evolvearth's avatar
Not exactly a fair assessment. The entire purpose is for people to have positive experiences. Human behavior is predictable at a certain point, and professionals, while not at 100% accuracy, generally are good at picking out the liars. If the volunteers claimed to have positive experiences, then what is wrong with relying on that data? While positive experiences are relative to people, they are mostly similar than they are different. If more studies are conducted, more results come in. If the volunteers continue to praise the effects of the drug, then that adds to the credibility.

I think it is more hopeful than realistic to assume that human experiences cannot be quantified in any meaningful way. We're still products of nature and are far more similar than different. Humans are predictable creatures, and I think that grinds of the nerves of many. Therapy and medicine seem to be pretty effective because of studies like these.
Shidaku's avatar
perhaps, but I still think that without actual brain chemical level testing the results are questionable. Maybe I'm asking for them to cut open people's heads and see what's ticking. Perhaps a cat scan of the active brain areas during the experiances and then their responses afterward to see what areas activate, and why pleasureable, instead of negative experiances are brought about.

But more to the point is that I have never liked the idea of chemicla use, be them illegial or legal ones to improve the way you see the world. There are people who need drugs to make their brain function in the same ways as everyone else, but I dont think that because "life sucks" or that the world is harsh should be an excuse to screw with your mind in order to avoid it. Avoidance is no better than apathy and apathy is bad.

Also, it brings up too many mental images of Brave New World where everyone does drugs and nobody cares whats going on cause everyone is "happy" all the time. There's actually a song about that in Secret of NIMH 2, relating to the electroshock therapy that was so prevalent in the past, it was a twisted and creepy song, especially for an animated show.
Peacefroggie's avatar
Yes, except in Brave New World the drug they took ditracted them from what was heppening...psychedelics turn you inwards and force you to reflect on yourself. I don't see how they would possibly act like in Brave New World, they're too profound and difficult and frightening. Huxley wrote Brave New World early on in his life, but he wrote Island later on, after he'd experimented with Mescaline...and it offers a much more positive take on the possibilities of drug use in society.
Shidaku's avatar
Maybe he just did it to show there were different possibilities. Youd have to ask him if drug use improved him. As you said, testimony is about all you've got to go on.

I wouldnt say that all drugs affect all people the same ways, which is one of the main problems with relying on tesitmony, it would be better to see how the brain was actually reacting.
Peacefroggie's avatar
Well that's why you ask a wide variety of people...then you can establish common elements in their testimony, which makes for reasonably convincing evidence. Combine that with some MRI imaging or some sort of brain scan, and you've got some seriously good scientific information to base your assumptions on, right?
Shidaku's avatar
yes that sounds pretty correct.