TheGolden Rule has been a pillar of most religious and non-religiousgroups for centuries. “All things whatsoever you would that menshould do to you, do even so to them, for this is the Law of theProphets.” (Mathew 7:12, Authorized Version) These are the words ofJesus himself, a Great Prophet among the Christians. Comprehensive asthey are, these .words have remained so dear to the hearts of boththe Christians and the non-Christians. They are considered to be apillar of equality in humanity-do good to those who do the good untoyou. In psychology, the concept can be perceived as empathizing withothers. These sentiments are however not unique to Christ. Confuciusstated that one should never impose unto others what they would notchoose for themselves. Hillel, on the other hand, formulated adifferent version of the Golden Rule when he stated that one shouldnot do to their fellow that which is hateful to them. By thatversion, Hillel summed up the whole Torah. Other great leaders of themodern world have emphasized on the Golden Rule, a legitimate examplebeing President Kennedy of the United States. In 1963, John F Kennedyappealed to the law in an anti-segregation dialogue at the Universityof Alabama when he queried the whites how they would feel whentreated as second-class residents because of the color of their skin.
TheGolden Rule and Humanity
TheGolden Rule has been a pillar of Humanity. The rule emphasizes onempathy and has been a controller to right conduct, in some sense,long since humans started to distinguish the evil from the good.Since ages, it has been almost universally accepted as a saintly anda high logical method of dividing the good from evil. The rule actsas a general motivation towards proactive action against the wrongaction. According to Bornstein (2012), the Golden Rule is arguablythe most important basis of today’s concept of the human rights,according to which each has a right to fair treatment, and mutualresponsibility to ensure justice for others.
TheUniversal Golden Rule
TheGolden rule is a valid universal principle for all. According toRicoeur (2011), the rule encircles the meaning of the moral law andis, therefore, necessary for both the Christians and non-Christians.The rule must be fulfilled by going beyond it in what is so called“the Law of Superabundance” (Gensler, 2011). Forthe rule to be of high effectiveness, one should not only do the goodto those who do good to them, but to everyone they encounter. Ifeveryone does the good to the others, then the morals of each humanwill be pleasing. In every aspect of humanity, justice should beanticipatory rather than reactive and proportioned.
TheGolden Rule as a guide to peace
Therule in itself advocates for peace between different partiesirrespective of their affiliations or stands. According to Wattles(2013), the Golden Rule is effective if understood and followed bymany as everyone would want good to be done to them and in theprocess, end up doing good to others. On the contrary, the rule mightbe subjective and oppressive when followed by a few and may end up in“an eye for an eye.” The benefits of the rule can only beattained if every person implements it.
TheGolden rule is a consistency principle. For adequate application ofthe rule, knowledge and imagination are needed. The knowledge of whatour actions have on the lives of others and the imagination of beingin the other person’s receiving end is necessary for making theGolden Rule more effective. The Golden rule is appropriate to be astandard that various cultures can use in resolving conflicts.
Bornstein,M. (2012). Developmental science: An advanced textbook (5th ed.).Mahwah, N.J.: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.
Gensler,H. (2011). Ethics contemporary readings. New York: Routledge.
Wattles,J. (2013). The Golden Rule. New York: Oxford University Press.