judgmentalism, part 2

December 9, 2008

So, given the idea that each of us has a path to walk, and that no two people experience the world the same way, we must then come to a conclusion that judging someone based on first impressions is simply illogical. By taking in only the most basic ideas that are presented to you at the front of a conversation or instance, you can make some pretty poor decisions on just about anything. It’s how we fall victim to marketing and rhetoric. So, one must remain objective in order to really get a full idea of what one is dealing with, regardless of what it is.

That says nothing of survival instinct. There is an innate thing link between what we perceive as danger and what really could be danger. If we don’t have a survival instinct, we could potentially wander into danger through too close an investigation. Example, I don’t need to closely inspect a bear’s maw to see if it could really devour me.

But again, by making only snap judgments, we lose the opportunity to learn a good deal about everything and everyone. (nods to Chili and the Button)

I mean to say nothing of what is beyond the realm of one person’s comprehension. There are things we cannot comprehend to a full degree. Not through science, not through philosophy, not through theology, not through psychology. The mind and the way the it works is just beyond us at this point, but all these studies reach forward toward a common understanding daily.

I suppose one could think of it in stages. One needs a ground to start with before they really get to dig deep into a subject. The man who beats his wife will probably be kept at a safe distance until an all-clear impression is gained. The racist might be a great co-worker, but their personal views are something best not approached at all. The religious bigot might be the best teacher for your student, but they just need to keep their personal views out of the classroom.

Do I often, or even sometimes, take a second look at the people I associate with? Yes. I sometimes even change my opinions of them, as does everyone. Sometimes, for the better, sometimes for the worse. Close inspection and judgment is the only real way one can determine who they should keep as company, and the clothes do make the man.


One comment

  1. I think the problem you’re running into here, Bugs, is in your definition of “judgment.” There’s a difference between making a judgment and being judgmental. We’re doing a connotation/denotation dance here, I think.

    Survival instinct is crucial; not only life-and-limb survival, but social survival, as well. We DO make judgments about people – will this person be a good friend or coworker, will this person hurt me, is this person in competition with me for a mate or a job or (insert thing here)? There’s a huge difference between an assessment – that can (and should) be reevaluated as new evidence becomes available – and what I think you’re thinking of as a judgment, the connotation of which is almost always negative and unyielding.

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