Talk:Golden Rule

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Are there any widely accepted faults with this idea? I would like to know not only because most large articles have at least a small section of these, and because I really would just like to know. So far my internet quests have yielded no fruit. (talk) 09:41, 17 January 2008 (UTC)

Yes, there are a large number of criticisms of the Golden Rule. I've started a new section on it, and have provided two links, that should serve as a basis for starting to flesh it out. K. Sargent (talk) 19:27, 11 April 2008 (UTC)
The introduction currently includes what seems a murky statement that: "While similar those forms are not strictly the same as they differ in what to do with what you would like to be done to you but the other party would not like to be done upon it. Negative form does directly not contain that while positive form can exclude it indirectly with that you would like from others to check if you really like it, what is an example of using the golden rule in a context which makes it self-correcting, as argued in the criticisms section."
I've changed it to what I hope is a clearer explication: "These forms are not not strictly the same, though they seem to resonate. The difference is the adverb 'not'. This difference means that a term is missing to resolve the parent statements. To demonstrate, there are two options: 1). "Do not do to others what you would like done to you"; and, 2). "Do to others what you would not like done to you." More on the dissonance between these derived statements may be found in the criticisms section of this article." —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:55, 30 June 2009 (UTC)
It would be interesting to see a deeper explication- maybe in the criticisms section?
The criticisms section with regards to MG Singer is completely incomprehensible. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:47, 28 September 2010 (UTC)
  "The most serious among these is its application. How does one know how others want to be treated? 
  The obvious way is to ask them, {but this cannot be done if one assumes they have not reached a
  particular and relevant understanding.}"

The part in braces is incomprehensible. But more seriously: how can this be considered to be a "most serious criticism"? The characteristic of both the positive and negative forms as given in the introduction is that they do _not_ require that one know _anything_ about what others want; they are a maxim that says "reflect on your own desires/fears in order to infer what is the right way to treat others." Why _anyone_ would think that this is a useful rule for moral behaviour is quite beyond me. So how about a section entitled something like "Reasons why this is thought to be A Good Thing"? (BTW, it is not possible that the criticism refers only to Popper's "improvement," because, although Russell could conceivably have responded to Popper, could both Kant and Nietzsche have done so? One ought perhaps to look up their respective dates.)

There is a much stronger criticism, it seems to _me,_ and that is that they are _prima facie_ impossible to apply in general. For example, someone may say "I wish to be treated like a king, and for other people to be subservient to me." The Golden Rule is no use to such a person. As such it is a good example of Kant's _categorical imperative,_ it certainly seems to be a better example than one I have heard given by a university lecturer (of a course called "professional ethics") who claimed that "lie when convenient" is a moral imperative that Kant would deny on the grounds that "if that were universally applied then it would be impossible to lie." I fail to understand why this would be the case, and I asked the lecturer but he didn't seem to be able to say why he thought this was true, so I _still_ don't understand that example. But this example is really much better: of course it applies to both the positive and the negative forms, the latter counter-example being: "I dislike being treated as inferior or equal to others, so I should not treat others as inferior or equal to me". Such a person is outside the scope of this rule; or apparently doomed to a lifetime of treating all others as their superiors, like the story in Carroll's _Sylvie and Bruno Concluded_ (p 173) of a country where everyone was a king and there was just one subject.

"Mein Herr looked uneasy. “I am not in the Moon, my child,” he said 
 evasively. “To return to what I was saying. I think that method of government
 ought to answer well. You see, the Kings would be sure to make Laws 
 contradicting each other: so the Subject could never be punished, because, whatever
 he did, he’d be obeying some Law.”
 “And, whatever he did, he’d be disobeying some Law!” cried Bruno. “So
 he’d always be punished!”
 Lady Muriel was passing at the moment, and caught the last word. “No-
 body’s going to be punished here!” she said, taking Bruno in her arms. “This is
 Liberty-Hall! Would you lend me the children for a minute?”

But, ahem!, back to the topic "The Global Ethic." were we have:

"The "Declaration Toward a Global Ethic"[34] from the Parliament of the World’s Religions[35][36] (1993) proclaimed the Golden Rule ("We must treat others as we wish others to treat us") as the common principle for many religions.[37] The Initial Declaration was signed by 143 respected leaders from all of the world's major faiths, including Baha'i Faith, Brahmanism, Brahma Kumaris, Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Indigenous, Interfaith, Islam, Jainism, Judaism, Native American, Neo-Pagan, Sikhism, Taoism, Theosophist, Unitarian Universalist and Zoroastrian.[37][38]

Note that this is an imperative: "we _must_." This is astonishing, because these faiths are not all _prima facie_ compatible one with another. At least three of them seem to _me_ to require that they be considered superior to other faiths. On what basis did these "respected leaders" of all of the world's major faiths declare this? Who are they? Why are these people respected leaders? Is this a binding agreement? Can we make them account for their scriptures? I think we should be told!

So, given how _irrational_ this "rule" _appears_ to be,--- at least to those such as I who are largely ignorant of moral philosophy, and find it all rather confusing and difficult to understand,---it would be _very_ good if someone were to go through the article tagging sentences with tags like [contradicts ....] and [because?] or [why?] One sees plenty of [citation needed] or [who?] but why so seldom do people flag _logical_ absurdities like these?

Another commentator mentioned that the examples from Islam did not "fit the pattern" and they were deleted (and then apparently restored?). But there is more to thought than _pattern matching._ (This is not original research, it is 2,300 year-old Aristotelian philosophy which, according to WikipediA, influenced at least _two_ of the mutually incompatible faiths in the above list.)

I _love_ WikipediA, but it desperately needs a formal basis for its claims: it is not enough simply to check the veracity of the premisses: the conclusion follows from the _validity of the inferences_ made from those premisses, and so the form of the _logical_ argument is equally important: particularly since the validity of the logical argument is _independent_ of the veracity of the premisses. So if one or more premisses were proved _false,_ then the argument would still be valid, but it may turn out to be an argument _ad impossibile_ for a contradictory conclusion. So, given the validity of the arguments, one need only negate the conclusions if and when the premisses are proved false. This is potentially _automatable:_ one need only define a formal language for expressing inferences and tagging the sentences appropriately. Then a robot could actually search across multiple pages looking for contradictions. And since anachronisms are essentially logical contradictions in the total ordering of events, it would detect those too, Then WikipediA would become a _source_ of information: simply by _connecting_ the _reasons why_ people claim to know what they know, we would discover that in fact we _potentially_ know more than we thought we did. Wouldn't that be interesting? Anyone who wishes to look further into this should see Lewis Carroll's "Symbolic Logic" which gives a highly automatable formulation of Aristotelian logic, which uses three rules of inference and can mechanically deduce some quite un-obvious conclusions given certain data. For example, from

   (1) "I greatly value everything that John gives me;
   (2)  Nothing but this bone will satisfy my dog;
   (3)  I take particular care of everything that I greatly
   (4)  This bone was a present from John;
   (5)  The things, of which I take particular care, are
        things I do _not_ give to my dog".

Carroll deduces the _universal_ proposition: "My dog is not satisfied with _anything_ I give him." (Pg 093 in the Project Gutenberg edition.)

And finally, to add a little much-needed relevance: in the discussion about reciprocity, there seems to be some confusion because it is not clear what is meant by the term _reciprocal._ Sometimes it seems to be the sense of like for like, and at other times that of opposites: we have "Love those who hate you" and "Hit those who hit you" These are not both reciprocal, are they? There is a third sense of reciprocity, one which appears in Lewis Carroll's "Eight or nine wise words about letter writing" in the preface to "Feeding the Mind" This has, I believe, its origin in Euclidean geometry where there is a notion of _reciprocal proportionality_ which is "antipascoe" in Greek, meaning "anti-suffering," and sharing the same root as the word _passion_ which is the common root of words like _Pasque_ and relates to the Easter holiday in Christian calendars. The idea is that the reciprocation is inversely proportional to that to which it is a response. The illustration Carroll gives is (page xi):

   "Rule 5. If your friend makes a severe remark, either leave it un-noticed, or make your reply
   less severe; and if he makes a friendly remark, tending towards making up a little difference 
   that has arisen between you, make your reply distinctly _more_ friendly. 
   If, in picking a quarrel, each party declined to go more than three-eighths of the way, and if
   in making friends, each was ready to go _five eighths_ of the way---why, there would be more
   reconciliations than quarrels! Which is like the Irishman's remonstrance to his gad-about
   daughter: "Shure, you're _always_ goin' out! You go out three times for _wanst_ that you come in!"

Note that 3/8ths and 5/8ths are fractions based on Fibonacci numbers 2,3,5,8,... and correspond to the first approximation of the proportion Euclid calls "extreme and mean," which is sometimes called the _Golden Section._ (see Elements, Book VI, Defn 2.) Then Walter Terence Stace's comments quoted in "Responses to Criticisms" can be seen in a geometric light: iterating the Fibonacci construction gives better and better approximations to the extreme and mean proportion, but _never_ reaches it. Like a reflection between a pair of parallel mirrors which is never complete.

Now is it not possible that this might shed some light on the logical difficulties with the two forms of the Golden Rule? What if the original Christian text (in ancient Greek) had some clues to the sense of the reciprocation? None of this would be "original research" if done by a WikipediA editor, because it refers to documents that are publicly available and supposedly hundreds or thousands of years old, So _I_ see no reason why WikipediA could not mention this connection, and any others that may appear during the course of researching this topic. We have the original texts, so there is no need to seek an authoritative academic reference for any of it. Indeed, I think this is a good example of logical inference being a source of information: it may turn out that in fact the source of this information is WikipediA itself. It would then be an example of the fifth axiom of Euclid's Elements: "And the whole is greater than the part." The knowledge of humanity _combined_ is more than that of any one part of it, being any individual or any culture, That's why I think WikipediA with _logic_ would be a wonderful thing indeed,

I am sure I have transgressed some of the Rules for talking, but, ... well, it's only a lady _preaching,_ you know.

Love Alice. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 08:24, 10 March 2013 (UTC)

Hinduism reference[edit]

I added a reference for this passage

That one I love who is incapable of ill will, And returns love for hatred. [1].

The quotation in the article appears to be a very liberal interpretation. I cannot copy the text from the reference page but [2] gives another translation as:

One who is equal to friends and enemies, who is equipoised in honor and dishonor, heat and cold, happiness and distress, fame and infamy, who is always free from contaminating association, always silent and satisfied with anything, who doesn't care for any residence, who is fixed in knowledge and who is engaged in devotional service — such a person is very dear to Me.

