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?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.He further notes that this is why the townspeople can self-righteously consider themselves more compassionate and forgiving than he is.

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You forgive a conventional duel just as you forgive a conventional divorce.

You forgive because there isn’t anything to be forgiven.

The Nazis were totally different from the Japanese: different race, different language, vast cultural gap.

But the Nazis and Japanese mostly got along pretty well. If you want to know who someone in former Yugoslavia hates, don’t look at the Indonesians or the Zulus or the Tibetans or anyone else distant and exotic.

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.There are a lot of people who say “I forgive you” when they mean “No harm done”, and a lot of people who say “That was unforgiveable” when they mean “That was genuinely really bad”.Whether or not forgiveness is right is a complicated topic I do not want to get in here.Someone who thinks divorce is abhorrent can “forgive” divorce.You can forgive theft, or murder, or tax evasion, or something you find abhorrent.[Content warning: Politics, religion, social justice, spoilers for “The Secret of Father Brown”.