Moral decisions from hypothetical dilemmas to the real world
Current literature in moral judgments mainly focuses on hypothetical static and deterministic dilemmas, which may not be applicable to real world moral judgments and may not reveal the real underpinnings of moral judgments. The complexity of real-world moral decisions revolves around uncertainty and ignorance of the external world and the ambiguity of, or even ambivalence towards, our internal preferences. Given the multifaceted nature of moral judgments, this article attempts to inspire some future studies on real-world moral decisions, mainly focusing on three types of moral decisions: moral decisions under risk, under uncertainty, and with multiple alternatives. In the first three chapters, I review experimental findings with hypothetical static and deterministic moral dilemmas, including moral principles and rules as normative and descriptive moral theories; factors that influence moral decisions but cannot be formulated as rules that we can use under different moral scenarios; and two representative examples of models of moral decisions which may reveal descriptive processes of moral decisions. The fourth chapter focuses on the relevant non-moral decision theories, with the goal of providing the fundamentals of decision theories and seeking commonalities between moral and non-moral decisions. Possible future directions will be discussed in the fifth chapter.