Saturday, April 18, 2015

Hating The Outgroup

Many of you have likely seen this long essay in Slate Star Codex from last fall, I Can Tolerate Anything Except The Outgroup. It needs an editor, but his style is engaging enough that it's not a chore to read.  The content is very insightful.  That is to say, I agree with it, he says it much better, and adds both illustration and extension of what I have said myself.


james said...

G.K. Chesterton — 'The Bible tells us to love our neighbors, and also to love our enemies; probably because generally they are the same people.'

Donna B. said...

I'm not through reading that essay, but so far the thought that keeps interrupting is "yes, but... he is erecting strawmen for support".

That it is easier to be more forgiving of a completely different culture than one that is only slightly different isn't hard to grasp. That some people tend toward "we shouldn't judge what we haven't experienced or understand" and that others tend toward "well, they don't know any better and we should teach them" isn't such a stretch either. And that difference might indicate a difference between liberals and conservatives.

But isn't it a more conservative approach to want to respect (and therefore, not change) something different... that it should exist because it historically has?

It's when the difference is "they should know better" that the similarities of culture generate disgust and intolerance.

My thoughts are obviously disjointed and there may be no point to them.

Assistant Village Idiot said...

Donna - yes, I think much of what he says obvious. And yet not commonly apprehended. He still doesn't the Red Tribe, but he gets his own Blue Tribe well, and I appreciate any graduation from anosognosia. The last part of the essay didn't grab me as much.

RichardJohnson said...

In a similar vein: Tribalism is as Tribalism Does.

My high school experience gave me extensive experience in tribes. For one, it was not difficult to discern that some of the opposition to the Vietnam War was not predicated on political beliefs, but on what group was taking a particular stance.

I came from a less educated, more rural town that attended a regional high school based in a larger town. Many students in the larger town, were irate at the way that many southern whites treated the black outgroup in the South. Yet these same students had no problem labeling students from my town as "dumb farmers." Which is not all that different from "dumb N-word," Everyone has an outgroup.

Texan99 said...

How very odd that he never comes into contact with conservatives; he sure has some odd notions about them. Are we that hard to find? I'm in contact with lots of liberals.

Can it really be true that 46% of Americans believe that evolution is an atheistic lie and that human beings were created in exactly their current state a few thousand years ago? I'd love to know the source of that statement. I'm not convinced it's true of even 46% of conservatives.