JUDGEMENTALISM and PREJUDICE
"Hasty conclusion without first acquiring the appropriate knowledge."
An uninformed opinion; a biased estimate; a discrimination based on prejudice; to conclude without bothering to investigate, communicate, or understand.
Judgementalism solves nothing and leads to enhanced suffering. Understand the mind and holistic human behavior (explained by the seven chakra system) then there is no need for prejudice and uninformed opinion.
One common problem with being too eager to judge others is that we often conclude too quickly and fail to understand the other person from a humanitarian perspective. We fail to "get the facts" and to consider and communicate with those who we are about to judge from our prejudice - our fictious estimations concerning people and circumstances.
It is this failing to consider another person and their life - and communicate with them - that makes judgementalism and prejudice so disastrous in the field of human relationships. If we don't attempt to understand other's lives then we are unlikely to be able to appreciate them as they are. We often project our own inner psychological landscape upon others - our assumptions, theories, beliefs, opinions, and conjecture - without bothering to find out the real situation.
In the Court of Law conjecture is "over-ruled" - thrown out - and we should not allow our assumptions to rule our interactions and relationships with other people.
When we hurry to pass judgment on another person or situation without first taking time to assess things properly then we are liable to damage our relationships with others or form a conclusion not based upon fact but based upon our own existing prejudices and personal opinions. In this way we can deeply hurt other people through our own ignorant misinterpretations.
Another narrowing and damaging attitude is to judge life from opinions that we may have formed (or may have been formed in us by external influential people) in our early life. We conclude that "that's the way life is" according to our own small philosophy and then "as we think, so we become". Our life follows our judgments. These conditioned conclusions can keep us locked in a small and repetitive repertoire of behavioral patterns and life attitudes. If we want to evolve, if we want to increase and expand our life experiences, if we want to avoid living a dull; meaningless; and boring life, then we need to challenge our conditioned personality.
One way to challenge a judgmental mindstate is to think:
To pre-judge. Judgmental Ė to form an opinion that is not based on fact. Our prejudice is our tormentor, our prison cell, and our executioner. This prejudice makes up a large part of the crap that we need to sort out and throw out if we are to experience a wider and more open life. If we donít sort it out, then we tend to project and implant these attitudes into any captive or controllable audience. If we are parents then we pass this crap onto our children through the process of conditioning.
Prejudice is, as the name implies, the process of "pre-judging" something. It implies coming to a judgment on a subject before learning where the preponderance of evidence actually lies, or forming a judgment without direct experience. Holding a politically unpopular view is not in itself prejudice, and politically popular views are not necessarily free of prejudice. When applied to social groups, prejudice generally refers to existing biases toward the members of such groups, often based on social stereotypes; and at its most extreme, results in groups being denied benefits and rights unjustly or, conversely, unfairly showing unwarranted favor towards others.
This is different than viewpoints accumulated though direct life experience, which are neither prejudiced, conditioned or necessarily instinctive: they are not pre-judgments but post-judgments. Some argue that all politically-based views stem from a lack of sufficient life experience; this, however, provokes the question of how much life experience is required before a point of view is no longer regarded as prejudiced. If no amount of experience entitles a person to a viewpoint - if every is biased - then there can be no objectivity. Judgements based on experience may, however, be coloured by prejudice. One might imagine a continuum from "prejudiced" to "based on experience," with many, if not most, views coming somewhere between the two extremes.
Fallacious extension of one's own negative past experiences to the general case can be harmful; it can be termed bias, or more colloquially, "lumping". If a person has developed the concept that members of one group have certain characteristics because of a sour past acquaintance with a member of that group, s/he may presume that all members of the group have such characteristics. For example, a person who has had a series of bad relationships with members of the opposite sex may develop a prejudice against that sex, thus adopting the prejudice known as sexism. This is typical of all prejudice: racism, linguicism, ageism, religious intolerance, heterosexism, prejudice based on differing political stances, etc.
In other cases, it may be a matter of early education: people taught that certain attitudes are the "correct" ones may form opinions without weighing the evidence on both sides of a given question. Many prejudicial behaviors are picked up at a young age by children emulating their elders' ways of thinking and speaking, with no malice intended on the child's part. The prejudiced adult might even be shocked to hear a slew of racial slurs and their own half-cocked opinions on various groups echoed back at them from their children. Early learning is highly influential, however, prejudice can be learned at any age.
In Jane Austen's novel Pride and Prejudice, the heroine forms a strong opinion of a man's character before she hears his side of the story. The balance of the facts, when finally made known to her, challenges and ultimately overturns this prejudice. Prejudice is also a theme in To Kill a Mockingbird, in which a man is wrongly tried and convicted because of his race.
Sociologists have termed prejudice an adaptive behavior. Biased views are necessary at times for human survival: we don't always have time to form a legitimate view about a potential foe before adopting a defensive stance that could save our lives. Conversely, prejudice is non-adaptive when it interferes with survival or well-being (e.g., refusing to patronize the only doctor in a town who could save you because he or she is black, or rejecting a potential friend/partner because of ethnicity).
Differing opinions of what constitutes prejudice can prompt us to reconsider our views, with an emphasis on self-understanding. Does, for example, criticizing another person as being prejudiced in itself sometimes involve pre-judging the very person being criticized? Another interesting intellectual conundrum is to consider whether deeply-held spiritual or religious views are also prejudiced, since they are not necessarily based on direct experience.
There is some confusion between common and legal usages of the term "prejudice." In law, the phrase "with prejudice" implies a judgment having been made after the presentation of evidence; it does not imply any form of bias.