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Judge not lest ye be judged

 
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I came across this quote today which I found interesting. I'm not going to source it since I think it would only distract from the conversation.

The inability to "pass judgement" [and to] know what is good or bad is the loss of personal values and human morality.



As kids growing up, our parents often warned us not to "pass judgement" on things. Thinking about it now, I'm not sure if that's really the best advice. Isn't it a desired trait for moral beings to be able to interpret situations and apply a set of values to shape that interpretation, thus passing judgement? When we say "don't pass judgement", aren't we really saying that we should not apply morals and values in our interpretations?

Yeah, I'm rambling. That quote does resonate somehow though.
[ July 27, 2005: Message edited by: Jason Menard ]
 
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I once read


Judge not lest ye be judged.



I'm not going to attribute that, as it would only detract from the conversation.
 
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it depends on what morals and values you're using to pass judgement on something. 100 million people died last century in wars on account of judgements being made based on flawed morals and values.

even today, issues like global warming and human rights abuses threaten the future of our species and politicians and corporate leaders refuse to do anything about it on account of their morals and values putting more value on their own personal wealth and power than on the well being of the rest of planet.
 
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To pass judgement a person should have a complete grasp on the issue.
Most of the time we judge situations based on second hand knowledge.
:roll:
 
Aj Mathia
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Going away from the topic slightly can you consider this situation
Hitler won WW 2
Germans achieved the dream of a pure race.
Half of the world belongs on them and a major portion by Japan.
All present day technology was discovered, improved provided by these 2 nations.


How are we positioned to respond to the values we hold so high in such a situation?
How would we judge now?
 
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Godwin strikes again.
 
Aj Mathia
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:roll:
 
Aj Mathia
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Originally posted by Michael Ernest:
Godwin strikes again.



Does this mean I have to start a new thread ?
 
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"Judge not lest ye be judged" applies to people not to situations. The idea is that we shouldn't judge a person as being bad or good because we don't know what is in their heart or what has led them to be the way they are. But we can judge their actions and punish them for those actions.
 
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ok
 
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last time i heard this is from metallica
 
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Originally posted by Thomas Paul:
"Judge not lest ye be judged" applies to people not to situations. The idea is that we shouldn't judge a person as being bad or good because we don't know what is in their heart or what has led them to be the way they are. But we can judge their actions and punish them for those actions.



I'm a little confused. Didn't the anonymous author of the quote use it to stop a group of judgmental types from punishing someone for her actions?

M
 
Thomas Paul
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Originally posted by Max Habibi:
I'm a little confused. Didn't the anonymous author of the quote use it to stop a group of judgmental types from punishing someone for her actions?

Nope... wrong incident. The story of the adultres woman is in John 8. In that case Jesus said, "Let he who is without sin cast the first stone." But it is important to note what the passage tells us: John 8:6 "They were using this question as a trap, in order to have a basis for accusing him." In this case he didn't say that punishing her actions was a bad thing. He found his way out of the trap by turning their own sins against them.

The quote in question here is from matthew chapter 7 and needs to be read in context:

"Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother's eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, 'Let me take the speck out of your eye,' when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother's eye."

For those interested, BibleGateway.com has a commentary on this passage.
[ July 21, 2005: Message edited by: Thomas Paul ]
 
Michael Ernest
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Tolerance implies no lack of commitment to one's own beliefs.
Rather it condemns the oppression or persecution of others.

-- John F. Kennedy
 
Max Habibi
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Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother's eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, 'Let me take the speck out of your eye,' when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother's eye.

I am, as I've asserted several times in the past, an Evangelical Atheist. However, I can't deny that the passage above is a powerful message. I find myself feeling humble in reading it.

M
 
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Another quote from a more recent reference:

"Be hard on the problem, soft on the people."

Fisher&Ury, Getting to Yes.
 
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I think a better translation would be "CONDEMN not, lest ye be CONDEMNED."

As thinking people, we make judgements all the time. And we can probably see flaws in others that we would like to avoid in ourselves. Conversely, we should also be able to find characteristics in others that we would like to emulate.

I wonder what it would feel like to throw the switch on a criminal in an electric chair. I imagine that if you thought it might deter other criminals and serve to protect innocent people in society, the action would be moral. But if you're thinking, "Fry, you bastard, you deserve this," then you might not be all that different from the criminal in the chair. He might have thought that his victims were fully deserving of what they got.
 
