Year 2023 C.E. crimes rate soar in every parts of US and there are corruption at every corners of the once mightiest nation in the world. The new president elect Mr. User6760 (wins 540 votes before abolishing of the electoral colleges) decided to introduce a new concept of policing to cut down crimes rate by as much as 90%.

The first step is to tackle corruption among the officers such as bribery and abuse of power, now every new recruit must undergoes a surgery to remove part of the limbic system in the brain that is responsible for feelings and emotions. These new batch of aces will be able to safeguard the taxpayer's life and interest without stereotypes or prejudice or any other biases, they will only rely on establishing facts, ascertain the modus operandi and perform cross reference before making arrest if necessary.

My concern is would this work and why would anybody wants to enlist into the program?

The objective is to proof that emotion is the root of all evil and will start replacing every officer with robot in future.

  • $\begingroup$ In case the votes don't add up some states were kicked out by the president elect from 2016 just u know... $\endgroup$
    – user6760
    Commented Dec 14, 2016 at 7:05
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ The president does not command the Electorial College. Checks and balances; separation of powers. $\endgroup$
    – JDługosz
    Commented Dec 14, 2016 at 7:52
  • 8
    $\begingroup$ So you get policemen with absolutely no empathy. Bad bad bad idea. Battered spouse... "You have to help me! I cannot live with a psychopath! Please take me to a shelter!" "We have no physical proof of any wrongdoing here, we will not take any action". Sure, gut feelings can take very nasty turns... but having policemen that are next to near perfect solipsists will render the police force impotent. $\endgroup$
    – MichaelK
    Commented Dec 14, 2016 at 9:49
  • $\begingroup$ Maybe you could offer the process to suitable prison inmates, those with chronic depression or suicidal tendancies, or simply have drugs which supress but don't permanently alter the limbic system $\endgroup$
    – Innovine
    Commented Dec 14, 2016 at 12:11
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    $\begingroup$ Have you already decided on the objective? In my experience, a lot of great stories about brain modifications like this study the unintended side effects, and often arrive at the exact opposite of the objective they started with. Consider as a comparason Asimov's 3 laws. At first they were intended to make robots perfectly safe. Asimiov then spent a career exploring all the little twisted ways those laws prove insufficient. $\endgroup$
    – Cort Ammon
    Commented Dec 14, 2016 at 14:54

6 Answers 6


The limbic system supports a variety of functions including emotion, behavior, motivation, long-term memory, and olfaction. Emotional life is largely housed in the limbic system, and it has a great deal to do with the formation of memories.

Quote from Wikipedia, their sources seem good here.

Note that most parts of this system are not single - function. And reward & pleasure happens in at least three of them. And they all rely on each other and pass signals. You can't just destroy one and hope others to function properly.

You would have no use for policemen with impaired long term memory, without motivation and with behavior issues. They wouldn't remember why they are doing what they are doing, wouldn't be motivated enough to care, and might be rude or something at the same time. Bad mix.

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ I saw the same wiki page, but note that the OP detailed this as a "partial" removal of the limbic system, so I assumed only feelings/emotions are removed and that motivation and sense of smell is retained. $\endgroup$
    – user10945
    Commented Dec 14, 2016 at 7:28
  • $\begingroup$ @Pᴇᴛᴇ answer updated. $\endgroup$
    – Mołot
    Commented Dec 14, 2016 at 7:33
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    $\begingroup$ There are real people with impaired abilities to feel emotions and result is people who cannot function or make simple decisions. my favorite example is a woman who is great at predicting the stock market but can't drive herself to work because she gets stuck at intersections for hours trying to decide which way to work to take. It will also cause Alexithymia which is an inability to identify emotions which is really really important for police officers, being unable to tell if a person is agitated, afriad, or in pain makes for a useless officer. $\endgroup$
    – John
    Commented Dec 13, 2018 at 14:43

You'd only recruit people who aren't really that intelligent.

