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Problems with the Golden Rule

OberHerr
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1/20/2012 1:29:34 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 1/20/2012 1:28:42 AM, Wallstreetatheist wrote:
Are there problems with the Golden Rule and the Silver Rule?

What are the Golden and Silver Rule?
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Wnope
Posts: 6,924
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1/20/2012 1:43:46 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 1/20/2012 1:29:34 AM, OberHerr wrote:
At 1/20/2012 1:28:42 AM, Wallstreetatheist wrote:
Are there problems with the Golden Rule and the Silver Rule?

What are the Golden and Silver Rule?

Golden Rule- Do unto others as you would have them do unto you

Silver Rule- Do unto others, then run.
FREEDO
Posts: 21,057
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1/20/2012 1:47:46 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
I highly believe in the Golden Rule. We should treat others as we wish to be treated.

I'm also a sadomasochist. There is nothing more erotic to me than being stabbed repeatedly.
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Maikuru
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1/20/2012 2:19:43 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 1/20/2012 1:47:46 AM, FREEDO wrote:
I highly believe in the Golden Rule. We should treat others as we wish to be treated.

I'm also a sadomasochist. There is nothing more erotic to me than being stabbed repeatedly.

Did you get that from Hitchens? He said something so similar once but I can't remember where. I'd love to have the clip.
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GeoLaureate8
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1/20/2012 2:22:55 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 1/20/2012 1:47:46 AM, FREEDO wrote:
I highly believe in the Golden Rule. We should treat others as we wish to be treated.

I'm also a sadomasochist. There is nothing more erotic to me than being stabbed repeatedly.

Typical criticism of the golden rule.

However, a sound version of the golden rule isnt action based, but rather intention based and consequence base. We cant always know what people deem to be undesirable, but that lack of knowledge doesnt mean that the golden rule isnt a good principle to abide by.

Btw, no one wants to be stabbed. Sadomasochists like tolerable pain.
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Ren
Posts: 7,102
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1/20/2012 11:30:12 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 1/20/2012 2:22:55 AM, GeoLaureate8 wrote:
At 1/20/2012 1:47:46 AM, FREEDO wrote:
I highly believe in the Golden Rule. We should treat others as we wish to be treated.

I'm also a sadomasochist. There is nothing more erotic to me than being stabbed repeatedly.

Typical criticism of the golden rule.

However, a sound version of the golden rule isnt action based, but rather intention based and consequence base. We cant always know what people deem to be undesirable, but that lack of knowledge doesnt mean that the golden rule isnt a good principle to abide by.

Btw, no one wants to be stabbed. Sadomasochists like tolerable pain.

.
OMGJustinBieber
Posts: 3,484
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1/20/2012 11:37:02 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
Well, it just projects our own preferences onto other people uniformly. It might be good for general situations but one rule is not sufficient to cover the entire field of ethics.
Raisor
Posts: 4,457
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1/20/2012 12:49:19 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
I think most of these criticisms sort of miss the deeper meaning of the Golden Rule.

The golden rule is found across many cultures in different formulations, but I think most of us are familiar with it in the context of the Bible.

The Golden Rule isn't a literal maxim a la Kant- a law that defines what a good action is and what a good action isnt. It is a guiding principle meant for people who are truly interested in leading good lives. It is moral instruction meant to be thought about in terms of what it means to be good.

The Golden Rule can be thought of as just one formulation of the general principle of equality and symmetry of ethical actions. It says "All these people you interact with- they are the same as you. You are all humans and are all valuable. Treat each other as such." It sas that you should value the will and desires of other people just as you value your own will and desires.

I think when you look at different formulations of the Golden Rule in different cultures, this interpretation is generally common to all of them.
socialpinko
Posts: 10,458
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1/20/2012 9:21:56 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 1/20/2012 12:49:19 PM, Raisor wrote:
I think most of these criticisms sort of miss the deeper meaning of the Golden Rule.

The golden rule is found across many cultures in different formulations, but I think most of us are familiar with it in the context of the Bible.

The Golden Rule isn't a literal maxim a la Kant- a law that defines what a good action is and what a good action isnt. It is a guiding principle meant for people who are truly interested in leading good lives. It is moral instruction meant to be thought about in terms of what it means to be good.

The Golden Rule can be thought of as just one formulation of the general principle of equality and symmetry of ethical actions. It says "All these people you interact with- they are the same as you. You are all humans and are all valuable. Treat each other as such." It sas that you should value the will and desires of other people just as you value your own will and desires.

