Opinion Columns & Blogs

August 3, 2011 12:00 AM

We need a great deal of caution in making moral judgments

Are many of our moral judgments hard-wired from evolution? Moral cognition labs at top universities around the world are studying this question. Subjects are presented moral dilemmas to solve like the famous runaway trolley problem. A trolley breaks loose and is about to kill five people standing on the tracks. You can save them by pulling a switch to divert the trolley to a track where only one person would die. Should you pull the switch? About 90 percent of volunteers, regardless of ethnic or social status or religious or moral views, including children over 8, say they would pull the switch.

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