Princeton bioethicist Peter Singer and a research assistant, Agata Sagan, proposed a “morality pill” in a column in the New York Timesthis week. They speculate that moral behaviour is at least in part biochemically determined. Hence, it should be possible to engineer moral behaviour with drugs. Here is the scenario that they paint:
“If continuing brain research does in fact show biochemical differences between the brains of those who help others and the brains of those who do not, could this lead to a “morality pill” — a drug that makes us more likely to help? Given the many other studies linking biochemical conditions to mood and behavior, and the proliferation of drugs to modify them that have followed, the idea is not far-fetched. If so, would people choose to take it?