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Saturday, August 18, 2007

Sunday Offering #22: The Golden Rule

"The various religions are like different roads converging on the same point. What difference does it make if we follow different routes, provided we arrive at the same destination."

-- -- Mahatma Gandhi

Shared Belief in the "Golden Rule" (aka Ethics of Reciprocity)

Source: Religious


"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 Dali Lama


Religious groups differ greatly in their concepts of deity, other beliefs and practices. Non-theistic eithical and philosophical systems, like Humanism and Ethical Culture, also exhibit a wide range of beliefs. But there is near unanimity of opinion among almost all religions, ethical systems and philosophies that each person should treat others in a decent manner. Almost all of these groups have passages in their holy texts, or writings of their leaders, which promote this Ethic of Reciprocity. The most commonly known version in North America is the Golden Rule of Christianity. It is often expressed as "Do unto others as you would wish them to do unto you."

One result of this Ethic is the concept that every person shares certain inherent human rights, simply because of their membership in the human race. People are individually very different; they come in two main genders; different sizes, colors, and shapes; many races; three sexual orientations; and different degrees of ability. They follow many religious and economic systems, speak many languages, and follow many different cultures. But there is growing consensus that all humans are equal in importance. All should enjoy basic human rights. The United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) is one manifestation of this growing worldwide consensus.

In our opinion (Religious the greatest failure of organized religion is its historical inability to convince their followers that the Ethic of Reciprocity applies to all humans, not merely to fellow believers. It is our belief that religions should stress that their membership use their Ethic of Reciprocity when dealing with persons of other religions, the other gender, other races, other sexual orientations, etc. Only when this is accomplished will religiously-related oppression, mass murder and genocide cease.

(Religious copyright notice)


Youtube: "The Golden Rule" An overview of the many cultures which came up with the golden rule independent of Christianity and in many cases before Christianity. This video gives the examples of the Golden Rule in many cultures. Watch and enjoy!!

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