PhybieRaslen PhybieRaslen 31-35, F 4 Answers Oct 6, 2011

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I think there is perhaps a cultural "fine shading of difference". Here are the definitions from


1. an act or instance of judging.

2. the ability to judge, make a decision, or form an opinion objectively, authoritatively, and wisely, especially in matters affecting action; good sense; discretion: a man of sound judgment.

3. the demonstration or exercise of such ability or capacity: The major was decorated for the judgment he showed under fire.

4. the forming of an opinion, estimate, notion, or conclusion, as from circumstances presented to the mind: Our judgment as to the cause of his failure must rest on the evidence.

5. the opinion formed: He regretted his hasty judgment

opinion: 1. a belief or judgment that rests on grounds insufficient to produce complete certainty.

2. a personal view, attitude, or appraisal.

3. the formal expression of a professional judgment: to ask for a second medical opinion.

4. Law . the formal statement by a judge or court of the reasoning and the principles of law used in reaching a decision of a case.

5. a judgment or estimate of a person or thing with respect to character, merit, etc.: to forfeit someone's good opinion.

So in many ways, they are the same. I think an opinion actually is a personal judgment, and whether we call it a "judgment" or an "opinion" depends partly on how we communicate it. But really, I believe they are pretty much interchangeable. If you say, "That dress is ugly", then you are making a judgment and it is a given that you are also stating an opinion. I think people like to look at the terms differently, with opinion granting more freedom or tolerance to others, as in "I happen to THINK you're wrong, but you might not be..." It still goes back to judgment because your opinion is that someone is wrong. I believe the common interpretation that people make of judgment is that a person believes he cannot be wrong in stating or forming said opinion, but it isn't necessarily so. That just makes judgment a really strong or well supported opinion.

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This is great! I always felt/thought that an opinion may not be intended to be harmful, it's simply the way someone feels about one thing or another and a judgement seemed to be more harsh, such as 'you're stupid'. The older I get, I wonder what makes one, one thing and the other, something else.
Thank you for responding. Great feedback. :)

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It's really a very interesting question. I was thinking about two conversations: A parent says to a child, "Doing drugs is wrong for you and your body. You need to stop." As opposed to a friend who approaches another friend and says "Doing drugs is wrong for you and your body. You need to stop." One is more authoritative in a sense. But are they both judgments? Or both opinions? And if judgment is "wrong", then which person is wrong in this instance. Neither one is asserting that there is any question as to the reliability of their statements, so are they both "judgmental"? I can imagine the drug addict friend coming back with "How dare you judge me!" Can you imagine a kid saying the same to his parent? lol I'm glad you posted this q. I've enjoyed rolling it around in my head. :)

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I love reading your responses! :)

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A personal opinion is what a person thinks and feels about something(s). Doesn't mean it's correct, by other peoples opinions, but it's how a person feels or thinks based on their knowledge of the subject. No one can say that another person's opinion is wrong as everyone has a right to their own feelings.

Judgement is a harsh statement of another's beliefs, thoughts or lifestyle. I say harsh because the word judgement means a person believes they have the right to tell others that they are wrong. Example: Just because I say/think that they way you live your life or the way you think should be against the law and you must think or the way I or others live/believe, means I judge you to be wrong. "Don't judge others lest you be judged."

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Good answer but isn't the statement "I think you're wrong" an opinion? I hear many saying "don't judge me" when what they're responding to sounds like someone's personal opinion. Just thought I'd ask, I'm not judging. :)

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Of course you're not judging, I wouldn't think of suggesting that :) And, you are correct, as I reflect back on that. I should have written, as a judgement, "You ARE wrong". The use of the word 'Think' is indeed an opinion. This is an excellent question and I think, (my opinion), that there is a fine line between opinion and judgement. It has made for some very interesting points of discussion. Thanks for asking it.

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I love discussions such as these as long as answers remain respectful of each others' varied opinions.

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