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.

UCLA professor. Neuroscientist doing research on pain. Writes about science, philosophy, politics and kinky sex. https://sexsciencespirit.blogspot.com/

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