Making assumptions vs. making judgments

cheerful1_gwJuly 11, 2008

I posted this on the Kitchen Table forum, but I'm curious to see what the Marriage forum folks think:

Do you think these are two different concepts or are they separate? If you make an assumption of how you thought a person would react about something, are you judging that person?

These may seem like petty questions, but the answers are important to me at the moment.

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Of course you are. I don't know your specific case...but if you assume something about someone, then yes you are making a judgement about them. But you make judgements like that about everyone all the time so it may not necessarily be that harsh type of judgement people say they don't do. Funny, but I'm going through a similar situation where I feel sort of guilty for assuming something about someone but I can't hep but judge them that way. I never did get that don't judge people thing down. I think you are suppose to judge bad things .. like if someone has an affair, it is bad thing...but you're not supposed to judge the person themselves or something... Can anyone explain this to me from a purely ethical point, without quoting the bible?

Oddly, I know people that don't judge others a lot, but they pretty much have the worse values of people I know and do some very immoral things without even realizing it. It's sort of sad. I find that the people that judge things the most are usually the most moral of the group. Granted, everyone can be a hypocrit at times, but not judging or realizing things or people are bad, seems just wrong. I know I'm probably drifting from the topic at hand. Can you be more specific with your problem? It's hard to answer such a generally question without me wondering in thought ;-).

If I had to pick apart the differece between the two concepts, I would guess assumptions are things that gererally aren't given as much thought and are sort of taken for granted. "I assume the floor will be there when I get out of bed". Although, we all know we can make bad or wrong assumptions especially about people...

Judgement takes a little more thought, and doesn't appear to be as clear, more like an opinion.

I'm guessing you assumed something wrong about someone (or they about you) and they got mad saying you must be judging them incorrectly... Is that even close? What happened? Let us in on the juicy stuff...

    Bookmark   July 11, 2008 at 11:01AM
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It doesn't seem like a petty question, just such a minor difference, I don't see how it could be important to anyone unless they are looking for trouble. When I think of judging someone it is in regard to heaven and hell. We don't all live by the same rules and another's rules aren't necessarily wrong. If everyone could accept that there would be a lot less strife in our lives.

    Bookmark   July 11, 2008 at 11:07AM
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From page 73 of Asolo's Book of What People Really Mean:

An "assumption" is an opinion about reality without direct knowledge. The sky may be clear, or cloudy, or partly cloudy. Mary may be slim or fat. If I'm blindfolded I may have to assume someone is being truthful when they say the sky is clear or Mary is fat. If I know them to a be liar, perhaps I may assume they are not telling me the truth and I therefore can't discern whether or not the sky is clear or whether Mary is fat or slim. If I assume something based on this assertion from someone I know sometimes lies and/or is often mistaken I run the risk of perceiving reality incorrectly.

A "judgement" is an opinion of value about a perceived reality -- typically opinions of superiority/inferiority; appropriate/inappropriate; right/wrong. Given the exact same perceived reality, different people may have different opinions about it morally, ethically, or logically. In my judgement, a clear sky tonight would be superior to a cloudy one because I want to use my telescope. Mary is fat; fat is bad, in my opinion; so Mary is bad. I am slim; slim is superior to fat, in my opinion; therefore I am superior to Mary.

Figuring out what people really mean by what they write and say is a lifelong pursuit for most folks.

Kinda wish I knew what to OP was talking about.

    Bookmark   July 11, 2008 at 4:47PM
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I think they are different concepts.

An assumption is based on some sort of fact - eg : it is 1pm,we eat lunch at that time each day, I made you a sandwich, I assumed you where hungry."

A judgment is a decision based on a your personal morals, or ethics. Like "it is wrong to have an affair outside of marriage, so I am not going to talk to you".

This is how I see it.

For me, it is best to work towards a life without making judgments and just approach problem solving with an analysis of the problem. I have found this works best.

    Bookmark   July 11, 2008 at 5:48PM
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From page 73 of "Asolo's Book of What People Really Mean:"

I need to read that book !

    Bookmark   July 11, 2008 at 6:14PM
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The two terms are both too ambiguous and context-dependent to determine if they're the same or different. In some contexts, they could be completely interchangeable; but in others, the meanings would be subtlely different.

There's 'using one's judgement', which, IMO, it is foolish not to do, and 'being judgemental' which, IMO, it is often unkind and often unwise to do.

There's making assumptions which are innocuous and benign (it's lunchtime, therefore you're probably hungry) and assumptions that are hurtful or narrow-minded (well-groomed handsome man, therefore he's probably gay).

There's 'descriminating against' someone and 'being discriminating' in one's tastes.

The power of the English language is, I think, unsurpassed in the subtle and ambiguous shadings of meaning.

    Bookmark   July 11, 2008 at 6:41PM
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per Merriam-Webster.

I rather like that. There are those who make judgements based on their perceived "assumptions". Nope. What was it Gallagher drew on the board? "Assume" and then he underlined the first three letters then the last three in order saying: Assume: "Makes an a-- out of u and me". Unless you're assuming good things, don't assume about a person. People grow and change, within a fluid world. Keep treating like you're assuming something bad, and you'll get it. Honestly, those I find assuming, put their own fears and past experiences on the goings on, even if it isn't true. Maybe they've been burned too much, but jaded is what I see. Judge others as act and you may just get surprised!

    Bookmark   July 14, 2008 at 3:02PM
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So if I say to someone, I didn't do something because I thought they'd get mad, and they say I'm judging them, am I really judging them? I still feel this word is overused and made to sound like something really bad.

    Bookmark   March 6, 2012 at 6:54AM
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In this case I'd say, no, you're not judging them; judging them would be "I didn't do something because I thought you'd get mad because you're an unreasonable person who gets mad on the slightest pretext."
Reading between the lines from this and your other posts, are you _sure_ you want to maintain this relationship?

    Bookmark   March 6, 2012 at 11:22AM
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