Unless I am looking at the wrong place the quoted translation is a little suspect. -- Q Chris (talk) 08:37, 18 February 2008 (UTC)

This page seems to contradict this sentence: This is very different than the ethics of Eastern religions like Buddhism, Jainism and Hinduism where the ethics for holy life is to do no harm to all living beings. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Shamharush (talkcontribs) 01:11, 7 September 2011 (UTC)

Christianity section[edit]

I think the Christianity section is a bit too long. And too many verses referenced that say "Love your neighbor" with no mention of reciprocity. I propose only the most relevant verses be included (esp. duplicates from different scrolls) Happinessiseasy (talk) 21:24, 16 July 2008 (UTC)

All the quoted passages do seem relevant to me, however. Perhaps part of the first paragraph can be cut out, however, with a briefer note that some OT passages on the GR can be found under the Judaism section further down?--ScottForschler (talk) 16:30, 3 October 2008 (UTC)

"Love your neighbor as yourself: I am the LORD." This is WRONG. It should read love your ENEMY as yourself. Samaritans and Jews hated each other.--Mark v1.0 (talk) 15:58, 29 April 2012 (UTC)

Is the article misnamed?[edit]

The Golden Rule "Do unto others what you would have them do to you." is not a reciprocal equation. It is a imperative commandment. It should be distinguished from ideas like "Don't hit others because it will give them reason to hit you." The Golden Rule is rather, "Don't hit others, even if they hit you." —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:17, 4 September 2008 (UTC)

I'm inclined to agree. The Golden Rule does not require a pattern of reciprocity, an act of reciprocation for previous actions done to you, or an expectation of reciprocity. The only sense in which it is "reciprocal" is that you should turn your hope or desire about what others should do to you, back to them. To call this the ethic of reciprocity is misleading. "Golden Rule (morality)" would seem more accurate.--ScottForschler (talk) 00:04, 21 September 2008 (UTC)
This article used to be called "Golden Rule". The name change was made without discussion. IMO, it should be reversed. Paul B (talk) 10:36, 22 September 2008 (UTC)
I concur, with ethic of reciprocity redirecting to a more correct article. -- (talk) 13:58, 23 September 2008 (UTC)
I'd support the move if for no other than the reason that the Golden Rule is the most common title. Given that "Golden Rule" has become a disambiguation page, we would have to rename it something like "Golden Rule (ethics)". That said, I am happy with the status quo, because it allows us to cover more ground than simply the Golden Rule. There is more to reciprocity than the Golden Rule. --Adoniscik(t, c) 01:52, 17 December 2008 (UTC)

This article is more about 'the Golden Rule' than the ethic or reciprocity and 'The Golden Rule' is a more commonly used term. (talk) 13:33, 4 January 2009 (UTC)

The current title of the article, "Ethic of Reciprocity," is explained in the first two sentences of the article. Given that explanation, it is very different than what is commonly accepted as "the golden rule." Thus, the name of the article, in my humble opinion, should not be changed, i.e. it is not misnamed.Nan43 (talk) 02:31, 10 January 2009 (UTC)

It's not explained very well; the first sentence is not grammatical (the quote doesn't quite fit the introductory material), and the second merely describes general duties of justice. It's fine to have an article on general duties of justice, but the rest of the article (98% of it or so) talks about, not general duties of justice, but about the *golden rule*. Which is much more specific. We need an article on the golden rule of ethics, and this article is essentially it. If someone wants to move the first two sentences out of it and make a new article on the topic they promise to discuss but which the rest of this article does not deliver on, that's fine of course...--ScottForschler (talk) 20:14, 11 January 2009 (UTC)
  • Support move Apart from the good reasons given above, I find that the phrase Golden Rule is far more common in the scholarly context of ethics than the current title - thousands of sources rather than hundreds. Colonel Warden (talk) 20:05, 14 January 2009 (UTC)

We've been discussing this for sometime. I'm not familiar with the voting or renaming procedures here; can anyone more experienced set this up?--ScottForschler (talk) 22:07, 15 January 2009 (UTC)

Requested move[edit]

The following is a closed discussion of the proposal. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the proposal was No move Parsecboy (talk) 00:05, 2 February 2009 (UTC) I have requested a move for this article. The current title is unknown and awkward. If "Golden Rule" does not include everything in this article, it can be made into a subsection. Ikip (talk) 11:13, 27 January 2009 (UTC)

  • Strongly Oppose. You can see from the Golden Rule page which is a disambiguation page that Golden Rule is an ambiguous term and used differently in many different fields. It should be left as is, as a disambiguation page with this article as the top meaning. -- Q Chris (talk) 11:22, 27 January 2009 (UTC)
  • Oppose. There are many golden rules. Anthony Appleyard (talk) 16:41, 27 January 2009 (UTC)
  • Support This seems like a clear case of a primary topic. The dab page currently at Golden Rule should be moved to Golden Rule (disambiguation) to allow this article to be at Golden Rule. All the other uses are obscure. --Born2cycle (talk) 08:46, 29 January 2009 (UTC)
  • Strongly Opposed. The term "Ethic of Reciprocity" is unassociated with any particular religion, and refers to a principle that exist in some manner of wording in almost all known religions, and further, many philosophies. The term "Golden Rule" is typically in use by some flavor of Christianity. I find the proposal to be biased. Aksis (talk) 09:13, 31 January 2009 (UTC)
The above discussion is preserved as an archive of the proposal. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

The Opening Statement[edit]

The opening statement, which reads "The ethic of reciprocity or the Golden Rule is a fundamental moral value which simply means 'treat others as you would like to be treated.' It is arguably the most essential basis for the modern concept of human rights," seems to be Christian specific, and excludes the broader connotation. What I have learned regarding this concept, in regard to religions overall, is that it is closely linked to the idea of justice. To reciprocate means to give in return. Justice is the assurance each receives what is due them (in the positive or negative). In fact, The Golden Rule has no expectation of return, and seems to be more in line with the ethic of hospitality. -- (talk) 16:02, 14 September 2008 (UTC)

I don't quite see how the opening is "Christian specific," but I also don't see what the GR has to do with the "modern concept of human rights." A rights-based ethic may be defended using the GR, but it could equally well lead to a non-rights based concept of justice, or to simply being spontaneously kind or generous, without any concept of whether other people have the "right" to such behavior. Alan Gewirth argues that a GR-like principle would lead to a strict concept of moral rights, but Kant, Singer, and many other philosophers who use the GR or similiar principles focus on maxims, utility, or other concepts, and view "rights" as derivitive. So I think this is just one person's interpretation, and we aren't told who, or how the connection is made. I vote to simply excise this phrase.--ScottForschler (talk) 19:54, 2 October 2008 (UTC)

Merged Norm of reciprocity into this article?[edit]

I believe a more complete article would exist if these two articles were merged. At present, the article is little more then a list of quotes philosophers and sacred texts, and these quotes selected on the wrong assumption that the Golden Rule is a definitive expression of reciprocity. -- (talk) 01:57, 16 September 2008 (UTC)

I take that back. Review the list of linked articles on the Reciprocity disambiguation page. I'm looking at least seven of those articles that would be merged into one, and at least one other included a more complete explanation of the Golden Rule (See: Reciprocity (social and political philosophy)). -- (talk) 02:02, 16 September 2008 (UTC)

Satanism's perspective...[edit]

I don't know if this maybe should be put into the "criticisms" or the main section, but Anton LaVey included a satanic "Law of Retrubution" ("Do unto others as they do unto you") when he founded Satanism. Seeing as LaVeyan satanism is, more or less, a mockery of Christianity from opposing perspective of common human behavior, I think this deserves some mention... Thoughts? (talk) 14:27, 5 January 2009 (UTC)

  • This sounds like a related variant similar to the Silver rule reference. Mentioning and linking to that would probably be appropriate, but extended discussion might not belong within this article. -- M0llusk (talk) 14:06, 3 May 2010 (UTC)

The Disgruntled Old Coot huddled in his humble hovel suggests that Satanists may, perhaps, use the time-worn opposite of the Golden Rule often heard within military circles back when killing a Commie for mommy was a desirable act and one method of garnering what today's "all culture are equal and equally 'beautiful" society terms "street creds." That phrase was...(drum roll, please).... "Do unto others before the SOBs can do unto you." I believe that phrase would be endorsed by those with an "evil" mind-set but the general "Golden Rule" topic has so much emotion and subjectivity involved that the human herd hereabouts can argue, debate, etc. continuously but how can any agreement be reached by all when each individual interprets words and their meanings differently? Toss in differing life experiences, education types and all the MANY differences in MANY life aspects of those interpreting the Golden Rule? Now, go forth and the Earth is populated enough. Spay and neuter humans and do not be fruitful and refrain from multiplying. Thank you. And tip your server.Obbop (talk) 14:54, 4 May 2012 (UTC)

Muddled writing[edit]

I move this sentence to the talk page:

Many assign the imperative commandment of Golden Rule as instruction for a positive only form of reciprocity.

This article's writing style is overly and unnecessarily complex for such a simple idea. I attempted to simplify the article.Ikip (talk) 11:18, 27 January 2009 (UTC)

Archaic language[edit]

Any reason for all the thees and thous? Would it not be more sensible to quote the various scriptures in modern English?

I'd be happy to dig out modern translations for the Biblical quotes. Perhaps people familiar with the other sources would like to do likewise? UrsusMaximus (talk) 13:06, 20 April 2009 (UTC)

It should still be called "Golden Rule"[edit]

Is there some way to propose that the vote on the name was biased and should be reevaluated? All the real-world evidence shows that "Golden Rule" is the commonly accepted name, and recasting it "The Ethic of Reciprocity" shows anti-Christian bias and elitism from the 3 Wikipedia admins who decided to overturn hundreds of years of history. Even using the "Find Sources" links provided at the top of this talk page, one finds only roughly 12,500 results for "Ethic of Reciprocity" but 2,480,000 results for "Golden Rule." Even in the article itself, "Golden Rule" shows up 45 times while "Ethic of Reciprocity" is only used 7 times.

To address the two points that came up in the vote:

First, no one is disputing that the concepts behind the Golden Rule do exist and have existed outside of Christianity, but the Christian version is by far the most well known. And yes, while I'm sure one could find a good sample of people in the world who have never heard of the term "Golden Rule," you can be damn sure the same sample has never heard of the "Ethic of Reciprocity." The contrast in prevalence is so significant that it's hardly worth discussing. The term "Ethic of Reciprocity" is fetal at best but "Golden Rule" is well-established and widespread. It is either naivety, anti-Christian bias, or some combination thereof to suggest that EoR is the dominant term.

Secondly, the fact that other, obscure definitions of the term exist is irrelevant, as none of the alternative definitions are well known except by specialists in the particular fields where the alternatives are defined. In short, the alternative definitions are utterly insignificant. The fact that these "homonym" concepts exist still doesn't change the fact that "Golden Rule" is still the dominant and most widely used term to refer to the Golden Rule/EoR.

Supplanting the common usage of the term is nothing more than a seemingly anti-Christian method of rewriting history by 3 elite Wikipedia admins. Put it to a truly democratic vote with more than such a puny sample size and the result will become immediately clear. 3 strange Wikipedia users should not be given the reins to slowly rewrite history. Soapergem (talk) 05:18, 16 June 2009 (UTC)

I had no trouble finding this article using the term with which I was most familiar using my religious foreground and background: "Golden Rule." Once I read the first sentence, my disorientation evaporated immediately. (Although I expected to see the normal subtitle
redirected from "The Golden Rule"
The title seems to me to be not anti-Christian, but rather _____ (what's the word?) pan-religious and secular. I have no problem with the title because the article seems to survey many beliefs, both religious and secular. I'm very happy to give up my rights of ownership (as a member of my protestant Presbyterian culture) and share this ethic with my fellow human beings. Danglingdiagnosis (talk) 23:25, 7 July 2009 (UTC)

1. "Golden Rule" is not a Christian term, it can be be applied to all religions, and in fact has been on a famous poster

2. I have never in my life heard of "the ethic of reciprocity" and I wouldn't even know what that means if I heard that term and hadn't read this article. In fact I don't think anyone of any religion knows what that term means unless they read this article, where as everyone knows what Golden Rule means regardless of their religion.

3. No religion has an official name for their ethic but the most widely used term in the english language for this ethic is unquestionably "The Golden Rule".

Clearly this article should be called Golden Rule. At the very least Golden Rule should redirect here instead of a list of things no one has ever heard of. -Words in sanskrit (talk) 05:26, 12 July 2009 (UTC)

Reading this discussion leads me to believe there is a consensus to move the article. 1. The majority of registered users contributing to the talk page who took a position on either side since Sept. 2008 were in favor of the name The Golden Rule. This majority becomes more exaggerated in recent posts. 2. Wikipedia: Naming Conventions states that articles are normally titled using the most common English- language name of the person or thing that is the subject of the article. The first sentence of the article reads that the ethic of reciprocity is more commonly known as the Golden Rule. 3. Naming conventions also mentions that search engine testing sometimes helps decide which of alternative names is more common. The Golden Rule captures 1,670,000 results. Ethic of Reciprocity has only 576,000. If you only include Google Scholar the difference becomes 78,300 to 474. 4. Naming the article Golden Rule (Ethics) solves multiple issues pointed out during discussion concerning multiple uses of the phrase Golden Rule. Please, if there is significant opposition to the move, advertise in Wikipedia:RM. I do not want to start an edit war.Savetheted (talk) 23:39, 7 November 2009 (UTC)

Sorry didn't see this sooner, but do want to affirm I agree with this change and will defend it if necessary. :-) Maybe it's time to archive earlier discussions? CarolMooreDC (talk) 14:31, 8 November 2009 (UTC)

Golden Rule should redirect here[edit]

The vast majority of people searching "Golden Rule" are looking for this page, not "Golden Rule savings rate", "Ronen's golden rule for cluster radioactivity", or even the ever popular "Samuel M. Jones, a.k.a. "Golden Rule" Jones, mayor of Toledo, Ohio, 1897". This page is far more sought after than all the disambiguation pages combined and redirecting people there is a joke.

