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If the Emperor’s name starts with the letter ‘A’, are people whose names start with the letter ‘B’ part of his outgroup? I would differentiate between multiple different meanings of outgroup, where one is “a group you are not a part of” and the other is…something stronger.I want to avoid a very easy trap, which is saying that outgroups are about how different you are, or how hostile you are. Compare the Nazis to the German Jews and to the Japanese.
Unapologetically America-centric because I’m not informed enough to make it otherwise.
(by way of illustration: a billionaire who gives 0 to charity gets as many Utility Points as an impoverished pensioner who donates the same amount, but the latter gets a lot more Virtue Points) Tolerance is also considered a virtue, but it suffers the same sort of dimished expectations forgiveness does.
The Emperor summons before him Bodhidharma and asks: “Master, I have been tolerant of innumerable gays, lesbians, bisexuals, asexuals, blacks, Hispanics, Asians, transgender people, and Jews.
All the townspeople want to forgive him immediately, and they mock the titular priest for only being willing to give a measured forgiveness conditional on penance and self-reflection.
They lecture the priest on the virtues of charity and compassion.
Actual forgiveness, the kind the priest needs to cultivate to forgive evildoers, is really really hard.
The fake forgiveness the townspeople use to forgive the people they like is really easy, so they get to boast not only of their forgiving nature, but of how much nicer they are than those mean old priests who find forgiveness difficult and want penance along with it.
” The Emperor answers: “What do you think I am, some kind of homophobic bigot? ” And Bodhidharma answers: “Thus do you gain no merit by tolerating them! If I had to define “tolerance” it would be something like “respect and kindness toward members of an outgroup”.
And today we have an almost unprecedented situation.
We have a lot of people – like the Emperor – boasting of being able to tolerate everyone from every outgroup they can imagine, loving the outgroup, writing long paeans to how great the outgroup is, staying up at night fretting that somebody else might not like the outgroup enough. It’s a total reversal of everything we know about human psychology up to this point. No one passed out weird glowing pills in the public schools. There’s a very boring sense in which, assuming the Emperor’s straight, gays are part of his “outgroup” ie a group that he is not a member of.
And yet suddenly we get an entire group of people who conspicuously promote and defend their outgroups, the outer the better. But if the Emperor has curly hair, are straight-haired people part of his outgroup?
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