Should you be the judge?

I recently was told by a friend of mine that she didn’t want to hang out with me anymore because of my friendship with a mutual friend of ours (and her former roommate)… and no I am not in highschool… we are all adults…

Anyway…she is of the notion of judging her friends and others around her, and I am of the notion of accepting people for their goods and bads. I think that judging can lead to hating and I don’t think we need more hate in this world. That’s not saying that I would be friends with a really bad person, I tend to surround my self with “healthy” (as in thought processes) individuals, meaning, that I don’t tend to bond with manipulators, cheaters, and liers… if at all possible, however, sometimes the true colors don’t show until too late…I guess to some degree that is a judgment on my part… but I don’t condem others for being who they are and for believing what they do, even if I don’t agree with it my self.

My friend says to me the other day, “I know you don’t believe in ‘judging’ your friends but I do. The people you surround yourself with and people you work with influence who you are and how the world views you… and by accepting people for who and what they do or are ,when it goes against things you believe makes me not respect your decision to continue to be that persons friend….”

I am curious on what your (yep, all of you) views are on judging others…LET IT BEGIN:

I took a quick look at the dictionary definitions of “judge” used as verb.

I couldn’t see a single one that implies something wrong or improper.

I think when people say “You have no right to judge. . . .” it’s not the judging that is at issue–but the vocalization of that judgment that comes across as a lecture or unwanted advice.

xelacann wrote:
(Quote) I think that judging can lead to hating and I don’t think we need more hate in this world. That’s not saying that I would be friends with a really bad person, I tend to surround my self with “healthy” (as in thought processes) individuals, meaning, that I don’t tend to bond with manipulators, cheaters, and liers(sic)…(/Quote)

I don’t understand how you can say you don’t judge people, but you discriminate against manipulators, cheaters, and liars. Republicans need friends, too. :slight_smile:
We make judgements every day about the people we meet. Some people attract you, others repel you. The problem here would be the criteria one uses to evaluate people. Xelacann shows a healthy sense of openness with a regard for folks’ inner qualities.

Anyway…she is of the notion of judging her friends and others around her, and I am of the notion of accepting people for their goods and bads.


In and of itself judging others is not a fault. It really depends on the criteria she’s using to judge others. I accept people for who they are but that doesn’t mean I don’t judge them according to my values.

I think that judging can lead to hating and I don’t think
we need more hate in this world.


I suppose it could lead to hate. But then I don’t think
hate is an entirely inapprorpiate emotion to have towards
certain people. Just like live isn’t an appropriate
emotion to have in regards to certain people.

I guess to some degree that is a judgment on my part… but
I don’t condem others for being who they are and for
believing what they do, even if I don’t agree with it my

Even if being who they are includes lying and cheating?

Friendships are based on shared values. If you have few
shared values with the other person then a meaningful
friendship becomes difficult. The people you choose to
surround yourself with is certainly an indication of what
kind of person you are. Wouldn’t you say?

Some clarification

Does “judging” mean “I don’t like you anymore”, or does it mean “I don’t like you anymore BECAUSE of …”?

On the other hand does “not judging” mean “I assume you are a good person,” or does it mean “I have no right to decide whether you are a good person” (or does it mean “Well, I personally wouldn’t have shot those two toddlers, but it was your decision to make”)?

Personally, I’m a resident of Judge-city, and I think we all are, although some make live in the 'burbs. When it comes to friendships, at some point at the start of the relationship, you have to decide whether or not you want to develop the relationship into a friendship. That, consciously or unconsciously, involved judgment.

On the other end of friendships, I think judging people is still valid. For ex. a long-time friend got divorced because he got caught constantly cheating on his wife. I now have minimal contact with him, 'cause he hurt his wife, also a friend of mine. I don’t think I did wrong by “judging” him and expressing my disapproval of his actions or his lack of remorse.


Judge: to form an opinion about through careful weighing of evidence and testing of premises

Okay so I guess I am talking about the critera then that we use to judge others…

Here’s the deal in this situation… because so far the comments seem correct… I do and so does everyone else, make judgements… my frustration comes from the fact that my friend is judging me on a decision I made about my life and has nothing to do with her… but because of her own ‘falling out’ with her roommate she expects me to turn my back on a person who has always been nice and honest and trustworthy to me. And I have never seen her act otherwise toward others.