Furthermore no one has ever heard the term "ethic of reciprocity" before this page was created. In addition, as Section #4 points out "reciprocity" does not properly describe one of the main concepts on this page. On top of this arbitrary title being a misleading hassle to most users it's also inacurate.

Make Golden Rule redirect here, it may cause a few peope looking for flights or insurance an extra hassle but most people will remain unharmed. Do unto others, right? -Words in sanskrit (talk) 05:43, 12 July 2009 (UTC)

Until you made a point of it, I never bothered to read the disambiguation page. My mouse pointer clicked right on the page that I wanted without even bothering to look at the others. True, I had to go through the extra step of the disambiguation page, but like many things in life, it was a small price to pay. I don't mind sharing the phrase Golden Rule with these other things and I don't mind the title of "Ethic of Reciprocity." If anything, it adds to my understanding. Danglingdiagnosis (talk) 23:05, 12 July 2009 (UTC)

Does Islam really believe in Golden Rule (after considering abrogatation of versers in Quran)?[edit]

I just want to say that muslim can't be frend with a person who is a disbeliever. You should do corresponding corrections. Why are you giving false information in this highly important case? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:56, 11 May 2013 (UTC)

Is it not true that Islam does not believe in Golden Rule as it looks at the world as "us & them", "believers & non-believers" and instructs believers to slay non-believers and says it is the sure way of reaching paradise? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:23, 24 July 2009 (UTC)

No, it is among the most tolerant of religions in the world[edit]

History shows it is highly tolerant. It is only the extremists who have given itthis reputation. But there are extremists for all religions, just look at the history of Christianity, the Inquisitions, etc. Please don't spread such incoherent gossip among our pages. And what does abrogatation mean? TonyClarke (talk) 18:25, 16 September 2009 (UTC)

It is a controversial issue whether there is Golden Rule in islam or not. The main quote is from The Farewell Sermon. If read in context, it clearly is from a paragraph where Muhammad says how to treat other Muslims. The same applies to most other quotes. At least a section dealing with this controversy should be added. -- (talk) 21:49, 15 November 2009 (UTC)
Maybe a sentence could be added - preferably from WP:RS and not from Muhammad. But then others also could look for evidence other people's golden rules only applied to those of their own religion. In fact, if two examples are found, that should be in the lead. Which certainly tarnishes the golden rule. CarolMooreDC (talk) 17:40, 16 November 2009 (UTC)

Golden rule and "what goes around comes around" in Islam

If the golden rule says basically the same thing as the proverb "what goes around comes around", so, it makes it easier to think of it in Islam and to say without doubt that there is that golden rule in it. (talk) 13:27, 26 August 2011 (UTC)

Golden rule is not the tit-for-tat rule[edit]

Reading the first paragraph of the article could give the impression that the Golden Rule is the same as the tit-for-tat rule. And I think the article out to be names the Golden Rule rather than its current obscure and technical name. (talk) 13:09, 4 October 2009 (UTC)

I agree that without a source saying they are the same that should be out. Also agree on name but new to article and have to research why that was done. CarolMooreDC (talk) 01:28, 5 October 2009 (UTC)
I also found this article to be extremely muddled and confused, and I think and feel that Ethic of Reciprocity probably shouldn't have brought me here, if the "reciprocity" in that term means the same thing that it does in most other sociological usages (which is to say, a game-theory defined tendency in social animals of responding in kind (or in expectation). Reading this article, the Golden Rule seems to mean almost the opposite - a mindful determination to simply treat others kindly no matter what their behavior may be, and probably against your own social conditioning, as a spiritual discipline. For this reason, the redirect should probably be improved, unless I'm understanding the term incorrectly (which is possible - I've only encountered it this one time). (talk) 15:08, 26 January 2010 (UTC)
Agreed. I also thought the inclusion of this, for example - "The Code of Hammurabi, (1780 BC),[12] dealt with the reciprocity of the Lex talionis, in ways, such by limiting retribution, as they did concepts of retribution (literally "an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth")." - didn't make sense. 'Eye for an eye' isn't the Golden Rule. Call me cynical, but I wonder if the objective of some contributors isn't to try and distract from the indication that the Old Testament is actually the first case (thus, potential originator) known of 'the Golden Rule'. Thus this extra stuff getting chucked in (with a pre-Moses date, too! :P). 'It's just *one* of the religions that believes in this rule we all like.' Yeah. 1000+ years later, maybe.

SuperMudz (talk) 14:28, 28 June 2013 (UTC)

The Golden Alliance[edit]

I have created the web site: The Golden Alliance at which is dedicated to providing encouragement and solutions to people who choose to live by the golden rule. If you believe it adds value to this article, I would be thrilled to see it added as an external link. Thanks! --Lbeaumont (talk) 19:08, 6 November 2009 (UTC)

Mixed Chrono/Alpha format[edit]

This starts with 2 historical listings, then goes to alphabetical. It should be one way or the other, preferably historical by rough time of start of each ethical/religious view. I'll do it, hearing no sensible objections. CarolMooreDC (talk) 17:06, 8 November 2009 (UTC)

Many people would like to be able to claim that the Golden Rule originated with their own particular religion/philosophy. However, many professional historians will tell you that it is extremely difficult to date the origin of a centuries-old idea with precise accuracy. Therefore to keep the peace amongst editors of this Wikipedia article, I recommend avoiding altogether that debate about "who said it first." A great way to avoid that debate (and accompanying potential edit war) is to stay with "alphabetical order" as the format of choice.
Presumably the ancient cultures no longer exist, and are therefore distinct from the cultures / religions / philosophies that still exist today. Perhpas this distinction supplies the reason for the two different formats(?)
Boyd Reimer (talk) 18:30, 12 June 2010 (UTC)

Why is it called the golden rule?[edit]

This seems like useful information which I wish were in the article. I tried Googling the answer, but no luck. (talk) 05:05, 12 April 2010 (UTC)

Douglas Harper founded an Online Etymology Dictionary. In it you will find this link to the following statements:
* About the word "golden" - "Golden age, period of past perfection, is from 1550s, from a concept found in Greek and Latin writers."
* "Golden rule (originally Golden law) so called from 1670s."
See biography of Douglas Harper at this source
This is a start to answering this question. Perhaps others can help with more detailed references.
Boyd Reimer (talk) 17:27, 12 June 2010 (UTC)


I think the article should be split. The "Golden Rule" doesn't refer to all ethics of reciprocity, only some of them, prob. the Judaic and the Christian rules. The main article should be ethics of reciprocity, the Judaic and Christian specifics (and more?) in The Golden Rule. Rursus dixit. (mbork3!) 11:24, 19 June 2010 (UTC)

Because: the Golden Rule as read in the New Testament is not just any ethic of reciprocity.
  • Many of the examples in the current article are very restricted, c:a "don't do things that you would blame others for" and similar restrictions on how to apply,
  • the golden rule occurs in a textual context of loving your neighbor, and in loving God beyond all, and similar.
Rursus dixit. (mbork3!) 11:36, 19 June 2010 (UTC)

"Four forms" WP:Original Research?[edit]

They don't seem to be referenced but categories created by an editor. Very much against wikipedia policy. If they can't be referenced by a WP:RS describing all four of them as being related concepts, the lead and the table will have to be removed, probably reverting to an earlier version. They were originally put in only on July sixth at this diff. CarolMooreDC (talk) 03:42, 1 September 2010 (UTC)

Greetings CarolMooreDC, Thank you for pointing out Wikipedia policy. To adhere to that policy, I will immediately work on providing references for each of the four forms. I just need a bit of time. Thank you for your patience. - Boyd Reimer (talk) 08:59, 1 September 2010 (UTC)
In an effort to comply with Wikipedia policy, I have now made changes to the article, which link to examples (ie references) for each of the four forms.
This Wikipedia Manual of Style for tables contains the following quote: "Tables are perfect for organizing any information that is best presented in a row-and-column format." I propose that the four forms of the Golden Rule fit that description: ie. they are "best presented in a row-and-column format." This format best shows and clarifies the conceptual relationships among the four forms. That is the reason for using a table as a format of presentation. Format is the sole function of the table.
Choosing the correct format aids the Wikipedia objective of clarity. Clarity is also a policy of Wikipedia. For example, see this link.
The table is a format vessel which carries information. It is not information itself. Therefore, the format (ie vessel) needs no reference.
One might ask, "Are the four forms related to each other?" One might answer, "The fact that all four forms appear in the same Wikipedia article called 'The Golden Rule' means that they are already "related to each other" in that sense. Otherwise, why would they all appear in the same Wikipedia article? I have simply tried to format the article. Format is all it is. (with the goal of clarity)
Sincerely, - Boyd Reimer (talk) 14:00, 1 September 2010 (UTC)
You didn't understand my comment. Wikipedia:No original research introduction reads: Wikipedia does not publish original research. The term "original research" refers to material—such as facts, allegations, ideas, and stories—not already published by reliable sources. It also refers to any analysis or synthesis by Wikipedians of published material, where the analysis or synthesis advances a position not advanced by the sources.
This means that all material added to articles must be attributable to a reliable published source, even if not actually attributed. The sourcing policy, Verifiability, says a source must be provided for all quotations, and for anything challenged or likely to be challenged—but a source must exist even for material that is never challenged.
In the lead you need to have a WP:reliable source saying that from the various religious versions they identify or "synthesize" these four versions. And you can only create a table with those four categories if someone else has used and described those four characteristics in such a way that would support creation of such a table. Please read the whole policy section including: Wikipedia:OR#Synthesis_of_published_material_that_advances_a_position. CarolMooreDC (talk) 00:55, 2 September 2010 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Greetings CarolMooreDC:

Thank you for clarifying the specifics of your original comment. I also appreciate the links to the Wikipedia policy on Wikipedia:No original research.

In response, I have made even more changes to the article which hopefully address some of the concerns mentioned in that Wikipedia policy.

Having made those changes, I should also point out that another Wikipedia policy is Wikipedia:Consensus

In regards to the "consensus" issue, please notice the editing history of this article, and the history of editors' discussions of the various forms of The Golden Rule.

This edit from June 11, 2009 has the following edit summary: "Negative/positive form difference description" The date of that edit shows that this discussion has been going on for much longer than the edit of July 6, 2010, which you link to in your original comment.

Another relevant editing event which happened before then is this: This section of the talk page shows that, on June 19, 2010, a previous editor was considering splitting the article due to the fact that the different "forms" of the Golden Rule were so different from each other. This section of the talk page called "Split" contains this quote: "Many of the examples in the current article are very restricted, c:a "don't do things that you would blame others for" and similar restrictions on how to apply...." - Notice that the quote uses the word "restrictions" .... That word was later more clearly described by a subsequent editor using the adjective "prohibitive."

As you can see, it is not only me who has been involved in this discussion. Many, many editors have struggled to clarify this discussion to the readers of Wikipedia. Clarification is the "good faith" goal of most of these editors. This collective effort at clarification has progressed and improved things for the readers of Wikipedia.

Clarity is also a policy of Wikipedia. For example, see this link. I would hate to see over a year of collective effort go down the drain.

"Consensus is Wikipedia's fundamental model for editorial decision-making." That quote is found in Wikipedia:Consensus, a Wikipedia policy.

