Watch out with people who claim, “No judgments! I never judge!”
This can mean only one of two things. Either they’re lying; or they mean what they say, and they judge through their emotions.
You have to understand what emotions are. Emotions are value judgments; they are expressions of values, beliefs, ideas and convictions.
When you feel an emotion, your mind is making an evaluation and judgment for you. If you go through life resolving not to judge, then what you’re doing is letting your emotions do your judging for you. You’re at the mercy of emotions which may or may not be rationally and logically valid, particularly when it comes to other people. And, if you know people who allow this, then you’re at the mercy of their emotions too.
In psychology, all the rage these days is “mindfulness.” Mindfulness is a concept from eastern philosophy which emphasizes awareness and presence here-and-now, in the moment. This approach has its useful points, particularly for people who have difficulty focusing, concentrating and even enjoying the here-and-now. At the same time, this approach emphasizes non-judgmentalism and indiscriminate love of all regardless of facts or reality.
Advocates of mindfulness generally promote very definite, very conclusive ideas and policies. In politics and ethics, they morally condemn the use of military force against terrorists or other violent people, claiming that we need love, not war. They condemn capitalism, including private property. They take global warming as an undisputed fact, and believe that mankind is ruining the planet. They don’t support Communism as such, but they do want people like Bernie Sanders to hold high office. They hold the principles of collectivism, while hoping love, peace and brotherhood will override the fact that such utopias can only be achieved via coercion, force and even brutality. It’s hard to be mindful and peaceful with a government agent pointing a gun down your back. If you disagree with or challenge any of their premises or contradictions, you are — rest assured — greeted with a whole lot of judgment. This shows how the ideology and psychology of “nonjudgmentalism” cannot sustain itself, nor even hold up for five minutes under its own terms. You cannot take definite stands on anything without judgments.
You can’t get through life without judgments. The only question is whether those judgments or evaluations will be based on reason and evidence, or not. Everything you think and do either advances your life in some small or large way, or it does not. It either promotes your survival and happiness, or it does not. If you’re to live a self-interested and productive, purposeful and happy life rather than the opposite, or a life driven by arbitrary and random chance, then you have to develop a way of judging people and actions that makes sense.
Judgment gets a bad name because of judgmentalism. Some people immediately convert their emotions into judgments without running them through the rational screening process. They blurt out their emotions, untested, unverified, unconsidered, and expect others to treat all of those emotions as fact. But this is not judgment, not in the sense I’m talking about. And you can’t give up on rational judgment and evaluation simply because some people use this method as a poor substitute for thinking.
The people who run around trying to make it look like they never pass judgment on anyone or anything are not telling the truth. They might believe what they’re saying, and might not mean to lie. But rest assured that they’re judging. If they have emotions, they cannot help but judge. Deep down, they’re probably every bit as judgmental as the people who openly act this way. Because if you surrender or give up on judging altogether, then you’re left with nothing but your biased, often prejudiced emotions to guide you.
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