from MotherJones.com: Maybe you already know the famous hypothetical dilemma: A train is barreling down a track, about to hit five people, who are certain to die if nothing happens. You are standing at a fork in the track and can throw a switch to divert the train to another track—but if you do so, one person, tied to that other track, will die. So what would you do? And moreover, what do you think your fellow citizens would do?
The first question is a purely ethical one; the second, however, can be investigated scientifically. And in the past decade, a group of researchers have been pursuing precisely that sort of investigation. They've put our sense of right and wrong in lab, and even in the fMRI machine. And their findings have begun to dramatically illuminate how we make moral and political decisions and, perhaps, will even reshape our understanding of what morality is in the first place.