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The golden rule

Discussion in 'Religious Debates' started by Master Vigil, Feb 10, 2005.

  1. Master Vigil

    Master Vigil Well-Known Member

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    Is the core of all religions the same? What about the golden rule?

    The Golden Rule
    (or ethic of reciprocity)

    The Golden Rule, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you”,
    which Jesus gave in his Sermon on the Mount, is found in some form
    in the scriptures or sacred texts of nearly every religion and philosophy.

    Baha'i Faith
    Lay not on any soul a load that you would not wish to be laid upon you,
    and desire not for anyone the things you would not desire for yourself
    Baha'u'llah,, Gleanings

    Buddhism
    Treat not others in ways that you yourself would find hurtful.
    The Buddha, Udana-Varga 5.1

    Christianity
    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.
    Christ Jesus, Matthew 7:12, Luke 6:31

    Confucianism
    One word which sums up the basis of all good conduct... loving-kindness.
    Do not do to others what you do not want done to yourself.
    Confucius, Analects 15.23

    Hinduism
    This is the sum of duty: do not do to others what would cause pain if done to you.
    Mahabharata 5:1517

    Islam
    Not one of you truly believes until you
    wish for others what you wish for yourself.
    The Prophet Muhammad, 13th of the 40 Hadiths of Nawawi

    Jainism
    One should treat all creatures in the world
    as one would like to be treated.
    Mahavira, Sutrakritanga

    Judaism
    What is hateful to you, do not do to your neighbour.
    This is the whole Torah; all the rest is commentary. Go and learn it.
    Hillel, Talmud, Shabbath 31a

    Native Spirituality
    We are as much alive as we keep the earth alive.
    Chief Dan George

    Sikhism
    I am a stranger to no one; and no one is a stranger to me.
    Indeed, I am a friend to all.
    Guru Granth Sahib, pg. 1299

    Taoism
    Regard your neighbour's gain as your own gain
    and your neighbour's loss as your own loss.
    Lao Tzu, T'ai Shang Kan Ying P'ien, 213-218

    Unitarianism
    We affirm and promote respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part.
    Unitarian principle

    Wiccan
    Bide the Wiccan Rede ye must,
    In perfect love and perfect trust
    Eight words the Wiccan Rede fulfils
    An ye harm none do what ye will.

    Zoroastrianism
    Do not do unto others whatever is injurious to yourself.
    Shayast-na-Shayast 13.29

    "taken from comparative-religion.com"
     
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  2. Circle_One

    Circle_One Well-Known Member

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    I hope you don't mind my adding a different wording of the Rede of the Wiccae. It's a different version of the same thing, pretty much, but it's older and less widely used nowadays.

    And do what thou wilt be the challenge,
    so be it in love that harms none,
    For this is the only commandment,
    By Magick of old be it done.
     
  3. Green Gaia

    Green Gaia Veteran Member

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    Awesome thread, MV!
     
  4. Scuba Pete

    Scuba Pete Le plongeur avec attitude...

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    Truth is always truth, no matter who teaches it. However, I don't see this as the "ethic of reciprocity" for that implies we expect people to react to us in kind. This is the ethic of service. Putting other's needs ahead of your own.

    Matthew 5:42 Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you. 43 "You have heard that it was said, `Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.' 44 But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,

    Philippians 2:3 Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. 4 Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others. 5 Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: 6 Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, 7 but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. 8 And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death-- even death on a cross!
     
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  5. Fluffy

    Fluffy A fool

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    Sorry to go OT for a few moments but I haven't seen this wording before and was wondering if you had any sources for the whole poem, C1?

    As far as the original question is concerned, then I would say that it is a, relatively, recent addition to religious creeds since it wasn't really seen in Western culture before Christianity. I am unsure farther east though, perhaps there are instances of this teaching appearing in some of those religions. As far as the Romans and Greeks etc were concerned, this was pretty revolutionary stuff. It did exist in a fairly limited form in instances such as the Greek Xenia, however, but this is more of a rarity than a core.
     
  6. Circle_One

    Circle_One Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, Fluffy, I most certainly do. I would be happy to post the entire version on the Wiccan page if you would like.
     
