He and I are often at odds because of something I've written about before: when he interacts with others, he often has an eye toward justifying all of his statements so as to forcefully compel others to listen to the logic and act accordingly. I don't like that approach, and often am much more free-flowing and less rigorous with my ideas, more prone to accepting something new than rejecting it. That's not necessarily a good thing, but I do try to temper it with an increased suspicion of ideas that are supportive of rather than subversive to the dominant culture.
Anyway, I realized that, as Jason points out, these opposing perspectives co-exist in primitive life. The hostility and defensiveness of rational argumentation are of akin to the hostility and defensiveness of the tribe in relation to those outside of the tribe. Likewise, the generosity of spirit, the desire to give the benefit of the doubt to others and the tendency toward acceptance that I tend to emphasize are akin to the openness and non-judgmentalism that exists within the tribe.
It's kind of an old refrain, but balance is key. It's not really feasible to be empathic with everyone, monkey-sphere and all. But it's also a denial of a real spiritual and psychological need for nonjudgment to always assume others disbelieve you and to temper your words and feelings in order to be able to justify their rationality in the eyes of others. I think that not only is it not wrong to apply different standards to different people in your life, but the desire to have universal standards is an artifact of empire, and the desire for everyone in the world to live the same (destructive) way. Multiplicity of beliefs and behaviors are good and necessary in a local world. Cultural relativism and all: to the extent that they allow a group to exist sustainably in a given ecological and human community, their beliefs are acceptable, and cannot be judged by a universal yardstick.
That's kind of tricky, though, because the manifestation of treating people differently is very different in a tribe that exists self-sustainably in a given region, and does not have effective control over the lives of others, versus in empire where the impact of elites is felt way beyond their locale, and where inequity manifests itself in the diminished capacity of the 'other' to exist. I understand this, and anticipate this criticism. I don't know what the answer is, aside from the fact that we will re-localize at some point in probably the not-too-distant future, and what will emerge after empire has tapered down is a multiplicity of cultures who may be ethnocentric, but whose ethnocentrism will still leave room for other ways of life.