Golden Rule

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The Golden Rule is a principle that states that a person should treat others as he would like to be treated. It an important principle in both the Old and New Testaments of the Holy Bible,[1][2][3]

Examples and views

The Giant grocery store company teaches its employees to follow the "Golden Rule of Bagging" by bagging others' groceries as they would like their groceries to be bagged. Such policies tend to favor prioritizing customer service over cost control, in those situations in which an optional service such as double bagging is free of charge to the customer. As with other forms of altruism, the practicality of the Golden Rule is questionable when it is taken to an extreme, especially when others do not reciprocate.[citation needed]

Another classic objection to the Golden Rule is the fact that others may not have the same preferences as oneself. A suicidal person, for instance, may wish that someone would put him out of his misery; that does not mean that others would regard it as beneficial for him to end their lives. David Gordon notes the failure of one argument for a golden-rule test of management: "[I]f you were an employee of a firm where you weren't given a say in management, you would think this was unfair. Therefore, you should support democratic management for all firms. Of course the problem here is that the author can't just assume that you would think your not getting a say in management is unfair — that's what he is supposed to be trying to prove."[4]

The Satanic Bible states, "Satanism advocates practicing a modified form of the Golden Rule. Our interpretation of this rule is: 'Do unto others as they do unto you'; because if you 'Do unto others as you would have them do unto you,' and they, in turn, treat you badly, it goes against human nature to continue to treat them with consideration. You should do unto others as you would have them do unto you, but if your courtesy is not returned, they should be treated with the wrath they deserve.” Specifically, it advocates, "If a man smite thee on one cheek, smash him on the other!" Arguably, this type of retributive justice could deter people from committing offenses, although it could also escalate disputes.[citation needed]

Thomas Gordon notes that the political parties tend to support limitations on government power when they are out of power, and to support expansions of government power when they are in power: "The golden rule prevails little in the world; and no man scarce will bear, if he can avoid it, what almost all men will make others bear, if they can."[5] According to Ron Paul, "A society that boos or ridicules the Golden Rule is not a moral society. All great religions endorse the Golden Rule. The same moral standards that individuals are required to follow should apply to all government officials. They cannot be exempt."[6]