  7. angellous_evangellous

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    I will save your "golden rule" comparison. It is definately a thread that goes through almost every religion that I know of, with the exception of the few without any moral standards. However, it is not a confession, which is the core of the religion. That is, the core of orthodox Christianity is the confession "Jesus is Lord" with the direct inplication that he is God. Christians are not promised eternal life if they keep the golden rule, but if they believe and confess that Jesus is Lord. The Lord wants us, of course, to be nice to each other. But when asked, Jesus said that the greatest command is to "love the Lord with all your heart" and next, "to love your neighbor as yourself." The first part of the command is the confession (the core) the second is the action that flows from the confession, love for others.
     
  8. michel

    michel Administrator Emeritus
    Staff Member

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  9. Master Vigil

    Master Vigil Well-Known Member

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    "Christians are not promised eternal life if they keep the golden rule, but if they believe and confess that Jesus is Lord."

    So they can be mass murderers and still get into heaven, as long as they believe and confess that Jesus is Lord? If they love the lord, do they need to love their neighbors? If not, than why? If they do, than the core still stands.
     
  10. No*s

    No*s Captain Obvious

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    Or the morality of Christianity may be based on both "Love the Lord your God with all your heart, mind, and soul" and "Love your neighbor as yourself." It may also be true that morality and dogma may be a dual-prong core of Christianity.

    Without any of these, there would be no Christianity.
     
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  11. Unedited

    Unedited Active Member

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    I think the moral standards are similar throughout many relgions, but moral standards are different from beliefs. The belief in a god or in gods, what happens after death, and how the world came to be...all these things can be found in the core of religions and all differ from religion to religion.
     
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  12. Jayhawker Soule

    Jayhawker Soule <yawn> ignore </yawn>
    Premium Member It's My Birthday!

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    The presence of Confucianism on the list suggests that the ethic of reciprocity, as with the impulse toward altruism, transcends religion.
     
  13. anders

    anders Well-Known Member

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    There is a huge difference in principle between the "posititve" form (Xianity) and the "negative" version. I regard the + version as an ugly Übermensch view: Hey y'all, I know what's best for you, and that's how I'm gonna treat you. Being a masochist, I'm going to hurt you, because that's how I want you to treat me."

    You are infinitely more on the safe side with the negative rendering. The Chinese knew that many thousands of years ago. There's the story of the emperor who caught a nightingale. He fed it meat and wine, the things he cherished, and of course the poor thing died. True compassion means being able to identify with your fellow beings, regardless of the number of their feet etc.

    My personal rule, not necessarily characterized by a chemical element, is something like: have as good a life as possible, but avoid harming anybody or anything.
     
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  14. Israel

    Israel Member

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    Luke 23 (the execution of Jesus)


    32Two other men, both criminals, were also led out with him to be executed. 33When they came to the place called the Skull, there they crucified him, along with the criminals–one on his right, the other on his left. 34Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.”[e] And they divided up his clothes by casting lots.

    35The people stood watching, and the rulers even sneered at him. They said, “He saved others; let him save himself if he is the Christ of G-d, the Chosen One.”

    36The soldiers also came up and mocked him. They offered him wine vinegar 37and said, “If you are the king of the Jews, save yourself.”

    38There was a written notice above him, which read:|sc THIS IS THE KING OF THE JEWS.

    39One of the criminals who hung there hurled insults at him: “Aren't you the Christ? Save yourself and us!”

    40But the other criminal rebuked him. “Don't you fear G-d,” he said, “since you are under the same sentence? 41We are punished justly, for we are getting what our deeds deserve. But this man has done nothing wrong.”

    42Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.[f]” 43Jesus answered him, “I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in paradise.”

    End Quote.

    The only criminals the Romans intervened into the legal systems of their nation-states to handle were people accused of crimes requiring the death penalty, usually treason and murder. Jesus was accused of treason against Rome for calling Himself the spiritual King of the Jews, for "we have no King but Caesar!" The criminals executed with Jesus were very likely murderers or Zealot "terrorists".

    Jews believed that your salvation was decided by your birth and works: Jews were selected by G-d to practice and teach a higher morality (the Law) to the rest of the world; Gentiles would be judged by their response to worship of G-d and respect for others. Murderers were judged by G-d and their community, and sentenced to death.