I think when you look at different formulations of the Golden Rule in different cultures, this interpretation is generally common to all of them.

Wow. Was just about to post a criticism of the golden rule based off of assymterical interests but your post actually makes sense. I have been disarmed. Good day sir.
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nonentity
Posts: 5,008
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1/20/2012 9:31:22 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 1/20/2012 1:43:46 AM, Wnope wrote:
At 1/20/2012 1:29:34 AM, OberHerr wrote:
At 1/20/2012 1:28:42 AM, Wallstreetatheist wrote:
Are there problems with the Golden Rule and the Silver Rule?

What are the Golden and Silver Rule?


Golden Rule- Do unto others as you would have them do unto you

Silver Rule- Do unto others, then run.

Hmm I tried to send you a PM but couldn't. This is sort of off topic, but I'm currently reading Theodore Millon's book on personality disorders, and I remember you saying you've done extensive research on anti-social personality disorder.

I came across a quote from a case study of a "psychopath" that made me think of you: "Do unto other before they do unto you" LOL
Ragnar_Rahl
Posts: 19,297
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1/20/2012 9:37:31 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
The Golden Rule isn't a literal maxim a la Kant- a law that defines what a good action is and what a good action isnt. It is a guiding principle meant for people who are truly interested in leading good lives. It is moral instruction meant to be thought about in terms of what it means to be good.

You've contradicted yourself, unless you're declaring that being good has nothing to do with one's actions.
It came to be at its height. It was commanded to command. It was a capital before its first stone was laid. It was a monument to the spirit of man.
Ragnar_Rahl
Posts: 19,297
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1/20/2012 9:38:28 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
Furthermore, if you can't speak literally you shouldn't speak.
It came to be at its height. It was commanded to command. It was a capital before its first stone was laid. It was a monument to the spirit of man.
Indophile
Posts: 1,414
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1/20/2012 10:56:24 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 1/20/2012 9:38:28 PM, Ragnar_Rahl wrote:
Furthermore, if you can't speak literally you shouldn't speak.

Don't talk about quantum physics then?
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Ren
Posts: 7,102
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1/20/2012 10:59:14 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 1/20/2012 12:49:19 PM, Raisor wrote:
I think most of these criticisms sort of miss the deeper meaning of the Golden Rule.

The golden rule is found across many cultures in different formulations, but I think most of us are familiar with it in the context of the Bible.

The Golden Rule isn't a literal maxim a la Kant- a law that defines what a good action is and what a good action isnt. It is a guiding principle meant for people who are truly interested in leading good lives. It is moral instruction meant to be thought about in terms of what it means to be good.

The Golden Rule can be thought of as just one formulation of the general principle of equality and symmetry of ethical actions. It says "All these people you interact with- they are the same as you. You are all humans and are all valuable. Treat each other as such." It sas that you should value the will and desires of other people just as you value your own will and desires.

I think when you look at different formulations of the Golden Rule in different cultures, this interpretation is generally common to all of them.

Love your neighbor as you love yourself.
Raisor
Posts: 4,457
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1/21/2012 12:59:46 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 1/20/2012 9:38:28 PM, Ragnar_Rahl wrote:
Furthermore, if you can't speak literally you shouldn't speak.

Putting aside the fact that what exactly it means to "speak literally" or to "literally interpret" is in itself a convoluted philosophical problem...

Literary technique like metaphor and allegory exist because they are extraordinarily effective means of communication. That is why Shakespeare and Vonnegut and Poe are highly regarded as writers- they have the ability to move readers, create vivid stories, and communicate complicated ideas. Considering that Jesus wasnt writing an ethical tract, he was preaching to common people and wanted to bring about an understanding and conviction, it makes sense for him to speak in whatever way most effectively communicates his position.

Furthermore, almost every major philosopher argues using analogy (at least I cant think of one that doesnt- maybe Spinoza?) or at least uses analogy to clarify their argument or make it more intuitive. So man, I guess 99% of Western philosophers, from Plato to Hume to Nozick, just shouldnt speak.
Raisor
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1/21/2012 1:06:07 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 1/20/2012 9:37:31 PM, Ragnar_Rahl wrote:
The Golden Rule isn't a literal maxim a la Kant- a law that defines what a good action is and what a good action isnt. It is a guiding principle meant for people who are truly interested in leading good lives. It is moral instruction meant to be thought about in terms of what it means to be good.

You've contradicted yourself, unless you're declaring that being good has nothing to do with one's actions.

