Is the anti-obesity drug a breakthrough or a breakdown?
But after the flicker of delight, I felt a worm of disquiet. For I can’t help thinking that many obese people could lose weight by eating less and exercising more. They don’t have a medical condition; they lack resolve. I don’t mean those with serious thyroid or other conditions — I am talking about people who can’t manage to do what they know, deep inside, is in their best interests.
For what does it do to a person to subcontract a matter of volition to a pharmacological intervention, thus bypassing the will? What does it do to our sense of agency, perhaps our sense of self? These consequences may not show up in the side-effects listed in a clinical trial — but they are serious, nonetheless.
There’s also an interesting parallel from the fall of the Berlin Wall.