Kadang kita menghadapi masalah dgn dilema moral dan dituntut untuk ngambil keputusan dgn cepat untuk suatu masalah. Sering juga kita pada akhirnya mengambil keputusan berdasarkan utilitarian ethical theory
. Utilitarianisme adalah suatu doktrin yang pada prinsipnya mengutamakan "the greatest good for the greatest number of people".
Nah, ada riset yang coba cari hubungan pengambilan keputusan seperti ini dengan emosi. Ternyata penderita kerusakan otak bagian prefrontal cortex lebih mudah mengambil keputusan dalam situasi dilematik itu dibanding orang normal. http://pr.caltech.edu/media/Press_Releases/PR12958.html
But new research reveals that there is one type of person who can quickly reach the decision to act in the greater interest of the majority--the person who has suffered damage to an area of the brain known as the prefrontal cortex. In the current issue of the journal Nature, researchers from the California Institute of Technology, Harvard University, the University of Iowa, and the University of Southern California report that experimental tests on patients with prefrontal cortex damage reveal for the first time that emotions play an important role in feelings about what is right and wrong.
"These patients' judgments are different from the comparison subjects' judgments specifically for these high-conflict personal moral dilemmas," Adolphs explains. "Because of their brain damage, they have abnormal social emotions in real life, and lack a normal concern for the well-being of others. In other words, they lack empathy and compassion.
"So patients with prefrontal damage usually say it's preferable to throw the injured person overboard, and they don't have the conflict between emotion and reason that other people have."
The conclusion is that emotions indeed play a role in moral decisions, especially those involving questions of whether the end justifies the means. In short, the people with the brain damage are quickly able to "do the arithmetic" that determines who lives and who dies.