It's ironic just how much of the Bible is taken in snippets when people are trying to make a specific point. In this case, the whole "judge not lest ye be judged" passage. Well, the full version of that passage is:
1 Judge not, that ye be not judged.
2 For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.
3 And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?
4 Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye?
5 Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother's eye.
So, it's not really "judge not lest ye be judged", it's more like "Dude, you're in no position to judge others because you suck so DAMN MUCH!"
Well, I'm going to disagree with the Bible a little bit. We are going to inevitably judge others by their actions in accordance with our own values, especially based on the levels of intimacy we share with people. I've often been criticized or disapproved of for my perspective on friendship because I believe that friendship is NOT about unconditional support, but rather being there to help keep your friends on the path you believe best suits them. If you see someone you care about doing things that are hurtful to them or just generally dumb, it's up to you to call them on it.
As for the "mote vs. beam" message, well, Matthew, I'll ask you this: Isn't the one who's most experienced with a given fault or sin better suited to call someone else on that behaviour? Is it hypocritical or is it "I know because I've been there"?
But that isn't really what concerns me in this post. What does concern me is the growing social impulse to avoid judgement towards anyone in the name of privacy and independence. Problem with that is: How are you supposed to to keep yourself honest and behaving in an honorable way when you don't have someone else to act as a sounding board for your behaviour?
Seriously, individually we aren't really designed as human beings to take care of our own behaviour. How often do we fess up to our errors without any form of evasion or "butt covering"? Contrition never comes easily, if it comes at all.
Therefore, isn't it almost necessary to have someone a little more accessible than God judging our behaviour? And if you're an atheist, then this whole argument is moot and the need for a behavioural standard is rooted in social interactions. So, isn't there a necessary evaluation that must happen in any interaction? Isn't it, in fact, necessary to judge others' actions?
Now, the word 'judgement' itself has a double meaning. First, judgement is the act of judging. But judgement also has an inwardly analytical meaning. Having 'good judgement' means the individual knows the consequences of their actions and acts accordingly.
Now, my point in all this is that this obsession with not being "judged", not being held accountable, has led to the death of honour, grace and courtesy in our time. I think it's time we learned to be at peace with the idea that someone close to us is watching our actions and will chime in when appropriate to tell us "Um, dude, bad idea. Knock it off." Whether or not we listen is a whole different story.
February 15, 2011
The Hollow World
No one is better or worse.
Impulse driven masturbation of the soul fills the World
With a fog of apathy and self-importance.
Each is become Caesar to themselves.
"Any who dare to speak ill of the King is to be exiled and reviled!"
We decree with peacock chests puffed.
All working towards base satisfaction,
Leaving the noble to fade, the genteel to be forgotten,
The beautiful to be thrown on the pile.
And when a bold voice dares to speak against it,
It is vilified as an enemy of freedom and cast down,
Leaving muses and saints to weep for what's been lost,
And dullards to revel in their obligation-free paradise.