Sincerely, - Boyd Reimer (talk) 16:43, 2 September 2010 (UTC)

  • The relevant point is whether all these discussions are in light of WP:Reliable sources or personal original research (no matter how "clear" it is). I don't see you in your new edits or above mentioning any WP:RS that support these forms. Why not just search the relevant terms in and you actually might find some (preferably more than one and solid) relevant analysis. I have no objection to the substance, just whether it is from a source or from Original research.
  • The split refers to whether "Golden Rule" can be used to describe non Jewish-Christian ethics of reciprocity. The article used to be ethics of reciprocity but was changed because it's too hard to find for most people and because many sources do in fact call all religions similar ethics a golden rule.
  • Wikipedia:Consensus makes it clear repeatedly that consensus cannot be used to over ride clear and longtime accepted policy. Just because it does for a year or so because no one challenges a consensus, does not make it right. The topic is too important to be played around with. Thanks. CarolMooreDC (talk) 18:17, 2 September 2010 (UTC)
I agree that the topic is too important to be played around with. The reason for the table is not to promote an idea of mine. Instead, it is simply to help those who learn visually. See link: Visual learning. Take for example the adjectives "passive," "active," "positive," and "prohibitive," People who are better at learning visually may find it difficult to understand how those adjectives apply to the four forms of the Golden Rule unless they see the format laid out in a visual manner.
Also, I checked back through the history of editing of this article, and came to the conclusion that those adjectives are not meant to promote any particular editor's personal view of things. Instead, those adjectives were meant to help the reader understand a concept which already exists in society. The concepts pre-existed long before the editors used those adjectives to describe them.
Please specify what your concern is: Is it with the use of those adjectives, or is it with the use of a table format, or both, or neither? - Boyd Reimer (talk) 21:59, 2 September 2010 (UTC)
I have come over from WP:ORN#The Golden Rule and having read the article and looked at the references I agree with CarolMooreDC that there is no justification in the reliable sources in this article for a distinction between passive and active voice. And I believe the distinction was original research by the editor who put it in. Whether passive or active voice is used in English often just depends on writing standards. What the standards are in other languages particularly in religious texts, whether they use a voice that corresponds closely with the English usage and what translators do is anybodys guess without reliable sources. A reliable source is needed before sticking it in like it is currently. Dmcq (talk) 22:23, 3 September 2010 (UTC)
Thanks for comment. I do intend to work on this article soon with WP:RS representing best thinking, since doing some research on topic for personal project so might as well improve two birds with one sunflower :-) CarolMooreDC (talk) 03:50, 4 September 2010 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── I think there has been an unfortunate misunderstanding:

  • I'm not the editor who first created the "four forms." Nor am I the editor who created the two forms (done even before the four forms). I am simply the editor who formatted the four forms into a table. I did this after the "four forms" were already created into a numbered list by a different editor.
  • The only reason I formatted these forms into a table was stated in my "Edit summary": It states, "created section to help those who are visual learners." My goal was to help, not to hurt.
  • Since my goal has always been to help, and not to hurt, I would never start anything that comes close to an "edit war" over this type of issue.
  • The description of the Golden Rule has gone through the hands of many, many editors. Here is a brief history:
    • July 6, 2010 this edit created a numbered list of two forms (done by an editor other than myself)
    • July 6, 2010 - this edit created a numbered list of four forms. (done by an editor other than myself)
    • July 9, 2010 - With this edit, I created a new section (much less prominent than the lead section) which formatted the existing list of four items into a table "to help those who are visual learners."

I want to stress that since my goal has always been to help, and not to hurt, I would never start anything that comes close to an editing war over this type of issue. Feel free to edit the article without that fear. (I'm not sure where that fear began. I didn't mean to frighten anyone with my long-winded discussions. Long-windedness and thoroughness is just my style.) - Boyd Reimer (talk) 17:49, 4 September 2010 (UTC)

I think that the policy of "no original research" is being carried much too far, and I have said so in the talk page on the policy. By the way, we are free people and are not bound to go around enforcing Wikipedia standards if we don't agree with them. We have a right to disagree with and try to change such policies. That said, with respect to this particular case, I frankly don't see any difference between the so-called active and so-called passive forms. If there is no difference, then the section should be rewritten abandoning the idea of four forms. Eric Kvaalen (talk) 10:07, 11 September 2010 (UTC)
It's best to just go back to version before four forms, which is quite recently. But through cut and paste the lead so as not to delete other good changes since then and just deleting the table. Busy now but will do soon. CarolMooreDC (talk) 17:01, 11 September 2010 (UTC)
Sounds good to me. It's noit as though the Golden Rule is a recent idea without much literature, the split in 4 couldn't be notable in any way or one could find a citation reasonably easily. Dmcq (talk) 19:36, 11 September 2010 (UTC)
I decided to revert back and just to be sure searched books google for positive and negative and "golden rule" and DID find references for those concepts, so will put in the best sources to show those concepts exist. (An example of why referencing material so important since others don't always check refs as thoroughly as could until it's time to edit ourselves.) I also found one "four forms" table which was very different than one created here. Obviously a coincidence and the version here definitely remains WP:OR. CarolMooreDC (talk) 12:56, 19 September 2010 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Thank you for your research and your advice about references. This is helpful.

I agree that we need to weed out the Original Research (OR) from the non-OR. In order to do so, we need to do what you just did: more research. I appreciate very much that you are doing this research before deleting contribtions from previous editors (other than myself). I appreciate this because some of those contributions may be "referenc-able." As your advice indicates, we are doing this "weeding" the hard way: after the fact.

I did some "after the fact" research of my own now and discovered a shortcoming of the editors who introduced the phrase "passive" and "active." I suspect that they were referring to a technical grammatical "voice": as in "active voice" and "passive voice." That distinction refers to technical categories, whereas the distinction between "positive" and "negative" forms of the Golden Rule refer to philosophical categories. If all four forms remain in the article (and that remains an "if"), then we need somehow ensure that the reader becomes aware of the difference between those two types of categories. The "positive" and "negative" forms of the Golden Rule involve philosophical analyses (as can be seen in the Wikipedia article on the Silver Rule.) But grammatical categories do not involve that broader philosophical analysis because they are purely and simply technical in nature.

In light of that, here's a possible solution: We reduce the number of "forms" to two instead of four. We keep the "positive" and "negative" forms. The words "active voice" and "passive voice" should be used only as minor adjectives in the flow of the sentences in the article. That arrangement retains their helpfulness without putting them in a prominent position of OR. The only reason for keeping them would be to help readers who are interested in the technical grammar of the Golden Rule. (By the way, technical grammatical "voice" is found in languages other than English: ie. the original sources of the Golden Rule in non-English languages.)

I am interested to hear all editor's opinions on this possible solution.

A footnote: Also in my research on the forms of the Golden Rule, I discovered that the term "negative" is not OR; whereas the term "prohibitive" is probably OR. (Correct me if I'm wrong.) Therefore we need to use the word "prohibitive" only in parentheses beside the term "negative." That arrangement retains its helpfulness without putting it in a prominent position of OR.

Sincerely, Boyd Reimer (talk) 08:35, 25 September 2010 (UTC)

Looking at actual sources usually clarifies any conversation. ;-) The bottom line is always: Can you put a reference at the end of the sentence or paragraph - and does that sentence or paragraph actually accurately reflect what the source says? CarolMooreDC (talk) 09:51, 25 September 2010 (UTC)

Change to lede[edit]

I moved a couple of sentences from the lede that focused on Christianity, and replaced them with Rushworth Kidder's (founder and president of the Institute for Global Ethics) statements that note an early use of the term "golden" as well as a quoted summary of it's centrality to the world's religions.

I understand that there is a misconception out there that this rule is central to only Christianity. I don't see the reason to perpetuate this misconception (described that way by Kidder -- so not only my opinion). I thought the statement summarizing the Golden Rule's centrality to the world's religions was better than a few sentences that focus on only one of the world's religions. According to WP:LEDE, the lede should summarize the article. Since the article comprises statements from many religions, it's not appropriate (and conflicts with a Wikipedia policy) to only focus on one in the lede. --Airborne84 (talk) 03:30, 2 November 2010 (UTC)


The numerous examples of "Golden Rules" prior to the existence of this term seems an awful lot like synthesis to me. This article should be about the development amd use of the term "Golden Rule" itself, not about non-related maxims from ancient history that was not called "Golden Rule" by contemporaries. The sources cited for the examples prior to the existance of the term, this includes the entire section labelled "Antiquity", does not seem to mention the term "Golden Rule" at all (at least those I was able to check out didn't). This it at best synthesis (or perhaps even original research) and is not encyclopedic. --Saddhiyama (talk) 16:32, 20 November 2010 (UTC)

I think it's ok. I'm not sure what the issue with synthesis is—perhaps you could better explain how it does that. As far as the development of the term in antiquity, one of the criteria for an article to become a Featured Article is "comprehensive". Within that criterion, it's noted that the article should place "the subject in context". The section you mention seems to contribute to the context of the term. As far as its encyclopedic value, as long as the section is supported by reliable and verifiable sources, it's not original research and such statements are allowable at Wikipedia. --Airborne84 (talk) 18:00, 20 November 2010 (UTC)
The golden rule is a rule not a term. This sort of argument would restrict it to where it was written in English. However I do agree it should only be used to refer to rules that have been called instances of the golden rule rather than editors themselves saying something is an instance of it, that would be original research. Dmcq (talk) 18:12, 20 November 2010 (UTC)
It may be OR. I am not very familiar with the concept, so what the present consensus of the term in philosophy is I wouldn't know. My objection was related to the fact that the article seems to rely heavily on a quote from A Dictionary of Philosophy which has an entry for "golden rule" that states: "The maxim ' Do unto others as you would have them do unto you'. Various expressions of this fundamental moral rule are to be found in tenets of most religions and creeds through the ages, testifying to its universal applicability....". This is cited in the lead and contains a claim that this can be traced in ancient belief systems and philosophies. This seems to be the only citation that backs up the claim that any of the examples mentioned in the section labelled "Antiquity" (and possibly several of the examples from the following section), has any connection with the concept of the "Golden Rule". None of the sources cited in those sections mentions the Golden Rule at all.
Regarding your first sentence, Dmcq: It is not a physical law, it is philosophy. Someone has invented the term "Golden Rule" (seemingly in the 1600s) and all that it implies, and the concept should be treated like that in this article. Any examples should be sourced by reliable secondary sources that explicitly labels them as "Golden Rules". I am glad that we are in agreement on that particular issue. --Saddhiyama (talk) 19:04, 20 November 2010 (UTC)
If the sources don't mention 'golden rule' somewhere then that is a very strong indication that editors are just calling them instances of the golden rule without having a secondary citation. If you find instances like that I think the best thing to do is to tag the sentence with {{syn}} and mention this discussion in the edit comment Dmcq (talk) 20:06, 20 November 2010 (UTC)
I have checked the sources and it seems that of all the sections on different religions in this article, only the ones on humanism, Confucianism and Islam has sources mentioning the Golden Rule. The Bahá'í Faith seems to have had one, but the link is dead. The rest, including the Christianity section, only links to general editions of the religious writings that does not mention the Golden Rule. So unless tag-flooding is acceptable, perhaps the general template I have already placed is more convenient? --Saddhiyama (talk) 20:24, 20 November 2010 (UTC)
You mean there are no sources on the golden rule and instances or comparisons of the different religions? Oh dear. A big tag of {{Synthesis}} at the top of the affected section or the article if too extensive then is what's needed, and if nothing happens and no-one turns up to discuss it in a week I'd just prune the affected sections. I'll have a quick look myself with google with things like 'golden rule buddhism' and see if anything turns up but I won't be tearing my hair out searching. Dmcq (talk) 21:16, 20 November 2010 (UTC)
I just had a quick look with that string in Google books and 'The golden rule:the ethics of reciprocity in world religions' was the first thing that cropped up and it looks very hopeful for filling out a few. Dmcq (talk) 21:19, 20 November 2010 (UTC)
And sticking in 'Egypt golden rule' in google books straightaway brough up a comparison with Egyptian version in 'Golden Rules of World Religions'. It looks like it should be possible to source the sort of things you were talking about. Dmcq (talk) 21:22, 20 November 2010 (UTC)
Good job. But I feel compelled to add that the article is still badly in need of a section that describes exactly by who and when the term was invented. Except for the vague sentence in the lede: "As a concept, the Golden Rule has a history that long predates the term "Golden Rule" (or "Golden law", as it was called from the 1670s)." there is no mentioning of this anywhere even though this should be the main part of this article. The article basically describes a concept that is taken as a matter of fact without describing the origin of the concept itself. To me this seems somewhat like having an article named Moral imperative describing how this concept can be deduced from various ancient texts from Ancient Egypt, China etc, but without once mentioning Immanuel Kant and how and when the concept was first mentioned. Even if the inventors of the concept may be unknown (I don't know, Google Search didn't provide any clues on this), a section describing when it was first recorded and where seems to me to be crucial. As I mentioned this is not a physical law it is a term in the humanities, and thus must have a human origin somewhere down the line (the 1670s presumably). --Saddhiyama (talk) 21:50, 20 November 2010 (UTC)
The OED has the earliest reference to anything like that as R. Godfrey, Various Injuries and Abuses in Chymical and Galenical Physick (London, 1674) page 54: Whilst forgetting that Golden Law do as you would be done by, they make self the center of their actions. There might be something earlier in some book about its history but that doesn't make it look too hopeful. It might have had the equivalent of that name in some other language before. Dmcq (talk) 22:50, 20 November 2010 (UTC)


Point One

Before taking any action, please read these previous discussions on whether to title this article "Golden Rule" or "Ethic of Reciprocity.":

Those two discussions have odd titles because originally they occurred in the Discussion of an article called "Ethic of Reciprocity."

