Last Updated on August 21, 2020
Academic nonprofit The Conversation has published an opinion piece by ethicist Parker Crutchfield in which Crutchfield advocated for the compulsory use of “morality pills” to force people to comply with mask mandates.
“To me, it seems the problem of coronavirus defectors could be solved by moral enhancement: like receiving a vaccine to beef up your immune system, people could take a substance to boost their cooperative, pro-social behavior,” Crutchfield says, acknowledging that the idea is a “far-out proposal that’s bound to be controversial.”
The bioethics professor goes on to bemoan the gall of citizens who refuse to comply with mask mandates, and recommends “moral enhancement,” which he describes as “the use of substances to make you more moral.”
“Then, perhaps, the people who choose to go maskless or flout social distancing guidelines would better understand that everyone, including them, is better off when they contribute, and rationalize that the best thing to do is cooperate,” Crutchfield argues, adding that the main drawbacks to moral enhancement are that “the science isn’t developed enough,” and that people may refuse to take the so-called moral enhancement pills.
The remedy to the latter problem, Crutchfield theorizes, “would be to make moral enhancement compulsory or administer it secretly, perhaps via the water supply.”
Crutchfield’s moral enhancement strategy may not be as much of a “far-out proposal” as one may think at first glance.
The Commonwealth of Massachusetts ruled this week that all students from six months old up to 30-year-old graduate students will be required to receive a flu vaccination by December 31, even though attending classes remotely through Zoom or online class models.
Doctors have also recommended injecting lithium into the public water supply to combat record high rates of depression and suicide during the COVID-19 lockdowns.
Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden has also indicated a top priority of his administration immediately after assuming office would be issuing a federal mask order, despite the dubious legal precedent for such an order to supercede states’ rights.