Augmented Reality -The Ethical Importance of a Shared Context
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In this thesis I will discuss the ethical impact augmented reality can have on our moral deliberation. Augmented reality places a layer of virtual objects onto our perception of reality. I will show that augmented reality has the potential to alter our perception of reality, which is an important aspect in determining the rightness of our actions. The context of a moral act provides us with reasons why we should prefer one act over another. Other people, who are affected by our moral behaviour, provide one of the strongest reasons to prefer a certain act. These second-personal reasons will lose strength without a shared understanding of reality. You would be unable to understand the reasons they are providing. Furthermore, the merging of the virtual world with the real world causes a moral vertigo: confusion about what is right in a certain context. Through altering our perception of reality augmented reality changes the context. But it could misrepresent, or even mis-present reality. The augmented reality could be false, leading to biased believes about the real world. Furthermore, altering the context alters the reasons to act morally. It could confuse people even further about what is right. And augmented reality makes our virtual behaviour real. While we used to steer virtual characters through a virtual world, with augmented reality we steer ourselves through the augmented world. Virtual misbehaviour suddenly becomes real.