Simply put, the principle of charity is the idea that when criticizing someone’s argument, you should criticize the best possible interpretation of that argument.
In the following article you will learn about this principle more in depth, and see some helpful guidelines for implementing it in practice.
Essentially, the principle of charity embodies the idea that when you interpret what other people say, you should select the best possible interpretation for their statements.
This means that, whenever possible, you should not attribute logical fallacies, falsehoods, or irrationality to other people’s argument, when there is a plausible rational alternative.
This means that, whenever possible, you should attribute issues in your opponent’s arguments to a misunderstanding on their part, rather than to intentional malice.
As we saw above, the basic way in which you implement the principle of charity is by assigning the best possible interpretation that you can to your opponent’s argument.
This effect causes people to strengthen their support for their preexisting beliefs in the face of evidence that they are wrong. »