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Judge not lest ye be judged

(19 Posts)
Eloethan Wed 06-Mar-13 01:01:33

I think this is in the bible. It's a tricky one - what do other people think?

Greatnan Wed 06-Mar-13 03:50:48

I have certainly often been judged myself, and found wanting, but I try not to be judgemental about others, until they are proven to be 'wrong 'uns'. We rarely know the other person's motivation or background so we only have half the story.

Joan Wed 06-Mar-13 08:05:44

I'm rarely judgmental except about right wing excesses by politicians or big business. Then I feel murderous!!!

Mostly, it is live and let live with me.

Ariadne Wed 06-Mar-13 09:06:57

"Judge not, that ye be not judged" Matthew 7. It's the one that talks about casting your pearl before swine lest they trample them into the ground - one of my favourite bits. I have always wondered How you identify the "swine", without being judgemental?

But seriously, I always find that when I make a quick judgement about someone, I am usually wrong. I do try very hard to give people the benefit of the doubt. (Exceptions made for Gove and co...)

MiceElf Wed 06-Mar-13 09:32:31

What an interesting question. I suppose I try not to be judgemental but inevitably one makes instant judgements all the time based on prior experience, context, ones own opinions and perhaps even how one is feeling at a particular time.

Thankfully we have a justice system in this country, which for all its faults, can test the evidence pretty thoroughly.

To quote from A Man for all Seasons:

The public may reason according to its wits, but a court must reason according to the law.

BAnanas Wed 06-Mar-13 09:54:47

"Let he who is without sin cast the first stone" still incredibly apt. However, I think it's part of human nature to judge, albeit sometimes subliminally. Pretty sure a lot of us would judge this man Nicholson Head of North Staffs in a very negative way, also bankers and their bonuses. The enormity of certain situations are so unfair and wrong. Of course we judge.

JessM Wed 06-Mar-13 09:57:25

Our judgement develops as we get older and more wise - hopefully. There is a parallel tendency, I find, to become more judgemental and that I think is something to battle with. Easy to fall into an "ain't it awful" habit - The DM (and other publications) owes its success to this - and of course, encourages it.
Never judge someone until you have walked a mile in their shoes is a good principle I think. Specially if you dont believe in the day of judgement smile

Barrow Wed 06-Mar-13 11:09:36

I try not to be judgemental but do sometimes find myself taking an instant dislike to someone when I first meet them. I have learned over the years to trust this "gut" reaction. This is usually in a business setting, the latest being someone who wanted me to invest in what on paper looked like a very promising enterprise. My instinct told me not to trust him and I turned him down - he later disappeared with all his investors funds.

I do sometimes get this reaction in a social situation but then I try to ignore it and try to get to know the person. Is this judging or is it just trusting instincts which have developed over the years?

absent Wed 06-Mar-13 11:21:38

Surely the word judge implies weighing evidence and forming considered opinions and is quite different from taking an instinctive dislike to someone or feeling instant disapproval of them. Of course we make judgements all the time and rightly so.

Being judgmental, in the sense of being excessively critical in a Victor Meldrew sort of way rather than simply meaning using your judgement is not, of course, to be applauded (except in the context of a television sitcom).

dimreepr Wed 06-Mar-13 11:21:48

Judging people is inevitable the trick is not to let that judgement colour your actions. What is most often forgotten is the enormous influence of one’s individual culture and experience, peoples built in need to conform (cognitive dissonance), basically means that however bad you think the person you are judging is, proven or not, would be you; given that you had the same experiences and cultural influence (mental issues/problems aside). The mantra I use to remind myself of this is “that’s me in a different skin”.

j08 Wed 06-Mar-13 11:26:51

Full text cos it's really beautiful:

Judge not, that ye be not judged.
For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.
And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?
Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye?
Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother's eye.

kittylester Wed 06-Mar-13 11:36:51

The older one gets the more judgmental one is bound to get. That's all to do with all the experiences we have had. The trick, in my opinion, it to accept that one is bound to be judgmental and take a step back to re-analyse. sunshine

Bags Wed 06-Mar-13 11:51:04

Barrow, your post is very interesting, and I would answer that, no, what you were doing is not judging, but reading clues. What you were doing is assessing, from spoken and unspoken clues. As social animals we have to be good at this to protect ourselves from attack or, as in your case, being fleeced! I'm so glad you used your good judgment!

We all spend a huge amount of our social time weighing up or assessing risks and gains that might arise from others around us. Labelling and stereotyping is part of this behaviour and not necessarily always a bad thing, but we do have to be wary of overdoing both.

