Should I Follow the Golden Rule?
You should treat others in the way you would like them to treat you.
This may be a Q1 violation if there are some people you wouldn’t treat well.
This is not a Q2 violation unless you don’t want people to treat you as they would want to be treated (for example, if you think you deserve special treatment for reasons other people might not agree with).
The Golden Rule has been around for centuries and it seems to almost be an embodiment of Q2. However, it is more narrow than Q2 in that it deals only with behavior and not with the thought behind that behavior.
The Golden Rule is also vague in some areas and has the potential to be misleading. For example, by a literal reading of the Golden Rule:
- If parents would not want to be treated like children, should they not treat their young offspring like children?
- If a man wants a woman to hug him, should he hug her?
- Should a woman treat a man like a woman?
- Should a masochist act like a sadist?
- Should a self-destructive person attack people?
Some of these examples point out that the Golden Rule only works if applied honestly and with all significant factors in mind. Perhaps the Golden Rule would be more globally valid if it were phrased, "You should treat others in the way you would like them to treat you if you were in their place." Would you agree with the Rule in that form?
You are encouraged to leave your answers to the questions posed in this post in the comments section. This post is based on an excerpt from Ask Yourself to be Moral, by D. Cancilla, available at LuLu.com and Amazon.com. See the 2Q system page for details of the philosophical system mentioned in this post.