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golden rule
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Definition:
The "golden rule" is an ethical principle which has appeared in various religions all over the world. One of the most famous formulations comes from Christianity: "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you." Other formulations include:

Ancient Greece:
"Do not do unto others what angers you if done to you by others."
--Isocrates (436-338 BCE)

"Refraining from doing what we blame in others." --Thales (quoted in Diogenes Laertius, vol I, page 39)

Bahá'í:
"Ascribe not to any soul that which thou wouldst not have ascribed to thee, and say not that which thou doest not." "Blessed is he who preferreth his brother before himself."
--Baha'u'llah

"And if thine eyes be turned towards justice, choose thou for thy neighbour that which thou choosest for thyself."
--Epistle to the Son of the Wolf

Buddhism:
"A state that is not pleasing or delightful to me, how could I inflict that upon another?"
--Samyutta Nikaya v. 353

"Hurt not others in ways that you yourself would find hurtful."
--Udana-Varga 5:18

"Comparing oneself to others in such terms as Just as I am so are they, just as they are so am I, he should neither kill nor cause others to kill."
--Buddhism. Sutta Nipata 705

"Conquer anger by love. Conquer evil by good. Conquer the stingy by giving. Conquer the liar by truth."
--Dhammapada

Christianity:
"Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them."
--Matthew 7:12 

"Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law? Jesus said to him, You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it, You shall love your neighbor as yourself."
--Matthew 22.36-40

Confucianism:
"Do not do to others what you do not want them to do to you"
--Analects 15:23

"Tse-kung asked, 'Is there one word that can serve as a principle of conduct for life?'
Confucius replied, 'It is the word 'shu' -- reciprocity. Do not impose on others what you yourself do not desire.'"
--Doctrine of the Mean 13.3

"One should not behave towards others in a way which is disagreeable to oneself"
--Mencius VII.A.4

"'Benevolence' means 'man'. When these two are conjoined, the result is 'the Way'.
--Mencius, VII.B.16

Hinduism:
"This is the sum of duty: do naught unto others which would cause you pain if done to you."
--Mahabharata 5:1517

"A superior being does not render evil for evil...
One should never harm the wicked or the good or even criminals meriting death. A noble soul will ever exercise compassion even toward those who enjoy injuring others - for who is without fault?"
--Ramayana

"What sort of religion can it be without compassion?
You need to show compassion to all living beings.
Compassion is the root of all religious faiths."
--Basavanna; Vacana, 247

Islam:
"No one of you is a believer until he desires for his brother that which he desires for himself."
--Hadith of an-Nawawi 13

Jainism:
"A man should wander about treating all creatures as he himself would be treated."
--Sutrakritanga 1.11.33

"One who you think should be hit is none else but you. One who you think should be governed is none else but you. One who you think should be tortured is none else but you. One who you think should be enslaved is none else but you. One who you think should be killed is none else but you. A sage is ingenuous and leads his life after comprehending the parity of the killed and the killer. Therefore, neither does he cause violence to others nor does he make others do so."
--Acarangasutra 5.101-2

Judaism:
"...thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself."
--Leviticus 19:18

"A certain heathen came to Shammai and said to him, Make me a proselyte, on condition that you teach me the whole Torah while I stand on one foot. Thereupon he repulsed him with the rod which was in his hand. When he went to Hillel, he said to him, What is hateful to you, do not do to your neighbor: that is the whole Torah; all the rest of it is commentary; go and learn."
--Talmud, Shabbat 31a

"Aid an enemy before you aid a friend, to subdue hatred."
--Baba Metzia

Roman Pagan:
"The law imprinted on the hearts of all men is to love the members of society as themselves."

Shinto:
"The heart of the person before you is a mirror. See there your own form"

Sikhism:
"Compassion-mercy and religion are the support of the entire world."
--Japji Sahib

"Don't create enmity with anyone as God is within everyone."
--Guru Arjan Devji, 259

"No one is my enemy, none a stranger and everyone is my friend."
--Guru Arjan Dev: AG 1299

Sufism:
"The basis of Sufism is consideration of the hearts and feelings of others. If you haven't the will to gladden someone's heart, then at least beware lest you hurt someone's heart, for on our path, no sin exists but this."
--Dr. Javad Nurbakhsh, Master of the Nimatullahi Sufi Order

Taoism:
"Regard your neighbor's gain as your own gain, and your neighbor's loss as your own loss."
--T'ai Shang Kan Ying P'ien

"I am good to the man who is good to me, likewise, I am also good to the bad man."
--Tao Te Ching

"Do good to him who has done you an injury."
--Tao Te Ching

"He who can find no room for others lacks fellow feeling, and to him who lacks fellow feeling, all men are strangers."
--Chuang Tzu

Unitarian:
"We affirm and promote respect for the interdependent of all existence of which we are a part."
--Unitarian Principles

Wicca:
"An it harm no one, do what thou wilt"
--The Wiccan Rede

Yoruba (Nigeria):
"One going to take a pointed stick to pinch a baby bird should first try it on himself to feel how it hurts."

Zoroastrianism:
"That nature alone is good which refrains from doing unto another whatsoever is not good for itself"
--Dadistan-i-dinik 94:5

"Whatever is disagreeable to yourself do not do unto others."
--Shayast-na-Shayast 13:29

Also Known As: none

Alternate Spellings: none

Common Misspellings: none

Related Resources:

What is the Philosophy of Religion?
Sometimes confused with theology, the Philosophy of Religion is the philosophical study of religious beliefs, religious doctrines, religious arguments and religious history. The line between theology and the philosophy of religion isn't always sharp, but the primary difference is that theology tends to be apologetical in nature, committed to the defense of particular religious positions, whereas Philosophy of Religion is committed to the investigation of religion itself, rather than the truth of any particular religion.

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