To Judge Or Not to Judge – There Is No Question

We are often warned not to be “judgmental.” This warning tells us that we are not supposed to determine whether some person or some behavior is unacceptable. In the minds of people who use the term this way, there is an assumption that any rational process of judgment will yield negative results. If they thought otherwise, they would insist that we do judge that person or behavior. The irony here is that, when someone warns us not to be “judgmental,” they themselves have already determined that there is a basis for disapproval. In effect, they are admitting that they have already judged what they are telling us not to judge.

The admonishment not to judge is absurd. Human beings are provided with cognitive faculties precisely in order to make determinations, thus to judge every experience, every object, every action and every person they come into contact with. No one would survive if he could not judge something or someone. Experience has already taught us that if we do not judge the person coming toward us waving a gun, we are likely to get shot. Our natural reaction in such circumstances is flight, and a healthy reaction it is. Or we prepare to defend ourselves, a second, direr alternative. In any case, the sum of our experience, combined with our logic and cognitive faculties, both tools of nature which enable us to anticipate experience, give us the tools not merely to avoid difficult, unpleasant or dangerous actions, but to survive.

The mechanism we use to survive is our ability to discriminate, something we are also told not to do. But we cannot suspend our discrimination because discrimination is also natural to the cognitive process. The definition of discrimination is the act of differentiating or distinguishing the various elements of reality that are before us. We discriminate one thing from another, one situation from another, one person from another, one color or texture from another, and we choose which situation, person, color or texture we prefer over another or which we determine is right in our decision making process. We learn to discriminate anger from joy, good tasting food from bad, rainy weather from sunshine. And from this learning we develop a database which we can summon at any time when we need it.

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During the whole of our existence, this process never stops. In fact, as we grow wiser with experience, we become sharper and more precise in our judgments and the database of experience grows. We consult it as situations face us which require decisions. And when necessary, we summon from it an automated response, a summary decision.

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A decision is the process of eliminating elements that do not fit. “Decide” means “cut away.” If we did not decide (or judge or discriminate) we could not survive, even for a moment. We decide when to cross a street by using our discriminatory faculty to make a judgment about whether the street is clear of traffic or we might be hit by a car. We make this decision by selectively eliminating what is unnecessary from what is necessary and what is good from what is bad. We make judgments about which people are good or bad, too. If we did not discriminate between one person and another, we would be unable to tell a thug from the little old lady next door. We teach our children to “look both ways when crossing the street” so that they also develop this same discriminatory ability.

To discriminate is not to act with prejudice, which is bad and wrong. Prejudice is judgment made before the evidence is weighed. Pre-judice, means precisely that, and no respectable human being would choose to engage in prejudicial conduct. But no rational human being would fail to make rational judgments.

Our country’s education is a national disgrace. In fact, it is an international disgrace, not as much because our system produces insufficient numbers of technicians, as because the fundamentals of our education have been deliberately and systematically altered. In fact, they have been corrupted not only by a lowering of standards, but also by changing the content of what is taught. Political Correctness is the tool used to destroy the ability of people to decide properly what is true and what is false, what is good and what is bad, who to trust and who not to trust. If that ability is gone, then someone in power will have the ability and the prerogative to decide instead. Individual values, freely decided, will be gone and replaced by values that are dictated by those in power. And those values will always be skewed in favor of them.

What about so-called “sincere Social Liberals” who profess ardently to care about us? Are they intent on the corruption of our values? There is a definitive difference between sincere Social Liberals and insincere ones. It is this: Sincere Liberals think that we are too stupid to know what is good for us and what is bad for us. Insincere Liberals, especially the politicians, hope we never find out that difference. The only way to protect ourselves is to remember that it does not matter whether someone sincerely wants you to lose your freedom for your own good, or whether they mean to take it from you by fraud or force. Sitting in the back seat of a speeding car with a blind driver is just as bad as sitting in the back seat of a speeding car that is driven by someone intent on driving it off a cliff in order to kill you.

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