Several questions have been raised about the morality of the metaverse. Many harassment and molestation cases have forced tech-insiders to create a moral metaverse.
When virtual and real worlds overlap and blur the boundaries, issues are not limited solely to gaming or software development.
There are pertinent moral and ethical questions about sexual harassment, misogyny, cyberbullying, and discrimination.
However, one is hard-pressed to find a straightforward solution or answer to creating a moral metaverse.
How to Classify and Categorize Ethics and Morality on the Metaverse?
Morality on the metaverse is not limited to harassment and bullying.
Recent digital twin studies and the potential for testing drugs on digital beings have raised multiple ethical and moral questions.
Most of these questions are limited by our understanding of what is moral and how we classify morality and ethics.
As a result, tech insiders may have to look toward professional philosophers and ethicists to understand and develop solutions to creating a morally sound metaverse.
A Philosophical Approach Towards Creating a Moralistic Metaverse
The metaverse raises many philosophical questions, with the most basic ones being ontological and epistemological.
Although ontologists and epistemologists have argued about many things, they both find it hard to understand and explain ethical questions related to the metaverse.
Ontology explores existence, reality, and the process of being or becoming something.
Metaverse often challenges traditional ontological explanations because while it exists, it quite does not.
In other words, the abstract nature of the metaverse, which blurs the boundaries between what is real and what is not, makes it harder to provide an ontological explanation.
Similarly, the metaverse raises epistemological questions.
Epistemology, also known as the theory of knowledge, helps us understand what things are and why those things are the way they are.
Epistemology provides a foundational set of beliefs based on reason, memory, testimony, and perception.
As the metaverse exists in both the virtual and real worlds, it makes it harder for epistemologists to explain the morality of the metaverse.
Ontological and epistemological explanations of a moral metaverse
- An ontological explanation of an ethical metaverse – Metaverse experiences are perceived as if they are real, and thus personal boundaries must be respected.
- An epistemological explanation of an ethical metaverse – Metaverse experiences are rooted in real technology-enabled sensations and perceptions, and thus, very much accountable.
To create a moral metaverse, tech companies should consult professional ethicists
Virtual and augmented realities (VR and AR) allow miscreants to engage in undesirable activities, and the metaverse could potentially become a lawless territory.
Nevertheless, it is possible to create a metaverse rooted in ethics and morality.
There could be a stricter control of personal boundaries, especially when perceptions are real and sensations are tangible.
Metaverse companies should speak with professional philosophers and ethicists.
They can help companies to categorize what is real and what is not. In addition, they can help gain clarity regarding several ethical questions across the spectrum.
Thus, creating a morally sound and ethical metaverse is possible.