JUDGEMENT: a statement which lays claim to truth by over-riding contrary evidence

A judgement is an official statement which arrogates truth by denying the significance of other authorities. Any probabilities for error are minimized or deemed irrelevant and the consequences of the assumed truth of the statement are administered.

In the political arena, if a judgement like... that act was treasonable... is delivered formally in the legal forum of the controlling authority, then subsequent events are usually quite unmerciful. It is of no consequence what different truth criteria other groups suggest might apply. The power determines the truth. Change the power and change the truth. In the sporting arena, the judgement by the official referee or replay technology... the ball was out... determines the consequences of subsequent action. The players and the spectators can provide alternative evidence and assert the falsity of the judgement as much as they like. The game will proceed according to the enforced truth of the official system.

The reality is of course that judgements involve existential phenomena and their inherent uncertainties. Total certainty is essentially impossible and judgements will all be subject to some sort of probability. The aesthetics judgement... by my green candle but that calendula is radiant... might acquire a consensus vote of fifty-one percent and hence be touted as true, but space and time can immediately render it irrelevant. The calendula will quickly wilt, the candle will burn down, or a chaotic bolt of lightning reduce the image to carbon pixels. Judgements need always to be treated as if they have a use-by date as well as having a probability value associated with them. Even seemingly simple and harmless judgements such as... that calendula is a beautiful flower... can be misguided. It is not a single flower at all. The central structure is in fact numerous florets and the surrounding colour an involucre of protective bracts. As well as that of course, what is meant by 'beauty' is anyone's guess. Lastly, it is easy to forget that an adequate level of perception discrimination is essential for many judgements. Referees are accused of being blind. Politicians are accused of being deaf. Scientists and engineers are criticized for taking measurements with inadequate technology. Wine judges with palates and noses made of wood won't make decisions that the industry is interested in hearing.

Existential statements become more difficult to evaluate with the passage of time. For immediate and pragmatic purposes, some judgements about existential circumstances will effectively be accepted on the spot as if they were absolutely true. There is usually no point in arguing. The observation judgement... the candle is alight... will quite probably be agreed to by all observing the ritual at the time. After the candle burns out, however, and time passes, the evidence for what was true becomes more tenuous, so that making a true statement about the same situation becomes more difficult. Given the known capacities for deception and modifying evidence, only the most rigorous of recording procedures can hope to maintain any sort of high probability for the truth of the judgement... the candle was alight at the time...

No judgements should be immune from the re-evaluation of their certification and credentials. Judgements about past events, seemingly documented with self-evident certainty, should be frequently called into question and the evidence re-examined and put to the test. The once self-evident certainty of such judgements as... the heavens are a sphere of immutable perfection... or... the continents have remained unaltered since creation... are no longer considered as such.