The Difference Between Opinions & Judgments

What is the difference between an opinion and a judgement?

According to the dictionary, not much.

In fact, the Google results suggest that the two terms are synonymous.

However, I disagree.

I believe there is a subtle difference which has great significance.

In response to the current political climate, I’ve done a lot of reflecting on what makes opinions different than judgements.

Opinions Are Personal

Opinions seek to govern our own lives in whatever arbitrary ways we prefer things

The way I see things, an opinion is something personal.

Opinions seek to govern our own lives in whatever arbitrary ways we prefer things.

For example, I don’t like kids.

Since I don’t care for children, I choose not to have any of them.

Makes sense, right?

I picked this particular opinion of mine for a reason.

Recently, I discovered a private Facebook group called “Childfree Chicks Confidential” and thought I might fit in, so I made a request to join.

It’s not often I meet anyone in person who has never had any kids of their own, so I thought the idea of joining a fairly large online community (group has over 6,000 members) sounded pretty cool.

And at first, it kind of was.

I posted a couple of memes I created which hadn’t been very popular on my own Facebook timeline, like this one:

I wasn’t sure what to expect, but I figured a joke like this one would be welcome in a group of other women who had decided not to have kids.

It was not only welcome, it ended up getting hundreds of likes and the volume of comments it received was almost too high for me to keep up with.

Needless to say, I had to turn off notifications for it after several hours. For the sake of sanity, that is.

When Opinions Turn Into Bashing

The more time I spent in this group, the more I started to notice how the overwhelming majority of women there used terms like “crotch goblins” and “breeders” to refer to kids and the people who have them.

Now…I don’t have a problem with making jokes like that.

If they are actually jokes.

I don’t understand people who get offended by jokes. The whole point of a joke is that it’s not a serious statement.

That’s why a joke can use racism, stereotypes, sexism or anything else that would otherwise be offensive.

Most of my jokes would make me upset if they were said seriously.

But the more posts I read in this group, the clearer it became that these women were not joking.

I began to sense their hostility towards anyone and everyone with children after a while, and I started to dislike the group because of it.

I mean, it’s listed as a “support group” and I imagine that the whole purpose of creating such a community is to talk about shared struggles and all of that.

So…if a bunch of women feel ostracized because of being childfree, doesn’t that mean they are doing the same exact thing that other people do to them when they start actively bashing on people who have kids?

Personally, I’d like to live in a world where people are treated with respect and we can appreciate our differences.

I have immense respect for my friends who happen to be loving parents. They have taken on a huge responsibility in life that I can’t even imagine taking on myself, so I commend them for all the hard work that goes into raising children.

I see nothing to be gained by tearing them down or trying to turn it into an “us against them” bunch of bullshit.

When I shared these thoughts in the group, the overwhelmingly negative responses I got were enough to sour the group completley for me.

I decided to leave.

Judgements Are Reserved for Others

Judgements seek to govern the lives of others, rather than our own.

Unlike opinions, which I consider personal, judgements are something we reserve for other people.

There is a reason you so often find the world “moral” right before it.

We can’t apply our judgements to ourselves because that would have to mean we did something that we believe is wrong for others to do.

Judgements seek to govern the lives of others, rather than our own.

They also seek to punish others for certain behaviors or actions.

A good universal example is an act like murder or rape.

Most people agree that such actions are morally wrong, and should therefore be punished.

Even I can say I agree with that.

I judge people who murder others just for personal satisfaction.

Here’s an example I don’t understand:

I was recently doing some research on statistics regarding attitudes towards the right to choose, and I discovered the contradiction seen above.

So, one third of all Americans who claim to be “pro-choice” are also claiming to believe that abortion is immoral?

Sorry, that doesn’t work.

It’s perfectly fine to feel like abortion is not the right choice for you to make yourself.

But how are you going to claim that you support the right of other women to have one, while simultaneously judging them as immoral if they do?

Just because you don’t choose to do it doesn’t mean you have to think less of others who do.

In fact, thinking less of them means you DON’T support their choice when it’s different from the one you make.

I mean, let’s switch the action up to better illustrate this.

Would it make sense if one third of Americans who believe murdering others is immoral also claimed to support other people’s right to do it?

No, not really.

Making The Distinction Clear

So by now, you may be wondering how we can easily keep opinions from morphing into judgements.

This isn’t difficult.

Using the same example from earlier, I recently blogged about reasons I don’t want kids.

Do I scratch my head in response to everyone who decides to pop out four or twelve kids?

Absolutely.

I can’t imagine that, I’d probably hang myself with just one.

