exists and has been used for a couple thousand years at least in various forms. It is regulated and suppressed. It's called the destroyer of youth, the killer weed, ganja, herb, bud, dope, mary jane, or just Marijuana. It's biggest drawback is that it causes insanity, .....not in the people who use it but in people who don't.

    "I've been straight, I've been stoned, stoned is better." ...?
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2009
  12. Mar 1, 2009 #11


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    Not true, marijuana doesn"t make you happy, it makes you tired, hungry and too tired to care. Munchies and sleep, that's what it causes.
  13. Mar 1, 2009 #12
    I guess it doesn't affect everyone the same way. :wink:
  14. Mar 1, 2009 #13
    too much MJ also seems to make people paranoid.

    i could see a brain stim device being used on violent offenders. maybe some kind of kinder, gentler amygdalotomy.
  15. Mar 2, 2009 #14
    I hope the government doesn't regulate my girlfriend... :tongue:

    But aside from that, isn't TV one of those sort of devices. It's not perfect by any means, but people believe it to make them happy or relieve stress and that is regulated in both a pay up front (buying the TV and accessories) and a pay per use (cable/satellite service costs) way. I guess a make-you-happy device would be governed in the same way.

    Like Evo said though, it most probably wouldn't benefit mankind. People that couldn't afford it would be even more miserable because the people who could wouldn't be trying to make things better for everybody. Humans live on suffering, it's how we evolve and improve. I could think of a lot more productive things I could do when I got home than spending a couple of hours watching crap on TV, but I do so love those people who make me laugh and show me stuff blowing up and people competing for something.

    I dislike quoting movies, but it's kind of like the matrix, where they tried to make it hunky dory for everybody, but nobody accepted that too-good-to-be-true reality and it was rejected for a reality with pain and hate and suffering.
  16. Mar 2, 2009 #15
    Marijuana fixes everything (in my opinion :))

    But we can't really use absolutes when speaking of effects on individuals. Everyone seems to behave and respond uniquely to various stimulai.
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2009
  17. Mar 2, 2009 #16

    Chi Meson

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    You forgot "stupid." And there are some of us who get extremely paranoid on that stuff.

    Regardless, back to the OP. THe "Happy Pill": the gov't will either declare it illegal, or it will be "controlled," as in taxed and "prescription only." I think what we're talking about is Valium. I had one once, prior to minor surgery. I was quite happy for two days. Not euphoric, just calm and pleased with everything. If that's how a Buddhist feels all the time, I'm sold.
  18. Mar 2, 2009 #17
    You know someone it made stupid? My experience that's a condition we are all born with that has to be carefully nurtured to be maintained, it requires carefully ignoring facts while holding on to prejudices.

    You forgot brainwashing the public into thinking that it is harmful, will destroy society, is against your religion and makes people go crazy. They will also create programs to condition children to be intolerant of it. They will subsidize studies by psuedo-scientists to come up with results that say it will cause cancer, destroy your immune system and make you go out and rape and pillage. Does any of this sound familiar? Not to mention squander our future by spending money on prohibition and incarceration that could be better spent to help people. Incarceration is a great triple threat weapon, it removes people from contributing to the GDP, it removes tax revenue and costs lots of money too, brilliant.

    All you have to do is look at marijuana to know what would happen to any other drug that did what this thread proposes.
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2009
  19. Mar 2, 2009 #18

    Chi Meson

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    It made me, and everyone I have ever met, "stupid" while they were under the influence of pot. It's temporary stupidity, which I don't think is bad, really, as long as they are responsible enough to not drive or do other things which require their full, active attention.

    And what, exactly, is the condition that has to be carefully nurtured and maintained? "Stupidity"? I'm referring to the definition of "stupid" where you can't make decent decisions because you're too busy giggling at your inability to tie your own shoelaces. This is a fun version of stupid, I must admit, but quite temporary, luckily.
  20. Mar 2, 2009 #19


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    The only right thing to do would be to pass laws making it illegal to charge money for it.

    Since you can't charge money for it, some other way to regulate when it was available would have to be found so a person wouldn't just activate it anywhere, anytime, with just anyone.
  21. Mar 2, 2009 #20

    George Jones

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    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 25, 2014
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