Social Question

Dutchess_III's avatar

What is the line between having an opinion and passing judgement?

Asked by Dutchess_III (38010points) April 9th, 2013

“Judging” is bad. “Opinions” are neutral, I suppose. But what is the difference between them?

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31 Answers

ragingloli's avatar

There is none.

marinelife's avatar

An opinion is just a stand on an issue or subject, It involves judgment in the sense of exercising your powers of judgment and coming to a conclusion.

Judging others usually involves fear. If we see traits we don’t like in ourselves or that we are afraid that we have, we are likely to judge others who demonstrate those traits negatively. The judgment really says more about ourselves than about those we are judging.

Tropical_Willie's avatar

Opinion is “You know what I think/feel” and

judgement is ”“You should do this !” or “What you did was wrong/right”.

Opinion is advice and open ended. While judgement is rigid and controlling.

JLeslie's avatar

I never thought in terms of opinion vs. judgement. Usually it is opinion or fact that comes up.

I think opinion and judgement are not mutually exclusive. You can have an opinion that also is a judgement. But, I do agree with the people above that judging someone basically comes with what someone believes others should do. However, there are things I would say I believe to be a better or best way to do something and I am still fine if people don’t do it, or choose a different route. So, it is my opinion, and I think people should do it, but I don’t feel I judge them if they don’t. Their life, their choice.

bkcunningham's avatar

Who said judging is bad?

Dutchess_III's avatar

Opinions can be awfully firm and unyielding. Is that when they turn into judgements?

Pachy's avatar

There is definitely a fine line between the two:

Opinion: He is overweight. (a fact)

Judgment: He must be lazy to have put on that much weight.

For more examples, see this.

bkcunningham's avatar

In my judgement, the link posted isn’t working as you intended.

augustlan's avatar

In my opinion, @Pachyderm_In_The_Room is right on the money. And @bkcunningham is right that his link isn’t working.

Pachy's avatar

Sorry, guys. Here’s the link.

Dutchess_III's avatar

IMO, that one worked! One caught my eye, though. It was:

Opinion: I feel that it is irresponsible of a parent to drive when drunk.

Judgment: He was an irresponsible parent for driving drunk.

How are the two different?

glacial's avatar

@Dutchess_III I think the difference in that example is this: the opinion is saying something about the person who is speaking, while the judgement is saying something about the person whose behaviour is being discussed.

In my opinion, the former is a judgement dressed up as an opinion. I don’t think it should be possible to change a statement from one to the other simply by careful phrasing.

Dutchess_III's avatar

OK. I’ll think about that. And come back tomorrow.

Pachy's avatar

@Dutchess_III, I would argue that the first statement, “I feel that it is irresponsible of a parent to drive when drunk”, is essentially a fact (despite the words “I feel”, which slightly undermine that meaning). It’s hard to dispute it’s anything but a fact. And if you accept that, it follows that the second statement, “He was an irresponsible parent for driving drunk,” is its corollary and therefore also a fact. In other words, I don’t think this is a very good example of an opinion vs. a judgment. I’m not sure what it is other than two what I consider to be undeniable facts.

bkcunningham's avatar

What if the parent had just enough to be legally drunk but had a designated driver after, say, a wedding reception. Driving home from the reception along an isolated stretch of highway, the vehicle was hit head-on and the designated driver was killed instantly. The parent is left as the only person to get the children in the vehicles to the hospital for emergency treatment.

Your facts just became a wrong judgement.

glacial's avatar

@Pachyderm_In_The_Room A fact and an opinion are not the same thing.

Dr_Lawrence's avatar

Passing judgement is like passing gas. Almost all of us can do so and some of us know when and where doing so is appropriate.

Anyone informed on an issue has an opinion. Sometimes people choose to share their opinion and often people keep their opinion to themselves.

When someone asks for advice, they are rarely hoping someone will pass judgement on them. Hopefully they are open to hearing the opinion of others. If not, I wonder why they would have bothered to ask unless it was no more than a cry for attention.

Pachy's avatar

Yes, @Glacial, I am well aware of that. Either I didn’t make my point clearly enough or you missed it. Either way, no matter.

OpryLeigh's avatar

I was just about to ask a question similar to this after reading the responses of your last question. I cannot lie, I judge/have an opinion on every single person I see, in my mind mostly although, to be honest, if my boyfriend or a close friend is with me, I may also judge/voice my opinion out loud. Some judgements are good (I really like that girl’s hair, she must be awesome!) some bad (what the hell does that lady think she’s wearing?) but it is very rare that I see someone and don’t make a snap judgement. The way I see it, I am allowed to think whatever I like as long as I don’t use my opinion to hurt someone’s feelings which I wouldn’t do. I fully expect people to judge me in the same way. Honestly, I couldn’t tell you what the difference between passing judgement and simply having an opinion is but when people claim to never judge others, I find that difficult to believe.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I disagree. I think a fact and an opinion can be the same thing. It’s horrible to beat the crap out of your wife and kids. The fact that you beat the crap out of your much smaller wife and kids makes you a horrible person.

bkcunningham's avatar

Is that your opinion or a judgement, @Dutchess_III?~

Dutchess_III's avatar

It’s simply the truth. Would you agree?

bkcunningham's avatar

Well, I was joshing and teasing with the question of whether or not it was your opinion or a judgement.

But, absolutely yes, I agree with you that a fact and an opinion can be the same thing. You can have an opinion based on a fact. Right? When an opinion is a fact, does it change from being an opinion to being a fact? Is there such a thing as a factual opinion? I know there are opinions based on facts, like they would use in legal prosecutions.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@Leanne1986 I know what you mean and am guilty of the same thing., but I work on it a lot, which means I catch it happening and mentally reprimand myself. The thing about snap judgements is they’re often pretty far off base, I’ve found.

augustlan's avatar

Opinion: She has great hair!
Judgement: She must be awesome/a hairdresser/wealthy.

Opinion: I dislike when people wear pajamas in public.
Judgement: Anyone who wears pajamas in public is lazy.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I’m busted! :)

augustlan's avatar

It’s not like I’ve never judged anyone myself. ;)

Dutchess_III's avatar

And I do have great hair, btw. But I’m not a hairdresser or wealthy, just awesome! :)

OpryLeigh's avatar

@KNOWITALL You’re a better person than I am then because I usually don’t reprimand myself. You’re right that snap judgments are usually wrong and when I have gotten to know someone I usually realise that my initial judgments were pretty off but they were just innocent thoughts in my mind. For this reason, I allow myself to make snap judgments about everyone (and everything) I see but I am also willing to eat my thoughts should I get to know them and they prove me wrong. Thoughts don’t hurt anyone but actions based on thoughts might.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@Leanne1986 Oh I get it, I have to force myself not to call family services or animal control all the time. :) Kids and dogs, people here just don’t get it sometimes, it drives me crazy.

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