The Hero Pill

Wouldn’t it be great if you could just take a pill and become a hero?  Imagine if you could turn into a hero at a moment’s notice by popping a pill.  Instead of Billy Batson needing to say “Shazam” or Bruce Banner waiting to get angry, you could do it whenever you needed to.  That’s a comic book idea for sure.

Slightly less comic-ish is the idea of taking a pill to help you make heroic decisions.  What if you could take a pill every day that would enhance the chances of you acting heroically when an opportunity arose?

Phil Zimbardo’s idea of Heroic Imagination promotes exposure to heroic ideas on a regular basis to prepare oneself for such an occasion.  By doing the little good things every day, I tell participants of the Hero Workshop that you can become a Hero In Waiting.  These ideas ask for you to prepare yourself every day – get into an heroic habit.  But what if you’re too busy?  What if you can’t be bothered, but you’d really like to do the right thing?

Sean Spence has written a paper on “moral pharmacology”.  He argues that medication is already used to in a moral way – especially when used to reduce or remove a behaviour that would be harmful to others.  This paper seems to be laying the groundwork for further discussion on developing medication to assist people be more moral.  He talks about a medication that could “target and increase a prosocial feeling and behaviour such as ‘kindness.'”  Wired magazine asks, would you take a kindness pill?

Would you take a hero pill?

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One Response to The Hero Pill

  1. Thomas Schwenk November 27, 2008 at 4:28 pm #

    who ever built this pill i like to heal the world but not the world alone also the universe …
    best regards
    Thomas Schwenk