An Axiom – A Code of Ethics
The Golden Rule Series :: Article 1 :: Problems and Solutions
by Steven Silvers | Jan. 15, 2012
The Golden Rule:
Treat others the way you want to be treated
Sometimes called the “silver rule” when presented as a “do not”…
If you don’t want others to mistreat you then don’t mistreat them
- Greed is a result of selfishness and self-centeredness.
- Lust for power is a result of wanting to (selfishly) manipulate, control, dominate or rule over others.
- This dual problem is sometimes called “the other golden rule” which says, “He who has the gold makes the rules.” In reality…
- He who has the gold = often has it as a result of greed
- Makes the rules = often a result of a lust for power
This universal reality of greed and lust for power, which everyone can attest to, is empirical evidence of a common inner nature we all share. Despite knowing that we all ought to live by the simple but profound universal code of ethics known as the golden rule we have this inner tendency to do what we know is wrong – to not live by the golden rule.
A Postulate: Living according to the simple standard of the golden rule would solve virtually all conflict between all people worldwide for all time.
- So why is it so difficult to treat others the way we want to be treated?
- Why is it so easy to mistreat others even though we don’t want others to mistreat us?
- Why are we tempted to behave so shamefully, sinfully and hypocritically against our fellow-man, and them against us?
The Golden Rule Axiom: The golden rule, as a universal standard of ethics, is embodied in both religious and secular writings in virtually all cultures and civilizations.
The Golden Rule Problem: Also embodied in both religious and secular writings from all cultures and civilizations is the empirical evidence of man’s utter failure to live in peace and harmony with one another, despite knowing that we ought to live by the simple but profound universal code of ethics know as the golden rule.
If anyone needs proof – empirical evidence – that inherent within all men and women is something that renders us predisposed to not do what we know we should do and to do what we know we shouldn’t do, then look no further – this is it.
- All people have a conscience and that our conscience bears witness that the golden rule is a supreme and universal code of ethics we all ought to live by. The golden rule thus forms a foundation for all good laws and governance in all cultures and civilizations and is a standard by which we all will be judged. In other words, our conscience bears witness that we all know that we ought to treat others the way we want others to treat us.
- The “other golden rule” can be thought of in terms of the “survival of the fittest.” This may be the natural case in the animal kingdom, but mankind has a conscience and a higher purpose. We are called to be good stewards. Among other things, this elevates us far above the lower tendency to strive against one another – at least it should. Yet the tendency to be greedy and lust for power exists in us from birth. In other words, there is something within us that doesn’t want to always do what’s right.
- Have you ever noticed that one of the first words out of a baby’s mouth is “mine!” or “gimme!” as opposed to “share” or “for you?” Children are naturally selfish and must learn to be unselfish and giving – they must learn what it means to practice the golden rule. When a child isn’t taught to be generous they generally don’t grow up to be generous as an adult.
- Psychology has many theories about all this (there is not agreement). Why? Because many don’t want to deal with the reality that people are born with an inherent nature to be greedy and to lust for power. Instead, they try to say this is learned behavior so they can blame others for their shortcomings.
- But history and nature itself bears abundant witness that we are NOT born as a pure “blank slate.” Rather, the reality is that part of the slate is “pre-coded” with an inborn or natural tendency to be greedy and to lust for power even though our conscience tells us to treat others as we would want to be treated (it’s like this inner conflict is in our DNA).
- Some refer to this conflict as having a “sin nature” that is subject to temptation to do what we know is wrong, and then to justify our wrong behavior until our conscience is hardened and we become jaded to what it means to treat others as we want to be treated.
Note: The concept of “sin” is not just a so-called “religious” idea. The word sin is often used to simply mean bad, wrong or to do something wrong. It is a term that means one has transgressed against some law or code of right and wrong or good and evil.
- Example: A current headline reads, Italian Cruise Captain Committed Mortal Sin by Disembarking Early (emphasis added) (link opens new tab/window).
The golden rule is not merely “religious.” Rather, the golden rule is a universal code or a standard that exists in every conscience and is the foundation for all cultures and civilizations to decide what is right and wrong. It is taught by “religious” groups because it is a universal truth or axiom (albeit one they credit God with). Secular laws deal with wrong-doers and the general rule is they are sinners if they did something wrong and broke laws or customs.
- There’s an exception to that general rule. When a secular law conflicts with the sincerely held convictions of what a person believes to be a law or principle set forth by God then the follower of God should be true to his or her convictions and obey God rather man. (Granted, it may that their sincerely held convictions are the result of their being deceived to believe in things that run contrary to the golden rule, but that is another matter for another time.) The exception to the general rule is like an appeal to a higher authority, asking the higher authority (God) to over-rule the lower authority (man).
- When you look around you will see that some people don’t like that they aren’t the higher authority – which is further evidence of a lust for power problem.
The Golden Rule Solution: There is a solution – a real and workable remedy – to this problem of sin and man’s inability to keep the golden rule!
Empowerment: We cannot implement a solution to overcome this problem based on our own ability or power. We need help.
We need to be empowered to be able to overcome this problem. It’s like the missing link or the key to success we know we so desperately want and need.
Read more about Solutions in my next article, Empowerment.
Please follow for my next article in the series.[ NOTICE: I was recently informed that ads sometimes appear just below my blog posts and that some look to be inappropriate for this site. If you see any ads on my blog, please accept my apologies because they are not mine! WordPress.com said they put the ads there when the visitors (you) are not logged in. Well, I don’t like it so I’m going to transition this blog over to my own web site. Thank you for your understanding and patience! -Steve ]