A CBC radio program called The Current, recently lent itself as a megaphone to the provocative idea that a pill is the next best thing to improve the “human animal.”— That’s the label Neil Levy, deputy director of psycho-babble at the Oxford Centre for Neuroethics, in the U.K. applies to you and me. He wants to formulate and administer a “morality pill” to targeted segments of the population.
To bolster his case, Levy cited research that shows drugs prescribed for anxiety, depression or even high blood pressure, “have been found to amplify characteristics such as empathy, self-control and increased trust; even an improvement in attitudes towards people of other races.” Neil Levy’s enthusiastic pill-pushing reminds me of the Jefferson Airplane hippie anthem “The White Rabbit” with its advocacy of the pharmaceutical lifestyle—or some of the stoner rants of Timothy O’Leary about LSD. I found Neil Levy’s advocacy of “morality pills” to be truly mind-blowing.
To the CBC’s credit they did balance Levy’s unbridled enthusiasm for mind-altering drugs with some sober second thoughts provided by Kerry Bowman of the The University of Toronto’s Joint Centre for Bioethics. Bowman commented:
“It’s a very difficult, difficult concept because if you look at what occurs when a person has moral intuition … what they do with the moral intuition and the moral feelings and the space between that and moral action — meaning the decision that is made — that’s a very deep and powerful human experience.”
Bowman thinks there could be some serious push-back if the elite tries to increase its social control over the Canadian public by pushing such “morality pills.” One of the big reasons there might be some push back is that Levy’s idea denies the spiritual and even material importance of free will to humanity. When God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, after Our likeness” (Genesis 1:26), one of the most important features of His divine nature that He gave us was our ability to choose between obedience and disobedience, right and wrong.
When the Apostle Paul thought to accept a runaway slave named Onesimus into his service, he first wrote a letter to Philemon, Onesimus’ master. Paul wanted Philemon to give Onesimus his freedom to further the preaching of the Gospel. Paul said to Philemon:
“But I didn’t want to do anything without your consent, so that your good deed might not be out of obligation, but of your own free will,” (Philemon 1:14 Holman Christian Standard Bible).
To be virtuously moral of necessity requires, first of all, that one is capable of choice—and then through the exercise of free will one chooses to do the right rather than the wrong. There is nothing noble or Godly about someone being drugged into conformity with someone else’s idea of what is politically correct.