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War pills
January 22, 2003 1:26 AM   Subscribe

Want war without remorse? Take only as directed.
posted by LouReedsSon (24 comments total)

 
On the flip side, a chemically induced calm soldier is more likely to be rational in combat and less prone to anxiety, panic and fear which have all lead to civilian casualties.
posted by PenDevil at 1:40 AM on January 22, 2003


Altered, but in a good way. Hmmm...
posted by LouReedsSon at 1:53 AM on January 22, 2003


I thought we were the U.S.... we don't use our own ground troops anymore, we just use planes to cowardly bomb the shit out of poorer countries.
posted by banished at 4:10 AM on January 22, 2003


I hate my job. Would some of this get me thru the work day so I'll be in a better mood afterward?
posted by alumshubby at 4:21 AM on January 22, 2003


I'm having a hard time figuring out how a pill can make something traumatizing not traumatizing anymore.
posted by Degaz at 5:05 AM on January 22, 2003


Completely irrelevant to the thread, but it is about war... I've been trying to turn this into a thread without it looking like a trolling session. Comedy in variable doses, but some interesting facts too...
posted by twine42 at 5:14 AM on January 22, 2003


This has got to be extremely useful for those American pilots on speed who bombed the shit out of the Canadians in Afghanistan!
posted by magullo at 6:12 AM on January 22, 2003


I'm having a hard time figuring out how a pill can make something traumatizing not traumatizing anymore.

Oh, lots of pills will do that. Most of them wouldn't be much good in a combat situation, though.
posted by ook at 6:31 AM on January 22, 2003


I remember the question: 'Do you have any regrets?' coming up in a question between a group of my friends. One said no, that she had no regrets.
Myself, I'm almost crippled by regret. Maybe it's my Lutheran background: I don't believe in guilt or redemption. I don't believe in Heaven (but I do believe in Hell, because Hell is something that can exist on earth, something we're all quite capable of manufacturing for ourselves).
To chemically excise regret is to reduce us to something less than human. To be able to live without regret is to be able to perform acts of evil beyond anything that we have ever seen before.
If a drug like that makes it to the streets, it'll be called Evil, because that's what it would be.
What a fucked up world we are all making for ourselves.
posted by chrisgregory at 6:44 AM on January 22, 2003


I meant in a conversation between friends. Oops.
posted by chrisgregory at 6:46 AM on January 22, 2003


Can't you just see it? Someone beats up his wife, or another in charge of a huge corporation steals the retirement funds of thousands, or maybe the leader of superpower bombs the shit out of a nation causing death and pestilence to families not unlike your very own, and as long as their dealer can hook them up, it won't matter! It just won't matter.

I call that better living through modern medicine. sigh.
posted by LouReedsSon at 7:06 AM on January 22, 2003


I thought we were the U.S.... we don't use our own ground troops anymore, we just use planes to cowardly bomb the shit out of poorer countries.

Oh, yes. Of course it is always cowardly to protect our troops from unecessary injury and death. And by the way, which countries are poorer than us? Ah, yes, all of them. By that logic, passivity increases with GDP, and modernized democracies cannot defend themselves, while third world countries are welcome to bomb the shit out of their neighbors.

Sounds thoroughly humane to me.
posted by monju_bosatsu at 7:11 AM on January 22, 2003


A drug like that would drive the Catholic church out of business pronto.
posted by chrisgregory at 7:13 AM on January 22, 2003


Not to mention Jewish mothers...
posted by PenDevil at 7:18 AM on January 22, 2003


You don't need a drug for this. In the Korean Army's special forces you are trained and brainwashed to be able to kill without remorse or regret. You pretty much forget who or what you were, you are a soldier, period.

Now, after you are released from service and you start to return to a normal life it is a different situation completely.
posted by Baesen at 7:30 AM on January 22, 2003


I regret that Philip K. Dick is not here anymore to write about this thing
posted by matteo at 7:33 AM on January 22, 2003


"The web of your worst nightmares, your hauntings and panics and shame, radiates from a dense knot of neurons called the amygdala. With each new frightening or humiliating experience, or even the reliving of an old one, this fear center triggers a release of hormones that sear horrifying impressions into your brain."

Out, out, damned amygdala! (where's that scalpel?)
posted by troutfishing at 7:56 AM on January 22, 2003


So then it's a better alternative to frontal lobotomy? :)
posted by LouReedsSon at 8:07 AM on January 22, 2003


I ask myself, should I put my finger to the left?
I ask myself, should I put my finger to the right?
It doesn't really matter where I put my finger
Because someone else will come along and move it
And it's always been the same.
It's just a complicated game.
Andy Partridge, XTC, Drums and Wires


Which I feel expresses my own feelings of inadequacy and impotence in the face of what's going on now.
posted by chrisgregory at 8:08 AM on January 22, 2003


Yeah - and no Iraq posts allowed on Mefi for a bit! (and this, such a crucial week.....) Well there are other discussion boards in the world to rage on. Go, kind sir, to fight the good fight, with facts and logic.
posted by troutfishing at 10:57 AM on January 22, 2003


In the Korean Army's special forces you are trained and brainwashed to be able to kill without remorse or regret.

North Korea or South? Serious question.

I don't think the immorality of this pill is as clear cut as some of you would make it. In an army, who ultimately bears responsibility for the death, for the killing? Its not not the soldiers, not if they're following orders. If you think our military kills an unacceptable number of civilians, the solution, long term, I don't think its by any means obvious that the solution is to get soldiers to disobey orders and let their own judgement more often. The solution, long term, is for the commanders to weaken the rules of engagement the military uses. The solution is for the commanders to deliver better orders. I, perhaps naively, think that our military commanders do place appropriately high value on human life and plan their operations accordingly. If you could come up with a pill that makes soldiers more likely to follow their orders as given, then you're taking some of the noise out of the system. I'd think you'd be reducing net death.
posted by gsteff at 1:39 PM on January 22, 2003


it's possible that some anaesthetics don't kill the pain, but instead make you forget about it. in fact anaesthetists may choose to give one of these chemicals if they're worried that a pateient did become conscious during an operation (not that unusual, because to reduce the risk of deat, doses are at a a miniumum).

if that works, then this no-remorse pill doesn't seem that unreasonable. i guess the hard part is getting it to work without losing all memory (but again pain-killers have a nice example - morphine is said to leave the pain intact, but make it somehow bearable or "not important").

on the other hand, i believe some people are worried that forgetten-but-painful operations do cause trauma.

info from an essay in daniel dennett's brainstorms - although that's the second time i've referred to his work here today i'm just a satisfied customer
posted by andrew cooke at 2:36 AM on January 23, 2003


I was referring to South Korean Special Forces, but I assume the North does the same if not to a greater extent.
posted by Baesen at 9:40 AM on January 23, 2003


What's all the fuss anyway? Soon the soldiers will be replaced by robots! and then the humans too...
posted by troutfishing at 2:30 PM on January 23, 2003


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