These findings underscore the corporeal nature of many of our moral feelings. The experience of other people’s bodies can elicit empathy and compassion; it can also trigger disgust, fear and hatred. Our moral thoughts and actions are influenced, often unconsciously, by others’ smell, their race, their sex, their age, how much skin they are showing and much else.
If we want to be good people, to do right by others, it’s important to know about these influences. Sometimes we will embrace them, but often we are going to want to combat them.