If some is going to judge me, then base those judgements on me… I’m not chums with Hilter or anything…

I am highly idealistic in my views…
I tend to believe that people are intrinically good…
I trust first…
I want people who are around me be comfortable being themselves…
I don’t base judgements on how people look… (clarification: I don’t assume that because some looks a certain way, or has a certain skin pigment, or is of a certain nationality… that they are going to be any different, inside, than anyone else)
I choose to believe the best in people…

And yes, I have been hurt many times by people, and I have not became a cynic… yet.

What exaclty did this other person do to make your friend dislike him/her so much that they are willing to forgo a friendship with you?

I think it depends on the circumstances. If you had a friend who got the crap beat out of them by a mutual friend, would you still hang out with the one friend just because they didn’t beat the crap out of you?

I know, I know, extreme example but you know what I’m getting at.

You ask a good question, one that I wish I could answer… and believe me I have seeked it many of times.

Here’s how it goes… I go away of a vaction… in the mean time my “judging” friend helps “T” move out (this was not a hostile move- they lived in a house with 5 people, “T” wanted some privacy)… and then something happened with someone supposing to call someone, but neither one called each other… thus a hostile situation… I come back from vacation… they are mad… this is all really childish… I chose not to pick side (I thought this stuff only happened in grade school)-- and ultimately I lose a friend over it.
When I confronted my “judging” friend… she recited a list of all of “T”'s faults from the first day they met. Its all confusing…

If I may simplify the opinions of some of our grand old Liberal and Satanist philosophers, you have done no wrong until you’ve harmed someone. Sure, people have the right to judge you, no matter what, as long as we are using the dictionary definition of “judge”.

The point is, a lot of people (including I) say, you should be “acquitted”, more or less, if you haven’t hurt anyone by your actions. If you choose to listen to Wham! at ear-damaging volumes, that’s fine as long as you do it on your headphones. Do it on your ordinary speakers, and you’re liable to wake your neighbors up before they go-go.

By the way, xelakann, I think it is reprehensible that you use ellipses (the little … puntuation) so often. (Just kidding, I do it to.) Also, I take issue with the statement,

… since you have provided no evidence to back up this assertion.

And finally, my comparison between classical liberalism and Satanism is mostly tongue-in-cheek, but they do have a little in common (isn’t it the Satanic Bible that coined the admonition, paraphrased, “As it harm no one, do what thou wilt”?)

It’s difficult to stick to a truly tolerant mindset. If you really did listen to Wham! all the time, I’d think you had lousy taste. If I thought a bunch of other things like that about you, we’d eventually have so little in common that there’d be no point in being pals (although there could still be value in being friends, since mutual respect and help are always a good thing).

Yes, I’m rambling. What I’m saying is, you’ll have more friends if you don’t condemn them for lousy taste. If your friend is stinging on you for stuff you do, that doesn’t really hurt her, it’s just a sort of sub-cultural difference. If she were your friend deep down, she’d ignore your eccentricities. You have nothing to feel guilty for, if you haven’t done anything; at the same time, there’s nothing wrong with her expressing (if she does it politely) her contasting attitudes. It shouldn’t be a problem unless she’s your only friend…

Your “friend” does not want you to judge. She wants you to take sides. Specifically, hers. In other words, she doesn’t want you to use your own judgement in this situation – she wants you to relinquish control of your life (at least in this instance) to her. That’s wrong, I’m sure you’ll agree.

As far as judging goes, the Biblical reference most people are referring to when they admonish you to “Judge not” reads as follows (Matthew 7:1,2 from the New International Version):

It goes on to talk about getting the lumber out of your own eyes before trying to get the splinter out of someone else’s eye. Good advice! This says to me that I ought to be sure of my own footing before trying to pull someone else out of the mud (so to speak). Live your own life the best you can, and give others the chance to learn from their mistakes (just as you and I learn from ours).

What decision is more right? Cut off one friend on another’s say-so? Or let the friend who wants you to cut off the other learn that she has no authority over you? If she then chooses to abandon you, perhaps she wasn’t looking for a friend, but a loyal subject.