Max Habibi
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Originally posted by Jeff Fisher:
I think a better translation would be "CONDEMN not, lest ye be CONDEMNED."

As thinking people, we make judgements all the time. And we can probably see flaws in others that we would like to avoid in ourselves. Conversely, we should also be able to find characteristics in others that we would like to emulate.



Very true. I think the biblical advice regarding focusing on our own problems is pretty damn good advice. There's probably plenty of work for all of us right there.

M
 
Jason Menard
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So then are you saying that you would reject the premise made by the quote in the first post?

The inability to "pass judgement" [and to] know what is good or bad is the loss of personal values and human morality.
 
Max Habibi
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Originally posted by Jason Menard:
So then are you saying that you would reject the premise made by the quote in the first post?



I would say that I have plenty of work ahead of me in working out my own personal values, morality, and trying to live by them: Probably too much to worry overmuch about passing judgement on yours.

M
[ July 27, 2005: Message edited by: Max Habibi ]
 
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"Judge Not, lest ye be judged" is from the book of Matthew in the bible, taken from the King James version.

We have no right to judge others because it is not our place to begin with. What other people do is thier own business and whether it is right or wrong is not for us to decide. God is the only person who should and WILL judge others. Until that time, we need to not be concerned with others and make sure we living a morally just life.
 
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Originally posted by Jason Menard:
I came across this quote today which I found interesting. I'm not going to source it since I think it would only distract from the conversation.



As kids growing up, our parents often warned us not to "pass judgement" on things. Thinking about it now, I'm not sure if that's really the best advice. Isn't it a desired trait for moral beings to be able to interpret situations and apply a set of values to shape that interpretation, thus passing judgement? When we say "don't pass judgement", aren't we really saying that we should not apply morals and values in our interpretations?

Yeah, I'm rambling. That quote does resonate somehow though.

[ July 27, 2005: Message edited by: Jason Menard ]


I think there is a huge differrence between having morality, and imposing your morality on others. Having your own personal moral code, and living by it is respectable, but expecting everyone else around you to confirm to your moral code is considered moral asshattery by some.

This quote refers to imposing your own moral code on society. "Judge not" means that you should not measure other people by your own moral yardstick. "Lest ye be judged" means that if you measure other people by your own yardstick, then others will measure you by their own yardsticks. Since, no 2 people have the same personal moral code, you are bound to come up short by other people
 
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The inability to "pass judgement" [and to] know what is good or bad is the loss of personal values and human morality.

I thought I heard that from some conservative policitian or maybe Bob Bennett but the source doesn't really matter. I believe that the "line in the sand" for good and bad varies among individuals and over time and there is a risk that as a society we can let it drift too far.

I often say that in America today too many people believe anything that is legal is "ok" and anything that turns a profit is "really quite good". The original quote lines up nicely with that.
 
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Originally posted by Stan James:
anything that turns a profit is "really quite good"



That depends upon what source you have for deriving your morals. The behaviour of corporations is entirely consistent with morals from a market forces point of view - the corporation does what it can to enable itself to grow and survive within a market place. Market forces also state that "survival of the fittest" among corporations is a good thing as it brings about stronger and more efficient companies.

These morals may not match our morals, but then why should we expect corporation care about us? We didn't design the corporate structure or market system to do the right thing, but to do the most efficient thing. This is the difference - human morals are aimed at right actions and corporate morals are aimed at efficient actions. If a corporation was intelligent, it would probably see nothing wrong with telling us that efficiency is the best thing to aim for. In fact it kind of does that by spawning PR consultants and lobbying organisations to put its point of view (and moral code) to us.

As humans we may look at corporations and think that they have a strange immoral psychotic tendency towards making money, but then a corporation could well look at humans and think we have strange immoral psychotic tendencies to do strangely inefficient actions.

In a way a corporation has a similar moral view point to some trees. It wants to grow as much as possible, while at the same time casting a shadow around it so that competing trees cannot grow close by. We would consider harming our neighbours immoral, but a tree wouldn't. Similarly a corporation would have no moral qualms about harming a competitor organisation.

