Choose a topic from Part 2B:

60. Judgement

1. Judgment, as a term used in direct connection withjustice, means an authoritative statement of what is right. It isthe decision and pronouncement of a judge. Aristotle says(Ethic. v): "Men have recourse to the judge as to onewho is the personification of justice." Judgment itself is anact of justice.

2. As an act of justice, judgment is certainly lawful. Onemay lawfully exercise the office of judge, in civil matters or inprivate life, when (a) he follows justice; (b) and has authority;(c) and does his duty prudently. If a judgment fails of justice, itis unjust or perverted judgment. If it comes from one unauthorizedto hand it down, it is a judgment by usurpation. If it comes fromimprudence-by reason of dubious evidence, improper motive, etc.-itis called suspicion or rash judgment.

3. It is always wrong to base judgment on suspicions. St.John Chrysostom says (In Matt. 7:1) that our Lord ingiving the command, "Judge not," means particularly thatwe are to abstain from "condemning others on evidence whichfor the most part is mere suspicion."

4. A man does an injury to his neighbor by thinking ill ofhim without sure and evident reasons for the bad opinion. Hence, wemust judge a person good until he proves himself evil, and we mustinterpret what is doubtful about him in the most favorable way.

5. A thing is right, either by its nature or bythe agreement of men expressed in human laws. In the first case, itis of natural right; in the second case, it is ofpositive right. True laws express and establish positiveright. Hence, a judge, in matters of positive law, must makejudgment according to that law.

6. A judgment by usurpation, because of the very fact thatit is unauthorized, is a perverse and unjust judgment.

"It is vanity to love what passes quickly and not to look ahead where eternal joy abides. "
Thomas á Kempis

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"A tree that is cultivated and guarded through the care of its owner produces its fruit at the expected time. "
St John of the Cross, OCD - Doctor of the Church

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"Shun too great a desire for knowledge, for in it there is much fretting and delusion. Intellectuals like to appear learned and to be called wise. Yet there are many things the knowledge of which does little or no good to the soul, and he who concerns himself about other things than those which lead to salvation is very unwise. "
Thomas á Kempis

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