Hanlon's Razor

Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity.

Description

Hanlon's razor asks for reflection in situations where we perceive behavior to be intentionally malicious. A useful exercise is to rethink the scenario by replacing the malicious intent with reasons such as stupidity, stress or just plain old misunderstanding.

Examples

  • Your five-year old probably isn't making a mess to make your life miserable but rather because they're a toddler.
  • A social networking website probably didn't flag your content out of malice but rather due to a faulty algorithm.