Why do racism, sexism and discrimination against people with disabilities still exist, despite the widespread acceptance that they are wrong? There are several reasons, but surely one is that many people act unthinkingly on the basis of their emotional impulses, without reflecting on the ethics of what they are doing. That, of course, invites us to discuss why some people have these negative emotional impulses toward people of other races, and that in turn leads to the old debate whether such prejudices are innate or are learned from one’s culture and environment. There is evidence that even babies are attracted to faces that look more like those of the people they see around them all the time, so there could be an evolved innate element, but culture certainly plays a very significant role.


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