Golden Rule

The Golden Rule or ethic of reciprocity is a maxim, ethical code, or morality that essentially states either of the following:

  • (Positive form of Golden Rule): One should treat others as one would like others to treat oneself.
  • (Negative form of Golden Rule): One should not treat others in ways that one would not like to be treated.

This concept describes a "reciprocal", or "two-way", relationship between one's self and others that involves both sides equally, and in a mutual fashion.

This concept can be explained from the perspective of psychology, philosophy, sociology, and religion. Psychologically, it involves a person empathizing with others. Philosophically, it involves a person perceiving their neighbor as also "an I" or "self." Sociologically, this principle is applicable between individuals, between groups, and also between individuals and groups. (For example, a person living by this rule treats all people with consideration, not just members of his or her in-group). Religion is an integral part of the history of this concept.

As a concept, the Golden Rule has a history that long predates the term "Golden Rule", or "Golden law", as it was called from the 1670s. As a concept of "the ethic of reciprocity," it has its roots in a wide range of world cultures, and is a standard way that different cultures use to resolve conflicts. It has a long history, and a great number of prominent religious figures and philosophers have restated its reciprocal, "two-way" nature in various ways (not limited to the above forms).

Rushworth Kidder discusses the early contributions of Confucius (551–479 BCE) (See a version in Confucianism below). Kidder notes that this concept's framework appears prominently in many religions, including "Hinduism, Buddhism, Taoism, Zoroastrianism, and the rest of the world's major religions". According to Greg M. Epstein, " 'do unto others' ... is a concept that essentially no religion misses entirely." Simon Blackburn also states that the Golden Rule can be "found in some form in almost every ethical tradition". In his commentary to the Torah verse (Hebrew: "ואהבת לרעך כמוך" ca.1300 BCE):

You shall not take vengeance or bear a grudge against your kinsfolk. Love your neighbor as yourself: I am the LORD. —Leviticus 19:18, the "Great Commandment"

As Plaut points out, this is the earliest written version of the Golden Rule in the Bible in a positive form. All versions and forms of the proverbial Golden Rule have one aspect in common: they all demand that people treat others in a manner in which they themselves would like to be treated.

Read more about Golden Rule:  Criticisms and Responses To Criticisms, Scientific Research

Other articles related to "golden rule, rule":

Donaldson's - History
... In 1961, The Golden Rule store of St ... was transferred by Allied Stores to Donaldson's, and operated as Donaldson's Golden Rule until the mid-1960s when the name was changed to Donaldson's ... The Golden Rule was purchased by Hahn in 1928 ...
Golden Rule - Scientific Research
... altruism There has been research published arguing that some 'sense' of fair play and the Golden Rule may be stated and rooted in terms of neuroscientific and neuroethical ...
Samuel M. Jones - Businessman
... his workers to work hard, be honest, and follow the Golden Rule ... Following his belief in the Golden Rule, in his factory Jones paid employees prevailing wages, implemented an 8-hour work day, gave employees a one-week paid vacation, gave employees a Christmas ...
The Little Troll Prince: A Christmas Parable - Synopsis
... disorder, inflict pain, and follow the Troll Golden Rule "Do unto others before they do unto you" ("Sinister School") ... taken from the Troll Bible, correctly (reciting the Troll Golden Rule, his belief in growing more "evil and disgusting day after day", and that he is heartless and ... them brings to mind his Bible, however, which Bu begins to read, discovering the true Golden Rule ...
Matthew 7:12
... This well known verse presents what has become known as the Golden Rule ... Some editions append it to the end of Matthew 77-11, and the rule does seem to be an expansion on the teaching about prayer in that section ... In Luke the Rule is present just after the teaching about enemies, making the link even more explicit ...

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