Thanks to virtual reality, we can run experiments that test what people will do in situations where lives are on the line. We often find people act against what they claim to regard as morally acceptable, says Sylvia Terbeck


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28 October 2020

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YOU probably aren’t as moral as you think. Philosophers have often asked people how they would act in a given situation when lives are on the line, but it is hard to test what they would do in practice. Now, thanks to virtual reality, we are starting to find out – and what people say doesn’t match up with what they do.

There are many thought experiments and dilemmas for breaking down ethical decisions, and perhaps none is more famous than the trolley problem. The scenario begins with a runaway trolley that is on course to …



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