The resultant consensus of those discussions was to create a Wikipedia:Redirect so that readers searching for "Ethic of Reciprocity" would be redirected to "Golden Rule." (instead of the other way around)

Consensus is what governs Wikipedia, so I would caution against acting contrary to a previous consensus, unless a new broader consensus can be developed.

Point Two

Also notice that the phrase "Ethic of Reciprocity" is in bold letters in the lead sentence. That bold lettering is probably there for the following specific reason: Wikipedia:Merging contains the following statement:

"Reasons to merge a page include the following: unnecessary duplication of content, significant overlap with the topic of another page, and minimal content that could be covered in or requires the context of a page on a broader topic."

Because of the above Wikipedia guideline, I would caution against deleting all the content which doesn't directly refer to the "Golden Rule." Some of that content could, instead, be referring to the "Ethic of Reciprocity." That content's presence on this page is justified because of these "reasons to merge a page."

In summary, this page is a merger of at least four articles:

  1. The phrase "Golden Rule"
  2. The concept "Golden Rule"
  3. The phrase "Ethic of Reciprocity"
  4. The concept "Ethic of Reciprocity"

The reason to merge all four of the above is stated in the Wikipedia ""reasons to merge a page."


We now face a dilemma: We must choose between the Wikipedia:synthesis rationale and the Wikipedia:merger rationale.

The Wikipedia:synthesis rationale gives us reason to remove historical content of many religions and philosophies.

The Wikipedia:merger rationale gives us reason to keep the historical content of many religions and philosophies.

I propose that the Wikipedia:merger rationale is stronger, and that we keep the historical content of many religions and philosophies. The alternative would be four small articles in different places in Wikipedia. This would be disorganized to the point of being unclear. Clarity is important in an encyclopedia.

Any thoughts from others?

Sincerely, Boyd Reimer (talk) 02:30, 3 December 2010 (UTC)

Citations are needed for what's here and the citations should mention one or the other, preferably the golden rule as it is more specific. Dmcq (talk) 10:15, 3 December 2010 (UTC)
I agree. Neither the merger rule or the redirect consensus is stronger if the information merged (or redirected) is questioned, that is if it lacks reliable sources (that mentions either the golden rule or "ethics of reciprocity"). Also, as your long explanation about the complicated history of this article has made obvious, the current solution is not making anything clearer, quite the contrary. I personally think that having two different articles, one on the Golden Rule and one on Ethics of reciprocity, each article having two distinct sections dealing with the concept and the phrase, would make matters much more clearer. --Saddhiyama (talk) 13:49, 3 December 2010 (UTC)
Very interesting. It was useful to see the information on the merger and the reasons for it. I think that is reasonable at this point to keep the information and tag appropriate sections that need improvement and citations. Wikipedia is a work in progress, so this doesn't need to be fixed immediately, it just needs to be noted and tagged as appropriate.
I would also recommend the creation of a FAQ section on this talk page. Numerous other articles that have FAQ sections do so to record consensuses, such as Scientific opinion on climate change and Evolution. Recording the previous consensus(es) regarding the merge—as well as any further consensus here—will reduce the chance that this thread will be archived and this discussion raised again, with a potential resulting loss of data that would affect the "Ethic of reciprocity" information. --Airborne84 (talk) 18:08, 3 December 2010 (UTC)
I agree, and want to emphasize, that Wikipedia is work in progress. To help with that progress, and to help all editors to find sources, please see, at the top of this Discussion page, an Info box. If you have trouble finding it, I now duplicated it below:
As you use the above info box, you will discover many references which contain sentences which simultaneously contain the phrase "Golden Rule" and references to several religions/philosophies. You will also discover many references which contain sentences which simultaneously contain the phrase "Ethic of Reciprocity" and references to several religions/philosophies.
Since Wikipedia is a work in progress, I recommend that all editors do an exhaustive research using the above Infobox tool, before taking any drastic action of completely dismantling this page on "Golden Rule." (A lot of work from many editors went into this page, so please treat it with respect. Thank you.)
By the way, I've already begun this work of adding sources and references. (See The_Golden_Rule#Confucianism)
Sincerely, Boyd Reimer (talk) 13:33, 4 December 2010 (UTC)
It is obvious that not much has happened in the way of adding reliable sources to this article, and meanwhile new unsourced material is being added. Wikipedia is indeed a work in progress, but we do have policies regarding unsourced and synthesised material, and, once it has been called out, it is generally not accepted to leave it in articles for longer periods of time, since it may very well be misinformation or simply plain wrong. I would once again like to propose splitting this article into two different articles, one on the Golden Rule and one on Ethics of reciprocity, each article having two distinct sections dealing with the concept and the phrase. In case there are no consensus for this, the alternative should be a weeding out of the article of any primary sourced and unsourced material. --Saddhiyama (talk) 15:07, 12 January 2011 (UTC)


Discussion Continues here

Synthesis tags consensus summary, FAQ

I suggest moving the tags at the top of the article to the place where they are relevant.

They do not apply to the head section where the tags appear - the intro has nothing wrong with it; so the tags are misplaced and do not prompt improvement to the article where they are currently placed. Instead they are counter-productive and also hugely detract from the article's readability. Mediation4u (talk) 08:48, 26 August 2011 (UTC) editing is fun

No objections to the above proposal in 7 days, so going ahead with this cosmetic improvement to the head of the article. Mediation4u (talk) 11:25, 5 September 2011 (UTC) editing is fun
The Synthesis tag was moved by Cybercobra. Does anyone have any preferences where this tag appears? I think it should appear right on the sentence(s) in dispute, to focus everyone's attention to improving the sentence(s). As it is an exercise to work out where the synthesis is, I propose that this is a worthwhile tagging improvement which should be preserved, not simply plastering "Synthesis" at the top of the article. However, having searched this Talk page and archives for the synthesis discussion, it transpires that a consensus WAS reached (that I agree with) that the policy on Wikipedia:merger was stronger in this article than Wikipedia:synthesis. Thus I am struggling to see if the tag should appear in the article at all. Instead, as suggested above, a FAQ at the head of this Talk page should summarize the consensus on synthesis which has already been reached. Any views? Mediation4u (talk) 08:05, 16 September 2011 (UTC) editing is fun
I didn't move any tags, all I have ever done on this article is remove the section Native American, as I though it wasn't really the same thing. I have no opinion on this article synthesis, or lack thereof.--kelapstick(bainuu) 10:04, 16 September 2011 (UTC)
Sorry. I looked up the wrong page-history link, then. Mediation4u (talk) 10:52, 16 September 2011 (UTC) editing is fun
If no objections in 3 weeks, then I will proceed with the change proposed above, 2 weeks ago.
  1. I will put a FAQ at head of this talk page on previous consensus reached (on WP:SYNTH).
  2. I will therefore remove the synth tag from the article head, which is almost unreadable anyway (to non-Wikipedians).
Mediation4u (talk) 09:49, 28 September 2011 (UTC) editing is fun


Greetings Saddhiyama,

Point One

You ended your last comment with this suggestion:

"I would once again like to propose splitting this article into two different articles, one on the Golden Rule and one on Ethics of reciprocity, each article having two distinct sections dealing with the concept and the phrase."

Those two articles you propose would have enormous content overlap. In cases of content overlap, Wikipedia recommends a merger. If the article is split, then I predict that soon future editors will calling for a merger (citing the below Wikipedia policy on Wikipedia:Merging), essentially undoing the split.

Wikipedia:Merging contains the following statement:

"Reasons to merge a page include the following: unnecessary duplication of content, significant overlap with the topic of another page, and minimal content that could be covered in or requires the context of a page on a broader topic."

Point Two

The Wikipedia policy on article titles, in its section on "Deciding on an article title", stipulates that article titles should be recognizable.

Then in the section on Common Names there is this quote: "The most common name for a subject, as determined by its prevalence in reliable English-language sources, is often used as a title because it is recognizable and natural."

The section on Common Names then lists examples: It suggests using "Guinea pig" for a title instead of the scientific name "Cavia porcellus." If we apply this principle to "The Golden Rule," then the lesser known name "ethic of reciprocity" is less desirable.

The name "Guinea pig" is from the 1600s just like the name "Golden Rule" is. Nevertheless, both the "Guinea pig" and "The Golden Rule" existed long before they were named as such. Therefore it is permissible to use a term which refers to a phenomenon which existed before the term existed.

For that reason, and for reasons of consensus from editors other than myself (see above) I removed the "Synthesis" tag.

Sincerely, Boyd Reimer (talk) 19:25, 25 December 2011 (UTC)

Translating the article from German to English[edit]

I noticed that the German language variant of this article is classed as a good article. I think that we can introduce some of the material from that article and use it here. Obviously the external references will need to be in English, not German. Here's a mechanically translated version of the article[3]. (talk) 08:22, 3 January 2011 (UTC)

Actually, we accept non-English references. --Cybercobra (talk) 11:52, 5 January 2011 (UTC)

Quran sayings[edit]

I must admit I can only see the silver rule in what the Quran says. The sayings attributed to Mohammed are more like what the article is about. What should be done about the Quran sayings? I'm for just removing anything that isn't very close to the topic. Dmcq (talk) 11:59, 29 March 2011 (UTC)

In fact better just remove anything which doesn't have a citation which says a link to the golden rule or an equivalent. Editors just sticking in sayings which they think are like the golden rule is WP:Original research Dmcq (talk) 12:03, 29 March 2011 (UTC)

A link would be a secondary text which mentions the sayings in connection with the golden rule or the ethics of reciprocity. Dmcq (talk) 12:13, 29 March 2011 (UTC)
The sayings from the Quran now in have citations to Wattles who explicitly dealt with the golden rule. Dmcq (talk) 12:17, 29 March 2011 (UTC)
The saying from Quran also have citations in German Wikipedia. Seraj (talk) 08:41, 15 June 2011 (UTC)
The silver rule is ane of the 2 parts of the golden rule. Please look at the first paragraph of the golden rule article: The Golden Rule or ethic of reciprocity is a maxim,ethical code, or morality that essentially states either of the following:
  1. One should treat others as one would like others to treat oneself (positive form)
  2. One should not treat others in ways that one would not like to be treated (negative/prohibitive form, also called the Silver Rule)Seraj (talk) 08:41, 15 June 2011 (UTC)
By the way, in many other religions, the phrases are about silver rule : That which is hateful to you, do not do to your fellow. That is the whole Torah; the rest is the explanation; go and learn. —Talmud, Shabbat 31a, the "Great Principle" AND ALSO Hurt not others in ways that you yourself would find hurtful. —Udanavarga 5:18 AND MANY MORE Seraj (talk) 08:41, 15 June 2011 (UTC)
The Hadith section is not qoutes of something I think it's like golden rule. it's explicitly the literal rule! Additionally, the German Wiki has some citations for this section too.Seraj (talk) 08:41, 15 June 2011 (UTC)

