An objection to the Golden Rule

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mattfara50
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An objection to the Golden Rule

Post by mattfara50 » May 5th, 2018, 3:17 pm

"Do as you would be done by," the concise rephrasing of "Do unto others...," is one of history's great moral heuristics. It seems to have grown independently from several cultural flower beds and has survived to the present day. What bad could come of it? In the absence of careful, objective thought on a moral decision, I'd say "quite a bit." Here's why:

If I want treatment X for myself, I should treat others in kind.

I made a simple diagram of the argument. I try to show that the Golden Rule can justify the control of others.

Controlling another person is sometimes justified. Stopping a child from sprinting into traffic or persuading a friend not to make a purchase that would be financially detrimental are examples. The justification lies in the wisdom of the controller: inasmuch as a factual or moral truth can be derived from the circumstances at hand, one should control another such that the factual or moral truth is enacted.

I believe that even very complex situations can be, at least in principle, analyzed as such. Unfortunately, many people tend not to challenge their own assumptions and moral beliefs. Many people do tend, on the other hand, to impute motives in their opposition that are inaccurate. Taken together, these tendencies render such an analysis impossible.

Here is a common example: I see that some evangelical Christians are violently opposed to LGBT equality. I then conclude that evangelical Christians are violent and hateful, committing the fallacy of composition. Communication between myself and that community at large ceases, since giving their ideas airtime seems counterproductive to me. This drives me even further into my own set of beliefs about LGBT - total equality for these people is unimpeachable, has no potential down sides, and I may even react negatively to people advancing non-violent, well-reasoned counterarguments, whether they are evangelicals or not. I thus cease to communicate rationally on this subject with others (and even with myself).

Then take the evangelical Christian: Perhaps she genuinely believes that same sex marriage is sinful, and she appreciates times in the past when others have pushed her from an unwitting sin. Thus she feels justified, with the Golden Rule in her front pocket, vying against people and legislation that favor LGBT marriage equality. Unfortunately, her faith in the divine authorship of the Bible is almost certainly unwarranted.

The Golden Rule is moral fast food.

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LuckyR
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Re: An objection to the Golden Rule

Post by LuckyR » May 6th, 2018, 1:52 am

Uummm, I am not seeing the analogy. Folks who are dogmatic (the fundamentalist Christian in your example) don't live by the Golden rule, that is they feel completely comfortable trying to convert others who disagree with them, yet they have very closed minds to opposing data to their own beliefs.

Thus your example doesn't address the Golden rule, make a better analogy.
"As usual... it depends."

mattfara50
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Re: An objection to the Golden Rule

Post by mattfara50 » May 6th, 2018, 8:50 am

LuckyR wrote:
May 6th, 2018, 1:52 am
Uummm, I am not seeing the analogy.
Hi, LuckyR. Moving through a few threads, I see that you are a very active member here. Thanks for replying.

The point I'm trying to make is that the GR is not a sufficient moral framework, since in the absence of questioning one's own beliefs through open, non-confrontational communication, it can be used to justify the control of others. It is far too simple to be responsibly used, and appeal to its wisdom is thus unwarranted. It doesn't deserve its popularity.

mattfara50
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Re: An objection to the Golden Rule

Post by mattfara50 » May 6th, 2018, 9:59 am

LuckyR wrote:
May 6th, 2018, 1:52 am
...they feel completely comfortable trying to convert others who disagree with them, yet they have very closed minds to opposing data to their own beliefs....
I wanted to add that you seem to be assuming that they have failed to analyze opposing arguments and evidence. That is likely true in many cases. But in the cases when they are open-minded and do try to fairly analyze the opposing views, some fraction of them will still be unconvinced. So in that case, the GR would have them carry on proselytizing, etc.

Namelesss
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Re: An objection to the Golden Rule

Post by Namelesss » May 7th, 2018, 1:24 am

mattfara50 wrote:
May 5th, 2018, 3:17 pm
"Do as you would be done by," the concise rephrasing of "Do unto others...," is one of history's great moral heuristics. It seems to have grown independently from several cultural flower beds and has survived to the present day
The correct translation of the 'Golden Rule' is as follows;
"Do NOT do to others what you don't want done to you!
You are right in that the incorrect version is logically unsound and fallacious, yet "people believe anything repeated often enough!" (- Goebbels).
Feel free to run the high-beams of your critical examination over the correct translation! *__-

CIN
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Re: An objection to the Golden Rule

Post by CIN » May 7th, 2018, 2:59 am

Namelesss wrote:
May 7th, 2018, 1:24 am
The correct translation of the 'Golden Rule' is as follows;
"Do NOT do to others what you don't want done to you!
So if I am allergic to oysters, and I have guests who love oysters and are not allergic to them, I should not serve them oysters simply because I am allergic?

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Thinking critical
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Re: An objection to the Golden Rule

Post by Thinking critical » May 7th, 2018, 3:57 am

CIN wrote:
May 7th, 2018, 2:59 am
Namelesss wrote:
May 7th, 2018, 1:24 am
The correct translation of the 'Golden Rule' is as follows;
"Do NOT do to others what you don't want done to you!
So if I am allergic to oysters, and I have guests who love oysters and are not allergic to them, I should not serve them oysters simply because I am allergic?
This being the problem with rules, exceptions can normally be found. In a general sense to a rational and sound minded individual the original rendering of the golden rules as reiterated by "nameless" does encourage moral behaviour.......it reminds us to invest time thinkiing about the interests of people other than ourselves.
This cocky little cognitive contortionist will straighten you right out

Belindi
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Re: An objection to the Golden Rule

Post by Belindi » May 7th, 2018, 4:13 am

Mattfara, you are right that the Golden Rule is insufficient moral framework. I accept your"framework" metaphor. However if we employ the springboard metaphor to the GR we have something like enhanced initiative. Jesus himself said that we know them by their fruits, which is a useful way to make the GR more practical although still not quite an entire moral system.

