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Is the Golden Rule flawed?

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posted on Dec, 29 2009 @ 01:18 PM
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I have heard a few people preach the golden rule recently as an absolute maxim by how we should live life. However, I want to bring that into question. As it does not make immediate sense to me.

Do unto others as you would have them do unto you

Almost all of us want to be loved, respected and accepted. So according to this rule we must love, respect and accept others to get the same in return.

The problem I have with this is that it is too simplistic. "Others" is not some monolithic category, it consists of diverse range of individuals and our relationships and interactions with each individual would be different.

I want to be loved, respected and accepted, but I certainly would not love, respect and accept a rapist. I would do unto them as I would have them not do unto me.

If somebody bullies and terroizes you. You don't react with love, respect and acceptance. You react accordingly.

Nobody just gives their love away to any stranger on the steet; we give it to those who we consider worthy of our love. A teacher does not give his education away to any tom, dick and harry; he gives it to his students. A mother does not mother everybody; she mothers her child.

Therefore the Golden rule in its literal interpretation is very flawed. Instead what makes more sense is: Do unto others as they are. One needs to treat people as individuals and react accodingly. If they do not deserve your love, respect and acceptance - then don't give it to them. Period.

[edit on 29-12-2009 by Indigo_Child]




posted on Dec, 29 2009 @ 01:27 PM
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reply to post by Indigo_Child
 


The real Golden Rule is He who has the Gold, makes the Rules

Sad, but true.



posted on Dec, 29 2009 @ 01:35 PM
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reply to post by Indigo_Child
 


"Nobody just gives their love away to any stranger on the steet; we give it to those who we consider worthy of our love. "

JESUS DID!

I think your argument is flawed. if you really think about the people that you respect and look up to...they have been taught to be respectful and likely loved and respected by alot of people, throughout their whole life. COnversely, the people you speak of, rapists, bullies, whatever, have less likely been exposed to love and kindness, and should be treated with love and kindness, and respect until you cannot do it any longer, or you are just as bad as they. in short what I am saying is the ones who need it most are the ones who dont already have it!
just my .02



posted on Dec, 29 2009 @ 01:40 PM
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From the risk of being another arm-chair philosopher of ATS:

Gold Rule divides itself in 2 parts: active and passive.

"Do unto others as you would have them do unto you."

and

"Don't do to others what you wouldn't want done to yourself."

Giving another face was Christ's way of saying that we shouldn't respond violance with violance, thereby we break the violance chain and don't make bad karma to us.

"New International Version (NIV)
Matthew 5:38-39

An Eye for an Eye
38"You have heard that it was said, 'Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.'[a] 39But I tell you, Do not resist an evil person. If someone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also."

Jesus seems to give a "patch", a new law, completely the opposite of Hamurabi's (Talion Law) and what was said on Exodus.

"The New Commandment
A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another
— John 13:34-35 (KJV)"

There's principle of reciprocation in human nature. I give you a gift, you are very inclined to give me another one and perhaps you may feel guilt if not.

Something that Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr did very sucessfuly was their nonviolent resistance.

Versions of the Golden Rule in 21 religions: www.religioustolerance.org...

There's an esoteric adagio that says "'Every Cause has its Effect; every Effect has its Cause; everything happens according to Law; Chance is but a name for Law not recognized; there are many planes of causation, but nothing escapes the Law.". - Kybalion, The Three Initiates

Of course It's easier said than done and we must consider the contexts.

Sometimes - I believe - we must be what may be considered as "bad". Yes, in a machiavellian way. By the way, the word machiavellian was deturped by our culture.

Extremes are dangerous. Balance and harmony is the key. Yin-Yang. Seems only God can be good entirely.

Wikipedia: Ethic of Reciprocity - en.wikipedia.org...

[edit on 29-12-2009 by infobrazil]



posted on Dec, 29 2009 @ 01:43 PM
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I think the Golden Rule is a great idea in theory but it only works well if everyone follows it. It's a Utopian idea like communism or true democracy. Follow it when you can but don't put yourself at risk when doing so.

[edit on 29-12-2009 by badmoviefan]



posted on Dec, 29 2009 @ 01:48 PM
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Originally posted by badmoviefan
I think the Golden Rule is a great idea in theory but it only works well if everyone follows it. It's a Utopian idea like communism or true democracy. Follow it when you can but don't put yourself at risk when doing so.

[edit on 29-12-2009 by badmoviefan]


Very relevant reply. The key is we shouldn't wait for others do it, so then we will do it.

That's what the majority already does: take clues from the outside (the hive, the herd) instead of relying in theirselves.

We take the attitude of initiate the golden rule, others probably will naturaly learn by imitation.

Ok, enough arm-chair philosophy for today.