The Silver Rule definitely fits Islam. There is little good about that religion, calling anything from it as "Golden" is LOLworthy! — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 08:47, 10 September 2013 (UTC)


Hope I'm not being too 'controversial' but this Golden Rule article is very human centered. While there are other places to go into Animal Rights, I'd suggest that this article so far has failed to address what 'others' are. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:13, 19 August 2011 (UTC)

Good Point[edit]

Good point no

But I don't think it is necessary to go into it. As you indicate, it might ignite an off topic discussion about the status of animals. Many of the religions quoted would include animals, I think, others not. So let's leave sleeping dogs lie? : -->

TonyClarke (talk) 14:43, 20 August 2011 (UTC)

Exact equivalence[edit]

It seems to me that many of the 'early appearances' of the Golden Rule are not exactly equivalent to it. In particular the 'prohibitive form' is not exactly the same ("do good" is not the same as "don't do bad"). Can we discuss whether biblical form is indeed unique? (talk) 03:30, 30 August 2011 (UTC)

The actual term "Golden Rule"[edit]

The term "The Golden Rule" is a term coined by the Christian's who were newly exposed to the Bible soon after the Gutenberg Press was invented. Before then the Bible was only known and read by a handful of the "secular society" who had the wealth and position to own very costly hand written texts. After the printing press was invented, the Bible began to be widely circulated. Indeed the literacy of western civilization is due to it. Since the common man has been reading and studying the Bible, there has been an intrinsic effort to condense or "boil down" the meanings of what is found within it. In the Bible in both the books of Luke and Matthew, Jesus is quoted saying, "do unto others as you would have them do unto you". This simple statement began to be referred to as "the golden rule". Hence the coining of the term "Golden Rule". Within this statement is what is now referred to as the "ethic of reciprocity". It is the concept of "do unto others as you would have them do unto yourself". As modern scholars have studied ancient religions and philosophies, they have found evidence of similar or near similar ethics. However it is of paramount importance that it is recognized in an historical perspective that this saying, studied by, preached and adhered to by the Christian community since the first mass production of the Bible, is recognized as the PRIME MORAL ETHIC OF WESTERN CIVILIZATION. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:45, 15 September 2011 (UTC)

Above, there is also a discussion titled, "Why is it called the golden rule?" See this link: Talk:The_Golden_Rule#Why_is_it_called_the_golden_rule.3F - Sincerely, Boyd Reimer (talk) 21:28, 22 December 2011 (UTC)

Babylon Section Deletions?[edit]

I think the mention of Buddhism, Hinduism, and Jainism should be removed from the Babylon section of the article as they are not relevant to the topic of the subject heading. I added some corrected information about the notion of "non-harm" in these traditions, which was very quickly deleted. I can provide sources for my claims, but think that if citation is the issue, then the person (or people) who made the comment about them in the first place should also require citation to be able to make claims about what "non-harm" means in these traditions. It is well known and documented by scholars of these traditions that "non-harm" does not imply that violence (even murder) is out of the question. This is a very important addendum to any claim about what it means to "not harm any living being" (which is also untrue...for Buddhists it is typically all "sentient beings" and not all of what we consider "living beings" are considered to be "sentient" in Buddhist terminology). I think the easiest solution here would be to just delete any reference to Buddhism, Hinduism, and Jainism from the Babylon section as it is essentially irrelevant anyway. But, if it is left, it is very important that it be qualified so as not to give a false impression of the traditions it is meant to be describing. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:09, 4 October 2011 (UTC)

Hunduism comment from IP editor[edit]

Question edited onto main page, moved to here.


For those who set their hearts on me

And worship me with unfailing devotion and faith,
The way of love leads sure and swift to me.

Those who seek the transcendental Reality,
Unmanifested, without name or form,
Beyond the reach of feeling and of thought,
With their senses subdued and mind serene
And striving for the good of all beings,

They too will verily come unto me.
—[Bhagavad-Gita, Chapter XII.] Bhagavad-Gita, Chapter XII.

Question: How this above passage is Golden rule ? The supposed deity ask human to be servile all their life is Golden Rule ?

(Unsigned - from:

Answer: "Striving for the good of all beings" is the golden rule.

Hope this helps, Mediation4u (talk) 08:24, 14 November 2011 (UTC)

I disagree. "Striving for the good of all beings" is not the golden rule at all. The golden rule in its various forms compares our own behavior towards others with their behavior towards us. The distinguishing aspect is the reciprocity. This verse of the Bhagavad-Gita does not have the required form. Zerotalk 02:38, 24 December 2011 (UTC)
I, too, think that the golden rule is not in the above quote from the Bhagavad-Gita. - Sincerely, Boyd Reimer (talk) 20:07, 25 December 2011 (UTC)
Absolutely agreed. This is somebody trying to illustrate the equivalence of all religions. Which is not the topic of this article. All these quotes should be removed Mrdavenport (talk) 22:04, 3 September 2012 (UTC)


I don't mind how it is done, but the Torah does not belong in the "Ancient Babylon" section. Even though some scholars suspect the Torah was written in Babylonia, that is not an accepted fact and the date in that case would be much later than the other dates mentioned in this section. Even the unlikely date from religious tradition (14th century) is later than those dates. Zerotalk 02:38, 24 December 2011 (UTC)

I agree. - Sincerely, Boyd Reimer (talk) 20:20, 25 December 2011 (UTC)

Does the Wiccan Rede contain The Golden Rule?[edit]

Does the Wiccan Rede contain The Golden Rule? I say no. I suggest that this content be moved to this page: Harm principle. Any thoughts from others? - Sincerely, Boyd Reimer (talk) 20:12, 25 December 2011 (UTC)

After waiting 12 days for comments, I moved it - Boyd Reimer (talk) 23:28, 5 January 2012 (UTC)

Sex in the workplace[edit]

An IP keeps adding a long section about the alleged "golden rule" that one should not have sexual relationships with work colleagues. While I don't doubt that someone has written that this is a golden rule of workplace culture, this article is about THE golden rule, not every "golden rule" that anyone ever made up in every context: the golden rule of gardening is always rot your manure; the golden rule of tactics is concentration of forces; the golden rule of cheese making is... There are a million such golden rules and this article would go on forever if we just included every so-called golden rule of X someone once wrote about. Inserting a massive chunk of text in to the article lede section, on a topic totally unrelated to the rest of the content is wholly contrary to just about every Wikipedia rule, including the golden one(s). See WP:V, WP:OR, WP:UNDUE etc. Paul B (talk) 15:16, 23 January 2012 (UTC)

The content included by the IP is from the Workplace romance article. If a source is provided that these guidelines have been called a "golden rule of work" then a link to that article could be created for disambiguation, but there's no point in copying that content here. Diego (talk) 10:30, 24 January 2012 (UTC)
I don't think a disambiguation link would be sensible, for the reasons I gave above. There are unnumbered examples of "golden rules", and so there could be disambiguations going on forever. Paul B (talk) 12:45, 24 January 2012 (UTC)
As long as every usage is well referenced, there's no problem in adding links to the disambiguation page. Wikipedia is not paper so we don't have to limit ourselves because of volume. We're here to compile all human knowledge, after all. Diego (talk) 13:39, 24 January 2012 (UTC)
Yes, there is a problem. We do not add endless diambiguations for every green thing in the world to the article Green (disambiguation), or every person or thing that has been called "green" in one of its many usages. We only use it for actual titles and names. A "golden rule" is a phrase that can apply to literally uncountable numbers of topics. It would be like having an article called Good idea (disambiguation), for eveything that's ever been called a "good idea" in a reliable source. That way madness lies. If there is something with the title "Golden Rule", that would be a different matter altogether. Paul B (talk) 13:57, 24 January 2012 (UTC)
Come on, the Green example is a weak one - as you say, disambiguation pages are for things that are named with the pertaining words; Good idea (disambiguation) would be for things with "good idea" in their names. If enough sources have called one idea "the Golden Rule of work" or the "Golden Rule of photography" or the "Golden Rule of aesthetics", of course it would be appropriate linking to their respective articles from Golden Rule (disambiguation)- that's what disambiguation pages are for. If that makes you uneasy, I think we can establish the limit at either using a reliable source specialiced in linguistics and vocabulary, or many sources using exactly the same wording to refer to the concept. This way you don't have to include every passing mention of a golden rule in one magazine article, without imposing artificial limits to how people can find things at Wikipedia by their names. Diego (talk) 14:26, 24 January 2012 (UTC)
No, the "golden ratio" is completely different from the (or a) "golden rule". They just happen to both use the word "golden", like many other things. You are now distorting evidence to make your case. You do the same thing with "Rule of thirds". Any number of things can be called golden rules in any number of contexts. You know that. There is no case for having workplace relationships, or anything else placed, in a disambuation page unless it is familiarly used as a proper noun. Paul B (talk) 14:38, 24 January 2012 (UTC)
I state my case. There are people out there using the name "Golden Rule" to describe the aesthetic proportion. The question is not that those couldn't be linked from here on principle as you propose, but whether we can find enough sources to satisfy WP:Verifiability. I stated above a simple criterion by which likely candidates for disambiguation can be discerned, that is in accordance with Wikipedia guidelines. It's up to you to embrace it or find better arguments that are grounded in policy for your position. Diego (talk) 14:57, 24 January 2012 (UTC)

Comments on Islam moved from article[edit]

I do not see how these quotes above from islam, are the golden rule. The golden rule is about doing to others as you would have them do to you. Or not doing to others what you would not want them to do to you. And it is for all people. It is not about charity. Or only certain people like orphans. These verses above are not the golden rule. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs)

The Quranic quotes don't match the pattern and should go. The others are ok. Zerotalk 18:56, 27 May 2012 (UTC)
I agree - the quotes from the Koran are not anything like the Golden Rule, because a) they are not a concise "rule" but rather rambling ideas, and b) they do not explicitly reference repricocity. Mrdavenport (talk) 22:04, 3 September 2012 (UTC)

The golden rule is -as expressed in the article- implicit in the verses. The verses are on the base of accepting the rule. For example:

  • “...and you should forgive And overlook: Do you not like God to forgive you? And Allah is The Merciful Forgiving.”

