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A Miracle Cure for Fleshly Desires?

Paul Ford writes in an article on Wired, what happened when he switched his weight loss meds and found a miracle cure. Decades of struggle with an insatiable desire for food, gone in an instant. But his reflection on the experience is less of an advertisement as it is a probing of human nature amid advances in pharmacology. He writes:

This is a technology that will reorder society. I have been the living embodiment of the deadly sin of gluttony, judged as greedy and weak since I was 10 years old — and now the sin is washed away. Baptism by injection. But I have no more virtue than I did a few months ago. I just prefer broccoli to gloopy chicken. Is this who I am?

How long is it before there’s an injection for your appetites, your vices? Maybe they’re not as visible as mine. Would you self-administer a weekly anti-avarice shot? Can Big Pharma cure your sloth, lust, wrath, envy, pride?

On this front, the parallels between Ford’s weight loss drug and every other drug are almost obvious (whether they be coffee, THC, or any fill-in-the-blank name brand). The alluring promise that frailty is simply a matter of chemistry. More interesting is what happens to Ford himself after the one signal pathway is silenced — his brain averts its gaze elsewhere:

Where before my brain had been screaming, screaming, at air-raid volume — there was sudden silence. It was confusing. […] “I urgently need, I thought … Something to fill the silence where food used to be. Every night for weeks I spent four, five hours twisting Moog knobs. Not making music. Just droning, looping, and beep-booping. I needed something to obsess over, to watch YouTube videos about. I needed something to fail at every night to feel normal.

Possible Preaching Angle:

The flesh is never satisfied and cannot be conquered by human will or science. Impeding one of the desires of the flesh simply ignites another. The church of big pharma might provide a kind of cure, but there is no panacea for human nature, except “the washing of new birth and renewal by the Holy Spirit” (Titus 3:5).

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