Do I feel the need to call them names on the internet or act all superior to them because we have a difference of opinion when it comes to kids?

Nope.

I recognize that my opinions are highly personal and don’t extend beyond my own preferences.

Their choices and opinions are every bit as valid as my own.

10 Reasons Why I Don’t Want Kids

why I don't want kids

Pictures of babies usually makes people go “awwww!”

Presumably because it fills them with a warm and fuzzy giddiness.

The same kind I have instead associated with dogs and puppies (especially Bub).

As a kid, I didn’t want to play with dolls.

Why the hell would anyone want to play with a baby?!

As far as I could tell, babies only did three different things. They could cry, sleep and shit themselves.

Seriously, didn’t kids with siblings already have a real-life version of that?!

To this day, I completely fail to understand the appeal.

Myself? I had a giant suitcase of Barbies to play with instead.

Barbies were glamorous and grown-up, which I enjoyed envisioning myself as when I was a kid. I wanted to be a gorgeous girl like her, with lots of clothes and a killer pink limousine!

As a teenager, I was equally as uninterested in babysitting any of my younger cousins.

Well, fast-forward to being an adult, and not much has changed when it comes to my feelings about babies and kids.

I’ll be thirty years old in less than a year and I still don’t have any of my own (unless you’re enlightened enough to count Bub, which you should be).

On that note, let’s countdown the top ten reasons why I don’t want kids.

#10: No Interest Whatsoever

Similar to the subject of cooking, I just don’t have any interest in children or raising them.

Would it be cool to know how to make a recipe or two?

Maybe.

But not cool enough to make the process of learning them feel worth it to me.

#9: The Adoption Argument

You hear this one ALL the time in the context of animals and pets.

Why pay hundreds or thousands of dollars to buy a dog from a breeder, when so many rescue animals are sitting in shelters waiting to be adopted or put down?

Considering I’d do best with kids over the age of eight or nine, adoption makes more sense.

And no way will I be allowed to adopt a human child in this lifetime (thank the Gods)!

#8: Potential for Tragedy

Look, I don’t know about you, but…the thought of having a child who is diagnosed with cancer at the age of four years old doesn’t exactly sound like a scenario I could survive.

Know what I’m saying?

There are just too many ways for things to go horribly wrong, most of which are totally outside of our control.

#7: Leaving a Legacy

Children are often thought of as someone’s legacy.

Some living abstraction of that person and the new one they created, which will carry the parent’s genes into the future.

I guess that’s cool and all, but I can think of better things to leave behind.

I will become immortal through the words I write, the stories I send out into the world. I’ll be kept alive each time a stranger reads them for the first time.

You, on the other hand, will likely be forgotten by your own family after a generation or two.

#6: I Just DON’T Like Them

There are some things in life that I kind of just hate.

Country music, sports and kids, to name a few.

You might think that’s awful, but my idea of awful is seeing the exasperation of some poor woman on the bus who can’t seem to console her screaming toddler.

I’ve never envied one.

#5: Fucked Up Parents

Although I was fortunate enough to be raised by two wonderful grandparents, my biological parents happen to be two of the biggest pieces of human trash on the planet.

Suffice to say, I know firsthand how lovely life can be when both of the assholes who gave it to you are worthless, selfish, abusive breeds of scum.

Even worse is the inevitable realization that they probably only intended to cause a fraction of all the misery they are responsible for.

No. Thank. You.

#4: Disgusted by Pregnancy

Trust me when I say, it’s NOT just the thought of pregnancy that disgusts me.

With six abortions under my belt (pun intended), I think it’s safe to say that I’ve given the whole thing its due.

NOT willing to earn any new stretch marks or destroy my vagina for the sake of having kids, sorry.

#3: Worst Demographics EVER

I mean this in the most literal sense possible.

I am unemployed, uneducated, unstable.

Addicted to drugs.

Poor credit, no bank account, no savings. Not a fucking dollar to my name!

No career, no degree, no employment or rental history.

No fucks given about the future, frankly.

#2: Finding ‘Mr. Right’

How do I say this?

Guys who want to ‘start a family’ aren’t really my type.

I’m attracted to people more like myself, who live in a confusing chaos somewhere between adolesence and adulthood.

Some women don’t concern themselves much over who the father of their baby is, or whether he will be around to help raise them.

I am NOT one of those women.

#1: Lack of Consent

Most importantly, I do not want children because the world has mostly been a disappointment and I will not force someone into it without their permission.

The fact is, no one is asked if they want to be born.

I often envision being asked, then given a momentary glimpse of life before having to decide.

I would have taken a pass, personally.