1- You should treat others as you would like others to treat you (Positive form of Golden Rule)

2- You like God(=others) to forgive you (Quranic verse)

1 + 2 ==> You should forgive others (Quranic verse)

  • “Woe to those... who, when they have to receive by measure from men, they demand exact full measure, but when they have to give by measure or weight to men, give less than due”

1- You should not treat others in ways that you would not like to be treated (Negative/Prohibitive form of Golden Rule)

2- You like to get exact full measure [from others] in deals and transactions (Quranic verse) => 2'- You do not like to get less than due [from others] in deals

1 + 2' ==> You should not give less than due in [measurable or weightable] deals (Quranic verse : Woe to those who do such act)

The other verses are the same. Is there any other explanation needed? Seraj (talk) 13:30, 7 June 2012 (UTC)

"Implicit in the verse" is not enough. These verses do not explicitly match the golden rule so they don't belong. Zerotalk 13:33, 7 June 2012 (UTC)
The article is about golden rule, and the viewpoint of religions(e.g. Islam) on the topic. The article says "The Golden Rule is implicitly expressed in some verses of Qur'an, but is explicitly declared in the sayings of Muhammad..." and the implicitly mentioned verses are written. I don't see anything wrong!Seraj (talk) 01:33, 12 June 2012 (UTC)
No source is given for the claim, and it isn't obvious either. It requires an argument that we are not allowed to provide ourselves. Zerotalk 11:59, 12 June 2012 (UTC)
You can see the verse in the Norwegian(‪norsk) Wikipedia. There is also a reference in the Farsi(فارسی) Wikipedia. Can we use theme here?Seraj (talk) 06:42, 21 June 2012 (UTC)
The Koran quotes, while interesting, are not relevant to this article. Remove them. Mrdavenport (talk) 22:04, 3 September 2012 (UTC)

Final In nuce sentence of intro[edit]

The final sentence of the introduction, which reads something along the lines of "All versions have in common..." seems to me redundant. It is common practice to include a brief sentence summarising a preceding paragraph, but when that sentence is an almost verbatim reiteration of something already said (in the opening lines) it seems painfully obvious to include it. I haven't removed it yet as it's doing no harm there at the moment and I'd like a second opinion before I go in like a raging bull. Thanks, Nyxtia (talk) 04:49, 16 September 2012 (UTC)

Supposed references to Golden Rule in other text/religions[edit]

The so-called "Golden Rule" is related to empathy, or empathizing with people: "Do to others as you would have them do to you". The recipient of this teaching is being asked to put themselves into the shoes of the 'other'. The consequent of doing good results from this empathy. Most of the supposed similarities within Buddist quotes, among others, do not promote this sense of empathy, but are merely statements of doing good to mankind. So I am disputing the claimed similarities in this article. I suggest clarifying the meaning of the Golden Rule by deeper analysis, which this article seems to be missing. Pragmatically, I suggest re-writing parts of this article to firstly explain the Golden Rule better, and furthermore justify the similarity claims with deeper ontological analysis. Hamman Samuel (talkcontribs) 08:27, 27 September 2012 (MST)

Very much so, not only at the level of your concerns but also at the level of great yo_yo playing between positive and negative implying both sentence would convey the exact same, which is utterly rubbish. The original sentence (is indeed Confucius) " Do Not do unto others...." addressed at the individual, has a totally different wisdom in relation to " Do unto others...." with all the details you put forward. When the word 'Not' is dropped, it is not a matter of positive or negative it is a matter of profound deficiency. Not Confucius but Confusion is king, encouraging a deformation as a positive while it is an inadequacy. When put to the attention which requires thinking, it is dismissed as "opinionated gobbledegook intended to advance Confusionism". This is an exercise in futility to even point out the facts when religious indoctrination rules the landscape. Reality Check: there is no Golden Rule, only Glittering Confusion. Best Regards.LostLanguages (talk) 19:55, 10 December 2012 (UTC)

For those who have problems understanding the difference between positive, negative and deficiency, let's make it simple: "Do Not do unto others..." isn't a synonym of "Do unto others... as you like/as it pleases you." Hopefully with this KISS method some of you begin to understand how profoundly religious indoctrination deforms and perverts this original quote.LostLanguages (talk) 06:51, 15 December 2012 (UTC)

The thing is that many people say that the positive rule implies the negative - that giving a homeless person a meal then kicking him in the balls shouldn't be allowed because doing what someone would like also implies not doing what they wouldn't like. If you don't claim this encompassment then yes the two rules are different; following the positive rule would have you give a homeless man a meal and following the negative would prevent you from kicking him in the balls, but neither would prevent the other action.
If you do allow the positive to encompass the negative then to be consistent the negative should encompass the positive, i'e. someone following the negative rule should be able to say "I would not like to be left to starve, so I must not allow the homeless man to starv". It is no more a stretch of the rule than a follower of of the positive rule saying "I would like not to be kicked in the balls, so I must not kick this homeless man in the balls. (If this is an extreme example think of someone charging an exorbitant fee for their services in a situation where the purchaser can't look for an alternative).
Of course this is really an artificial article, as it takes just one verse out of context - other Christian teachings make it clear that the negative should be obeyed as other Buddhist and Hindu teachings make it clear that the positive should also be obeyed. -- Q Chris (talk) 09:56, 16 December 2012 (UTC)

The historic reality is Confucius was the one to highlight this Wisdom of " Do Not do Unto...". That was about 500BCE. In the same wisdom we discover the wisdom of respect of Do Not Impose on others... The Buddha and Confucius are contemporaries, so too are the Ancient Greek. Until Christianity deformed this wisdom nobody had a problem to understand the meaning. The fact is:There Is No Positive nor Negative...there is simply a profound Deficiency when you drop the word/meaning "NOT" from the sentence to twist the wisdom into a so called positive. It is simply Not at the level of comparison. I am tired of pointing out the obvious which for others, who have been religiously deformed/modified are only able to see positive and negative which isn't part of the original wisdom. Christianity has deformed many ancient wisdom's to produce its own corrupt versions. When you drop the word Not you have Poison Ivy instead of Apples. That's the true nature of this positive-negative concept/ Do unto others as you like is NOT comparable to"" Do Not do Unto Others what you would Not ...""... Just take some time out to ponder about this very old wisdom. Drop the deformation Christianity has imposed, simply think about the wisdom Confucius shared and it will become clear there is no positive nor negative.LostLanguages (talk) 19:38, 31 January 2013 (UTC)

Egypt (Eloquent Peasant parable): needs more research[edit]

I'd like to see more clarification or research on the Egypt section. The Wikipedia page for The Eloquent Peasant makes no reference to the Golden Rule. Other full-texts of that parable are ambiguous. This article relies on a citation in The Culture of Ancient Egypt by John A. Wilson (1956 U Chicago Pr), which in turn relies on a 1927 English translation by Aylward M. Blackman (The Literature of the Ancient Egyptians, E.P. Dutton & Co.[4][5]) of a 1923 book by Adolf Erman (Die Literatur des Aegypter). But when I look in other translations of Erman's book (and the Eloquent/Educated/Complaining Peasant story) for the passage that Wilson quotes, I see less clear support for the 'golden rule' interpretation. E.g., (by E. A. Wallis Budge, full-text).

This peasant said, "[When] the ... [?] cometh to his place of yesterday the command cometh: 'Do a [good] deed in order that one may do a [good] deed [to thee],' that is to say, 'Give thanks unto everyone for what he doeth.' This is to drive back the bolt before it is shot, and to give a command to the man who is already overburdened with orders. Would that a moment of destruction might come, wherein thy vines should be laid low, and thy geese diminished, and thy waterfowl be made few in number! [Thus] it cometh that the man who ought to see clearly hath become blind, and he who ought to hear distinctly hath become deaf, and he who ought to be a just guide hath become one who leadeth into error....

I wonder how much has been "read into" this parable, whether intentionally or culturally-unconsciously. Is the lesson of the parable that doing-unto-others is an 'overburden'? This is just a good-faith, scholarly question. (I think it would be cool if the answer unambiguously reflects the 'golden-rule' interpretation; but worth correcting if it does not or is ambiguous.) In any case, this section could be clarified. Benefac (talk) 19:48, 21 May 2013 (UTC)

Doing good formed part of Maat which was required not just for passing judgment at death but in order to gain divine favour on earth. A person could expect ill luck should they fail to observe these precepts. I don't have an up to date translation in front of me at present but Budge's translation seem reasonable in conveying the meaning i.e in order to avoid the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune (the bolt from the blue, the hard taskmaster etc) it was in the persons interest to repay kindness with kindness and not the opposite. Yt95 (talk) 12:37, 22 July 2014 (UTC)
I have looked at the translation used in Miriam Lichtheim "Ancient Egytpian Religion, v1, p. 174, and it reads "Do to the doer to make him do" and ML describes this as the "do ut des" principle. The following lines read "It is thanking a man for what he does, parrying a blow before it strikes, Giving a commission to one who is skillful" This can be read as "do a good turn to somebody in order that they will do a good turn to you", e.g defending your neighbor and buying, say, goods or services from somebody who will reciprocate. Budge's translation can also be read in the same way and his "overburdened with orders" means, according to ML's version, buy from a quality popular source so that they buy from you. FWIW, and for talk page purposes only, I think that the meaning you allude to above captures the other side of the coin, i.e do bad and expect the same in return. This takes in the traditional curse and blessing invocations that crosses over even into the next life as well e.g blessing mediated through the dead for favors rendered to them: A person who destroys a memorial stone is threatened with retribution whilst the person who remembers the deceased is blessed; the fraudster will one day reap what they have sowed whilst the just will get their reward. Yt95 (talk) 17:28, 22 July 2014 (UTC)

That thou mayest use English correctly[edit]

Why is only the quotes of Jesus and the Bible using archaic language, when the other sources do not?

And why does the Chirstianity section start by quoting Simon Blackburn? It's not polite, nor accurate to start a description with detractions. As "Simon was one of 55 public figures to sign [...] their opposition to Pope Benedict XVI's state visit to the UK." I'd suggest his opinion is not entirely balanced (talk) 17:02, 1 November 2013 (UTC)

Just read the Archaic language section saying the same thing, and the response being positive to modern speech -- so I'll make the corrections now (talk) 17:20, 1 November 2013 (UTC)

Lede material moved[edit]

I took some detailed material from the Torah from the lede and moved it to the section on Judaism. Since the lede is only to summarize the article, it seems best to leave its coverage general and not include facts from specific traditions there to adhere to WP:WORLDVIEW. Airborne84 (talk) 14:06, 1 December 2013 (UTC)


I cannot find the quote of Epictetus or anithing similar in Enchiridion. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 06:09, 20 April 2014 (UTC)

Name of article vs. content[edit]

I'm not entirely sure why the article was moved back, since the only move request denies the move, but whatever. If you're going to have it be "the Golden rule," you need to first discuss the history of the term. It was first applied to Christianity and Matthew 7:12. It was only later that scholars noted the similar philosophies in other religions and ethical teachings.

Christianity may not be the only religion or ethical system that teaches this rule, but the term did originally refer to the Christian version. Not discussing this and pushing Christianity down to where it fits in chronological order (and making it seem like they are wrong to think the term referred to a Christian ethic) is misleading at best.

This is actually currently an article I tell people not to read when wanting to understand the term. It's already led one guy to think "Do unto others..." is actually from Confucius. — trlkly 17:43, 12 July 2014 (UTC)

It would help if you would provide some reliable sources to support the statements. Otherwise, there are other forums on the World Wide Web which are more appropriate than here for this discussion. Thanks for your interest. Airborne84 (talk) 22:12, 12 July 2014 (UTC)


I am going to re-write the Judaism section of this article because, frankly, it doesn't represent Judaism at all. Given the sectarian nature of Judaism, there are many streams which harbor divergent views - and not a single one of those views is represented in this article. Moreover, the article points to Christian King James Version excerpts which are not representative of a Judaica POV. In this Judaism section with be snippets from Akkadian tablets moving up into contemporary conceptions of "the Golden Rule". Jaim Harlow 01:04, 19 September 2014 (UTC)

