Golden Rule

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The Golden Rule is an ethical statement which is found in nearly every religion. It is also called the "ethic of reciprocity".

Bahai: Epistle to the Son of the Wolf, 30

"And if thine eyes be turned towards justice, choose thou for thy neighbour that which thou choosest for thyself."

Buddhism: Udana-Varga

"Hurt not others with that which pains yourself."

Christianity: The Gospel of Matthew Matt 7:12, Luke 6:31

"All things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets."

Confucianism: the Analects of Confucius

"Do not impose on others what you yourself do not desire."

Hinduism: The Mahabharata

"This is the sum of duty: do naught to others which if done to thee would cause thee pain."

Islam: Hadith

"No one of you is a believer until he desires for his brother that which he desires for himself."

Judaism: The Talmud

"What is hateful to you, do not to your fellow men. That is the entire Law; all the rest is commentary."

Zoroastrianism: Shayast-na-Shayast 13:29

"Whatever is disagreeable to yourself do not do unto others."

A somewhat similar basis for ethic behaviour is often found also in non-religious ethical systems as, for instance, in Immanuel Kant's Critique of Practical Reason: "The rule of the judgement according to laws of pure practical reason is this: ask yourself whether, if the action you propose were to take place by a law of the system of nature of which you were yourself a part, you could regard it as possible by your own will. (...) If the maxim of the action is not such as to stand the test of the form of a universal law of nature, then it is morally impossible" (trans. T.K. Abbott).


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