A long time ago, a man advised us not to judge others, lest we might be judged. Two thousand years ago, the teacher did not have modern language, nor modern scientific knowledge, to explain his thoughts in a manner, which would be easily understood to modern man. So it is with the question of judgment.
In a court of law, we witness many cases (some enacted on TVs), wherein the two advocates present countless arguments for and against the accused, to enable the jury to “pass judgment”. Yet, no matter how we try, we can only condemn the deed, never the perpetrator of such. Why?
If we judge a man’s or a woman’s body, then the medical profession can furnish us with a great deal of knowledge why he or she might be guilty or innocent. Mental aberration, various psychological disorders, chemical imbalance in the brain, etc., etc..
But no matter how we dissect the brain and its functions, man is more than the sum of his physical parts. The best I can do to illustrate the problem is to compare man to an iceberg. Wikipedia tells us that:
“Because the density of pure ice is about 920 kg/m³, and that of sea water about 1025 kg/m³, typically only one-ninth of the volume of an iceberg is above water.”
A similar comparison can be advanced in relation to the ratio between a man’s conscious and unconscious functions, only, in all likelihood, the ratio would be more like a thousand, if not a million, to one. This would mean that no matter how well we amass our evidence in a court of law, we can only judge, at best, one-ninth of a man, or one-ninth of that which motivates his actions.
A poor judgment indeed.
Of course, we must never confuse trying to help someone, leaning over a precipice, with judgment that carries overtones of condemnation. It seems to me that discrimination should enable us to recognize the difference between right and wrong—not to result in unjust or prejudicial treatment of those who disagree with us. The first is a sign of compassion, the second of only partially founded judgment.
In my sequel to The Avatar Syndrome, the Headless World—the Vatican Incident, I try to illustrate the problems issuing from judgment. You might enjoy it.
Hence, it is better that a hundred seemingly guilty men go free, than that one innocent be judged unjustly. Do we need laws? Of course. As always, many will continue to judge, and only a few will refrain, and thus not accumulate negative Karma. But it is not the judgment, as such, which leaves us carrying the burden. It is the punishment we met without sufficient knowledge. It is of imposing punishment we must beware.
But that’s the way the world is designed: for the many and the few. It is always our choice to which group we choose to belong.
My webpage is http://stanlaw.ca.
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