Thursday, March 22, 2012
Fair warning to everyone I know: I judge you. I judge you all the time. Granted, I have judged most of you as being pretty cool folks but nonetheless, I am judging you all the time and I'm not likely to stop.
And if that weren't enough, I happen to think that my proclivity for judging is a good thing. As a matter of fact I have a lot of trouble even imagining a world in which suff just happend and people just did things and I didn't have any opinion as to whether it was all good or bad. And I think that I'm in pretty good (and bad) company here.
And I think this draws out the important distiction between "don't judge me" and "don't think badly of me". Ignoring the possiblity of positive judgement and granting for a second that the judgement in question would be negative, the disastrous assumption people seem to be making is that judging someone's actions or words to be bad means loving them or valuing them less. But that does not follow at all. I am fully convinced that I think, say and do bad things all the time. Go ahead and judge me, it's fine, just don't love me any less, don't value me any less for it. No matter what you think, you probably won't think that I am half as bad a person as I know myself to be, and I still value myself alot.
You see, I think we have forgotten (both Christians and seculars) that there is no contradiction in saying that people have infinite value and terrible moral character. The two are not interdependent. The problem is that when we conflate judgement and love we end up losing either the ability to acknowledge reality (it was very bad for Bob to gossip to me about Henry), or we end up hating and devaluing beings of infinite worth.