The Golden Rule: A Guiding Maxim for Ethical Development
The significance of the idea ‘treat others as you would like to be treated' is often overlooked today in our increasingly ideological and polarised societies, however this simple yet profoundly effective principle has arguably served AS one of the guiding maxims of ethical development. It can be found in most major moral theory frameworks throughout religious and secular thought. And while it comes in many variations and phrasings, the underlying principle remains the same: ‘what if someone did this to me?'
The Golden Rule (the most universal phrasing of the principle) can be used as a tool for ethical decision making. For example, is slavery ethical? Well, I surely wouldn't want to be a slave, therefore I ought not to treat others in such way. Child labour? Well, the last thing I wanted to do as a child is work a full time job for little or no compensation instead of receiving an education, so, again, that idea goes…
Of course, the situations that life presents us with are rarely so distinctively good or bad, but the way in which we set out to discern such distinctions is of great importance; the Golden Rule is an effective way to achieve just that.
Now, as Global Ethics Day 2017 approaches (October 18th), we want to hear your stories of how you consider and implement the Golden Rule in your day-to-day life, and how this simple method of consideration has helped establish your own values.
Please send us your story (max 500 words) to firstname.lastname@example.org and we will share it with the world through our website and social networks to promote ethics and values for a better future.