Monday, October 17, 2011

The Golden Rule

Since I'm having trouble focusing I figure I may as well write on a school topic, even though I'm not actually accomplishing a school assignment. After all, if I at least write a school related topic it might be helpful, right?

How do I make ethical decisions? What version of the "golden rule" do I follow?

If I weren't Pagan I would probably be Buddhist, and I happen to agree with the Buddhist idea that, at the end of the day, we're all one.

so the monk says to the hot dog vendor, "make me one with everything"
Buddhist monk saying: so the monk says to the hot dog vendor, "make me one with everything"

(Never mind that this means I technically believe in monotheism rather than polytheism. It's easier for me to think of the gods as separate entities than all being part of each other, so I pretend to myself that I'm a polytheist. Besides, then I would also have to think about me being one and the same as the person sitting next to me on the bus, which is weird.)

So if the person next to me on the bus is part of me (I know, I know, I just said I don't want to think about that. But I'm human and therefore inconsistent, ok?) then that means that whatever I do to him/her I'm actually doing to myself.

If someone has their hands full and I hold a door open for them then I'm really helping myself.

And if I stab someone with a pencil then it's myself I'm hurting.

So my version of the golden rule is basically this: Be nice to others because whatever you're doing to them, you're actually doing to yourself.

I guess it's a version of karma.

I haven't actually seen anyone else explain the golden rule exactly in this way before, but I'm sure that I'm not the only person who thinks this way.


Toriz said...

Well put, and that's how I feel too. I do sometimes slip up (hey, I'm human too!) But I do my best to treat others as I would like to be treated and all that; which is essentially the same golden rule regardless of your religeon. And I do feel bad if I disobey that and hurt someone (e.g. because I upset them by yelling at them, or whatever).

Judy said...

I'll have to study Buddhism...don't know for sure, but I would think that when they say we are all one, they mean one whole, not one entity...

Sarita Rucker said...

Toriz -- We're all human and we all slip up. Fact of life. The trick is not not slip up too often or too badly. :)

Judy -- I thought that one whole also meant one entity. Hmm. I guess I'll have to do more research myself. And there are various Buddhist sects so maybe they teach differently from each other?