Here is a principle that has "stood the test of time". It has been a
simple screening rule for ethical behavior that has been used for
thousands of years: "Do unto others as you would have others do unto
A Typical Wish
"I wish that other people would treat me the way I like to be
This supports the
Making the Wish come true
Each person may vote for a world in which their wish comes true by
considering how others feel and acting in an empathetic manner.
What exceptions may there be?
The following might be thought of as exceptions, but really they are
just a more thoughtful and sophisticated way of handling the Golden
- Suppose your friend has a love of music, but unlike him you prefer
beautiful artwork. Would you give a gift to him of some nice recorded
music, or a painting? At first you might suppose that according to
the Golden Rule, you should give him what you want to receive: the
painting. However, that's not really treating him the way you want to
be treated. You want people to consider your preferences when they
give you gifts. Likewise you will consider his preferences and give
him the music.
- Suppose there is an evil criminal on the loose and you want to put
him in jail? Is that treating him the way you would wish to be
treated? Yes, it is! If something happened to your mind that made
you behave like him, you realize that you wouldn't want to be
permitted to continue hurting others. So even though he won't like
it, you are treating him the way you want to be treated.
Links to other sites