Sta Hungry Stay Foolish

Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.

A blog by Leon Oudejans

The benefit of the doubt

Everyone understands the meaning of my blog title. Nevertheless, it’s hard to explain the how, what, when, who, and the why. Perhaps, the benefit of the doubt relates to a conflict between consciousness (eg, ratio) and subconscious (eg, emotion). Probably, doubt is settled once a side has “won”.

The benefit of the doubt relates to all three domains: Love, Knowledge, and Power. Examples: dating (Love), (business) products & services (Knowledge), military conflicts (Power).

The quote below gives an interesting perspective: being right versus being wrong. Indeed that we may prefer giving the benefit of the doubt to an alleged victim. Unfortunately, people know this and will do their best to create a victim role for themselves.

The Ernest Hemingway quote (see left) adds a vital ingredient: trust.

Probably, trust is the most basic consideration between people.

Usually, there’s little to no doubt.

Once doubt becomes strong, there is a need to make a choice.

To delay such a decision, we may give the benefit of the doubt.

It’s not always about trust. Sometimes, you do not trust both sides. Then it’s about the (benefit of the doubt for the) lesser of two evils (eg, Hamas vs Israel, Russia vs Ukraine). Picking sides is counterproductive because it opens doors to ample and valid criticism.

Sometimes, there’s no alternative for Doubt.

Alternatives would be Fear, or Hope, or Love. See my recent blog.

It’s my experience that doubt can – occasionally – last for many years.

In such situations, there may also be a benefit of the doubt.

“I give the victim the benefit of the doubt when it comes to allegations of rape and sexual abuse. I choose to err on that side of caution. This does not mean I am unsympathetic to the wrongly accused, but if there are sides to be chosen, I am on the side of the victim.”

A quote by American writer Roxane Gay (b.1974) from Bad Feminist (2014)

Giving You The Benefit (1990) by Pebbles
artist, lyrics, video, Wiki-artist, Wiki-song

I’ll be giving you the benefit of the doubt
And I’m giving you a minute to try to work it on out

Note: all markings (bolditalicunderlining) by LO unless in quotes or stated otherwise.


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