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.
After some thought I agree with Chesterton’s point.
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.
Actual forgiveness, the kind the priest needs to cultivate to forgive evildoers, is really really hard.
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.
The Nazis were very similar to the German Jews: they looked the same, spoke the same language, came from a similar culture.
Unapologetically America-centric because I’m not informed enough to make it otherwise.
Try to keep this off Reddit and other similar sorts of things.] I.
I mean, from a utilitarian point of view, you are still doing the correct action of not giving people grief because they’re a divorcee. All I’m saying is that if you “forgive” something you don’t care about, you don’t earn any Virtue Points.
(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 Nazis were totally different from the Japanese: different race, different language, vast cultural gap.