Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity.I was thinking about this saying recently, and it's tougher than it looks at first sight.
After all, if you follow the advice, you assume people are good at heart -- they're not trying to screw you. And that's a good attitude to have,
But at the same time, isn't it kind of insulting to their abilities? After all, assuming malice assumes a basic level of competence.
And isn't assuming your fellow human beings are at least minimally competent also a good attitude to have?
I have days when my attitude isn't good, and I either assume everyone is malicious and stupid, or else I assume that everyone is good-hearted and capable, and the universe just happens to be out to get me.
Neither of those is true, obviously.
So what do you think?