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Oxytocin: The Next Human Enhancement Drug

No less a mainstream pub than Time magazine discusses the possibility of using oxytocin as a drug not only for treating "disorders" such as social anxiety, but also for just making life better.

In an interview, Nick Bostrom, director of The Future of Humanity Institute at Oxford University, says it's time to start talking about whether and how we should use science for human enhancement. That is, using all available technologies, from drugs to computers, to enhance human performance. As the Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies puts it, "Human enhancement technologies (HET) are techniques that can be used not simply for treating illness and disability, but also for enhancing human characteristics and capacities."

That would include the capacity for love, of course.

In the Time interview, Bostrom says,

... what is most persuasive for me personally is comparing the best times of my life with the worst times. The difference is pretty big. So I ask, why can't it be like the best times more often? Then I observe that there are all kinds of biological constraints that make this difficult or impossible. Some form of enhancement would be needed to mitigate these constraints.

Oxytocin, whether naturally produced or artificially administered, does allow us to feel that deep, wonderful connection that we crave.

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