Jadey Wed 06-Mar-13 11:51:42

I think it is spot on, today is good for you but you do not know what tomorrow will bring and what type of different shoes you may be wearing. smile

annodomini Wed 06-Mar-13 12:15:04

I know I have become more tolerant as I've aged, though there are some things I can't tolerate - intolerance being one of them.

Eloethan Wed 06-Mar-13 14:04:10

j08 Thanks for that - it is a very wise and beautiful verse.

If you're religious (which I'm not), surely this is saying that no judgment can be made and presumably God determines what is wicked and punishes accordingly? However, even religious people believe in judgment and punishment in the here and now rather than after death.

I've been thinking about this matter of judgment and find myself conflicted.
I wasn't really thinking about using judgment for one's own immediate safety or well-being, (I agree with Bags - we all use our judgment to assess whether a situation or a person might be a danger to us), or judging whether we like someone or not, but judging other people for what they have done.

Most of us have done things that we're not particularly proud of and we might have some sympathy with other people's wrongdoing if we can identify that we have done similar things (I'm thinking about the points swapping case with Chris Huhne). But, for most people, there is a limit to this. Most of us cannot conceive of committing brutal or murderous acts and we therefore can't identify with the person committing them. We see them as "monsters" or as something "other" - not really part of the human race.

I was thinking more about whether judgment of a person's actions or behaviour is a necessary thing. If you take the "judge not lest .." concept to its logical conclusion, then you would not judge people who had committed the sort of acts of people like Hitler, Fred West, paedophiles, etc., etc., and, though I feel an affinity to the "judge not lest ..." idea, I find it difficult not to judge certain acts and despise the perpetrator. But is this useful?

On the other hand, what we judge to be "right" or "wrong" is often culturally determined or ambiguous. I'm sure that women who participate in genital mutilation of their daughters are not necessarily "bad" people, but, to my mind, misguided. The slave trade was a terrible and inhumane thing, but at the time the majority of people went along with it. I hope that, had I lived in those times, I would have opposed it - but who's to know?

My gut feeling is that if we did more research to investigate why people grow up to commit cruel and vicious acts, it would be more useful than simply judging and punishing them. I'm not saying that people who have committed such acts shouldn't be removed for a period of time (or for a lifetime) from society, I'm just wondering if it would be more constructive to try to find out what makes people commit cruel and murderous acts. The case of Jamie Bulger was a horrific one that appalled everyone. But, is it useful to "judge" children who commit such crimes and punish them, or to find out what led them to such terrible acts and to try to prevent such things happening again?

What triggered this line of thought was the recent case of Cardinal O'Brien. As far as we know, he did not offend against children, but nevertheless he engaged in the sort of behaviour that he was castigating other people for. Nevertheless, I can't help but feel a certain sympathy for someone in his situation, whose world has fallen apart. As others have said on other threads, what leads a person to do this? Surely it's important to look at the background to someone's bad behaviour and learn from it?

feetlebaum Wed 06-Mar-13 14:42:47

I think the verse quoted is a half-cocked attempt to promote the Golden Rule, which in one form or another is quoted in just about every religion invented so far - most familiar as 'Do to others as you would have others do to you'.

Should we not judge Jimmy Savile, for example? Of course we should...

gracesmum Wed 06-Mar-13 14:49:58

"Never judge a person until you have walked a mile in their shoes" That way when the sh*t hits the fan, you are a mile away and they've got no shoes.
I think, seriously that while I agree with much of what has been said, some of society's present ills stem from never daring to say "This is wrong"- on the occasions when it manifestly is. Yes, attempt to understand why or what has led a criminal to a particular course of action: yes, work on restorative justice and rehabilitation; yes be aware of our own shortcomings before leaping to the attack, but please, can we also recognise wrong when it is done and for that matter, right. It seems that the 11th Commandment (Thou shalt not be found out) is the only one some people - Cardinal O'Brien and Chris Huehne among them, take any notice of.

JessM Wed 06-Mar-13 16:13:57

True gracesmum that i have no desire to walk a mile in the cardinal's fancy shoes. grin (not sure what colour they are - the Pope apparently had to relinquish his red ones the other day)
None of these sweeping statements apply do they. I do get peed off though with all this indignation in the press - trying to demonise claimants etc.
Barrow some people call that "instinct" or "intuition" but I don't. I think it is forming a judgement based on experience - using information from your subconscious mind as well as conscious memory.
The danger of it is that sometimes the subconsious can be wrong e.g. "he looks like that unkind teacher you had 50 years ago so much be unkind person* .