We have pills and injections (dangerous and illegal, mostly) to build bodily strength.
We have pills and injections to treat mental fatigue, mood disorders, bad habits, psychoses, and other mental deficiencies.
But we have no drugs to build character strength, or virtue.
Why is that?
Oxytocin can enhance openness, generosity, and trust, but not in a self-aware, self-giving manner that observers would typically describe as virtue in action. We have no drugs to build genuine other-orientedness.
We have a lot of chemicals that will blunt fear, but none that produce genuine courage: choosing to do what’s right, even if it’s frightening or dangerous.
Maybe there are medicines that support self-control and self-discipline; I don’t know. The closest thing to it that I am aware of, like appetite-suppressing drugs, work by reducing negative impulses rather than by building positive strength. Someone can inform me if I’m wrong.
So it seems that there are classes of mental conditions we can treat with drugs, and classes we cannot; and that character strength falls entirely into the latter class.
One would think that if humans were just material beings, with no spiritual dimension, we could treat the one as easily as the other. But that doesn’t appear to be the case.
Why is that?