[edit on 29-12-2009 by infobrazil]



posted on Dec, 29 2009 @ 01:50 PM
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Originally posted by AKARonco


COnversely, the people you speak of, rapists, bullies, whatever, have less likely been exposed to love and kindness, and should be treated with love and kindness, and respect until you cannot do it any longer, or you are just as bad as they. in short what I am saying is the ones who need it most are the ones who dont already have it!
just my .02


Your argument is contrary to human nature and justice. If a rapist raped one of your loved ones you would not react in love, kindnes and respect, I assure you. Not many humans would. An act of rape is a crime and criminal should not be treated with love, kindness and respect, but be held accountable for their crime and be punished.

The kind of ideal you preach is unrealistic and impractical. It is unrealistic because this is not how humans behave and impractical because if you started loving criminals you would have no justice in the world and it would become overrun by crime. I am sure you would not like to live in a world like that.

[edit on 29-12-2009 by Indigo_Child]



posted on Dec, 29 2009 @ 01:53 PM
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I've followed it as closely and as consistently as any human being could hope to and so far it hasnt paid off very well.

First and foremost I want to be left alone. I dont want anyone exerting any force or control over me and mine. So I dont bother anyone for any reason unless explicitly asked to intervene or be involved. Yet not a moment goes by I'm not under the control of some group or individual.

Second, I have no time to waste on trickery, gambles or questionable bartering practices and never seek to unjustly profit from transactions often barely breaking even. Yet I am continuously prayed upon by swindlers and thieves. So much so that I have stopped transactions with strangers and unknowns. Fairness seems to be interpreted as weakness by too many.

You can only do unto others as you would have them do unto you so long before it becomes do unto others as they would do unto you and do it before they get the chance to.

Eventually I'll accomplish my goal of isolation. But even then the 'authorities' will come to collect their extortion. And I am too small to do it to them before they can do it to me.



posted on Dec, 29 2009 @ 01:56 PM
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Originally posted by Indigo_Child

Almost all of us want to be loved, respected and accepted. So according to (t)his rule we must love, respect and accept others to get the same in return.


This is, of course, an ideal

1. A conception of something in its absolute perfection.
2. One that is regarded as a standard or model of perfection or excellence.
3. An ultimate object of endeavor; a goal.
4. An honorable or worthy principle or aim

www.thefreedictionary.com...


I want to be loved, respected and accepted, but I certainly would not love, respect and accept a rapist... If somebody bullies and terroizes you. You don't react with love, respect and acceptance. You react accordingly.


(1)Could the fact that the ideal of "the Golden Rule" is not practiced with any consistency, actually contribute to the existence of these types of people? Are such people created due to the lack of the "Golden Rule"? (2)Again, it is suggested as an ideal of what should be, not what we actually do.


Therefore the Golden rule in its literal interpretation is very flawed. Instead what makes more sense is: Do unto others as they are. One needs to treat people as individuals and react accodingly. If they do not deserve your love, respect and acceptance - then don't give it to them. Period.


Is this the case because the rule is "flawed" or because it is not practiced?

I think you have, through your post, answered your own question.

Disclaimer: Submitted in the spirit of debate and in no way intended to be a claim that I live by the ideal. But, admitting that our world would be a very different place, if we did.

[edit on 29-12-2009 by WTFover]



posted on Dec, 29 2009 @ 01:58 PM
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Giving another face was Christ's way of saying that we shouldn't respond violance with violance, thereby we break the violance chain and don't make bad karma to us.


It is not necessary that not reacting would end the violence. The other possibility is that the violence would continue and get worse, because you are doing nothing to stop it. Do you recall what happened to the Jews at the hands of the Nazis?

If you allow injustice to perpetuate then you are responsible for the karma of the damage of that injustice you are allowing. Indeed this is what Krishna tells Arjuna.



posted on Dec, 29 2009 @ 02:01 PM
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"If somebody bullies and terroizes you. You don't react with love, respect and acceptance. You react accordingly. "

I think that this fits properly in my understanding of the golden rule.

Treat people with respect ,and if your rude and disrespectful to someone, dont expect them to treat you with respect.

personally, i think that still stands pretty well.



[edit on 29-12-2009 by nubby23]



posted on Dec, 29 2009 @ 02:17 PM
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Here's a trans of the golden rule from wikipedia.

"Do to others what you would like to be done to you"

Which means treat others how you would like to be treated.





[edit on 29-12-2009 by GrandKitaro777]



posted on Dec, 29 2009 @ 02:20 PM
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(1)Could the fact that the ideal of "the Golden Rule" is not practiced with any consistency, actually contribute to the existence of these types of people? Are such people created due to the lack of the "Golden Rule"? (2)Again, it is suggested as an ideal of what should be, not what we actually do.


