Saturday, November 1, 2014

Judgment Is the Only Sin

I have heard some people claim that their philosophy is that "judgment is the only sin." They proceed to act as they please and allow others to do likewise so long as the twain shall ne'er harm each other or get in each others' way against their wills.

But what is judgment? The person may reply, "It is to condemn another for their beliefs and their way of life." In other words, it is to say that something that a person is doing or the way a person is—that is wrong. It is to declare something wrong. A judgment in its most simple form is an assertion that something is or ought to be this way. But then to say "judgment is the only sin" is itself a judgment against judgment. Furthermore, to say, "People can do as they please" is also a judgment, a judgment of freedom; it is an apparently positive judgment but still a judgment. To qualify a statement that one can do as one pleases so long as it harms no one else is a restriction imposed by judgment: behavior is good insofar as it isn't harmful. And what is harm? It is up to the judgment of the individual (and practically speaking, the law).

Why is judgment the only judgment prohibited? These same people will then also assert, when pressed, that obviously things such as rape, genocide, pedophilia, etc., are wrong. But who are they to pass judgment? Why can a person do anything they please except those things that harm others? And who determines what it means to harm others? The individual?

This is a morality of solipsism, of individualism. It allows the individual to get away with anything he wants without responsibility for consequences and without regard for others.

Remember, Christ never forbade judgments in Matthew 7; He forbade hypocritical judgments. Christ Himself made many condemnations and was fully justified in doing so.

Judgment is fundamental to human action. Every action presupposes a judgment. Even animals make judgments. This morality of solipsism is simply a justification for sin, and it seeks to alleviate guilt by removing the possibility of judgment, of condemnation for bad behavior. That is why judgment is the only sin: because the presence of judgment means the possibility that I have to own up to my sins, that I can't simply do as I please without regard for consequences, that I am not an isolated individual who schizophrenically has no regard for others and regard for others only when I desire, when I determine.

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