I have no hesitation in saying I would (likely) have used PEDs if I was in that scenario. Hell - I heavily researched "traditional" steroids for the sole purpose of getting bigger, with no economic upside and, ultimately economics, and not morals, determined that I would not go down that path. I'm not trying to claim any moral high ground here. Shifting the blame doesn't change the individual's actions and choices.
We come at it from different directions. You seem to be interested in feeling superior to cheats. I seem to be interested in having fewer cheats. When you blame people who cheat without taking into account the circumstances that pushed them to cheating, you're going to have an endless supply of people to feel superior over, but alas the world won't be made better one iota.
I've had an opportunity to live in two different countries. My country of birth of is one of the most corrupt in the world. My adopted country is fairly free of corruption. What would explain the difference? Are people in one country more genetically predisposed towards corruption compared to the other? Are they all weak, whereas Americans are all strong in character? Or could it be that in my birth country there is an unceasing systemic pressure that corrupts people at every step of the way, whereas in America in most walks of life there are no consequences to living completely honestly?
Every man has a breaking point, and every man has his price. I'm not interested in judging people who are put in a situation that puts them past the breaking point. I'm a problem solver by nature, not a moralist. The key to having 95% of people acting honestly is to put in place a system that rewards honesty, and punishes cheaters. There will always be sociopaths who will lie and cheat their way to success, and by all accounts Armstrong is one of those people, but when all people cheat, then it seems like a no-brainer that you have a systemic problem. Blaming the individuals doesn't solve anything.
What we have here is a failure to communicate.
You can't give a free pass to the cheaters because the system was easy to cheat. This isn't life, this is sport - people's dreams of glory, income and entertainment, but it's just riding a bike. People keep implying that everyone
was doping - that's not true. Clean riders existed and raced and continued to race throughout the era, they just didn't get paid millions of dollars or become famous. Some quit when faced with the futility of racing clean. There's the rub - you say it's not the cheater's fault because the system made them cheat. I (strongly) disagree and say the clean riders who stuck it out or who opted to pursue a different career over cheating prove that while the system may well be broken, participation in it is still down to individual choice.
I don't know where you're from or what kind of corruption you grew up in. Having been born in what is - in my mind - the best country in the world, that's not something I've had to face. I don't have to cheat to eat or keep my family safe, healthy or fed. I don't need to bribe people so I can own a house, drive my car or ride my bikes. But then, that's not what we're talking about either. We're talking about getting paid to ride a bicycle not change the world. Nobody says it's an easy choice to do the right thing, but it's still a choice and it's down to the individual, not the system. The key to having 95% of people acting honestly is for society at large to hold people accountable for their actions, not making excuses for them.