Â Â People often condemn others on partial information. Indeed, necessity
sometimes demands hasty judgment. We frequently donâ€™t have enough time
to know the whole story. A short story called â€œThe Last Judgmentâ€ by the
Czech author Karel Capek best captures the issue. A deceased criminal con-
fronts a divine tribunal to determine whether he will be sent to heaven or hell.
The tribunal consists of human judges. God, instead of his usual role as
judge, is the witness. God testifies about the defendantâ€™s crimes but explains
the causes of the defendantâ€™s behavior and declares that, under different cir-
cumstances, the defendant would have been an upstanding citizen. Neverthe-
less, the judges condemn the defendant to hell. Before facing his fate, the de-
fendant asks why God has not decided his fate: â€œBecause I know everything.
If judges knew everything, absolutely everything, they couldnâ€™t judge either:
they would understand everything and their hearts would ache. How could I
possibly judge you? Judges know only about your crimes but I know every-
thing about you. . . . And thatâ€™s why I cannot judge you.â€