Perhaps, but perhaps not. Perhaps, the Golden rule is impractical. There is more reason to believe that considering that the religion that strives to practice it has a history of violence and genocide.



posted on Dec, 29 2009 @ 02:22 PM
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Another problem with the golden rule, lets say (hypothetically) that I am a masochist, do you really want me treating you the way I want to be treated?



posted on Dec, 29 2009 @ 02:29 PM
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Originally posted by Indigo_Child

Perhaps, but perhaps not. Perhaps, the Golden rule is impractical. There is more reason to believe that considering that the religion that strives to practice it has a history of violence and genocide.


Which "religion" would that be?


Some "Ethic of Reciprocity" passages from the religious texts of various religions and secular beliefs:

Bahá'í Faith: "Ascribe not to any soul that which thou wouldst not have ascribed to thee, and say not that which thou doest not." "Blessed is he who preferreth his brother before himself." Baha'u'llah
"And if thine eyes be turned towards justice, choose thou for thy neighbour that which thou choosest for thyself." Epistle to the Son of the Wolf

Brahmanism: "This is the sum of Dharma [duty]: Do naught unto others which would cause you pain if done to you". Mahabharata, 5:1517 "

Buddhism: "...a state that is not pleasing or delightful to me, how could I inflict that upon another?" Samyutta NIkaya v. 353
Hurt not others in ways that you yourself would find hurtful." Udana-Varga 5:18

Christianity: "Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets." Matthew 7:12, King James Version.
"And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise." Luke 6:31, King James Version.
"...and don't do what you hate...", Gospel of Thomas 6. The Gospel of Thomas is one of about 40 gospels that circulated among the early Christian movement, but which never made it into the Christian Scriptures (New Testament).

Confucianism: "Do not do to others what you do not want them to do to you" Analects 15:23
"Tse-kung asked, 'Is there one word that can serve as a principle of conduct for life?' Confucius replied, 'It is the word 'shu' -- reciprocity. Do not impose on others what you yourself do not desire.'" Doctrine of the Mean 13.3
"Try your best to treat others as you would wish to be treated yourself, and you will find that this is the shortest way to benevolence." Mencius VII.A.4

Ancient Egyptian: "Do for one who may do for you, that you may cause him thus to do." The Tale of the Eloquent Peasant, 109 - 110 Translated by R.B. Parkinson. The original dates to 1970 to 1640 BCE and may be the earliest version of the Epic of Reciprocity ever written. 3

Hinduism: This is the sum of duty: do not do to others what would cause pain if done to you. Mahabharata 5:1517

Humanism: "(5) Humanists acknowledge human interdependence, the need for mutual respect and the kinship of all humanity."
"(11) Humanists affirm that individual and social problems can only be resolved by means of human reason, intelligent effort, critical thinking joined with compassion and a spirit of empathy for all living beings. " 4
"Don't do things you wouldn't want to have done to you, British Humanist Society. 3

Islam: "None of you [truly] believes until he wishes for his brother what he wishes for himself." Number 13 of Imam "Al-Nawawi's Forty Hadiths." 5

Jainism: "Therefore, neither does he [a sage] cause violence to others nor does he make others do so." Acarangasutra 5.101-2.
"In happiness and suffering, in joy and grief, we should regard all creatures as we regard our own self." Lord Mahavira, 24th Tirthankara
"A man should wander about treating all creatures as he himself would be treated. "Sutrakritanga 1.11.33

Judaism: "...thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.", Leviticus 19:18
"What is hateful to you, do not to your fellow man. This is the law: all the rest is commentary." Talmud, Shabbat 31a.
"And what you hate, do not do to any one." Tobit 4:15 6

Native American Spirituality: "Respect for all life is the foundation." The Great Law of Peace.
"All things are our relatives; what we do to everything, we do to ourselves. All is really One." Black Elk
"Do not wrong or hate your neighbor. For it is not he who you wrong, but yourself." Pima proverb.

Roman Pagan Religion: "The law imprinted on the hearts of all men is to love the members of society as themselves."

Shinto: "The heart of the person before you is a mirror. See there your own form"
"Be charitable to all beings, love is the representative of God." Ko-ji-ki Hachiman Kasuga

Sikhism: Compassion-mercy and religion are the support of the entire world". Japji Sahib
"Don't create enmity with anyone as God is within everyone." Guru Arjan Devji 259
"No one is my enemy, none a stranger and everyone is my friend." Guru Arjan Dev : AG 1299

Sufism: "The basis of Sufism is consideration of the hearts and feelings of others. If you haven't the will to gladden someone's heart, then at least beware lest you hurt someone's heart, for on our path, no sin exists but this." Dr. Javad Nurbakhsh, Master of the Nimatullahi Sufi Order.

