There have been multiple accounts created with the sole purpose of posting advertisement posts or replies containing unsolicited advertising.

Accounts which solely post advertisements, or persistently post them may be terminated.

Is the golden rule really good?

So when I was in school from 2nd to 6th grade in that school there was a sign saying to treat others the way you want to be treated. And yeah the irony with that was teachers at that school were actually quite abusive that I saw no sense in on one hand treating others the way you want to be treated meanwhile being treated badly by teachers. It might sound weird but yeah I was treated slightly better when I finally got out of that school. But yeah to me it’s kind of like how I even understand that logic is if someone treats me badly I should have a right to treat them badly. That’s basically one flaw I saw with the golden rule. If I’m treated badly what gives them the right to be treated any better? This whole golden rule idea is pretty messed up when you really consider it. If you wrong me do I have the right to wrong you? That’s really the one thing I questioned about the golden rule.

shinigamiookamiryuu ,

“Treat others how you wish to be treated” is supposed to be acknowledged according to a diplomatic context as opposed to a domestic one. Of course, if you’re handling a certain conflict a certain way and someone says the quote as a critique of you defending yourself or you applying the “if you can’t beat them join them” rule in that conflict, it is most likely nothing more than them using it as an excuse to shift the burden. Protocol doesn’t even work like that, so such a person invokes the idea their authority is challengeable when they do that. This is not what the prophets had in mind though when they said it, their context was one of escalating culture shocks where people sheltered themselves to one perspective, which didn’t translate well into there being a basis for peace.

Nemo ,

It’s so-so. Treating people the way you want to be treated only works if you want the same things. Much better to treat others the way they want to be treated.

RedditRefugee69 ,

The more accurate allegory I like is tricking yourself into believing that will have to live the life of everyone who as ever lived (like reincarnated once at a time). It still means that you have to kill hitler because you would want to protect all of your other reincarnation experiences, but you’re not necessarily going to torture them alive for fun… maybe for deterrence though.

It’s the most true to the fact that everyone has the same experiences we do, we’re just numb to them. We would act as if the first paragraph were true if we could somehow tap into the consciousness experiences of everyone else. Selfishness is just ignorance

HubertManne ,

if you act badly do you think other folks should respond by treating you badly. If so you are following the golden rule by treating someone badly in response to them treating you badly. Im a real nice quiet person but I will get aggressive and mean if someone feels they can flaunt the social contract. Case in point is there is a lady that was coming onto our condo property with her small mean dog off leash and no collar actually that she could not recall. Does she get a nice how do you do and wave and smile. No. At least not since the first time we met. Now if I see her I lock on and move with alacrity to her position and get in her face and bitch at her and make her uncomfortable and will not leave till she leaves the property. Granted that has only happened once and for some reason I have not encountered her since.

Hestia , avatar

laughs in masochism


An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind

oxjox , (edited ) avatar

The rule you’ve described is ‘you have the right to treat people how others have treated you’.

That is not the Golden Rule. The point of the Golden Rule is to proactively be a good person, not one who reciprocates. Regardless of how others treat you, by treating others how you want to be treated, you will be seen as a good and decent person who spreads kindness in the world. Someone whom others won’t go online and complain about. Someone who is less likely to make someone’s day a little more shitty.

The Golden Rule is awesome. I struggle daily to abide by it.

Norodix ,

Sure, its very effective. Someone commits a crime, everyone gets turned into gold statues. Seems fair.

happybadger , avatar

If you have a pen, you can cross out the parts of the golden rule that are pacifistic and make it “Treat others as they treat you”. When someone slaps me I’m not going to turn the other cheek because they’ll slap that one too and think they can freely slap others. The goal is just to restore an equilibrium state where nobody slaps anyone else because they understand that they aren’t powerful and there will be immediate consequences.

dev_null ,

No, it doesn’t say you can treat someone badly if they treat you badly. It doesn’t say anything about how others treat you having any effect on how you treat them.

It says you should treat everyone the way you’d like them to treat you, regardless if they actually do or not.

d00phy ,

This is what I came here for. Like you said, the rule is about how you treat others, and intentionally doesn’t account for how others treat you. As was already said, lots of religions have similar rules. They also have parallels to “lead by example,” “turn the other cheek,” “vengeance is mine, sayeth the Lord,” “judge not lest ye be judged.” All of these are guidelines for community cooperation and fellowship. There will always be people who go against them, but if the overall community adheres to them it’s generally in a better position to be stable and succeed.

flamingo_pinyata ,

This way of phrasing it is very bad. The idea of golden rule is to consider others as equal to yourself, and award them the same benefit of the doubt you would want others to give you before judging you.

It doesn’t really cover the cases if someone is actively malicious towards you. It’s basically outside of the scope of this rule.

In any way it’s too flawed as a base for further developing a moral system. I recommend to look into the idea of Original position or “veil of ignorance” for a different approach to the same problem.

