I judge, therefore I am

As I entered our office canteen, I could feel an unusually noisy atmosphere. I joined my usual group and settled down with my lunch box and realized that the unusual commotion was caused by Amir Khan! It was a raging debate about the actor’s controversial remarks on intolerance and leaving the country. Everybody had an opinion. Everybody an accusation to make. So, as I joined the group, I was asked the obvious question: what is your take on Amirkhan? I said: What about him. You mean his latest interview? I haven’ t given any thought yet. Disappointed, he said: Don’t you know he has set the social media on fire and yet you haven’t even thought about it? I said: Well he merely expressed his opinion. I do not wish to have an opinion on his opinion much less a conclusion? My friend persisted: looks like you are supportive of what he said (another conclusion!). I insisted: No, notwithstanding all the noise in the media, I did not find it necessary to make a snap judgment. I joked, tongue in cheek: Perhaps, you need to blame the antibiotics I am taking for my inability to form an opinion on such an important topic.
My friend looked puzzled. He asked what did antibiotic have to do with this. I replied: I’m taking a course of an antibiotics for my throat infection. I googled for its side effects. It mentions confusion and lack of clear thinking among a long list of the drug’s side effects! Perhaps, when the effect of antibiotics wears off, I may come up with an opinion, conclusions and judgment.

We all make judgments everyday in spite of being taught by social scientists and psychologists that this will cause more harm than good to the society. They keep reminding us that making a judgment on a person doesn’t tell what the person is but reveals who you are. This is because often a personal judgment is accompanied by abuse and violence. But I suspect this trait is perhaps built into our DNA. As Oliver Sacks,a well-known neurologist-turned author points out in his famous book – THE MAN WHO MISTOOK HIS WIFE FOR A HAT – abstract thought and categorization are essential characteristic of the way our brain works. However, relating the thoughts to one’s self and making judgment are both necessary for the mind to function. Without this attribute, human mind will perish. This is, perhaps, one of the ways, in which the mind develops personal identity.

Therefore, it turns out that the title of this post is not merely a philosophical statement. This is also a fact of evolution of our species.

If making judgment is a necessary part of our existence as humans, the next stage of human evolution could be to develop mechanisms for making judgments without resorting to abuse and violence. The problems created by the mind cannot be solved at the level of the mind. It has to be solved only by raising above the mind. This is the domain of morality, religion and spirituality. As of now, it is work in progress. Perhaps it’ll take another leap in evolution to make it happen.

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Published in: on November 28, 2015 at 5:58 pm  Leave a Comment  
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