Sta Hungry Stay Foolish

Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.

A blog by Leon Oudejans

The benefit of the doubt: who, when & why

My topic appears simple until you start wondering about the who, the when and the why. We do not give our benefit of the doubt to all (who), or always (when), or reasoned (why). If so then how do we decide on giving someone the benefit of our doubt??

Several weeks ago, I gave someone the benefit of my doubt. By now, that person appears to have lost the benefit of my doubt. I’m reluctant to renew it – even when I would be asked. I doubt that I will be asked. The end of our tunnel has been reached (my recent blog).

I suppose that our benefit of the doubt is strongest with family. Next in line are our friends. Third in line are our acquaintances. Strangers are – probably – last in line. Kind strangers might be an exception for some of us. This answers the who.

People (ie, who) expressing good deeds & words are far more likely to gain our benefit of the doubt. Family, friends, acquaintances or strangers expressing bad deeds & words are far less likely to gain our benefit of the doubt. This answers the when.

The why relates to our self-interest. In my view, everything is always related to our self-interest. Again, in my view, altruism is a hypothetical concept. Also see my 2022 blog Is altruism ever without self-interest?

The how remains interesting. In my view, it feels related to consciousness, as well as instinct and/or intuition, which are all unknown knowns (ie, we do not know that we know). Also see my 2015 blog Belief systems – known unknowns.

Two great quotes:

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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