You can't add pronouncements in Wikipedia's voice like the claim that the rule has been ignored or misrepresented etc etc. We don't get to say that "the core of Rabbinic Judaism which has been forfeited, by many sects of Judaism, in favor of 'theological' positions outside Judaism." You can express the view of a notable commentator who has said that. Some of your additions simply misunderstand the topic. The sentence "Rabbinic Judaism does not possess a singular 'Golden Rule' in the way that others conceive or illustrate" is irrelevant. The Golden Rule is just a name for this particular moral precept. It has nothing to do with the general notion that there is a single important "rule" to follow. No religion has a single golden rule, but many have a form of the Golden Rule. Hence much of the rest of what you write is simply irrelevant to the article, for example "According to Maimonides, in “Mishneh Torah”, Sefer Hamada, Hilkhot Yesodei Hatorah 8:2, the ultimate grounds for belief in God are legal, not theological or metaphysical...". That may well be true, but has nothing whatever to do with the topic of this article, which is the ethic of reciprocity commonly named "the Golden Rule". Having said that, I agree that the current version is lacking in many ways, but yours needs to be discussed. Paul B (talk) 17:16, 30 September 2014 (UTC)
As a Jew, working in tandem with Rabbis, I am fully qualified to point out what is a "core Rabbinic Judaism". The page was twisted and distorted to reflect a Christian View of what Christians think Judaism's "Golden Rule" looks like...but in fact it is a boldly incorrect portrayal...Mendacious is a word that comes to mind. I provide references to Rabbinic Canonical texts and you want to pretend that the Christian slants is appropriate. That simply doesn't pass the sniff test. Jaim Harlow 19:11, 30 September 2014 (UTC)
Um... Jaim, you seem not to know how Wikipedia works. You can't enter information based on your personal knowledge. To add something on Wikipedia, you need to cite a reliable source. And you can't give your spin on the source, either. That's called original research, and while it may be of value in certain contexts, it's not permitted on Wikipedia. You've been here since at least 2009, so you should be aware of all this.
In addition, you can't use idiosyncratic transliterations such as miswa. It doesn't matter whether that transliteration is closer to the original Hebrew; you have to use Wikipedia's style guide. You can wince and use mitzvah like the rest of us. The pain will pass.
If you feel that the Judaism section of this article is wrong and that you have reliable sources to support a different version, I suggest you write it up in your sandbox and bring it here to the talk page and seek consensus. - Lisa (talk - contribs) 22:44, 30 September 2014 (UTC)
I posted the sources within the article - they are Jewish Sources. Miswa is a pronunciation of Mitzva, misva, Witzwa...just becuase your eyes are not trained for it doesn't mean it's wrong - here is a link:
I do not need to seek consensus from non-Jews for Jewish content. I am posting Jewish content written by Rabbis and observant Jews. The old Content was written by Christians who were imposing their personal views of Jews and Judaism upon the topic. They weren't even wrong - they were lying.
I have reported this incessanty attempt to censor Jews from creating their own content to Wiki. I grow weary of your attempts to distort the Jewish view of this topic. For your information, I've edited countless Wiki Pages, Created many Wiki Pages and have collaborated with many christians on other pages....but never have I witnessed such an intransigent attempt to distort and mislead readers. Jaim Harlow 00:22, 1 October 2014 (UTC)#
Your preposterous narcissism is not evidence of anything other than a rather inflated sense of your own importance. Please read Wikipedia's policies. Yes, you do need to seek consensus from non-Jews for Jewish content, if the "non-Jews" happen to challenge it. People of all and no religions have an equal right to edit any and all content. You have no reason to claim that the previous content was "written by Christians". Your assertions that editors have lied are without basis and violate WP:AGF. Who exactly have you "reported" this to? Paul B (talk) 00:31, 1 October 2014 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────Everyone could calm down. Yes, citations to established authorities are needed to support positions; see WP:Reliable sources for details. A solid claim can normally find such support, do the research and bring this back. HGilbert (talk) 01:16, 1 October 2014 (UTC)

The Citations are embedded in the text (Tora, Mishnah, Mishnah Torah - Canonical texts of Rabbinic Judaism) - in what form do you prefer to seem them shown in the article - inline or at the bottom of the article under "References". Jaim Harlow 01:50, 1 October 2014 (UTC)
Those are citations to primary sources which you link to the Golden Rule by your own WP:OR. They are, for the most part, unrelated to it. As I have already pointed out, the Maimonides quotation has no discernible connection to the Golden Rule at all. Most of your text was pure uncited assertion. If you think there are errors in the current text, point them out and explain what they are. Paul B (talk) 07:21, 1 October 2014 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── I've reported him for edit warring. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Lisa (talkcontribs) 03:16, 1 October 2014‎

I have requested input from members of Wikipedia:WikiProject Judaism. Paul B (talk) 09:55, 1 October 2014 (UTC)
I saw Paul B's note on WT:JUDAISM. I remember seeing this section a few months ago and thinking to myself, that the contents of the Judaism section leave much to be desired. I would say that there is a lot of redundancy in the 2 subsections, and some things that IMHO could easily be removed altogether. Perhaps somebody could draw up a proposal, that could be discussed here? Debresser (talk) 17:42, 1 October 2014 (UTC)
Thanks for the comments. Do you have any views on Jaim Harlow's belief that "it is a boldly incorrect portrayal" representing a "mendacious" Christian POV on Judaism? The use of the KJV (a translation made by Christians) seems also to be an issue for Jaimis. I don't know if that's simply because it is 'Christian' or whether he thinks there is a problem with the translation. Certainly the repetition of the same passage should be deleted. If there are alternative readings of the Hebrew— ones that affect the meaning—this could be addressed, if they are suitably sourced. Paul B (talk) 19:52, 1 October 2014 (UTC)
I'm working on a different version. But it will be one without personal additions.
As for Jaim, he's a bit eccentric, as you can see from his [[6]] page. For example, answering the question "What is the Jewish soul?", he stated that "The concept of 'soul' is a pagan artifice introduced to Rabbanic Judaism in Byzantium." Nothing he says should be taken as a mainstream Jewish position without substantial sourcing, and vetting that sourcing through other Jewish editors here, and if possible, through the Judaism portal. - Lisa (talk - contribs) 20:30, 1 October 2014 (UTC)
I disagree that the present version is a Christian version, but there are things I would have preferred to rephrase a little. Debresser (talk) 21:06, 1 October 2014 (UTC)

Proposed revision[edit]

I have put a proposed revision of the Judaism section on a subpage of my talk page. It is substantially shorter than either the current version or the version suggested by Jaim. The vast majority of the current version is homiletical interpretations by Gunther Plaut, a Reform rabbi, whose views are his own. This is true as well for all of the suggested biblical antecedents. Were I to write a book about all of the statements of Hillel the Elder, I would demonstrate how this statement derives from Hillel's philosophical position, which is in turn, predicated on large numbers of biblical texts. I may do so at some point, but that's original research on my part, and is no more valid here than the current version or Jaim's alternative one. The Golden Rule, as such, simply does not exist anywhere in Judaism, unless you expand the definition of "Golden Rule" to include Hillel's rule.

All the other material about not holding grudges or taking revenge, and about loving your neighbor... well, it's good stuff, and I could make a link between those things and what Hillel said homiletically as well. But that's not really what Wikipedia is about, is it? - Lisa (talk - contribs) 21:04, 1 October 2014 (UTC)

Lisa, I do not understand. How can you say we don't have a Golden Rule, if the words "Love your neighbor as yourself" are from the Torah? Debresser (talk) 21:08, 1 October 2014 (UTC)
What about "love" equates to "do"? - Lisa (talk - contribs) 00:25, 2 October 2014 (UTC)
That general commandment to love translates in a lot of things that we have to do. See for example the book Ahavat Chesed by the Chofetz Chaim. I am not sure I understand you correctly. Debresser (talk) 17:25, 2 October 2014 (UTC)
That verse isn't about doing or not doing what you want them to do or not do. You have to really wedge this in if you want to find commonality with the Golden Rule, and that's what I mean by homiletics. The verse is about you. It has nothing to do with actions or behavior or speech or thought of the other person. - Lisa (talk - contribs) 17:57, 2 October 2014 (UTC)
I see now what you mean. I think it is best to add in the proposed text that the principle does exist, based on the verse in the Torah "Love your neighbor as yourself", and that this was formulated by the Talmudic sage Hillel in its negative form etc. Debresser (talk) 19:33, 2 October 2014 (UTC)
But that doesn't appear to follow. As I said, that verse doesn't have any reciprocity in it, and the Golden Rule in all its variations does boil down to you doing or saying or thinking or not doing what another person would do or say or think or not do. I don't actually see any connection at all between the verse and the Golden Rule. Perhaps if you were to explain what linkage you see that I'm apparently missing? Nor do I see any source in rabbinic literature that links that verse and Hillel's statement. Unless you consider Gunther Plaut to be rabbinic literature. - Lisa (talk - contribs) 20:55, 2 October 2014 (UTC)
Well, as you said yourself earlier, what you think is not really the issue, since it's a question of what the sources say. That's not to deny that you have a good point, of course, and it might be worth looking to see if other commentators have made this point. But the connection between the passage and the GR has often been made, for example J.S. Mill: "In the golden rule of Jesus of Nazareth we read the complete spirit of the ethics of utility. To do as you would be done by, and to love your neighbour as yourself, constitute the complete perfection of utilitarian morality." He blurs together the two concepts as if one naturally follows from the other, or is implied by it. The Christianity section here traces the concept back to Tobit, which, of course is "Jewish", but obviously not a canonical text. Paul B (talk) 21:46, 2 October 2014 (UTC)
Maybe, but we're talking about the Jewish position; not the Christian one. Mill isn't a reliable source for Jewish views on the subject. :) - Lisa (talk - contribs) 01:48, 3 October 2014 (UTC)
Yes, of course I know that. My point was that Tobit, though it referred to in the Christian section, is not a Christian work. The issue is whether the the link made by Mill dates back to pre-Jesus Jewish culture; the famous Hillel quotation strongly implies that it does. Partly, this is a question of what we mean by "Judaism". There are ideas that have emerged and been widely accepted within Jewish culture at various times, but which may not necessarily to be codified as part of Judaism as such. Paul B (talk) 11:00, 3 October 2014 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── I hear what you're saying, Paul, but still, you'd need Jewish sources to establish a link between "Love your fellow as yourself" and the Golden Rule. And I don't believe there are any. Judaism's version of the Golden Rule begins and ends with Hillel's statement. I don't believe there are other Jewish sources which support the idea that one's interaction with others should be based on how they would interact with you, which is the substance of the Golden Rule. - Lisa (talk - contribs) 15:31, 3 October 2014 (UTC)

Lisa, I have a few more problems with your proposal:

  1. I'd say "and the rest is explanation", without "the".
  2. "Some have termed this the Silver Rule, while others have simply seen it as Judaism's rendition of the Golden Rule." is redundant to the article itself. It is not the purpose of the Judaism section to explain this.
  3. The last sentence needs a source.
  4. I'd like to repeat that in my opinion it should says specifically that Judaism does subscribe to the Golden rule, based on or as implied in the verse in the Torah "Love your neighbor as yourself" (Lev. 19:18), and then the sentence could continue by saying that and that this principle was formulated by the Talmudic sage Hillel the Elder in its negative form in the Babylonian Talmud etc. Debresser (talk) 23:23, 5 October 2014 (UTC)
I like "and the rest is the explanation" for two reasons. The simplest one is that it's the correct translation. It doesn't say "v'idach perush"; it says "v'idach perusha", with a definite article. The other is that common translations such as "the rest is commentary" and "the rest is explanation" give the impression in English of secondariness. A nuance which does not exist in the original Aramaic.
I have no problem taking out the line about the Silver Rule. I thought it was pertinent information, but if it bothers you, fine.
I'll look for a source, but if you want to take that line out, fine. That said, the burden of proof is on anyone wishing to tie some or other biblical verse to the Golden Rule, and you know as well as I that "Love your neighbor as your self" is not the same as the Golden Rule, and that Hillel didn't merely "reformulate" that verse in the negative.
In fact, to make it clear, though I thought I had previously, I would like to put it as a straight-out question: Do you agree that the essence of the Golden Rule is that that one's interaction with others should be based on how they would interact with you or how they would feel? Yes or no, please. Because I think it's patently obvious that it is. And a second question: Do you think that "Love your neighbor as yourself" is in any way dependent on what the "neighbor" would do or feel? Yes or no, please, because I think it's patently obvious that it is not. And that being the case, I don't see why the section should even mention that verse.
I hope you don't think I'm being uncivil by asking this as bluntly as I did. I stated this above at least twice, and rather than address it, even to say that you disagree, you've simply ignored it and repeated your desire to include the verse. I don't understand why. - Lisa (talk - contribs) 02:09, 6 October 2014 (UTC)
I'll have to think what to reply to you. Just one quick note. I didn't say that Hillel "reformulated" the Golden rule, but that he formulated a Jewish ethical principle in a way that is nowadays called the Golden (or Silver) rule. Debresser (talk) 11:30, 6 October 2014 (UTC)