There are plenty of moral systems that dont define "being good" in terms of maxims. You don't need maxim-based ethics in order to relate being good to actions. Examples would be virtue ethics, the faith based salvation of Christianity, and emotivism.

So I don't believe I have contradicted myself. Jesus was intending to communicate what our fundamental outlook about other people should be, this outlook is crucial to understanding ourselves and others and how we relate and so it is crucial for treating each other ethically. What is important isn't that we treat the Golden Rule like a law, checking off actions as good or bad if they slip through loopholes, what is important is the the understanding it gives as a general principle.

This is a topic I would not mind debating.
royalpaladin
Posts: 22,357
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1/21/2012 1:12:48 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
Raisor's post about the principles behind the Golden Rule is correct.

The Golden Rule has been codified as the ethical philosophy known as contractarianism. I suggest reading Gauthier if you are interested in it. Basically, the main criticism against it is that individuals may not have an interest in dealing in a symmetrical manner with others because they have an advantage in terms of bargaining position, meaniing that as long as we agree that the disadvantaged party does not have to follow any contract as well, we can do as we please to them. Slavery is a prime example of this.
Contra
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1/21/2012 1:17:30 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
Here is a problem with the Golden Rule:

If somebody is a jerk, let's say person A, then person B should also act like a jerk since you are supposed to treat others how you want them to treat you. However, then person B is a jerk, and then person A is a jerk, and if person A tries to be nice, they will be a jerk if they follow the golden rule because person B will still be a jerk.
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Ragnar_Rahl
Posts: 19,297
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1/21/2012 2:34:49 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 1/20/2012 10:56:24 PM, Indophile wrote:
At 1/20/2012 9:38:28 PM, Ragnar_Rahl wrote:
Furthermore, if you can't speak literally you shouldn't speak.

Don't talk about quantum physics then?

If quantum physicists indeed can't speak literally :)

Literary technique like metaphor and allegory exist because they are extraordinarily effective means of communication.
You'll notice I didn't say "Always speak literally," merely "If you can't speak literally you shouldn't speak."

That is why Shakespeare and Vonnegut and Poe are highly regarded as writers
They wrote fiction. Their purpose was to entertain, not make coherent philosophy.

Considering that Jesus wasnt writing an ethical tract, he was preaching to common people and wanted to bring about an understanding and conviction, it makes sense for him to speak in whatever way most effectively communicates his position.
Contradiction. If you are writing to bring about both understanding and conviction in ethics, your purpose is that of an "ethical tract."

Furthermore, almost every major philosopher argues using analogy
Again... You'll notice I didn't say "Always speak literally," merely "If you can't speak literally you shouldn't speak."

There are plenty of moral systems that dont define "being good" in terms of maxims. You don't need maxim-based ethics in order to relate being good to actions. Examples would be virtue ethics, the faith based salvation of Christianity, and emotivism.
A virtuous person will follow certain principles (I don't know why you're using the term "maxim.") Throwing aside one's mind in the name of a sky wizard is an action. Throwing aside one's mind in the name of one's emotions is an action.

What is important isn't that we treat the Golden Rule like a law, checking off actions as good or bad if they slip through loopholes, what is important is the the understanding it gives as a general principle.
If it has "loopholes," the understanding it gives is to that extent false. You cannot simultaneously follow a principle and not follow a principle.
It came to be at its height. It was commanded to command. It was a capital before its first stone was laid. It was a monument to the spirit of man.
Raisor
Posts: 4,457
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1/21/2012 3:17:15 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 1/21/2012 2:34:49 PM, Ragnar_Rahl wrote:
At 1/20/2012 10:56:24 PM, Indophile wrote:
At 1/20/2012 9:38:28 PM, Ragnar_Rahl wrote:
Furthermore, if you can't speak literally you shouldn't speak.

Don't talk about quantum physics then?

If quantum physicists indeed can't speak literally :)

Literary technique like metaphor and allegory exist because they are extraordinarily effective means of communication.
You'll notice I didn't say "Always speak literally," merely "If you can't speak literally you shouldn't speak."

That is why Shakespeare and Vonnegut and Poe are highly regarded as writers
They wrote fiction. Their purpose was to entertain, not make coherent philosophy.

Considering that Jesus wasnt writing an ethical tract, he was preaching to common people and wanted to bring about an understanding and conviction, it makes sense for him to speak in whatever way most effectively communicates his position.
Contradiction. If you are writing to bring about both understanding and conviction in ethics, your purpose is that of an "ethical tract."

