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Is the 'Golden Rule' wrong?

Golden Rule: Treat others how you want to be treated.

My question: If I want to be treated like an Average Joe, and you want to be treated like a Respected Elder, who wins?


Asked by Anonymous at 1:07 PM on Apr. 15, 2011 in Religion & Beliefs

This question is closed.
Answers (21)
  • I think you're over thinking it. The point is that we should all treat each other with respect and consideration. There are many variations of the Golden Rule, throughout the various faiths, and one of those variations is "do NOT do to others what you would not wish done to you", which I think kind of helps in understanding it. It's not about treating someone like a king (going way out of your way to accommodate them, beyond what is necessary or usually considered enough) versus treating someone like an equal, its about treating other people with a level of compassion and kindness, about treating everyone with a basic level of respect and integrity.

    Answer by bandgeek521 at 1:23 PM on Apr. 15, 2011

  • I wouldn't say it's wrong, but IMO some ways of writing the idea of the Ethic of Reciprocity are a little better than others. It's a little more effective if you include the idea of the 'Silver Rule' too, which is the negative of the Golden Rule. Usually something like, 'do not treat others in ways that you do not want to be treated'. The ones that take into consideration different needs/wants, but emphasize respect and compassion are best IMO.

    "Hurt not others in ways that you yourself would find hurtful." Udana-Varga 5:18 (Buddhism)

    "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 Te Ching 49

    "Do not do to others what you do not want them to do to you"~Confucianism

    "An it harm none do what ye will."~Wicca


    Answer by pam19 at 1:34 PM on Apr. 15, 2011

  • no b/c its not supposed to be viewed on such an individual scale. its about common decency and mutual respect on a grand dont expect ppl to be nice to you if you're a jerk all the time and be nice b/c you want others to be nice to you. i would hope average joe or respected elder one would still want to be treated like a human being & not trash.

    Answer by okmanders at 1:34 PM on Apr. 15, 2011

  • I think this quote is a good way to think about the Golden Rule too:

    "A much more accurate definition of the Golden Rule is: Treat others with the same consideration and respect that you wish to be treated. It does not mean do to others exactly what you like to be done to you. For example, if you like peanut butter, it does not mean you should feed it to someone who is allergic to it, which can kill him. It does not mean you should take your wife who likes concerts, to a basketball game because you like basketball or invite your Hindu friend to a barbeque because you are a meat lover when you know he is vegetarian."~Ali Sina, freethinker, "The Golden Rule and Islam,"

    Answer by pam19 at 1:36 PM on Apr. 15, 2011

  • No average Joes and Elders should all have common courtesy.

    Ex. Dont whip in and take someones parking spot, dont talk loudly during a movie, dont cuss around someone you dont know...


    Answer by ria7 at 1:13 PM on Apr. 15, 2011

  • Yes, in a way, it is.

    Answer by NotPanicking at 2:52 PM on Apr. 15, 2011

  • Of course it's wrong. When taken too literally, it's a recipe of disaster. I'm not a sadist so I wouldn't want someone going around flogging people all because they want to be flogged in return. But, in a general, middle sort of way, it's middle sort of okay. Just don't forget some people really are sadists.

    Answer by isabellalecour at 3:21 PM on Apr. 15, 2011

  • In Hinduism.. The "Golden Rule" is:

    "One should never do that to another which one regards as injurious to one’s own self. This, in brief, is the rule of dharma. Other behavior is due to selfish desires. (Anusasana Parva, Section CXIII, Verse 8)"

    It's a little different that the "Golden Rule" of treat others how you want to be treated".. I live by the Hindu version of the Golden Rule. If I treated others how I wish to be treated, then I would treat all women like a royal queen who never had to get down and scrub the toilet, clean up others messes...etc.. LOL Because damn it, that's how I want to be treated.. LOL (J/K..)..

    I do not do things that to others that I feel would be hurtful to me, in danger me, cause me physical harm..etc. because those things would go against my dharma (duties of my life) & be extremely damaging to my karma (and to my personal health if someone really didn't like it).. lol

    Answer by pixie_trix at 4:50 PM on Apr. 15, 2011

  • Respected Elder, Average Joe, White Collar, Blue Collar, No Collar - There isn't any reason why one should be treated differently than any other. The point is that no one wants to be treated like shit, so be kind regardless of how others act. What matters is YOUR ACTIONS not theirs.

    Answer by SabrinaMBowen at 10:15 PM on Apr. 15, 2011

  • Its the idea that what goes around comes around. Just because you are nice to someone and that person isn't so nice back to you doesn't mean they won't get theirs in the long run. If you continue to treat people nicely, people will generally treat you nicely.

    Answer by jujubean1979200 at 3:17 PM on Apr. 15, 2011

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