smart drug use acceptable?
#11
(12-02-2020, 02:54 PM)CaptCrunch73 Wrote:
(12-02-2020, 11:27 AM)confusedwalrus23 Wrote: I'm heading back to school in the fall of 2021. I'll be 35, and will not have been in school for exactly 10 years. I'm heavily considering using smart drugs to help study/do coursework. Is this morally acceptable?  They're legal, the ones I'd get are harmless, and they don't seem to adversely affect reasoning abilities.  On the other hand though, I'm not sure...

Why do you think you need smart drugs?

A certain fishie here on FE, namely me, went back to school after almost 25 years to get a masters degree studying nights while still working full time. No smart drugs required. I think the best comment made is make sure to get enough rest and maintain a nutritious diet should be all that is required. Presuming you do not have any of themedical conditions that were also mentioned, of course.

What does your confessor/spiritual director say?

That's a good point.  I could ask mine.  I do plan on having every natural advantage(good diet, good sleep, exercise etc.)
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#12
Pandora, your'e thinking of Kant, and his "categorical imperative" idea isn't Catholic. A critique of it here: https://www.newadvent.org/cathen/03432a.htm

OP, IMO, the word "drugs" has too many connotations for people to think clearly about what you're asking. What substances are you referring to? My hunch is that, if they're legal and freely available over the counter, they're not very psychotropic and wouldn't affect your reason. Well, unless you're talking about recently legalized pot -- which wouldn't help anyone study --  or you live in Oregon. Or you have some unusual sensitivity (I knew someone who'd freak out after consuming caffeine). 

Anyway, you should take the matter up with your priest.

To others here: would you have a problem with someone drinking St. John's Wort tea or chamomile tea to mellow out at the end of the day? A cup of espresso to better wake up in the morning? Are herbs "drugs"? Is aspirin? Nicotine? Coffee? Alcohol? Is it immoral to have a few shots of espresso before taking a test so you'll possibly improve your performance? What about coffee to stay awake on a long drive? A glass of red wine before bed to help you sleep? Tarragon tea to help with sleep or a toothache? What about tarragon pills (if such a thing exists) or capsules? Limoncello to aid digestion after dinner? Where are your lines? And why are they there? Whatever you do approve of, would you change your mind if they were called "drugs"? And are you so sure of your opinion on this that you're willing to pronounce on it as if you're a moral theologian or a priest who has care for the original poster's soul?
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#13
It really depends on what you're talking about, as Vox points out.

Caffeine is one of the best "smart drugs", and really works. I down several cups a day. What is it you're thinking of taking?
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#14
(12-03-2020, 07:07 AM)VoxClamantis Wrote: Pandora, your'e thinking of Kant, and his "categorical imperative" idea isn't Catholic. A critique of it here: https://www.newadvent.org/cathen/03432a.htm

OP, IMO, the word "drugs" has too many connotations for people to think clearly about what you're asking. What substances are you referring to? My hunch is that, if they're legal and freely available over the counter, they're not very psychotropic and wouldn't affect your reason. Well, unless you're talking about recently legalized pot -- which wouldn't help anyone study --  or you live in Oregon. Or you have some unusual sensitivity (I knew someone who'd freak out after consuming caffeine). 

Anyway, you should take the matter up with your priest.

To others here: would you have a problem with someone drinking St. John's Wort tea or chamomile tea to mellow out at the end of the day? A cup of espresso to better wake up in the morning? Are herbs "drugs"? Is aspirin? Nicotine? Coffee? Alcohol? Is it immoral to have a few shots of espresso before taking a test so you'll possibly improve your performance? What about coffee to stay awake on a long drive? A glass of red wine before bed to help you sleep? Tarragon tea to help with sleep or a toothache? What about tarragon pills (if such a thing exists) or capsules? Limoncello to aid digestion after dinner? Where are your lines? And why are they there? Whatever you do approve of, would you change your mind if they were called "drugs"? And are you so sure of your opinion on this that you're willing to pronounce on it as if you're a moral theologian or a priest who has care for the original poster's soul?

Thanks, I had a brain freeze and Kant must have been under the glacier.  I specifically chose that argument since the OP wanted further reasoning, and I disclosed it was a secular source from the get go.  I think we’d be hard pressed to find a single soul to say Emmanuel Kant was a defender of the Faith.

Magister Musicae had what I would consider an apropos post to a thread on alcohol consumption, emphasis mine:
It is very interesting (and thus when it's brought up in context of cannabis use, always funny to note that) moderate alcohol consumption by healthy people has health benefits. 

Abuse of alcohol tends to cause harm in the exact same domain that moderate consumption causes benefit. For instance, heart disease risk is reduced with moderate drinking, but increase with binge drinking.

As for other "drugs" like marijuana, they cause no benefit to healthy people. They do seem to cause some benefit to some sick people, and thus treat a disease or its symptoms, which is the classic definition of a "drug" or "medicine". These "drugs" cause harm without benefit in healthy people.

No one has some friends over for a dinner or celebration and breaks out shots of Robitussin.

I believe that’s solid reasoning and a good answer.
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#15
Quote:As for other "drugs" like marijuana, they cause no benefit to healthy people. They do seem to cause some benefit to some sick people, and thus treat a disease or its symptoms, which is the classic definition of a "drug" or "medicine". These "drugs" cause harm without benefit in healthy people.
 

Many substances used as "drugs" benefit healthy people. Adderall helps some people study. WWII pilots were given amphetamines to stay alert. Aspirin is used by healthy people as a preventive. Same with red wine per its effects on the heart and its soporific qualities (is red wine a food or a drug or both?). Healthy people use the herbs mentioned earlier (and many others), herbs which are used as medicines (or "drugs" given the definition above).  Some people might periodically take a benadryl because they can't sleep and have to be up early. Baking soda is used intravenously to treat metabolic acidosis, swallowed to treat simple heartburn, or used to bake cakes or clean a fridge. Vitamin C can be taken to maintain general health, or be used as a "drug" to treat scurvy. Etc. Obviously, any substance can be abused, and that includes those that can be used for benefit by the sick or the healthy. 

Me, I don't know anything about "smart drugs" (I don't even know what they are. Caffeine? Nicotine? Some other substance?), think that people have knee-jerk reactions to the word "drug," and think the OP should take it up with his priest (and doctor, since this pertains to physical health).
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