Judgment – The Two Extremes

There are two extremes regarding judgment: either one is so closed minded that one can’t weigh anything, or so open minded that one still can’t weigh anything.

Shawn Birdsall

Personal bias conflicts with truth, unless understanding the truth at hand is your personal bias. Is your judgment sound?

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About Todd Beal

I love truth and its facts. I love thought-provoking conversations that give both the other person and me a better understanding of a particular topic. I love to find answers to life-long questions; answers that let me see things for what they are instead of what they seem to be. I truly enjoy being in the midst of a group of people where all individuals are joining in, where everybody is enjoying the company of each other. I relax in the company of individuals who are competent yet humble. I like to catch myself doing or saying something ridiculous and then laugh my head off. I enjoy my church and being involved.
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11 Responses to Judgment – The Two Extremes

  1. Another classic Truth Behind Reality cerebral stirrer. No, my judgment is not sound, and neither is any man’s. Let’s look at how we choose those to sit in the highest positions of “judgment” in our country: The members of the Supreme Court. The people who get confirmed can’t be too liberal or too conservative. They need to be very experienced but not too old or unhealthy. They need to be experienced in many aspects of law practice and proven even-handedness in judgment over decades. If there are any proven ethical lapses, the candidate has little chance of confirmation. Even with many candidates meeting these qualifications, our lawmakers still battle over every confirmation, and the opposition can usually bring up some dirt on the most pristine candidate. Let’s face it, no human being is ideal for such a position. We just confirm them and hope and pray that AS A BODY they will combine their wisdom and experience and interpret the law in a manner consistent with the Constitution.

    Of course, only one being can be trusted with fair judgment of humanity. Since He endured all things, no one can claim that He doesn’t understand their situation, or that he’s not “fair”. Since He has access to all knowledge, nothing is hidden from Him and no judgments will be made without all the facts. He will one day be King of this world, and His will be the only monarchy I can ever bow to, because I can trust 100% in the equity and goodness of all of His edicts.

    We’ve discussed “proofs” of God in the past, and to me, judgment and justice are the ultimate proofs of the falsehood of atheism. If you say there is no God, then justice is not possible, since humanity is incapable of carrying it out. The absence of perfect, eventual, and ultimate justice is intolerable to me, so I could never accept an atheistic outlook. There is far, far too much evidence in our world’s history to show that justice does operate, and although we cannot yet see its full perfection, there are enough glimpses of it for those with faith to know of its certainty.

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    • Todd Beal says:

      | No, my judgment is not sound, and neither is any man’s. |

      As a whole, Michael, I agree with this statement and also your entire comment. I agree with you that no man naturally possesses complete sound judgment, but from time to time I have the pleasure of being led by the sound judgment of an extraordinary leader, counseled by the sound judgment of an extraordinary ordinary person, and helped by someone who, through sound judgment, truly understands my need.

      I have gone through periods of time where indeed my judgment was sound. It was sound to the point I would sometimes wonder how it was possible to so consistently see the right outcome. Looking back, I still know that my decisions and behaviors were right and true during these periods. Even so, each time I recognize my capability for making such wise decisions, I also realize that God provides and empowers that ability, not me. I can only learn to grow from the personal understanding that accompanies it. On the other hand, I have noticed that when my heart’s level of humility and sincerity toward truth, toward God, begins to wane, so too does my sound judgment.

      Yes, it is true that no man possesses complete sound judgment, but when we transparently facilitate truth, sound judgment necessarily manifests in our personal word, thought and deed according to the unique lens of our personality. But apart from truth, our personal bias naturally leans toward being either too open or too closed in any particular life area. Only truth gives truth for knowing when to do what, how to do it, and why that particular way is the only way with no alternative.

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      • I’m with you on this, Todd. I was addressing the soundness of human judgment alone. I do believe in inspiration, and in personal revelation. As we listen to the Spirit and receive counsel from the wise and inspired, we greatly improve our chances of exercising sound judgment. The closer we keep God’s commandments, the more the natural man is suppressed, and biases eliminated. There is certainly hope for good judgment in this life!

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      • Todd Beal says:

        Michael, it is interesting how you captured a major piece of the human condition in your Supreme Court example. Not even King Solomon had complete judgment; how much less does the average individual? That’s why it is so important for all of us to work together for the good of truth. On our own we fail, but together through God we cannot fail. I’m so glad you gave that example. I’ve never thought of it that way before.

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    • Lance Ponder says:

      //Another classic Truth Behind Reality cerebral stirrer.//

      DITTOs

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  2. Lance Ponder says:

    I was thinking I had nothing to add. But when is that ever really the case?

    We are called to judge righteously. We are called not to be judgmental. The former implies observance of an absolute standard. The latter implies a subjective standard measuring the judged against the judge, which is to say the other against the self – and the other is founding wanting by virtue of not being self.

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    • Todd Beal says:

      That is a profound statement Lance. That is truth through and through.

      I have a question: does “absolute” supersede both the objective and subjective? Also, can subjective experience or understanding be an absolute?

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      • Lance Ponder says:

        Interesting questions. I don’t think absolute supersedes objective because I think of those as synonyms. Objective/absolute supersedes subjective, and here’s how I look at it. I have mediocre vision (I know you can relate 😉 ). With my glasses off things are little blurry. It takes effort to focus and even when I do the absolute image is like a moving target. Only when I put on the “perfect” lenses do I see things as they really are.

        I can think of one difference tho between absolute and objective. Objective implies observance or awareness. An absolute can exist without being observed, which is to say we can be completely ignorant of it. I don’t know how important that distinction would be to our present discussion, but hey, since you asked…

        Can a subjective experience or understanding be an absolute? Not unless you are God. It can approach, but not reach. Its kind of like a space ship. You can approach the speed of light but you cannot reach the speed of light would being converted from mass to energy at which point you cease being a ship. God is light and light is an absolute standard whereas the ship is subjective. It can bask in the light, use the light, follow the light, be a conduit for reflecting or even imitating light by artificial mechanisms, but the ship itself cannot ever actually be the light.

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        • Todd Beal says:

          | I don’t think absolute supersedes objective because I think of those as synonyms. |

          Something can be an objective while not being absolute, but something that is absolute can also, simultaneously, be an objective, rendering these two not synonymous.

          | Can a subjective experience or understanding be an absolute? Not unless you are God. |

          Wow! This rocked me in my chair. That is a profound statement, and one that I’ll not forget. This was one of those, as Michael Knudsen put it, paradigm shifts for me. Great statement, Lance.

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