    Jesus taught that the Law showed the ideal way people should behave, but that anyone, no matter how serious their sin, could be forgiven and perfected in the after-life, if they would believe. If given the opportunity, they must try to live by the Golden Rule; If they do not love others, they do not truly love G-d. On the other hand, as in the case of the criminal executed alongside Jesus, if they are not given the opportunity to demonstrate their changed heart through actions, they still may be saved just by their belief and G-d's kindness.
     
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  15. oracle

    oracle Active Member

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    Hmmm. Well religion to me, is like :
    [font=Arial, Geneva, Helvetica]Matthew 23:13-33 13 But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you shut up the kingdom of heaven against men; for you neither go in yourselves, nor do you allow those who are entering to go in. [/font]

    Religion only points to the door, but it is not the door. Attending church for example, can be turned into a worthless routine. Truth is an inner process, not an outer one.

    Religion gives people a sense of Identity, that they are superior and others inferior. This is egoism/narcissism in disguise.

    Churches are like mcdonald's fast food chain. They serve fast food, which is unhealthy for you. Many sermon's rarely touch the heart of mankind's problems, let alone your personal problems. Its an institution for scape goaters. The true message of Jesus was nailed to the cross with him. Voilence does not condone voilence.
    I remember one church that I went to. The preacher taught that we are all hypocrites, and no one will ever stop sinning. I'm not talking about all churches however, there are good ones. There are pastors and Christians that really know what they are talking about.

    And I would have to say that yes, altruism transcends religion. Religion is just the finger pointing to altruism. [Many fingers point in the opposite direction]. In the end, only few walk through the door. Many preachers and priests do not even walk through it, but they are like the scribes and Pharisees, shutting up our unified reality to themselves and others, because they are driven by their selfish ego.
     
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  16. Master Vigil

    Master Vigil Well-Known Member

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    Like I said israel, the core still stands.
     
  17. johnnys4life

    johnnys4life Pro-life Mommy

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    I'm not going to tell you how smart I think you are, because I know you said that would be embarrassing, but I really wanted to say that I agree with this. The point is conversion of the heart, and works are an outgrowing of that. You wrote it so clearly, that I don't even have anything to add at all - and that is very rare for me. AND I'm NOT just saying that because I'm married to ya!!! So :p

    Sorry for bugging you about how long you deliberate on things, it's just I don't think you give yourself enough credit for being able to think quickly and still be right on target. I know you just want to say the exact perfect thing which is totally the opposite of me - I just want to say the thing that is in my head as quickly as I can before I forget it.

    So maybe you're right about this forum just being a waste of time, and maybe not, but I do think you have a lot to give in the world, if you wanted.
     
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  18. Master Vigil

    Master Vigil Well-Known Member

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    "if they are not given the opportunity to demonstrate their changed heart through actions, they still may be saved just by their belief and G-d's kindness."

    So murderers can still make it into heaven? Or is it that murder was just a "bad" thing they did. Not everyone is totally good or bad, so perhaps the murderers have good in them as well. And thus the golden rule of all religions still stands at the core.
     
  19. johnnys4life

    johnnys4life Pro-life Mommy

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    No, we're not saying that murderers have good in them in and of themselves, other than of course, the good that we all have inherantly available to us through pure virtue of our being made in the image of G-d to begin with, but when you become a true Christian, you are a new creation. You "die" to your old, sinful nature, and then you are re-born, so to speak. The past is gone, forgiven and forgotten by the Lord at least (and that doesn't mean you can't or shouldn't still pay the consequences of your past actions) but in the future you are supposed to be IN THE PROCESS of being conformed to the image of the living Christ, which means no more killin! Now if you don't have the opportunity to kill anyway, all the better for you! But if you do go on to live a while, that means no more doing anything which makes Jesus disappointed in you. Now this change doesn't happen automatically, but you get better and better a little bit day by day. You may never reach your goal, the point is you are still always
    r e a c h i n g for it.

    So someone who did not follow the Golden Rule before they knew Christ, and thus knew truth, would not be held as responsible by the Lord as say, someone who died unrepentant. Repentance is a huge factor here. It means not only that you accept the Lord, it means you admit to your mistakes, are truly sorry, willing to suffer the result of your actions, and, most importantly, willing to be REFORMED BY HIS GRACE.
     
  20. Master Vigil

    Master Vigil Well-Known Member

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    What about someone who murdered, and then became a taoist. What about them? What do you think, is there good in that man?
     
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