Is this a good thing? Not really, but then that's the cost of wanting an economic system which supplies us with cool consumer goods - we've surrendered power to organisations which not only show rudimentary emergent intelligence, but also have a very different moral structure to ourselves. Lets hope we can keep them under control.
[ October 06, 2005: Message edited by: Dave Lenton ]
 
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I wasn't thinking of corporations so much as folks like Howard Stern or Larry Flynt. There's a place for pushing the boundaries of what's "good" and in this country they have a right to see how far they can go. Sometimes society tries to push back via the courts. Sometimes these guys win and claim to be vindicated - "See, what I was doing not just legal but GOOD!" Howard can move to XM and out from under the thumb of the FCC, leaving him nothing but his own choices for good & bad.

What's my point? I'm no prude. I enjoy dirty jokes and various sins in privacy now & then. But I'm saddened that the general tone of media and entertainment is so darned sleazy and in my kid's face.
 
Jayesh Lalwani
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Originally posted by Stan James:
I wasn't thinking of corporations so much as folks like Howard Stern or Larry Flynt. There's a place for pushing the boundaries of what's "good" and in this country they have a right to see how far they can go. Sometimes society tries to push back via the courts. Sometimes these guys win and claim to be vindicated - "See, what I was doing not just legal but GOOD!" Howard can move to XM and out from under the thumb of the FCC, leaving him nothing but his own choices for good & bad.

What's my point? I'm no prude. I enjoy dirty jokes and various sins in privacy now & then. But I'm saddened that the general tone of media and entertainment is so darned sleazy and in my kid's face.



You do have the option of changing the channel when your kid is in front of the radio. That's kind of the point I was making. It might be wrong for your kid to listen to Howard Stern. It might be wrong for you and countless other parents to let your kids listen to Howard Stern. But, it's not wrong for me and countless other adults to listen to Howard Stern. Clearly this shows how some aspects of morality differs from person to person.

By using legislation, people are trying to push off shock jocks off the radio because they feel that shock radio is wrong for them. These people are taking their personal morality and trying to apply it to everyone else, which is wrong. You have the right to be frustrated by sleaze in media, but you also have the option to ignore the media. If there are enough people like you, then it would be profitable for the media to produce more family-friendly programming.
 
Dave Lenton
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Originally posted by Stan James:
I wasn't thinking of corporations so much as folks like Howard Stern or Larry Flynt. There's a place for pushing the boundaries of what's "good"


Sometimes pushing the boundaries of what is right and wrong can be a good thing. If we didn't then we may still be forcing menstruating women to remain indoors, and burning people at the stake for minor theological disagreements. Who knows what we currently consider morally bad will be considered ok in the future? Unless people test what society is comfortable with, then we don't move forwards.

On the other hand there are some people who push too far. Some things are clearly not accepted by society, and rightly so. Its a difficult thing to decide about, but I'd probably rather live in a place where there is a constant slight pushing and re-assessing of moral boundaries then a morally static environment. The tricky bit is getting the balance right.


What's my point? I'm no prude. I enjoy dirty jokes and various sins in privacy now & then. But I'm saddened that the general tone of media and entertainment is so darned sleazy and in my kid's face.


And here's where the balance often goes wrong. Unfortunately many things currently considered badly "immoral" are good for selling entertainment. The shock value of some things is strangely alluring to many people, so the media companies constantly look to push beyond the moral boundaries to better sell their entertainment product. This is an example of the clash between corporate morality and human morality.

In essence, those who are convinced to perform immoral acts by corporations willing to pay them lots are becoming a corporate agent in this struggle of moral view points. Its kind of a survival of the fittest struggle between two ideas - that of human morality and that of corporate/market morality.
[ October 07, 2005: Message edited by: Dave Lenton ]
 
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At some point aren't most laws a majority morality forced on the rest? We have declared that we think insider trading would be immoral. Stealing purses from little old ladies. Shooting heroin in your basement. Moving campaign finances from one PAC to another. All kinds of things.

Some nations have declared their limits differently than ours, and I understand their perception that America is an immoral, decadent society. I'm not that thrilled with all of it either.

Saying this makes me feel pretty weird, because I'm definitely getting more and more liberal and tolerant with age. It's odd to sound so much like John Ashcroft or Rush. I don't really want the government to have any hand in making things better. Legislation often comes out very poorly. In my fantasy world I wish people would behave a bit better is all.
 
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