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gimmedat's avatar

Do you agree with my view on being judgemental?

Asked by gimmedat (3951points) September 6th, 2008 from iPhone

Many people caution against being judgemental, but I think the real issue that one needs to be cautioned against is prejudging.
Here’s my rationale: one should not develop a negative opinion about another based solely on perception. Rather, one should make an attempt to view the actions of another and then develop his/her opinion whether positive or negative. Being judgemental is good. I teach my children to choose their friends wisely, to observe behavior, then decide if another is the type of person he/she wants to associate with. I am teaching my kids to be judgemental; if a kid is drinking alcohol or doing drugs I would hope my kid would recognize that as poor decision making and create distance between him/herself and said kid. I do the same as an adult. What are the flaws in my rationale?

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11 Answers

augustlan's avatar

I don’t think there are any flaws in your philosophy, but perhaps in your understanding of the word “judgemental”. What you are teaching your children about is “judgement”, which is great. I view being being “judgemental” as a matter of looking down on someone for making different choices than you would. In some cases, of course, that might be justified, but in others – say matters of religious beliefs, etc – it is a whole different ball of wax.

aidje's avatar

Discernment is when your kids choose not hang out with alcoholics and druggies. Judgmental is when your kids decide that the alcoholic druggie kids are totally worthless and beyond redemption or sympathy.

Discernment good, judgmental bad.

gailcalled's avatar

The semantics really don’t matter. We all make judgments 1000/day. Being compassionate is different than choosing a car.

susanc's avatar

Gail has struck again, though subtly, by spelling “judgmental” correctly. This is a wholly counterintuitive spelling that should probably be changed;
but look in the dictionary.
And now that I check back, aidje struck too.
oh wait, I’m being judgmental.

augustlan's avatar

Oh, hell.

gailcalled's avatar

I learned that in 9th grade English – a good year for my memory.

aidje's avatar

I would argue that the semantics do matter, if for no other reason than because of the confusion they cause. They’re the root of this whole argument, which comes up fairly often. That is to say, the similarity of “judgment” and “judgmental” causes people to conflate two disparate concepts. To discuss the semantics is simply to point out the difference that is often overlooked.

ninjaxmarc's avatar

Don’t judge a book by it’s cover until you have read it and understand it.

gailcalled's avatar

@aidje; sensible point and nicely put. There are lots of words now that people are sloppy about using interchangeably; “visit” and “visitation,” “simple” and “simplistic” come to mind.

cyndyh's avatar

I’ve often heard people saying “don’t judge” in the same tone and same circumstances that they call someone “judgmental”. I think a lot of people actually mean that in a way that’s interchangeable. So, yes judging is a good idea. Perceive, reason, then judge. In that order things work best.

marissa's avatar

I agree with gimmedat’s sentiment (at least as I’m interpretting it), however, as others have pointed out the use of the word ‘judgmental’ is where I have a problem. I am guilty of poor word choice myself from time to time, so I’m not being ‘judgmental’ of gimmedat, however, for clarification, I would like to point out Merriam-Webster’s definition of judgemental (note the use of the word ‘harshly’) in comparison to their definition of the word judgment (in particular 4a). Using those two definitions, I don’t think it is ever good to be judgmental, however, I think it is always good to use good judgment.

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