toxic thought waste site

Theological whimsy, metaphysical larks, and other spiritually radioactive waste products.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

The Platinum Rule

In reading "The Great Transformation" it is suggested over and over again that the Golden Rule is the greatest moral teaching ever. It occurred to me recently that this formulation is not quite right. It assumes that other people are basically the same as you and that what you like or hate is what they should like or hate. So rather than being the most elegant moral formulation, the golden rule is the the most arrogant, ego-assertive principle possible.

To fix this multi-millennial over sight let me introduce the "Platinum Rule":
Do unto others as they would have done unto them.
Don't impose your view of right/wrong on others. Do them the courtesy of knowing what they want even if it deviates from what you think they *should*.

I'm not endorsing this as the ultimate philosophy, but I do think it fixes the inherent brokenness of the Golden Rule.



Anonymous Prup (aka Jim Benton) said...

In fact, the Jewish version -- written, I believe, by Hillel -- was/is "Don't do unto others as you would not have them do unto you." This is a much more sensible idea than the usual formulation.

This may not be the right post to put this on, but I am so glad to find another atheist who is fascinated with religion as a human activity and enjoys the ins and outs of theology. Have you bookmarked the 'internet sacred-text website.' It is a wonderful collection, not just of sacred texts, but of books -- admittedly mostly old enough to be in the public domain -- about every religion from African tribal to Zoroastrianism. (And Zoroastrianism is a major source for ideas in all 3 'Abrahamic religions.' Ideas such as the devil -- not at all equivalent to the Satan of the Bible.)
There are many other interesting things there, including all the extant Greek plays, the complete works of Shakespeare, articles on religion and LGBTs (I'm a B, btw) and Religion and women, including the Korana, a feminist version of the Qur'an by someone who could have given Mohammed writing lessons.
If you dig carefully, you'll also discover the 'fan-transcribed' text of a fairly recent movie dealing with a religious topic in a hilarious way -- though I wish they'd done another movie by the same group.
Hope to join in the discussions more now that I've bookmarked you.

Mon Mar 19, 06:13:00 AM  
Blogger evtujo said...

Welcome. Cooincidentally I book marked that site in the last few days. Unfortunately I'm not sure what movie you are talking about but now I'm intruigued, could you be a little more specific?

Mon Mar 19, 07:57:00 AM  
Anonymous Prup (aka Jim Benton) said...

I'd rather not mention it and get them in even a little trouble. I'll e-mail you where to find it.

Tue Mar 20, 04:47:00 AM  

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