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.

Why Donald Trump is Actually the Perfect President

perfect president

Once I had recovered from the initial shock and personal devastation of the 2016 Presidential election, I spent an entire afternoon writing down all of my thoughts and feelings surrounding it.

It wasn’t easy.

I had to keep taking breaks to make sure I didn’t lose my mind.

While I managed to ramble on for more than 2,800 words, I did say everything I have to say about politics.

But that was written back in late November, before Trump had even invaded the White House.

Now that we have survived the first few months of President Chump, I have realized how glad I actually am that he won.

Let me explain why.

I Care Even Less About Him

Before he decided to run for President, Donald Trump was just a stupid sounding name on a long list of rich, old and white douchebags I had filed away somewhere in my memory.

In other words, I didn’t give one speck of a fuck about him whatsoever.

I had never watched an episode of his dumbfuck show The Apprentice.

I had never tried to read any of the books he paid other people to write so that he could claim to be an “author.”

I hadn’t even suffered through watching any of his interviews or speeches.

He was invisible to me because 1) I have good taste and 2) I had ZERO interest in hearing anything he had to say.

When he began his campaign, he became easy joke material and I got a few good laughs at his expense.

But the only way I could have found him LESS interesting than I had before, was if he won the election.

Now that he has, I’ll never have to see him or hear from him again.

Making America Great Again

I’m sure that Southern plantation owners weren’t doing cartwheels after the end of the American Civil War.

They’d just spent five long years getting their asses kicked, only to lose both the war and their slaves to a bunch of assholes who said owning them wasn’t allowed anymore.

If one of them had ran for President after Lincoln, I’ll bet they would have used the same tagline Trump did for their campaign!

They would have understood how America had been so much greater before those damn Yankees started meddling in their affairs.

Those damn Yankees!

First, they tried to take away their slaves. Who the fuck did they think they were, exactly?

Then they dragged the Confederacy into a fucking WAR over it and those bastards won.

You have to understand that for this group of people, America became LESS great for them after slaves were finally freed.

You have to understand that for this group of people, America became LESS great for them after slaves were finally freed.

Did it become greater for African Americans who were no longer slaves?

The obvious answer is yes, but it’s not like everything was suddenly fine for everyone the moment that happened.

Freedom isn’t the same thing as equality, or even equal freedoms.

But without basic freedom, the Civil Rights Movement could never have taken place later on.

Fast forward to today, and I think most enlightened people would agree that abolishing slavery made the country a better place for MORE PEOPLE.

Sort of like…oh, I don’t know, the Affordable Care Act!

While being far from ironed out or perfect, the goal was to make healthcare a right of all citizens.

You know, like every other major first-world country on the fucking planet.

Will this right come at a certain cost?

You better believe it will! It ISN’T gonna be cheap.

Doctor visits, surgeries, cancer treatments and trips to the emergency room are fucking EXPENSIVE in the US.

Way too expensive for most of us to pay, unfortunately.

A doctor’s salary can’t be paid by anyone living in poverty.

The people who can afford to pay a doctor his salary are the people in the same income bracket!

People like…Donald Trump!

The only problem is that Donald Trump didn’t become a billionaire by helping poor people pay the medical bills that ensured their future poverty.

Why the hell should he suddenly be required to pay more for other people AND for his own healthcare?!

I’m sure the idea sounds very un-American to a man who makes fortunes by scamming people out of their savings with shady promises of becoming as “successful” as he is!

Letting Me Off The Hook

After election night, it felt like my soul had literally been crushed.

Now that several months have passed, I feel relieved.

If Hillary Clinton had won (OR if our votes mattered), I’d probably have to continue following politics more closely or keep tabs on the news like a goddamn grownup.

And that thought scares me.

You might think that’s silly, but…

To me, the perfect illustration of silliness would be a bunch of morons over the age of thirty who somehow manage to convince themselves that the things they do have a measureable effect on ANYTHING in this world.

Because the fact is, they don’t.

It doesn’t matter if you vote or not. It literally means nothing.

It doesn’t matter if you vote or not. It literally means nothing.

Period.

It doesn’t matter if you join protesters and march in some kind of “solidarity.”

Pipelines will still be built, women won’t be treated equally and #NotMyPresident doesn’t declare Portland, OR a sovereign nation (no matter how long it trends on Twitter).

When I was thirteen years old, it was easy to stay in touch with this reality. Everyone knows that you can’t do shit about anything when you’re a kid.

What I don’t understand is why they think that changes as adults!

He Validates My Life Choices

In case you don’t know me very well, let’s make something crystal clear: my choices in life have NOT been “popular.”

Whenever possible, I choose to reject just about everything that most people blindly accept as being a requirement in society.

The greatest advantage I had in doing this was my complete lack of fucking concern for the opinions others have about me and the things I do.

Most people try to find a suitable path in life within the systems that currently exist (which we are born into and often can’t control).

They work hard, go to college and pay their taxes so that they can buy a house and enjoy a certain quality of life.

That’s fine, but the only problem is that they often end up with a FALSE sense of ownership and security.

If you get fired and lose your job, it was never really YOURS to begin with.

It belonged to your employer, who took it back.

In the end, you have no rights of ownership over it.

After being fired, you don’t have the money to make your mortgage payment for a few consecutive months.

If the bank forecloses on it, that means you didn’t own it to begin with.

THEY did.

Owning a home or having a successful career in a given field ONLY works when you play by the rules of OTHER people.

Owning a home or having a successful career in a given field ONLY works when you play by the rules of OTHER people.

If you break them, you lose the things that you thought belonged to you.

Because, in reality, nothing belongs to you.

Over the past several years, I’ve read dozens of stories in the news about successful people posting their personal opinions on Facebook and then losing their jobs and ending up with nothing as a result.

Which means that even when you DO play by the rules and put in the work for the success you enjoy, having thoughts of your own and sharing them with the world is NOT okay.

You aren’t allowed to share opinions on Facebook and keep your job. Unless they are widely shared by society, of course.

Anything too far from the norm will leave you on the “fringe” and likely cost you your station in life.

Personally? I think that’s complete bullshit.

But most people think my version of life is too “extreme.”

They shake their heads at my choices to abuse drugs and get paid for sex.

Both are illegal and people are too scared to break the laws which prohibit them.

Now that a madman is trying to run the country and take away everyone’s rights to basically everything, I’ll bet the idea of rejecting society and government doesn’t seem so fucking “extreme” to a lot of those same people now.

How could it?

If Trump and his cronies manage to make abortion illegal, will it stop you from getting one if you need to?

If your answer was “no” then my suggestion is to say it LOUDER and remember which set of rules you live by: theirs or YOUR OWN?