Right you are Mattfara. The veil of ignorance is necessary but insufficient.mattfara50 wrote: ↑May 10th, 2018, 11:47 amOk. Thank you for this addition.Belindi wrote: ↑May 10th, 2018, 3:02 am
The Golden Rule is combined with universality in its application. That's to say it applies to everybody regardless. The test of universality is John Rawls's veil of ignorance. As Jesus said "Who is my neighbour"(parable of the Good Samaritan).
'Sins' in the context of religious doctrines are the breaking of commands from a deity who personifies a moral system which values tradition over knowledge.
Let me write out the thought process of the zealot applying the GR as if it were my own:
I believe that homosexual activity is inherently, universally sinful when performed by humans. I imagine a hypothetical: I am an LGBT person who desires homosexual activity. In that case, I would be less sinful if other people suppressed my urges. I am grateful for their help in protecting my immortal soul. Now that the hypothetical is finished, I feel justified, by the lights of the GR, to suppress LGBT interests. The veil of ignorance is no defense in this case, unless it presupposes some prior moral standard.
Moreover, merely labeling a religious doctrine a traditional moral system does nothing to show, objectively, that it is missing the moral mark. A moral system is not flawed by virtue of its being traditional (though the probability is much, much higher in my opinion).
The parable of the Good Samaritan stands, however. The Samaritan freed the injured man from his helplessness. Besides universality there is one other augmentation of the Golden Rule. That is the criterion of freedom. The man who is free to choose who he is is closer to the good than the man who is subject to prejudice and scientifically wrong beliefs.
Is it right to be so paternalistic as to intervene to free a man who has been indoctrinated if he likes life as an indoctrinated man? In the parable we are expected to understand that the injured Jew wanted help from whoever would help him even help from a despised Samaritan. However there are what William Blake called "mind-forged manacles" and people don't know that they are the prisoners.
I'm afraid I have to conclude that The Golden Rule , even with the two attached riders, is not an absolute Rule. We all are condemned to choose to be free or unfree. Understandings of God don't help us with the choice, because 'God' can be interpreted as desiring us to choose freely or alternatively to obey His rules. Bringing social reality into the equation might help here. The social reality of God's rules is that these are interpretations by powerful elites and we know enough to be very sceptical about the motivations of powerful elites.