After reading the attachment, write a one paragraph as a class discussion. Please answer one of the questions in the last paragraph in your own words and what are your thought about it.

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After reading the attachment file, write a one paragraph as a class discussion.

  1. Please answer one of the questions in the last paragraph in your own words and what are your thought about it.

After reading the attachment, write a one paragraph as a class discussion. Please answer one of the questions in the last paragraph in your own words and what are your thought about it.
Is it ethical to enhance your brain function through drugs? Sam is middle-aged and starting to notice age-related memory loss. Sometimes he cannot remember where he puts his keys. Sometimes, in the middle of a presentation at work, he cannot think of the word he is looking for. Would it be acceptable for Sam to take medication that prevents the normal slow loss of brain function? Few people would say no.   The development of most cognition-enhancing drugs has been driven by research on treating Alzheimer’s disease and age-related memory loss, but such drugs might be co-opted for other uses as well. What if Sam were a college student with a normal memory who was taking this medication to improve his memory? What if he popped a pill, went to his physics lecture, and came out with the lecture locked in his brain? He would not have to study, use flash cards, practice, or expend real effort apart from paying attention to the lecture. Some people would view that process as cheating—gain without pain. But we all know people who were born able to encode memories faster and better than most of us can. Is that fair? In a sense, the rest of us were cheated by Mother Nature. If we can create a pill to cheat her back, why not take it?   Objections to these drugs center on concerns about safety and side effects, on the personal and societal levels. Such concerns increase when medications are given to the healthy for enhancement, especially when the full ramifications are unknown. Another objection is that if learning does not involve hard work, virtues such as perseverance will fall by the wayside, but this objection confuses a personality trait with memory function. A person can be perseverant with or without a good memory or can have a great memory but not the perseverance to apply it. Others foresee decreased admiration for achievement and decreased senses of accomplishment.   However, we admire not simply feats of memory but how memory is used. We admire actors for their delivery of the lines they have memorized, mathematicians for applying the formulae they know. A good memory is just one capacity that may increase a person’s achievement; intelligence, personality, and temperament also come into play. A lazy genius can be as unaccomplished as a lazy person with far less brain power.   Another concern is that cognitive enhancements may provide such an advantage that people will be coerced into taking them: Parents will want their children to have every advantage, teachers will find it much easier to teach “enhanced” students, employers will want to hire employees who require less training, and so on. Eventually, anyone who wants to compete for the best schools and best jobs will need to take them. This proliferation would present problems of distribution and affordability. Would cognition-enhancing medications be expensive? Would insurance companies pay for them? Would the government provide them, perhaps to offset its savings in education and in unemployment insurance?   Many of us already use caffeine and sugar, chemicals that enhance memory and performance. Many elementary school children take Ritalin to treat attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and attention-deficit disorder (ADD), but in some school districts the proportion of boys taking it is greater than the highest estimates of the prevalence of ADHD (Diller, Tanner, & Weil, 1996). In other words, children within the range of normal behavior are being given a drug whose long-term side effects are still unknown to change their cognitive states. Among high school and college students who do not have ADHD or ADD, 16 percent take prescription stimulants (such as Ritalin and dextroamphetamine) as study aids.   Perhaps the memory drugs being developed will appeal only to those suffering from Alzheimer’s and age-related memory loss. The side effects of an improved memory might not be so appealing. After all, our brains’ capacity to forget, as well as their capacity to remember, may have been honed through millions of years of evolution and thus may serve vital purposes. Time may no longer heal all wounds if memories stay as fresh as the day they are forged. The memory of every embarrassing moment, rejection, and faux pas may linger, affecting people’s senses of self.   The rich have many advantages the poor do not have. What if rich people could pay for cognition-enhancing drugs but poor people could not? Would a drug-enhanced advantage differ from other learning advantages, such as books, that money can buy? Are there times when cognition-enhancing drugs should always be used, such as when someone has Alzheimer’s, and times when they should never be used, such as at the request of a healthy person with a moderately high IQ?  

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