Moral and Ethical Questions about the Use of Smart Drugs

Here are some questions for you to think about IF and WHEN smart drugs are developed:

  1. What would happen if people got smarter? Is this a good thing or a bad thing?
  2. What are the possible advantages and disadvantages of short-term and long-term "smartness"?
  3. If such drugs existed, should they be manufactured, distributed and used?
  4. If they can be used, who should get them?
  5. Should they be banned like some drugs in athletics (e.g., stimulants, steroids)?
  6. Is going to a special school or class or getting a tutor different from taking a "smart drug"? What about learning a trick to solve a math problem? Isn't this like taking a special drug? What about getting a computer to help with homework? Isn't this like using technology to help you get smarter and learn more?
  7. Should it be illegal to pop a smart pill before a spelling test or before you take the SAT? Would this be like taking a stimulant before a track meet or swimming race? Would this be cheating?
  8. As people got smarter, would their personality change?
    What would happen to people's emotional and social behavior?
  9. We have drugs to improve our mood (antidepressants) and to look better (weight loss drugs). We even have a drug to increase the height of children (growth factor).
  10. What is wrong with a drug that makes us smarter?
  11. What about the benefits of such drugs? Couldn't these substances make people better drivers, workers and teachers?
  12. Could important new discoveries and cures for diseases be made faster if we were smarter? ?