As we go farther and farther into the future, scientific discoveries are becoming more and more magnificent. A plethora of pills that can alter one’s mind or personality are readily available by prescription, and yearly more pills are being produced. There is a strong moral dilemma over whether these pills should be taken, or accepted as part of normal life. The belief that one should be able to take a pill to change him or herself intellectually and personally is a very controversial subject. By taking a man-made substance to alter our personality, or increase our intelligence, it is literally changing the person who we are, or were meant to be. I believe that only certain types of illnesses should be able to take such medicines, and should only be able to use them for a period of time.
“Mental disease differs from endearing quirks only in degree.” Says Dr. Larry Siever, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York. It is very hard to make a judgement on whether someone is suitable to take medicine to alter his or her persona. Often a person may feel that they need a change, when in fact they don’t. It would be difficult to choose which patients should take medicine, and which should have to continue to suffer. This is one of the sides of the argument against making these drugs available for the public. No one is truly capable of deciding what degree of severity another person is at, and no one should be able to decide who is “normal” or “abnormal.”
Right now these drugs are only accessible through prescription, but many believe that they should be obtainable for everyone. I believe that we should not change the system we have right now, for it seems to be working. People who strongly believe they need a drug to get by in life, and people with less need for them take these pills, and it does help. This system should not change, because if we made the medicine more available, many more people would take them just to change, even if they don’t need to. If the medicine had more restrictions, more people would be suffering.
As aforementioned, I believe that only certain illnesses should be able to take such medicine. Patients with severe depression and diseases that cause strong feelings of pain or hate to them or others should be allowed to take these drugs. This would be to protect the patient, and to try to keep them subdued. Simple things such as stage fright, or mood swings should not be changed, because those are a natural part of oneself that does not cause a serious threat. If everyone took a drug for every little thing that they did not like about themselves, it would not end. There would always be one more thing that we wish we could change, one more drug out of reach. This would make the scientific community very wealthy, but could cause chaos in society.
If people are so concerned on being different, and changing themselves in the direction of the norm, they should not be taking a pill to be different. They should try to change themselves naturally, whether it is facing their fears, or however it may be. All through history people have survived without these pills, and we have come along very well without them. Why should we change something that is going perfectly well? Another thing to ponder about is if everyone starts taking these pills, then certain people may not accomplish the things that they could have in life. Many people who have affected the world have been mentally ill, and they have left great impacts on the world. By using these pills, it could inhibit their progress in life, or their progress in the different fields that they were meant to succeed in. If T.S. Eliot had been extroverted, he might have not been such a creative person, for he might have gone out in life and socialized more, rather than sitting alone and focusing on his thoughts.
The risks that would be taken to use these drugs are far too high. We are who we are for a reason, and our genetic make-up should not be altered unless we are a serious threat to others, or ourselves. If the entire human race has been able to survive and evolve since our very first ancestor walked the lands, why should we suddenly feel like we need to change? The little annoyances that we find in ourselves should be tolerated, for no one is perfect, and no one should be. The usage of mind or personality altering drugs should only be used if a person is in risk of harming oneself or others, if it is not this extreme, it not be tolerated.