Furthermore, almost every major philosopher argues using analogy
Again... You'll notice I didn't say "Always speak literally," merely "If you can't speak literally you shouldn't speak."

There are plenty of moral systems that dont define "being good" in terms of maxims. You don't need maxim-based ethics in order to relate being good to actions. Examples would be virtue ethics, the faith based salvation of Christianity, and emotivism.
A virtuous person will follow certain principles (I don't know why you're using the term "maxim.") Throwing aside one's mind in the name of a sky wizard is an action. Throwing aside one's mind in the name of one's emotions is an action.

What is important isn't that we treat the Golden Rule like a law, checking off actions as good or bad if they slip through loopholes, what is important is the the understanding it gives as a general principle.
If it has "loopholes," the understanding it gives is to that extent false. You cannot simultaneously follow a principle and not follow a principle.

Lol by the style and tone of your response Im going to guess you are a big read of Ayn Rand...
royalpaladin
Posts: 22,357
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1/21/2012 3:19:15 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 1/21/2012 3:17:15 PM, Raisor wrote:
At 1/21/2012 2:34:49 PM, Ragnar_Rahl wrote:
At 1/20/2012 10:56:24 PM, Indophile wrote:
At 1/20/2012 9:38:28 PM, Ragnar_Rahl wrote:
Furthermore, if you can't speak literally you shouldn't speak.

Don't talk about quantum physics then?

If quantum physicists indeed can't speak literally :)

Literary technique like metaphor and allegory exist because they are extraordinarily effective means of communication.
You'll notice I didn't say "Always speak literally," merely "If you can't speak literally you shouldn't speak."

That is why Shakespeare and Vonnegut and Poe are highly regarded as writers
They wrote fiction. Their purpose was to entertain, not make coherent philosophy.

Considering that Jesus wasnt writing an ethical tract, he was preaching to common people and wanted to bring about an understanding and conviction, it makes sense for him to speak in whatever way most effectively communicates his position.
Contradiction. If you are writing to bring about both understanding and conviction in ethics, your purpose is that of an "ethical tract."

Furthermore, almost every major philosopher argues using analogy
Again... You'll notice I didn't say "Always speak literally," merely "If you can't speak literally you shouldn't speak."

There are plenty of moral systems that dont define "being good" in terms of maxims. You don't need maxim-based ethics in order to relate being good to actions. Examples would be virtue ethics, the faith based salvation of Christianity, and emotivism.
A virtuous person will follow certain principles (I don't know why you're using the term "maxim.") Throwing aside one's mind in the name of a sky wizard is an action. Throwing aside one's mind in the name of one's emotions is an action.

What is important isn't that we treat the Golden Rule like a law, checking off actions as good or bad if they slip through loopholes, what is important is the the understanding it gives as a general principle.
If it has "loopholes," the understanding it gives is to that extent false. You cannot simultaneously follow a principle and not follow a principle.

Lol by the style and tone of your response Im going to guess you are a big read of Ayn Rand...

His name gives it away. Ragnar (from Atlas Shrugged) and Rahl (from Terry Goodkind's Objectivist fantasy series).
popculturepooka
Posts: 7,924
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1/21/2012 3:28:44 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 1/21/2012 3:17:15 PM, Raisor wrote:

Lol by the style and tone of your response Im going to guess you are a big read of Ayn Rand...

Yup he's been our resident "Randroid" forever. :)
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Illegalcombatant
Posts: 4,008
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1/21/2012 7:23:56 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 1/20/2012 1:28:42 AM, Wallstreetatheist wrote:
Are there problems with the Golden Rule and the Silver Rule?

All moral systems have problems.

Sure, there is an interpretation issue, some people who tortured heretics thought they were in conformity with the golden rule, what's a little bit of suffering now to save your soul from eternal damm nation eh ?
"Seems like another attempt to insert God into areas our knowledge has yet to penetrate. You figure God would be bigger than the gaps of our ignorance." Drafterman 19/5/12
Ragnar_Rahl
Posts: 19,297
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1/22/2012 3:13:08 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 1/21/2012 7:23:56 PM, Illegalcombatant wrote:
At 1/20/2012 1:28:42 AM, Wallstreetatheist wrote:
Are there problems with the Golden Rule and the Silver Rule?

All moral systems have problems.

Sure, there is an interpretation issue, some people who tortured heretics were in conformity with the golden rule, what's a little bit of suffering now to save your soul from eternal damm nation eh ?

Fix'd.
It came to be at its height. It was commanded to command. It was a capital before its first stone was laid. It was a monument to the spirit of man.