There is plenty of room for this, however. The idea that soup out of a personal sized recycler is fundamentally different from soup made using water out of a ships water recycling sytem, is fundamentally different than water taken out of a river, and processed into drinking water by the city utility...that has another city upstream that uses that same water as a outlet for their treated sewage.
If you've grown to accept a thing without really thinking about it or knowing how it really works, it's easier to close your eyes to this new, unsettling, truth, and keep treating it like you always did.
To keep treating water from the municipal tap as obviously potable, but being squicked out by the idea of a block the size of a small shed that turns your untreated black water back into potable water.
Yes, the toughs know, intellectually, that there is no PRACTICAL difference, but they have years of experience telling them otherwise. Until Admiral Breya led the war against the gatekeepers and Kevyn's team figured out JUST HOW the gates worked, they were a black box. Anyone who has grown up with their use being normal isn't going to suddenly start treating anyone who has used one as if they were a different person.
Karl has had several decades where Laz-5 was dead. D.E.A.D. While he will intellectually know that there is no PRACTICAL difference between this new clone, and the last time he saw HIS Kaff, certainly much of that 40 minutes that was "lost" was spent outside of his presence, his life experiences are getting in the way of truly accepting that as true.
He would be more comfortable if there was a bit more tubing between his catheter and his soup straw.
This is human nature.
Ken, you're going ballistic because somebody is doing something you find rude and reprehensible. But that has absolutely bugger all to do with the philosophical considerations, or in fact whether or not the General would plausibly feel that way. And really, that last one is the only thing that matters at all in this situation.
My problems are that the actions of the Toughs don't make sense for a group with the experiences they already have. It's the apparent incongruity that bothers me, not that Karl is not handling things well. That's the difference between wanting Karl to stop being an idiot, and wanting him to put down the idiot ball. I've posted my in universe objections already.