Ditto what Baloo said!

I agree that this “friend” of my is using control tatics, probably because she’s feeling threatened. However her interal security is not my problem, she needs to own up to her own issues.

To keep this going, what types of things do you all base your judgment criteria on? And is it different for different people? How do you determine that?

Naturally, I don’t like bigotry. Nobody does. For me, I judge people much more harshly if they are bigoted in a way which seems self-serving or greedy, than if they are bigoted out of fear. A lot of people don’t make this distinction, but I do, and always have. It’s not fair to honeybees to say that you hate them because you are afraid they will sting you, but it is vastly worse to entertain yourself by tearing off their wings.

I have close relatives who are bigoted out of fear. They say stuff like, “Well those people creep me out” or “Aren’t those people dangerous?” It’s stupid, but I live with it. It would be much harder for me to live with a loved one saying, “Those people are only good for one thing” or “They’re animals anyway so let them lose their souls”.

Anyway, I judge people on a lot of things other than perceived bigotry, but I can’t go and write essays on all of them, now can I?.

Some very nice points…especially Boris…I too have had to live this way most of my life. Assessing (instead of judge) people’s characters and motives by degrees and intents. Particularily because I have been surrounded by bigots my entire life. I pretty much have to do the same.

As for your friend unless you are aware of some gross flaw in person #2s character yourself then the agreived person #1 is simply being childish by trying to get you to take sides. Very human reaction for some people especially in an emotionally charged situation. I’ve been guilty of it myself at least once that I can remember. And too when something does happen that is serious between a group of friends sometimes it is necessary to take sides. Then you must base your assessment on which friend plays a more important role in your life or even which friend can be more readily trusted.

Your friend does also have a point, although it might not actually apply to your situation, when she tells you that people will judge you by your associations. It’s true there is no getting around it. I know you’ve heard the saying “if you lie down with dogs you get fleas”. The people you surround yourself with on a regular basis do have an effect on you in many ways.

I would say that if the person in question is of generally good character then you have done the right thing by not taking sides. Although if this person has done something untrustworthy, cruel, or sneaky to the other person I would keep this in mind just in case. You never know, and having found out the hard way it isn’t always safe to trust everyone simply because you value this trait in yourself. Many people will see an especially sympathetic or trusting person as stupid. They don’t look at these characteristics as virtues but a license to take advantage. They will use your sympathetic, trusting nature and then despise you for being so gullible. I know that sounds harsh but it’s true. Some people see these traits not as a virtue but a weakness.


This is a good point…
Although, I trust my intitutive judgment, and generally don’t surround myself with people who, for example, make bigoted or racial comments, who display large amounts of rage and anger towards themselves or random people, who hate themselves, and their lives, and people who are TAKERS, TAKERS, TAKERS!

I guess that being said, those are my critera for judging people.

Although, as I mention before, I do generally trust first, so when the aboved mentioned behavior types come out later in a friendship-- I have to make the decesion to end the friendship-- and I have done that before-- very hard for me to do, however.

As for my two friends, I think they should deal with their own issues, its not my job to solve their problems or affirm their decisions by picking sides… but I won’t be manipulated into feeling like I am a bad person-- from either one of them!

How can we judge one’s wrongs in light of what WE have done wrong? In the bible Jesus clearly states that we have no right to judge others.

I make no claim that I have done no wrong.

How do you chose friends? How do you decide who to date?

Please don’t take moral offense to this, but I don’t live in the bible, I live in the real world.

I have decided that it is not the judging that is problem, its the critera (thanks to all of you who helped me realize this).

Seriously, collegestudent, are saying that you, yourself, don’t not judge others?

Let God be the judge. That way, you don’t lose a friend becuse you are judging them.

I’ll be the first one to say I’ve messed up in this area, but college is right. We have no right to judge others because we have all messed up. You can’t say to another, “I don’t like you and think you are a bad person because you judge people,” because that IS judging.

Which is why I still refer to both of them as my FRIENDS (see previous posts).

I pose the same question to you as I posed to collegestudent… I really do want to know, then how you would handle this situation.