TerminalEncounter , avatar

The Golden Rule got kind of expanded into the Kantian Categorical Imperative - instead of what one should do to be moral, it tells us what we should not do. So he says, “do not treat people as purely a means to an end, because they are human and have intrinsic worth” for example, don’t lie, don’t cheat, etc. Which isn’t a bad way to live life. Of course, he said it’d be wrong to lie to an axe murderer the whereabouts of your loved ones on the grounds that it treats even the axe murderer as a means to an end rather than as a person… so not perfect anyway. Ideally, if everyone is following the Golden Rule or the Categorical Imperative then there is no harm ever done. But we don’t live in an ideal world.

Socrates said “there is no moral evil” because he said it was impossible for anyone with sufficient knowledge to act in an evil way. Because, in his view, if they knew enough they would act in their best interests - which means limiting harm and never treating others poorly. For him that meant education and the cultivation of certain virtues meant people would act well instead of giving rules to say what is the right or wrong way to act - except his virtues were made up in Antiquity lol so didn’t really include a lot of respect for women’s rights for example.

Sometimes Justice and Doing What Is Right demands we get some retribution or are made whole after some harm was done (for example, being abused by a person in authority) or even act punitively to prevent future harm (like removing those teachers from their jobs, maybe even banning them from ever working with anyone vulnerable, not just children). In that case, it’s wrong to keep treating someone well when they’re harming you - it’s only going to encourage further harm to someone else.

Maybe treating them as you would have them treat you might include “hey, if I’m acting like a dick and abusing people - tell me and others and do everything you can to stop me from doing that.” Sure, that’s “badly” for narcissists who think they can never be wrong but not for people who aren’t, right? If I said something harmful carelessly, I would hope to be corrected! There’s certainly a class of people who really think treating them “well” means doing whatever they say to do and accepting all punishment, earned or not. IMO, they have a very poor understanding of what being treated well really means lol

Zane ,

Treating somebody poorly, purely for spite or some form of retaliation, seems like a lot of unnecessary energy to expend on somebody who may not deserve that much space in your mind. The golden rule is not about whether someone has the right to be treated better than they have you, it is about discovering grace within yourself and extending it towards all others.

As to why you should, I could use another turn of phrase- “Lead by example”. You had a poor example in how to extend grace to others in the form of your teachers, and you have the opportunity to be a positive example to others in their place.

Enkers ,

There are a ton of different variations of the golden rule that mostly have slightly different implications. Pretty much every religion has some flavour of it, and there’s a good reason for that.

Cooperation has for a long time been a necessary part of human life if one wishes to accomplish much of anything, and the golden rule has long been a building block of cooperation. Of course, it’s not particularly scientific and it’s precise implementations, as you’ve noticed, are either vague or not fully correct.

Enter game theory. The prisoner’s dilemma problem is a model cooperative game that explores various behaviour patterns between two parties. As it turns out, some of the best strategies to maximize personal gain given other opponents with unknown strategies are called: “forgiving tit-for-tat” strategies.

Basically, cooperate until you’re betrayed, punish betrayal, but then return to cooperation. I think if you squint a bit, you can kinda see how there’s similarity to the golden rule.

Veritasium has a pretty informative video on the subject:

In short, yeah, it’s pretty good.

Mechanismatic , avatar

The problem with the golden rule is that different people want to be treated differently, so they may treat you how they want to be treated but not how you want to be treated, and vice versa.

Maybe when you’re struggling with an issue, you want to be left alone to figure it out by yourself, but your friend in the same scenario would want someone to start doing anything to help out and insisting on troubleshooting the issue together. So your friend ends up frustrating you by offering to help too much when you just want to be left alone and then when they’re struggling, they get upset that you leave them alone to deal with it.

So communication is important. Ask people how they’d like to be treated rather than just assuming they’d want to be treated the way you want to be treated and be honest with them about how you’d like to be treated.

Stovetop , (edited )

I think you’ve got the right idea, but may be overthinking it just a tad.

The golden rule is just a proactive step when meeting and dealing with new people. Since you can’t know how others want to be treated from your first interaction, you fall back on the golden rule. So you offer to help someone, they tell you they’d prefer to be left alone, all good. Now you know.

Basically, it’s not just “If I were in this situation, I would want to be helped, so I’m going to keep offering to help.” It’s “If I were in this situation, I would want people to be understanding and gentle, so I’ll listen to what they have to say and, if they ask for help, do whatever they need.”

Where people get caught in the weeds though is often the difference between being “good” and being “nice”, so you’ll never have an objective answer to the best course of action. Just this general guideline to hopefully steer you in the right direction until you can figure the rest out on your own.

  • All
  • Subscribed
  • Moderated
  • Favorites
  • [email protected]
  • random
  • lifeLocal
  • goranko
  • All magazines