Friday 22 April 2011

A short history of the Golden Rule

There’s a common misconception that the so-called Golden Rule is a Christian ethic, but the reality is that it originated long before - - - 
  • 650 BCE. "Do not to your neighbor what you would take ill from him." -- Pittacus
  • 500 BCE. "Do not unto another that you would not have him do unto you. Thou needest this law alone. It is the foundation of all the rest." -- Confucius
  • 464 BCE. "Avoid doing what you would blame others for doing." -- Thales
  • 406 BCE. "What you wish your neighbors to be to you, be also to them." -- Sextus (Pythagorean)
  • 384 BCE. "We should conduct ourselves toward others as we would have them act toward us." -- Aristotle
  • 365 BCE. "Cherish reciprocal benevolence, which will make you as anxious for another’s welfare as your own." -- Aristippus of Cyrene
  • 338 BCE. "Act toward others as you desire them to act toward you." -- Isocrates
  • 300 BCE. "This is the sum of duty: Do naught unto others which would cause you pain if done to you." -- Hinduism
  • 50 BCE. "What is hateful to you, do not to your fellow men. That is the entire Law; all the rest is commentary." -- Rabbi Hillel
  • circa 30 CE. "Therefore 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." -- Jesus of Nazareth
-- compiled by Sandy Feroe, Editor, the Atheist Outreach 
newsletter, 5, Fall 1999

1862 CE. "Mrs Doasyouwouldbedoneby" from the "The Water Babies" by Charles Kinglsey. Illustration by Jessie Willcox Smith

1 comment:

  1. Too bad it rarely (if ever) works! It won't stop me from trying, though.