Performance Enhanced

As a college student, it would be hypocritical of me to oppose performance enhancement. I go to one of the best universities in the country, receive a top notch education, and will likely enter the workforce with a great advantage over many other job-seekers. That I was born intelligent (and privileged) enough to do this was a matter of sheer luck. I fail to see why all the arguments against performance enhancing drugs do not also apply to attending university. Access is greatly limited by arbitrary characteristics of birth, and it confers great benefits. Should we ban university educations due to equity concerns?

Of course we would all say no. The reason, I think (aside from selfishness), is that university educations greatly increase productivity and thus have high social utility. Without a robust university system, our society would hardly be as advanced.

The same arguments apply to performance enhancement. If someone wants to take Adderall regularly, and their doing so increases their productivity, thus ultimately benefitting me (as a member of society), I’m not going to object. I don’t get upset when other people get good grades, especially when those people are apart of my Vanderbilt community. The competitive drive that works so furiously for and against performance enhancement should not apply to society at large. If performance enhanced people love to stay up all night working hard, and in doing so they discover a cure for cancer, I won’t be disappointed that I didn’t have the same opportunity.

Obviously these arguments don’t translate very well into sporting events that are, by necessity, competitive. Our society, however, need not share the same cutthroat tendencies. Perhaps we should take a step back and realize that performance enhancement has, historically, been a great benefit to us all.



~ by nickmbrown on April 2, 2010.

One Response to “Performance Enhanced”

  1. Quite an interesting blog. I’m very intrigued by your argument of performance enhancement. I must say that the main problem with performance enhancement chemicals or drugs is that its a slippery slope. Should we allow people to take any chemicals that allow them to “function” better? How do we regulate how much a person can take?

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