The Golden Rule Examined

Christianity is one of the religions that prides itself most on the superiority of their ethics. One of the biggest, most compelling cases for such boastfulness (itself a sin) is the so-called Golden rule. TO quote Matthew 7:12

Therefore whatever you desire for men to do to you, you shall

also do to them; for this is the law and the prophets.

But is this rule really such a high moral maxim as they would let you believe it was?

Upon further examination, it seems that is isn’t.

First of all, this rule isn’t as original and new as Christians would like you to believe it was. Some forms of this rule were found in times long before Christ. The most notable example is in the artifacts of Assyria, of all moral places, where it is a general law.

The second reason is that it promotes egoism. What you or me like is something completely different from what other my like or even prefer. Everyone has had situations where a friend has recommended to them a book, movie or records. They claimed that you will adore every second of your reading, watching or listening experience. BUt, you end up hating the work itself and maybe even your friend for suggesting something that was such a waste of time.

Finally, it promotes doing good not for the sake of good itself, but for wanting something in return. In no sense what so ever would the golden rule be considered true altruism. Clearly, you are doing thigs to get something back out of it. The purest kind of traditional human reciprocity.

There isn’t anything absolute about this rule, unlike the supposed God that supposedly inspired it. It is an egocentric wish fulfillment mechanism, that works in some cases. Nothing more, nothing less.

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