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Altered Morality and the Terrible Questions Surrounding It

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posted on Mar, 29 2010 @ 02:46 PM
Moral Judgement Altered

As some of you know I am a Clinical Therapy major. One of my great interests is in altering of perception, mood or cognition once maturity is reach. So when SDog brought me this article I was very interested. It seems some MIT researchers have found ways of externally altering morality. I’ll let you read the article (not terribly long) but the summation if that attacking the TPJ (a junction in the brain that supports morality) there was a marked and noticeable difference in the morality and judgment of the candidates.

So again, please take a few and read the article.

Now I have some questions to pose…

Like many seemingly small experiments from the past, this raises some massive implications so I was hoping to open up a discussion about morality and external influence.

As a friend of mine said earlier today (thanks DA) “the devil made me do it.”

Well if we have the ability to alter moral judgment some big questions arise.

1. Is it possible that that previous bad decisions were altered externally?

2. Can we start using this concept as a means to innocence? We allow insanity pleas when we find significant cognitive or behavioral alteration. Why not this? “I’m sorry judge, my client pleads not-guilty due to externally altered moral judgment.” Could this be a phrase of the future in our courts?

3. Will such a concept become overused? Will we plunge deeper into a society of victimization where nothing is our fault because some external force changed us in a whim?

4. Here’s a biggie for me…what about accidental alteration. If this is indeed possible, who is to say waves that travel around us everyday aren’t altering us as we speak?

5. Finally, many of you close to me know me as a pretty hardcore skeptic. So although I may know little of ET’s and alien technology or the possibilities that the government is altering us it is true this is indeed a conspiracy-based forum. So the question came up in a chat between us users; Does this open the door a bit further to the possibility of alien or government alteration through less invasive procedures? They were capable of MKULTRA so why not this new potential? If a group at MIT has the technology then it clearly exists. Could some sinister body have already had this?

Enjoy folks…and thanks again to SD for the link


[edit on 29-3-2010 by KyoZero]

posted on Mar, 29 2010 @ 03:17 PM
Just wanted to add a couple of related documents for consideration.

Disruption of the right temporoparietal junction with transcranial magnetic stimulation reduces the role of beliefs in moral judgments


When we judge an action as morally right or wrong, we rely on our capacity to infer the actor's mental states (e.g., beliefs, intentions). Here, we test the hypothesis that the right temporoparietal junction (RTPJ), an area involved in mental state reasoning, is necessary for making moral judgments. In two experiments, we used transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) to disrupt neural activity in the RTPJ transiently before moral judgment (experiment 1, offline stimulation) and during moral judgment (experiment 2, online stimulation). In both experiments, TMS to the RTPJ led participants to rely less on the actor's mental states. A particularly striking effect occurred for attempted harms (e.g., actors who intended but failed to do harm): Relative to TMS to a control site, TMS to the RTPJ caused participants to judge attempted harms as less morally forbidden and more morally permissible. Thus, interfering with activity in the RTPJ disrupts the capacity to use mental states in moral judgment, especially in the case of attempted harms.

Theory of Mind

The externally observable components of human actions carry only a tiny fraction of the information that matters. Human observers are vastly more interested in perceiving or inferring the mental states - the beliefs, desires and intentions - that lie behind the observable shell. If a person checks her watch, is she uncertain about the time, late for an appointment, or bored with the conversation? If a person shoots his friend on a hunting trip, did he intend revenge or just mistake his friend for a partridge? The mechanism people use to infer and reason about another person’s states of mind is called a ‘Theory of Mind’ (ToM). One of the most striking discoveries of recent human cognitive neuroscience is that there is a group of brain regions in human cortex that selectively and specifically underlie this mechanism.

The importance of mental states for behavior prediction is especially clear when the person doing the behavior is misinformed: that is, when the actor has a false belief. False beliefs therefore figure heavily in the study of ToM. The original “False Belief task” was developed for use with pre-school aged children. In the basic design, a child watches while a puppet places an object in location A. The puppet leaves the scene and the object is transferred to location B. The puppet returns and the child is asked to predict where the puppet will look for the object. Three-year-olds say the puppet will look in location B, where the object actually is; older children say the puppet will look in location A, where the puppet last saw the object.

posted on Mar, 30 2010 @ 01:54 PM
Seems some have already started to tackle the concept of mind alteration and the law



posted on Mar, 30 2010 @ 01:59 PM
How about zombie combat soldiers?

Though I think that fighting sleep deprivation is not their goal using transcranial magnetic stimulation.

The US military also hopes to use TMS to keep soldiers fighting, without the need to stop for sleep.

The Sci Tech Heretic

[edit on 30-3-2010 by timewalker]

posted on Mar, 30 2010 @ 02:36 PM
reply to post by timewalker

and so the theoretical questions go even deeper...and it seems that the gov is aware...not a teerbile surprise


posted on Mar, 30 2010 @ 03:01 PM
reply to post by KyoZero
Oh yes they are aware. I posted in the other thread on this subject. Anything we see in commercial use the military probably had it in operation for at least a decade, maybe more.

The implications of this could be astounding. If they could adjust what is wrong, think what combat soldiers could be adjusted to what is right.

Same for the civilian masses of consumers.

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