Transhumanism and drugs

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The relationship between transhumanism and drugs covers different areas.


  • Advocacy of neural enchantment technologies, specifically nootropics and dislike of their research being limited[1]
  • Many support the abolition of suffering as a strong philosophical position
  • Transhumanists are mostly liberal in their social policy outlook and support responsible use of recreational drugs
  • Morphological freedom advocacy, the idea that you have the right think in any possible way about any possible thing


Many dystopian scenarios are possible in a future with a more liberal drug policy. Soma in Brave New World was literally the opiate of the masses, keeping an oppressed populace distracted from the reality of their situation. Larry Niven's Known Space featured a fictional version of drug addiction known as wireheading, a direct technological application of neural stimulation to create temporary elation, however the effect was so strong it would often lead to users neglecting their basic biological needs and withdrawing from society.

The public health risks associated with addiction and crime whilst seldom existential risks, are important issues potentially at odds with life extension and super wellness.


In the United Kingdom, efforts to ban continually evolving 'legal highs' in the 2015-16 Psychoactive Substances Bill[2] has led for a complex set of exceptions such as alcohol, tobacco, caffeine, food and medical products. The bill has been described as 'rushed'[3] by MPs, with confusion over poor definition of 'psychoactive'[4] which could even outlaw incense in churches,[5] as well as nootropics and other benign substances.[6]

On January 27 Transhumanist Party (UK) released a statement asking for nootropics to be exempted from the bill,[7] later picked up by Wired.[8]

In the US, Zoltan Istvan has also argued since 2015 that drug legalisation should be part of a transhumanist agenda and has met with legalisation advocates on the matter.[9]

External links