For these reasons we need to understand how we may live good lives. Bring on reason; add Socrates to Jesus and we are getting there. Then add David Hume's observation that ordinary human sympathy exists as a part of normal human psychology.

Your example
Then take the evangelical Christian: Perhaps she genuinely believes that same sex marriage is sinful, and she appreciates times in the past when others have pushed her from an unwitting sin. Thus she feels justified, with the Golden Rule in her front pocket, vying against people and legislation that favor LGBT marriage equality. Unfortunately, her faith in the divine authorship of the Bible is almost certainly unwarranted.

The Golden Rule is moral fast food.
shows how unreason can take the form of inadequate knowledge and judgement, together with cultish following of some bossy individual's dicta which in the case of fundamentalist religiosity stem from Biblical literalism.

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LuckyR
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Re: An objection to the Golden Rule

Post by LuckyR » May 7th, 2018, 4:36 am

I do agree that no guidance in this area is immune to clever people making up exceptions.
"As usual... it depends."

Namelesss
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Re: An objection to the Golden Rule

Post by Namelesss » May 7th, 2018, 4:37 am

CIN wrote:
May 7th, 2018, 2:59 am
Namelesss wrote:
May 7th, 2018, 1:24 am
The correct translation of the 'Golden Rule' is as follows;
"Do NOT do to others what you don't want done to you!
So if I am allergic to oysters, and I have guests who love oysters and are not allergic to them, I should not serve them oysters simply because I am allergic?
You will not cause them harm by not 'doing to them...' ie; by not serving oysters.
On the other hand, if you DO love to sprinkle cyanide in your salad, 'doing it unto others' is a huge error in judgment.
If you DO like to be tortured, etc...
No, the original translation stands, logically, ethically.

Namelesss
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Re: An objection to the Golden Rule

Post by Namelesss » May 7th, 2018, 4:40 am

Furthermore, if you don't serve your guests what they love, IF you can, then you are simply a lousy selfish dickheaded 'host' deliberately using the Rule to promote your dickheadedness! *__-

CIN
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Re: An objection to the Golden Rule

Post by CIN » May 7th, 2018, 5:35 am

Namelesss wrote:
May 7th, 2018, 4:37 am
CIN wrote:
May 7th, 2018, 2:59 am


So if I am allergic to oysters, and I have guests who love oysters and are not allergic to them, I should not serve them oysters simply because I am allergic?
You will not cause them harm by not 'doing to them...' ie; by not serving oysters.
On the other hand, if you DO love to sprinkle cyanide in your salad, 'doing it unto others' is a huge error in judgment.
If you DO like to be tortured, etc...
No, the original translation stands, logically, ethically.
I used to be a nurse working in a cancer hospital. Since I don't have cancer myself, I don't want to be injected with strong chemotherapy drugs. Following your new golden rule ("Do NOT do to others what you don't want done to you!"), I refused to inject any of the patients with these drugs, on the grounds that I don't want to be injected with them myself.

I have lost my job, and my prosecution for gross medical negligence comes up in court next week.

Over to you.

CIN
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Re: An objection to the Golden Rule

Post by CIN » May 7th, 2018, 5:36 am

The so-called 'golden rule', in either formulation, is a mere crude rule of thumb.

Namelesss
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Re: An objection to the Golden Rule

Post by Namelesss » May 7th, 2018, 6:31 am

CIN wrote:
May 7th, 2018, 5:35 am
Namelesss wrote:
May 7th, 2018, 4:37 am

You will not cause them harm by not 'doing to them...' ie; by not serving oysters.
On the other hand, if you DO love to sprinkle cyanide in your salad, 'doing it unto others' is a huge error in judgment.
If you DO like to be tortured, etc...
No, the original translation stands, logically, ethically.
I used to be a nurse working in a cancer hospital. Since I don't have cancer myself, I don't want to be injected with strong chemotherapy drugs. Following your new golden rule ("Do NOT do to others what you don't want done to you!"), I refused to inject any of the patients with these drugs, on the grounds that I don't want to be injected with them myself.

I have lost my job, and my prosecution for gross medical negligence comes up in court next week.

Over to you.
I'm not going to play your silly game.
"Consider the unaccepted gift; to whom does it belong?"

I didn't invent the saying, the correct translation, I just shared it for those with the ability to discern the difference.
If you want to argue it, talk to Whoever first wrote it in the bible!
Logically, despite certain juvenile and illogical objections, what I offered makes infinite more sense.
I hope that you claiming to be a nurse was hyperbole...

Namelesss
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Re: An objection to the Golden Rule

Post by Namelesss » May 7th, 2018, 6:34 am

CIN wrote:
May 7th, 2018, 5:36 am
The so-called 'golden rule', in either formulation, is a mere crude rule of thumb.
As you speak it, so mote it be!
Your inability to see the vast distinctions are reflections of your own limitations and emotional needs, not rational logic, or that which is being presented.

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