Taoism: "Regard your neighbor's gain as your own gain, and your neighbor's loss as your own loss." T'ai Shang Kan Ying P'ien.
"The sage has no interest of his own, but takes the interests of the people as his own. He is kind to the kind; he is also kind to the unkind: for Virtue is kind. He is faithful to the faithful; he is also faithful to the unfaithful: for Virtue is faithful." Tao Teh Ching, Chapter 49

Unitarian Universalism:

"The inherent worth and dignity of every person;"
"Justice, equity and compassion in human relations.... "
"The goal of world community with peace, liberty, and justice for all;"
"We affirm and promote respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part." Unitarian principles. 7,8

Wicca: "An it harm no one, do what thou wilt" (i.e. do what ever you will, as long as it harms nobody, including yourself). One's will is to be carefully thought out in advance of action. This is called the Wiccan Rede

Yoruba: (Nigeria): "One going to take a pointed stick to pinch a baby bird should first try it on himself to feel how it hurts."

Zoroastrianism: "That nature alone is good which refrains from doing unto another whatsoever is not good for itself". Dadistan-i-dinik 94:5
"Whatever is disagreeable to yourself do not do unto others." Shayast-na-Shayast 13:29


www.religioustolerance.org...

Maybe ascribing it to a "religion", is flawed. How about 'spirituality' instead?

[edit on 29-12-2009 by WTFover]



posted on Dec, 29 2009 @ 02:46 PM
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Do unto others...

1. before they do unto you.

2. as they do unto you.

3. as you would have them do unto you.

We are responsible for ourselves. If we treat our fellow man with respect, mercy and kindness, then no matter how bad we 'get it' in the end, is not upon us.

The sin is upon those whom do unto others without regard.

Just one man's opinion.



posted on Dec, 29 2009 @ 03:49 PM
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reply to post by WTFover
 


You probably know I meant Christianity. The list you cite is just a collection of quotes taken out of context of their religions philosophy. I know this is true especially for Hinduism, as I am a Hindu.

In Hinduism violence against injustiice when all peaceful alternatives have been exhausted is not only permissable but advised. This is the message of the culmination of the Mahabharata, the holy Gita of the Hindus. Krishna is advising Arjuna not only to fight but to kill his own kin. Ironically, he is teaching that he is the all pervading spirit in all - the self in all. This does not mean that we should not harm somebody else, it means that ultimately from transcendental reality all is pure spirit and this spirit cannot be destroyed. Only the body dies. That which is persihable should not motivate our reasons for actions; our actions should be based on universal law or dharma. It was just for Arjuna to kill his own kin in the battle.

If I contrast Krishna's philosophy with Jesus. I find Jesus's philosophy is blind compassion - unwise compassion. There is no sense of justice within it. Krishna, on the other hand, is saying that our actions should flow with justice and truth. In that sense Jesus's philosophy is mere sentiment and Krishna philosophy is rational.

[edit on 29-12-2009 by Indigo_Child]



posted on Dec, 29 2009 @ 04:16 PM
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The O.P. is simply disguising his attack on Christianity and Jesus and just gave his/her hand (refer to the last paragraph). People such as the O.P. want to continue painting the picture that Jesus was some long haired hippy guy, with a lamb on his shoulders, that walked around spreading love and peace everywhere he went. WRONG. He went into the temple, turned the place upside down, and whipped people out of there. In addition, people who have no understanding of Judaism or Jewish culture misconstrue the "turning the other cheek" statements and make it seem as if he was weak, timid and calling for everyone to be a door mat.

You, Indigo_Child, said "The list you cite is just a collection of quotes taken out of context of their religions philosophy. I know this is true especially for Hinduism, as I am a Hindu. ", so I'd like to know which quotes were taken out of context. How was anything taken out of context when the person who originally posted the material here did so to disprove your claim about it being impractical and making it exlcusive to one religion? You mention being a Hindu, but why is it many adherents live in poverty? How come caste systems in India hindered economic and social progress?

So much for krsna and the philosophy being rational.

EDIT to add: I'm not a christian.

[edit on 29-12-2009 by EMPIRE]



posted on Dec, 29 2009 @ 04:25 PM
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reply to post by Indigo_Child
 


I know very little about Hinduism, except that it is a multi-dimensional religion that leaves much to individual interpretation, rather than dogma. However, isn't the concept of ahimsa a quality akin to the "Golden Rule"?



posted on Dec, 29 2009 @ 04:37 PM
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Originally posted by Indigo_Child
reply to post by WTFover
 


If I contrast Krishna's philosophy with Jesus. I find Jesus's philosophy is blind compassion - unwise compassion. There is no sense of justice within it.


Again, not advocating for any religion over another... I recall the teaching of Jesus, with his preventing the stoning of a woman for the sin of adultery. "Let he wo is without sin cast the first stone". So, in actuality, he did not tell them she shouldn't be stoned, just that they were not worthy of judging.

Even in Hinduism, justice is subjective, I think.

[edit on 29-12-2009 by WTFover]



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