One rule to rule them all, the golden rule of compassion

In Uncategorized on December 1, 2009 at 5:45 pm

If there is one ethical rule or guideline that transcends cultures, faiths and societies it is the golden rule:

"do not do to others what you would not like to be done to you" 

This statement in one form or another is present in every major religion. 

The golden rule is also the foundation stone of the charter for compassion I will be blogging more about that later today.

Ethics Golden rule  (Wikipedia)

The Golden Rule is an ethical code that states one has a right to just treatment, and a responsibility to ensure justice for others. It is also called the ethic of reciprocity. It is arguably the most essential basis for the modern concept of human rights, though it has its critics.[2] A key element of the golden rule is that a person attempting to live by this rule treats all people, not just members of his or her in-group, with consideration. The Golden rule appears to have an evolutionary basis, see Reciprocity (evolution).

The negative form "do not do to others what you would not like to be done to you" does directly not contain this while the positive form can exclude it indirectly with that you would like from others to check if you really like it, which is an example of using the golden rule in a context which makes it self-correcting, as argued in the criticisms section, while similar, these forms are not strictly the same

The golden rule has its roots in a wide range of world cultures, and is a standard which different cultures use to resolve conflicts; it was present in the philosophies of ancient Judaism, India, Greece, and China. Principal philosophers and religious figures have stated it in different ways, but its most common English phrasing is attributed to Jesus of Nazareth in the Biblical book of Luke: "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you." 

In the diversity arena the golden rule is often restated as the platinum rule:
"do unto others what they would like done to them"

the difference being that just because we would be ok with something doesn't mean that everyone would feel the same (to me it's simpler to view both versions under the heading golden rule, to do otherwise feels like arguing over semantics). 

At heart is the idea of compassion, of caring enough about the other person to see to it that they don't end up feeling or being treated badly if you can help it. 
This isn't just about altruisms though, the idea of reciprocity means that by treating others well we help insure similar good treatment for ourselves.   

Religions take things further however they seek to take the self interest bit out of it altogether. They encourage us to put the golden rule at the heart of what we do and in so doing  transcend our obsession with self. 
To paraphrase the Buddha to – embrace the golden/platinum rule all day everyday.

It's a commitment to a discipline and one that is not always going to be easy to accomplish especially in a world awash in materialism and moral grey areas.
This level of commitment takes a great deal of belief not just in a god or a teaching but in our fellow man.  

Posted via email from Urban Ascetic (Lite)


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