I know you are a biologist. I have been following you for a while. I liked that you dared to criticize the Skeptic Movement from inside in your articles in Skeptic. From there I followed you to your podcast Rationally Speaking and here. I am quite in agreement with most of your ideas and I learned a lot from you. I comment as an expression of support, but I am a contrarian by nature.
Having said that, I think that neuroscience has informed a lot of political decisions. While not being directly prescriptive, some scientific facts are so compelling as to leave little room for a decision that is both rational and ethical. Here are some examples:
- The discovery that mental diseases like paranoia and schizophrenia are not ethical failures by true diseases in need of a cure.
- Likewise, finding that drug addiction and alcoholism are mental diseases with a genetic component, and need to be treated and not punished.
- Finding the many beneficial effects of cannabinoids (THC and CBDs) in the face of political prohibition.
- Recent discoveries of the strong anti-depressive effects of ketamine, LSD and psilocybin, a strong argument for their legalization.
- An understanding of the mechanisms of pain and stress, which opens the way to cure suffering and increase happiness.
- Discovery of biological differences between the male and the female brains, in opposition to some feminist dogmas.
- Establishing sexuality as something healthy, in the face of moral condemnation of masturbation, oral sex and other healthy sexual acts.
- The discovery of the bonding effects of oxytocin and vasopressin, which underlie the cooperative nature of humans and other mammals. And that is unhealthy not to hug babies.
- The ongoing description of the human mind illuminates the age-long debate about human nature between capitalist (competitive) and socialist (cooperative) ideologies.