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Why You're Probably Not As Moral As You Think You Are

Thanks to virtual reality, we can conduct experiments that test what people do in situations where lives are at stake. We often find people who act against what they consider morally acceptable, says Sylvia Terbeck


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October 28, 2020

By Sylvia Terbeck

YOU are probably not as moral as you think you are. Philosophers have often asked people how they would act in a given situation when life was at stake, but it is difficult to test what they would do in practice. Now, thanks to virtual reality, we're starting to find out – and what people are saying doesn't match what they are doing.

There are many thought experiments and dilemmas for breaking ethical decisions and perhaps none is more famous than the trolley problem. The scenario starts with a runaway car that is on its way …