bird icon for twitter


William James rolls over in his grave as England bans Laughing Gas

an open letter to Steve Taylor, author of 'The Genius of William James'

by Ballard Quass, the Drug War Philosopher




January 27, 2023

ear Mr. Taylor:

I just read your enjoyable and informative article in Psychology Today on "The Genius of William James," and would like to share a few thoughts with you on this topic, should you find the time to read them.

1. Regarding your fascinating thoughts on time, I have recently read similar observations in works by Wolfgang Smith, who points out how Cartesian conceptions force us to think of time in ways that do not square with the ways that we actually experience it.

2. I share your views on human consciousness. I like to look at the brain as a radio receiver for consciousness, as one of many ways of interacting with consciousness, so to say. If the brain is damaged, it need not mean that consciousness is "damaged," any more than damaging a single computer will damage the Internet or damaging a TV will damage the national television networks.

3. Regarding warfare, you write: "human societies need to find an equivalent activity that brings the same collective and individual benefits of war—without causing death and devastation." The fact is that ravers have already found such an activity: it is the use of MDMA, or empathogens in general. The use of Ecstasy in the 1990s brought together every race in color in unprecedented harmony on the British dance floors. The problem is that Drug War ideology holds the anti-scientific notion that criminalized substances can have no positive uses, for anyone, anywhere, at any time, for any reason, ever.

Speaking of the Drug War, I would like to end with a sort of call for action, please. As you may know, England is getting ready to outlaw nitrous oxide, as America has already effectively done. Not only does this deny godsend medicine to millions, but it effectively outlaws philosophical investigations about the nature of consciousness and reality itself. For as you know, the use of nitrous oxide strongly influenced William James' ontology. In fact, that ontology would be very different had William James been obliged to refrain from using that substance.

Therefore I would humbly encourage you to join me in protesting the Drug War's ongoing attempts to outlaw all substances (like laughing gas) that give us hints of a non-materialistic world. This is one reason why materialism has such staying power: because the Drug War has outlawed precisely those substances whose use tends to cast doubt on our materialist premises. This Drug War is surely a war on science and human progress and, in my view, it is our duty to denounce it as such.



Thank you for your time and your consideration of my ideas!


PS If there are problems with the use of NO2 or any other substance, we need to educate people, not criminalize use and thereby end our investigations of ultimate reality. The money we spend on law enforcement should be spent on sending healthcare workers into affected communities and spreading the news about safe use practices. The alternative is scientific censorship.


For more about laughing gas and William James:
Keep Laughing Gas Legal

For more about the outlawing of MDMA
How the Drug War killed Leah Betts

Here's why modern psychology is so baffled by drug use:
The Philosophy of Drug Use


Nitrous Oxide: Possession of laughing gas to be criminal offence"




Next essay: Why the Drug War is even worse than Doug Bandow thinks it is
Previous essay: Keep Laughing Gas Legal

More Essays Here


LAUGHING GAS

Laughing gas is the substance that gave William James his philosophy of reality. He concluded from its use that what we perceive is just a fraction of reality writ large. Yet his alma mater (Harvard) does not even MENTION laughing gas in their bio of the man.
In a sane world, we'd package laughing gas for safe use and give it to the suicidal -- saying, "Use before attempting to kill yourself." But drug warriors would rather have suicide than drug use.
Now drug warriors have nitrous oxide in their sights, the substance that inspired the philosophy of William James. They're using the same tired MO: focusing exclusively on potential downsides and never mentioning the benefits of use, and/or denying that any exist.
WILLIAM JAMES

William James knew that there were substances that could elate. However, it never occurred to him that we should use such substances to prevent suicide. It seems James was blinded to this possibility by his puritanical assumptions.
So he writes about the mindset of the deeply depressed, reifying the condition as if it were some great "type" inevitably to be encountered in humanity. No. It's the "type" to be found in a post-Christian society that has turned up its scientific nose at psychoactive medicine.

essays about
LAUGHING GAS

Listening to Laughing Gas
Forbes Magazine's Laughable Article about Nitrous Oxide
Keep Laughing Gas Legal
The Criminalization of Nitrous Oxide is No Laughing Matter
Speaking Truth to Academia
How the Drug War is Threatening Intellectual Freedom in England
Why the FDA should not schedule Laughing Gas
How AI turned William James into a Drug Warrior

essays about
WILLIAM JAMES

Drug War Agitprop
How AI turned William James into a Drug Warrior
Why the FDA should not schedule Laughing Gas
How the Drug War is Threatening Intellectual Freedom in England
The Criminalization of Nitrous Oxide is No Laughing Matter
Keep Laughing Gas Legal
Listening to Laughing Gas



front cover of Drug War Comic Book

Buy the Drug War Comic Book by the Drug War Philosopher Brian Quass, featuring 150 hilarious op-ed pics about America's disgraceful war on Americans



You have been reading an article entitled, William James rolls over in his grave as England bans Laughing Gas: an open letter to Steve Taylor, author of 'The Genius of William James', published on January 27, 2023 on AbolishTheDEA.com. For more information about America's disgraceful drug war, which is anti-patient, anti-minority, anti-scientific, anti-mother nature, imperialistic, the establishment of the Christian Science religion, a violation of the natural law upon which America was founded, and a childish and counterproductive way of looking at the world, one which causes all of the problems that it purports to solve, and then some, visit the drug war philosopher, at abolishTheDEA.com. (philosopher's bio; go to top of this page)