Every semester around law school exam time, I end up writing a post here to ease my anxiety. This semester’s topic: The ethics of taking performance enhancing drugs.
Prior to entering law school, I was unaware that people took drugs to improve their test taking performance. But in law school, where it often seems like typing speed distinguishes the A’s from the B’s (those who write faster can say more smart things and get more points), there is a growing minority of students who have calculated the precise number of caffeine pills they should take to hit their optimal typing speed without having side effects. I’m guessing that there are other drugs out there as well.
One could say that what they are doing is no different from the typical non-Mormon college student who drinks coffee each morning to stay up. That maybe we shouldn’t even consider this “drugging.” But, I personally do not want to be using drugs with bad side effects to improve my performance. It seems quite inconsistent with Mormon Word of Wisdom principles, even if not expressly mentioned. And, yet, because those who take these pills do write faster, and often do perform better, I feel some pressure to join them.
As our technology increases, I suspect that there will be many more pills/surgeries we can have to improve our performance. How should we respond?