Morality Under Uncertainty

When we make decisions, we almost always do so under conditions where we do not know the full ramifications of our actions. If I donate money to a beggar, I don’t know whether the beggar is as badly off as they seem, I don’t know what they’ll spend the money on, I don’t know many things. Nonetheless, I give or I do not give. If someone tells me of a rally they’d like me to attend, I don’t know everything about the organizers of the rally, the cause, other ways I could support the cause, etc. Nonetheless, I must either join the rally or not.

An important further option I have is to try to gather more information. Of course, delaying to gather information may waste time and lead to worse outcomes, or gathering information may use resources that could’ve been used for making better decisions.

How should people make decisions under uncertainty, with all this in mind? In contrast, how do people make decisions under uncertainty? What heuristics and moral rules are helpful in situations like this?