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Every Religion Has a Golden Rule

Updated on November 10, 2017
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Rev. Margaret Minnicks loves writing interesting things and sharing her writing with others.

The Golden Rule: Man's Relationship to Man

Most religions differ in the Deity they worship, their beliefs, their practices, and their sacred writings. However, there is one thing that ALL religions have in common. They all have a Golden Rule or Ethic of Reciprocity. It is often one statement that summarizes the general principles of ethics. The Golden Rule involves man's relationship to man.

The Golden Rule in all religions might be stated in a different way, but in essence, it says that each person should treat others in a fair, decent and respectable manner.

The Ethic of Reciprocity

Every person should be respected and treated fairly because we are all equal in importance and all people should enjoy human rights.

The Ethic of Reciprocity applies to all humans. It is not not limited just for people who are in the same church or religion or who have the same beliefs as you.

Two Places in the Bible

The Golden Rule is to "do to others what you would have them do to you." This simply means to treat others the same way you yourself would like to be treated. It is called the "golden" rule because there is much value in having this kind of respect and caring attitude for one another.

The words "The Golden Rule" do not appear in the Bible. However, the concept is there. In that respect "The Golden Rule" is like "The Great Commission," "Trinity" and "Rapture." These words do not appear in the Bible either; however, the concept is clearly understood in each case.

The Golden Rule in Christianity is found in two places in the Bible:

  1. Matthew 7:12 - Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets. (KJV)
  2. Luke 6:31 - And just as you want men to do to you, you also do to them likewise. (KJV)

The Golden Rule: A Universal Ethic

All things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye so to them; for this is the law and the prophets 
Matthew 7:12 ; Luke 6:31
Do not do to others what you would not like yourself. Then there will be no resentment against you, either in the family or in the state.  
  Analects 12:2
Hurt not others in ways that you yourself would find hurtful 
 Udana-Varga 5,1
One should not behave towards others in a way which is disagreeable to oneself. This is the essence of morality. All other activities are due to selfish desire.
Mahabharata 5,1517
No one of you is a believer until he desires for his brother that which he desires for himself.
What is hateful to you, do not do to your fellowman. This is the entire Law; all the rest is commentary.
Talmud, Shabbat 3id
Regard your neighbor’s gain as your gain, and your neighbor’s loss as your own loss.
Tai Shang Kan Yin P’ien
That nature alone is good which refrains from doing another whatsoever is not good for itself.
Dadisten-I-dinik, 94,5
A man should wander about treating all creatures as he himself would be treated.  
Sutrakritanga 1.11.33 
Try your best to treat others as you would wish to be treated yourself, and you will find that this is the shortest way to benevolence.  
Mencius VII.A.4 

Active and Passive Form

The moral code in every religion can be written or stated in either the active form or in the passive form.

  • Active Form: Do to others what you would have them do to you.
  • Passive Form: Don't do to others what you would not have them do to you.

Technically, both the active and passive forms say the same thing; however, in the active form you are doing. In the passive form, you are NOT doing.

Dalai Lama says,"Every religion emphasizes human improvement, love, respect for others, sharing other people's suffering. On these lines, every religion had more or less the same viewpoint and the same goal."

The Golden Rule

Even though the Golden Rule in Christianity requires you to DO SOMETHING, the Golden Rule in the other religions prohibits you from doing something unfavorably to others.

Christianity: Do unto others what you want them to do unto you.\

Others: Don't do to others what you don't want done to you.

With the other religions, all that is required is that you don't harm other people. In Christianity, what is required is that you show kindness, love, fairness, and compassion to others.

When you don't know how to respond to others, treat them as you yourself would like to be treated, and it is unlikely you will ever do the wrong thing


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    • Dee aka Nonna profile image

      Dee aka Nonna 3 years ago

      Enjoyed this hub. The golden rule, if practiced, regardless of the religion would bring us closer to peace on earth than anything else. The Golden Rule, to me, just mean we love and respect each other as human beings.

    • quicksand profile image

      quicksand 3 years ago

      I like the way Taoism puts it. :)

    • revmjm profile image

      Margaret Minnicks 6 years ago from Richmond, VA

      Wilderness, thanks for reading and responding. No objection to your linking this article. After all, "we are to do unto others as we would have them do unto us."

    • wilderness profile image

      Dan Harmon 6 years ago from Boise, Idaho

      A very well though hub with great information. Thank you.

      Now if we could only get the world to abide by this important rule in spirit rather then their own limited interpretation that so often is no rule at all.

      Unless you object, I have linked to this hub from one of my own that concerns the golden rule.

    • revmjm profile image

      Margaret Minnicks 6 years ago from Richmond, VA

      Claudin_Dayo, thanks for reading and for commenting.

    • Claudin_Dayo profile image

      Claudin_Dayo 6 years ago from Southeast Asia

      This was such an amusing hub! =)

      i liked it

    • profile image

      Marcella Glenn 6 years ago from PA

      Congrats on your 100th hub!

    • revmjm profile image

      Margaret Minnicks 6 years ago from Richmond, VA

      capncrunch, I really appreciate your reading and responding to my article "Every Religion Has a Golden Rule."

    • capncrunch profile image

      capncrunch 6 years ago from New Orleans

      Nice hub. I like learning information from different sources. I enjoyed the references of these different religions you shared.

    • revmjm profile image

      Margaret Minnicks 6 years ago from Richmond, VA

      Spirit Whisperer, thanks for referring the article by Starty O Brian. I read it, left a comment and signed up to follow the hubber.

    • Spirit Whisperer profile image

      Xavier Nathan 6 years ago from Isle of Man

      Great hub with a great message. You ha e a big heart and it shines through your writing. I just finished reading a hub by someone who seems to share our views Slarty O Brian

      and I don't believe in coincidences. Keep them coming. Voted up an awesome.Thank you. You now have a new follower.

    • revmjm profile image

      Margaret Minnicks 6 years ago from Richmond, VA

      Treasuresofheaven, dearabbysmom and FaithDream: Thanks for reading and responding to "The Golden Rule" article.

      I teach a Major World Religion course so having the information for the chart was no problem. I love using the table capsule. I have used that capsule in quite a few of my 100 hubs. (Had to get that in.) However, I don't believe I've ever seen it on anybody else's hub.

    • FaithDream profile image

      FaithDream 6 years ago from (Midwest) USA

      Congrats on your 100th amazing hub. The golden rule application, stunning. I like how you did the chart comparison.

      Thanks for applying the golden rule concept. Great work!

    • dearabbysmom profile image

      dearabbysmom 6 years ago from Indiana

      Very interesting and informative hub, and no accident the golden rule is universal. If only the world would embrace it!

    • Treasuresofheaven profile image

      Sima Ballinger 6 years ago from Michigan

      Very nice hub and Congratulations on your 100th Hub! Wow, what an accomplishment in a short 7 weeks.

      Let's celebrate - Yahoo!!!! Hooray!!!

      Golden Rule - One to Bookmark. Thanks!