Mar 30, 2007

The Golden Rule

The Golden Rule – do unto others as you would have them do unto you (Matthew 7:12) – is found in many philosophies and religions. It is not exclusively Christian. It is universal. Here are several other ways it has appeared:

Do not to your neighbor what you would take ill from him. —Pittacus, 650 BCE

Do unto another what you would have him do unto you, and do not do unto another what you would not have him do unto you. Thou needest this law alone. It is the foundation of all the rest. —Confucius, 500 BCE

Avoid doing what you would blame others for doing. —Thales, 464 BCE

What you wish your neighbors to be to you, such be also to them. —Sextus, a Pythagorean, 406 BCE

We should conduct ourselves toward others as we would have them act toward us. —Aristotle, 385 BCE

Cherish reciprocal benevolence, which will make you as anxious for another's welfare as your own. —Aristippus of Cyrene, 365 BCE

Act toward others as you desire them to act toward you. —Isocrates, 338 BCE

Do not do to others what you would not like others to do to you. —Hillel, 50 BCE

(Extracted from Humanist Bulletin, Spring Issue 1997)

2 comments:

Deadman said...

I always heard that last as

"Do not unto others what is hateful to yourself".

That seems a bit more poetic.

Keera Ann Fox said...

That's the version in the Wikipedia article about the ethics of reciprocity.