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  “Do to others as you would have them do to you.” Many people live their lives by the Golden Rule; but, is it a good one to follow? Let’s take a closer look.
  First off, despite what is intended, not everyone wants to be treated the same way. One has peace loving individuals who keep this rule easily. On the other extreme, one has maltreated psychotics, who also follow this rule by seeking victim-hood by afflicting violence on others. One could actually say that violence driven people break the Golden Rule by committing acts of charity.
  Most people would love to have a million dollars handed to them. If one offered such and was refused by the other, then if one liked to receive large sums of cash from others, he must be willing, according to the Golden Rule, force the acceptance of funds by another. This is, of course, absurd as it violates the will of the potential receiver. If one is in incredible agony and refuses pain relief or to have his life terminated; then one must act according to the other’s will. To act otherwise and follow the Golden Rule, one would be infringing on the other’s right to life and would equate to murder. Because the Golden Rule can be followed by committing either good or evil, it can not be considered moral acceptable.
  The other problem with the Golden Rule is that it is a rule. Rules externally compel one to act a certain way through force, threat, or punishment. It is partly enforced by negative social consequences; however, it mainly is enforced by the threat of eternal punishment of unimaginable agony for even the most minor of infractions. Is fear of breaking any rules or commands the best way to produce a moral people?
  Often equated, but unequal to rules, are principles which are an internal drive to do what is right and good. Some principles would be honesty, truth, love, and justice. One might suggest fairness, love, forgiveness, or mercy as a replacement for the Golden Rule. Don’t get me wrong, these things are great principles, but they don’t quite cover the concepts involved.
  The principle that I would suggest would be that of non-aggression. The principle of non-aggression asserts that all aggression is inherently illegitimate, and that aggression is the initiation or threat of violence against a person or a person’s legitimately owned property. Even actions which are beneficial or neutral are considered violent if they are against the individual’s free will and right of self-determination.
  The Non-Aggression Principle picks up the pieces left behind by the contradictions of the Golden Rule. It logically follows from the recognition of self to the recognition of others and from the value of self to the value of others. Isn’t it time for us, and our children, to stop living by the rules given to us, and begin to live lives that are principally driven?

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