The Golden Rule

golden rule

The Golden Rule or ethic of reciprocity is an ethical code: One should treat others as one would like others to treat oneself. It is arguably the basis for the modern concept of human rights, in which each individual has a right to just treatment, and a reciprocal responsibility to ensure justice for others. A key element of the Golden Rule is that a person attempting to live by this rule treats all people with consideration, not just members of his or her in-group.

The ethic of reciprocity was present in certain forms in the philosophies of ancient Babylon, Egypt, Persia, India, Greece, Judea, and China. Examples of statements that mirror the Golden Rule appear in Ancient Egypt, for example in the story of ‘The Eloquent Peasant’ which is dated to the Middle Kingdom of Egypt (c. 2040–1650 BCE): ‘Now this is the command: Do to the doer to cause that he do.’ The label ‘golden’ is believed to have been applied by Confucius (551–479 BCE).

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