On morality, The German philosopher Immanuel Kant states that one ought treat others as ends in themselves and never merely as means. This, I believe, to be reflexive; namely, one can not treat themselves as a mean or merely a thing.

One’s obligation to oneself consists of a ban against designating their selfhood as a toy to sheer inclinations. This obligation has an exceptionally swaying logic that pertains to human dignity. Since the epitome of human dignity is to never deal with others or yourself merely as a thing, it appears that the manipulation of a human being via drug-induced pleasures should be regarded as an obvious infringement of human dignity. Drug-induced pleasures interfere with one’s selfhood, and they seem to degrade a being to a plaything of inclinations. Thus, human dignity is severed when the emotions are dominated by drug-induced sense of happiness.

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Let us go on further in the illustration of drug-induced happiness; here, the individual is dispossessed of the ‘freedom to experience unhappiness’. Submitting the mind to the control of a drug debilitates ‘free will’ and sabotages any neutral inclinations. Dignity fundamentally entails that oneโ€™s ‘freedom to feel unhappiness’ is wholly assured, as this is a vital component to the conception of an authentic life. Consequently, individuals under the influence of drugs are conquered by complete undivided plaything of inclinations, and appear be devoid of dignity. 

Extrinsic control of the mind obliterates its intrinsic functional value 

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18 thoughts on “Drugs and Human Dignity

  1. Are you referring to legal or illegal drugs? I would contend that the choice to use drugs belongs to the individual. Legally prescribed drugs do give choice over to external agents, including doctors and government.

    After all, the only difference between legal and illegal drugs is politics. Think of something like Ritalin, which is often forced on kids in school, yet if they sell it on the street, it is a felony.

    I don’t believe in any drug laws, because they create artificial circumstances that lead to over-prescribing, over-use, misuse, and secrecy. They also give enormous power to external, blind authority to deny an individual’s autonomy. Did you know that prescriptions were not required until 1953?

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      • I understood that. The very concept that “recreational drugs” are somehow bad because people like them is false. Natural earth products, such as opiates, marijuana, and cocaine, are infinitely safer than the patented synthetics. The brain has cannaboid receptors for a reason. Also true with opiates. “Endogenous opiods” are released normally to cope with pain.

        So-called “recreational drugs” have also traditionally been part of religious ceremonies, long before the gun-toting Europeans decided to own and control natural earth products through laws. Carlos Casteneda mentions peyote and mushrooms in his Don Juan series. I could go on and on, but will sign off with one last comment.

        Corn liquor, otherwise known as ethanol, has been used medicinally since man discovered it. Not only does it induce sleep, it is a natural anesthetic and disinfectant, used extensively in wartime to dress wounds and relieve pain.

        I recommend not being so quick to categorize these natural products. Turn off the TV awhile and give yourself a break from the patent-and-money-churning industry.

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  2. This is a fascinating argument against the use of mind-altering drugs. Two things come to mind for me. One: the use of psychedelics to achieve altered states of consciousness could be thought of as an expansion of self-hood. Two: unfortunately, many who turn to drugs are already suffering from a lack of freedom. Anxiety, depression, or other intolerable circumstances have led them to a state in which they will try anything for relief.

    Liked by 1 person

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