Removing people's capability to experience emotions negates any sense of reward when it comes to getting paid that big bonus you're going to give them for having a lump of their brains removed.

However, people who can't see that will readily sign up.

Personally, I'm not sure I'd trust a police officer who has willingly gone through that procedure.

  • $\begingroup$ US cops are average by recruitment policy $\endgroup$
    – Separatrix
    Commented Dec 14, 2016 at 8:10
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    $\begingroup$ @Separatrix - Most average people would know that removing the part of their brain that involves feelings/emotions would suck - going through life without enjoying anything at all. Sports/food/sex/fatherhood/motherhood - all meaningless. $\endgroup$
    – user10945
    Commented Dec 14, 2016 at 8:14
  • $\begingroup$ @Snow something for the chronically depressed then? $\endgroup$
    – Baldrickk
    Commented Dec 13, 2018 at 15:53

Supposing proposing mutilating thousands of fighting age men interested in violence that you think are too unstable doesn't cause a uprising. And the prospect of displacing millions of existing armed men from their jobs didn't cause a coup. And that your program could work as intended making (good) robots out of humans, and that didn't scare the people into revolution. And that these robot-ish people made reasonable police.

I think you might have no trouble getting recruits. We already go pretty far to dehumanise cops, and this change would just take that direction further. Effective police forces get respect and perhaps the biggest draw to recruits is the prospect of respect. If you put this step not a little way into the training and didn't rub everyone's nose in it, a lot might just go along with the flow. After all it's probably not as bad as some existing hazing, all the recruit has to do is go in for some surgery and wake up a 'better' man.

Personally I would probably do phase one in secret, just pass it off as super effective training. Once it was revealed that robot-ish cops made for better communities, you reveal the horrible price paid to make them and roll out the metal robots as an alternative. Being sure to have the armed robots ready in case the big reveal causes riots.


Considering the current president is the man you described in your question. Why do they need to want to enlist at all. Just select people and brainwash them into perfect policemen removing the limbic system in the process.


You could offer amnesty to people in prison with life sentences or people who have been sentences to death to have the option to be brainwashed into a cop. This is less than ten years from now so whether or not this method will be effective or not is very iffy.

Also you could offer a "bonus" of augmented limbs. Turning your perfect policemen into robocops/cyborgs making them perfectly motivated by what is right and wrong. Again this is less than ten years from now so I'm reaching quite a bit.

I honestly can't think of a reason why any sane person would do this without some sort of manipulation though. Removing a functioning piece of your body, let alone your brain is almost always seen as a negative.


The main problem is the lack of motivation. Not only on enlisting, but why would they work? It could be that it is their habit, but that, I think, is a bad answer. Some emotions should be left for the sake of motivation.

The optimal motivation would be some kind of pride, but the simplest would be pleasure. Corruption is mostly about that pleasure, thus the seven sins. The pleasure needs to be thus more intense, than can be gained from any source of corruption. Probably a drug optimized to cause pleasure or a microchip integrated to their reward system of the brain.

Enlisting is easy, if they understand the amount of pleasure. The biggest problem here is that they do not. It could be that potential ones are provided a sample of drug, that makes them hooked.

With the current feelings and value systems of people, this kind of cops would be abominations. People could revolt and finding potential ones that are voluntary to have anything to do with the law enforcement system could be hard. Even finding the people that are willing to ramp up this system are hard to find. It would collapse the society; probably not, but the president would be removed. You may need to explain something that would make this less of an abomination.


In Imperial China, they used to make eunuchs senior bureaucrats and palace servants on the same basis--that it would stop emotions compromising their judgements and with no children to pass their wealth onto, they wouldn't become corrupt. Didn't QUITE work out... (see Three Kingdoms). I suspect you'll get ineffective bureaucrats or corrupt sociopaths, should you try this, largely, because, as in China, only the stupid or ambitious would sign up.


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