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Thoughts on compassion and judgement - The Desian Universe
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deskitty
deskitty
Des
Sun, Sep. 4th, 2005 11:52 pm
Thoughts on compassion and judgement

3CommentReply

phlog
phlog
Phlog
Thu, Sep. 8th, 2005 05:44 pm (UTC)
Here's what I think

I've got to disagree on the judgment thing a bit (but maybe it's just semantics). There should be a lot of latitude when it comes to forming opinions about trivial/unimportant things about people. ie, if you don't like someone's taste in music, clothes, etc., just shrug it off. It's not important.

But I think we SHOULD judge people (perhaps more than we do now) about important things. Like, if someone commits a double murder, let's go ahead and say they're a bad person. "They're not a bad person; they just do bad things" is insane, to me. I think our best and most fair way of assessing someone's values is through their actions, in accordance to their ability to perform good deeds/avoid bad deeds, and their magnitude.

So if someone went out of their way to do something to make a mildly rude comment to someone else, it's bad, but not horrible. Whereas if someone had to work really hard to significantly help someone, they deserve a lot of praise (or better reward).

***

"She should cover her fucking breasts."

Right. You're full-blown gay! :)


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deskitty
deskitty
Des
Thu, Sep. 8th, 2005 08:35 pm (UTC)
Re: Here's what I think

But I think we SHOULD judge people (perhaps more than we do now) about important things. Like, if someone commits a double murder, let's go ahead and say they're a bad person. "They're not a bad person; they just do bad things" is insane, to me. I think our best and most fair way of assessing someone's values is through their actions, in accordance to their ability to perform good deeds/avoid bad deeds, and their magnitude.

I used to think that ...

But the thing is, I've been in far too many situations where a person has done something hurtful or malicious not out of spite, but because either (a) they didn't know any better way to handle things, (b) they weren't aware of the entire situation, or (c) they're in so much pain they've become irrational. In short, they may well be a good person doing bad things. ;)

I've seen (a), (b) and (c) far more often than I've seen true malice. Given that, I don't think we should ever make such a judgement without considering the intentions and motivation of the actor (or, person performing the action). But in order to do that, we need to have a certain amount of compassion and empathy for the person we're judging -- we need to understand their situation.

Most people don't bother trying to gain that understanding, and so they make judgements prematurely. Someone may have committed double murder, taken the lives of two people with friends and family who love them dearly ... but would you judge that person harshly if he or she acted in self-defense?


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