"...today one can't responsibly advocate the use of major psychedelics. The risks to mental health are too high. "Bad trips" are an ever-present possibility for emotionally unenriched Darwinians. "Freak-outs" on LSD may befall even the psychologically robust. Informed consent prior to taking psychedelics is biologically impossible. This is because psychedelia is not just weirder than the drug-naïve mind conceives; it's weirder than the drug-naïve mind can conceive. One can't grasp, in advance, the nature of the sorts of experience to which one is nominally consenting. Yet in consequence of this taboo on chemically altered awareness, a host of unimaginably alien state spaces of consciousness remains off-limits. Trapped in the squalid psychochemical ghetto of Darwinian life, we lack the necessary wetware to conceptualise radically altered states of mind. We can't explicitly represent such states. We haven't even names for the strange new textures of selfhood and introspection that their metabolic pathways disclose. Alas pure reasoning is impotent to access their nature because it lacks the semantic primitives with which to do so. Yet when the vertebrate genome is rewritten, and gradients of genetically-preprogrammed bliss become the norm of mental health, our veil of ignorance can be safely ripped aside. Armed with exquisite cocktails of designer-drugs, even the most outlandish realms of psychedelia can then be investigated in depth. The study of consciousness can become a truly experimental scientific discipline. And crucially, the advent of post-Darwinian genotypes coding for invincible happiness offers a delightful prospect. At last we'll be able safely to explore other-worldly forms of existence in the confidence that they will all, without exception, radiate the sparkle of earthly paradise..."
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The Abolitionist Project
Critique of Brave New World