Golden rule

Golden Rule of Ethics (Goethe) new
A quote label, from Libb Thims' favorite quotes page, the phrase "golden rule of ethics" added on to Goethe's famous "moral symbols" saying.
In ethics, golden rule is []

In 1956, Judson Herrick, in his The Evolution of Human Nature, sited the golden rule as follows: [1]

“It follows that the discovery of what is good for us, i.e. what is ‘right’ conduct, is a scientific problem, which can be solved only on factual evidence. This evidence has long been available. Five-hundred years before Christ, Confucius laid down this rule: ‘do not do unto others what you would not have others do unto you’. This, as he said, is a fundamental principle of all other good rules of conduct. The closer we follow this ‘golden rule’, the more stable and efficient is our culture, a fact confirmed by abundant historical evidence.”

Herrick then cites the following definition of an "educated person" by social scientist Kermit Eby: [2]

“An ‘educated man’ is one who can see the consequences of his acts in the sum total of their relationships. The relationships that are the most significant for human conduct are those with other people, and in the present state of world-wide communication this means all the people there are. The isolationist (in family, church, or state) is not an educated man, however learned he may be.”

In modern terms, the educated mindset, who sees the sum of their acts in the sum total of their relationships (relationships seen in chemical reaction terms), these seen in terms of the bigger picture of universal operation, as this knowledge presents itself to us, therein begins to see a physico-chemical sort of golden rule of morality, so to say.

In 2016, Libb Thims, in his Smart Atheism: for Kids, penned a draft chapter entitled “Golden Rule Plus”, the abstract of which is: [3]

Smart atheists should aim to follow the golden rule, but also be keen to the fact that gold [Au] only selectively follows the golden rule.”

The golden rule, in other words, is a good secular ethics fallback rule-of-thumb, but the sharp person needs also to heed the fact that humans are reactive chemical species whose treatment of others, will, invariably, in the end, follow natures dictated by "moral symbols" of physico-chemical sciences, as Goethe (1809) pointed; if, said another way, one tries to follow the golden rule to the point of "unnaturalness", only ethical confusion will abound.

1. Herrick, C. Judson. (1956). The Evolution of Human Nature (abs) (pgs. 222-23). University of Texas Press.
2. (a) Eby, Kermit. (1951). "Life is My Laboratory", University of Chicago Magazine, 45(5):14-17.
(b) Herrick, C. Judson. (1956). The Evolution of Human Nature (abs) (pg. 225). University of Texas Press.
3. Thims, Libb. (2016). Smart Atheism: For Kids (pdf | 309-pgs) (§12: Golden Rule Plus, pgs. 231-36. Publisher.

External links
‚óŹ Golden Rule – Wikipedia.

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