The Golden Rule
The “Golden Rule” states that one should do unto others as he would like them to do unto him. This may be the best piece of evidence for a universal absolute moral code. Just about every religion in existence exhorts their followers to practice this simple ideal. A few examples are listed below:
Buddhism (500 BCE)
Hurt not others in ways you yourself would find hurtful.
— Udana-Varga, 5, 18
Christianity (50 CE)
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.
— Matthew 7:12
Confucianism (600 BCE)
Surely it is the maxim of loving-kindness: Do not unto other that you would not have them do unto you.
— Analects, 15, 23
Islam (622 CE)
No one of you is a believer until he desires for his brother that which he desires for himself.
— Imam An-Nawawi’s 40 Hadiths, 13
Hinduism (1500 BCE)
This is the turn of duty; do naught unto others which could cause you pain if done to you.
— Mahabharata, 5, 1517
Judaism (1800 BCE)
What is harmful to you, do not to your fellow men. That is the entire Law; all the rest is commentary.
— Talmud, Shabbat, 312
Taoism (300 BCE)
Regard your neighbor’s gain as your own gain and your neighbor’s loss as your own loss.
— T’sai Shang Kan Ying P’ien
Zoroastrianism (600 BCE)
That nature alone is good which refrains from doing unto another whatsoever is not good for itself.
— Didistan-i-dinik, 94, 5
If this stricture were limited to only the Abrahamic faiths – and possibly Zoroastrianism – I would write it off as nothing of note. Each of those faiths builds upon its predecessor. The Golden Rule is not so limited however. Even religions and philosophies with little or connection or exposure to the Abrahamic faiths include essentially the same stricture.
While this alone is not proof, it seems to be enough evidence to support postulating a universal absolute morality.
Tags: Ethics & Morality | Philosophy | Religion | Theology