The Golden Rule from the Sermon on the Mount in the Bible instructs: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you”. This is generally acclaimed as a rule of great wisdom and significant social impact. But the widespread popularity of the rule is accompanied by vagueness concerning its interpretations. Given the authority of Jesus, there is one interpretation of particular interest. The Golden Rule differs from what has been called the silver rule, the principle of reciprocal balance advocated by Confucius, Cicero and others. The Golden Rule does not advocate reciprocity, but generosity also toward persons who behave egoistically without restraint. Is this a good social rule? How should we explain the rationale behind such a radical suggestion? The article concludes that the Golden Rule loses its rationale without religious assumptions about a life after death, and is a destructive thesis for business ethics.
"The Golden Rule of Benevolence versus the Silver Rule of Reciprocity,"
Journal of Religion and Business Ethics:
Vol. 3, Article 2.
Available at: http://via.library.depaul.edu/jrbe/vol3/iss1/2