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Agnius Balabonas

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Is judging people good or bad? What are the effects both good and bad of both of the alternatives?

You've probably been hearing a lot about judging being bad.. But is it really true?

A lot of people people say that judging is bad.. but what I usually see that same people that say that judge.. They might not judge on looks, but they still judge:
whether on friendliness, achievements, openness or talents.

But whatever you judge on, you still judge based on your values.

So I'm interested in psychological effects of judging or lack of judgments on both the judge and the judged.

Would changing the word judge into making quick distinctions about people change the way you view it.

(Would like to see some references to studies, if possible)

Topics: judgement
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    Jan 28 2012: Judging is a necessary part of life. It only becomes bad if one judges without the intent to reform that judgement as new information is presented.

    I personally create a preliminary hypothesis of who a person is, all the while keeping in mind that it may be necessary to revise my original judgement. If one does not do this then one is in danger of being prejudice. Which we all know is a misjudgment in itself.
  • Jan 31 2012: There is no Original Judge.`
    If there was, then it is a totally rigged game. It is flawed, tainted, corrupt and cruel.
    Then, I most definitely would judge this Judge, and condemn them for their capricious and arbitrary cruelty.

    Judge the behavior, not the person. We cannot get away from judging. If you can, then let's go shopping together for fruit. You purchase the rotten stuff and I'll buy the good stuff.

    The behavior can always be appraised, but acceptance of others is most important, just the way they are. If there are those who live in the dark, whether by choice or simply being forced to in order to survive, they must be accepted totally as they are if they are to ever come out of the dark into the light, and still, we shouldn't judge them.

    Oh, and change your values. Let them be your own and not simply what or how others have told you you should be, act and live, like I'm doing now.
  • W T 100+

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    Jan 29 2012: Quote: "When you judge others - you define yourself" Unknown author
  • Feb 4 2012: Judging people and judging their action or their ideas are very different things.
    It is difficult to judge someone when you don t know everything about this person from being in the womb to present, and know all about his genetical predispositions.
    This might be interesting for you to watch:

    Quoting TED: "Psychopathic killers are the basis for some must-watch TV, but what really makes them tick? Neuroscientist Jim Fallon talks about brain scans and genetic analysis that may uncover the rotten wiring..."
    http://www.ted.com/talks/lang/en/jim_fallon_exploring_the_mind_of_a_killer.html

    In court, for example, when someone is found guilty, we need to think about what is the best way we can prevent him to harm society again. Maybe, one day, we will stop saying : " this guy was judge by the court" and will say instead: " his acts and intentions have been judged"? I still like to think that we have free will. But I cannot prove that.
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    Feb 3 2012: We have to make quick judgments of people's abilities in order to see if they need help or not.
  • Feb 1 2012: To start with a broad point, everything is relative. The ways we think, feel, and understand are all based on past experiences. Therefore I believe that objectivity is different for everyone because we all percieve things in a different way, thus giving us slightly different data with which to draw conclusions. On that note, conclusions for our judgements are based on known facts, and the amount of known facts (or precieved known facts) differs for everyone.

    We can also never be completely objective, despite what some believe, our thinking process is tied to our emotions. We can add 2+2 and get 4, but as soon as we add in conclusions and not just hard data, we add emotions into the equation. We are not computers, our thought process and deduction skills are tied to emotion if only on a minimal level.

    With that basis set I will give my opinion. I believe that it is okay to judge others, it is part of our nature, part of our survival. Being able to tell people who will hurt you apart from those you can trust and such. These conclusions/judgements may not always be accurate but they are made for the survival of the individual.

    With that said we draw conclusions about people all the time, the only thing we can really do is keep an open mind and be willing to change our judgements as more data is added into the equation as Andrew Wiggin and others have said.

    My point is, judgements are neither good or bad. They are a nessesity, a tool to be used, sharpened, and changed. A persons use of them are what make them good or bad.
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    Jan 31 2012: I think I gained some very valuable insight from all the comments so far.

    I think both philosophical and scientific views offer something to this discussion.

    To Edward: I think values was maybe too vague word to use. And you've pointed many important points.

    Though I think one persons objectivity may vary from another. Objectivity only exist when based on something, therefore there is no absolute objectivity.

    From some points of view, wanting to be objective or smart is also a value. But I understand your point.

    And I'm happy there is some constructive discussion.
    • Feb 3 2012: "I think one persons objectivity may vary from another."

      As a definition, objectivity refers to a conclusion absent emotion, which never changes. If, by your statement, you mean the amount of data someone has to work from and with, then absolutely. No two people share identical experiences or memorize the exact same data. The data we're privy to makes us biased based on us being different people. If someone has never been mugged in an alley, they will tend to be more trusting to strangers in alleys. This doesn't mean the choice is more or less subjective, simply a lack of (or anecdotal) data to work from.

      To put a formula to it, an example could be represented by this:

      Person A, who has knowledge in certain areas but not others, meets person C and makes a judgement based on the data person A has at his disposal:

      (You can imagine the categories these represent at your leisure)
      2+3-1+x

      Person B, who has knowledge in certain areas but not others, also meets person C and makes a judgement based on the data person B has at his disposal:

      x+1-2+2

      Neither person needs to be subjective to come to a vastly different conclusion, they simply need a vastly different data set to work from. Neither is being biased in their judgement, their lifetime of experiences create the bias. However, if they were being biased in their judgement (subjective), then the odds of their judgement being correct would go up. Even if they had all the best data, they would come to an incorrect conclusion. So, the more emotional a person you are, the more likely your judgement will be clouded, no matter how much you know.
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    Jan 30 2012: Never judge anyone as being good or bad in any what way, love them all.

    The best study there is you find if you put it into practice.
  • Jan 28 2012: A great teacher never told people to never judge, but did teach us about relationships----judge not in such a way that we think we will never be judged.

    Judge for goodness and for learning what can be done better. Judge not to shove someone off the edge of a cliff, to be rid of them. Judge with love from inside oneself so that all involved may be progressive in relating well with one another. Judge for seeking better ways and for benefits to everyone.

    Judge not to tear someone down or to find damaging fault. Judge in ways to lift people up, as if each one is valued on High.

    Each of us has the capability to look at life through a narrow tube and to declare what we see is all there is. This applies to science and religious views. Each of us would see the world differently. However, if we are willing to widen the tube, we'd see more. Judging, therefore would widen or make more narrow our tube through which we see and experience life. Therefore, judge rightly.

    Judge as though you are being judged by the Original Judge.

    Peace,
    MK
  • Jan 27 2012: "But whatever you judge on, you still judge based on your values."

    I was with you up until this massive assumption. I judge based on past experience, psychology studies and sociological knowledge, not values. I would argue if anyone judges based on values, they are tainting their judgement based on subjective, not objective criteria.

    Judgements made using subjective criteria will be wrong more often than empirical data. In this case, the judgements are bad. Bad for the person making them, as they are wrong about them more often, and wrong for the people receiving them, as they are misjudged.

    For clarity, I understand the definition of "judgement" to mean "predictions based upon summarized data". I don't think it is possible to make time-sensitive predictions without judging. The human brain is capable of quite a lot, but predicting outcomes based on _all_ available data is not one. The mind must summarize data in order to process it.

    For someone to call judging itself bad is to call all thinking species bad.