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Kosher Jello Pit for Wrestling In

(edit) I changed the title to more appropriately reflect the conversations inspired by the piece. Enjoy.

Do unto others...as they would be done unto.

(I believe I got this from Jim Rohn)

The Golden Rule - 'Do unto others as you would have done unto you' - is just fine as far as words to live by are concerned. But there's a rule above that - you can call it the Platinum Rule if you like - and it is this: 'Do unto others as they would be done unto'.

The Golden Rule has just two failings. First, it relies on a self-referential point of view to guide one's decisions. It forces you to think "what would I want in this situation"? The other person is nearly forgotten by the time a decision is made. This is the second failing.

The Platinum Rule is more complicated but of much greater value once it is mastered. It is the kindest rule of all. It forces you to really consider the other person's feelings, to learn their desires and motivations, and to forget about one's own desires in the service of the other.

A masochist can exercise the Golden Rule all day simply by going around beating on people. Only the Platinum Rule can lead them to offer kindness instead.

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a Taoist story

from http://www.caroldeppe.com/TaoistStories.html:

Entertaining A Seabird

Once upon a time in ancient China, a disciple was talking with his teacher. "Master," said the disciple, "It is said that all you really need to know in dealing with people is to simply always treat others as you would want to be treated yourself. What do you think?"

"Let me tell you about how the Marquis of Lu entertained the seabird," the Master responded.

"One day a rare and beautiful seabird was blown far off course by a storm. It came to earth in the capital of Lu. The Marquis of Lu was delighted, and made the seabird his special guest. He had performers sing and dance for it day and night, and he presented it with fine roast meats and excellent wine. But the bird was terrified and confused, and it ate and drank nothing. After three days it died.

"The Marquis of Lu entertained the seabird the way he liked to be entertained, not the way a seabird likes to be entertained."

“The welfare of the people in particular has always been the alibi of tyrants.” — Albert Camus

Not to be a niggler (heh),

Not to be a niggler (heh), but your masochist objection to the standard formulation of the rule applies equally to your formulation. If others want to be beaten, tricked, or harmed out of stupidity or out of emotional damage, that doesn't make it right for you to comply with their wishes. Rather, by applying the standard of what you would want, you are on firmer ground at least in knowing that your own state of mind and mental health is sound. At least, you'd know it better than for others, who you would have to try to psychoanalyze in every case to find out what they want from you. And whatever the case, why would you be obligated to do unto others as they want to be done unto...? that removes the basic objectivity from the rule, and would mean you would have to do whatever selfish thing they wanted from you... I want you to give me your money. Should you do unto me as I want to be done? No.

If you're gonna go reinventing the wheel, at least don't add corners.

If someone genuinely wants you to beat them,

the polite thing would be to beat them. Who are you to decide what they should like or what is good for them?

"you would have to try to psychoanalyze in every case to find out what they want from you" - yes! this is called empathy. you should try it sometimes :)

No one is saying you are "obligated" to do unto others as they want to be done unto. It's just the smart thing to do, if you want to get along with others.

The golden rule assumes people are all the same. They are not. The platinum rule recognizes the diversity of human desires.

“The welfare of the people in particular has always been the alibi of tyrants.” — Albert Camus

Well, ok, we can both agree Bill3 made some good points and some

bad points.

If someone says 'shoot me now' and they have 3rd-party validation saying that is their wish, should I pull the trigger? Will it stand up in court?

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Yes, BILL3 made some good points

he usually does. But are you saying you are opposed to physician assisted suicide?

“The welfare of the people in particular has always been the alibi of tyrants.” — Albert Camus

Are you for ?

Are you for assisted suicide of children? I am NOT saying you are, but where do you draw the line.

I am against against it. What about the NAP everyone talks about? Is it wrong to slap a man, but OK to kill him or his child?

that would be up to a judge

These are difficult questions. You did not describe a specific situation. Do you mean that a child wants to commit suicide? Is the child mature enough to emancipate him/herself? If a judge rules yes, then the child becomes emancipated. Once the child is emancipated and wants to commit suicide with the aid of a doctor (say the child has cancer, is in severe pain, and wants to die), then the State should not be able to step in to prevent that. I imagine there would be safeguards in place to make sure this isn't just some whim of the child. Probably, a judge, a doctor, and a psychologist would need to sign off on it.

“The welfare of the people in particular has always been the alibi of tyrants.” — Albert Camus


and thankfully I would not have to lay a finger on them if I did not want to ... ain't liberty grand ?

Life is a sexually transmitted disease with a 100% fatality rate.
Don't Give me Liberty, I'll get up and get it myself!

Well, first of all, the rule

Well, first of all, the rule IS saying you are obligated to 'do unto others as they would be done unto.' That's.. the whole rule. You can quibble over whether 'obligated' and 'should do' mean different things, but that's semantics. If you 'should' do x you are morally obligated to do x, that is the meaning of 'should.'

Secondly, just because someone is sick and wants something that is bad for them doesn't mean you ought to give it to them! Whether that is a beating, or meth, or a bullet to their head... or a loan that will ruin them... or to buy all their possessions at a pittance for them in their time of desperation... or to lead them somewhere they want to go even if you know it will harm them... that doesn't mean it's right. it doesn't matter if the desire is genuine or not genuine, it doesn't mean you ought to do it, as in this rule.

The rule loses all value because there is simply no reason why anyone would go around doing unto others whatever the other happens to want. Few people manage to follow even the golden rule, of treating others as one would want to be treated oneself. But at least that rule has some basis in a self referential standard, something we can actually know and apply. Cases of masochists and other mentally aberrant individuals don't really figure into the equation, and apply with equal confusion in either rule.

Finally, the rule is a rule for how to treat people you don't really know. We already have ample motivation to treat family and friends well out of love. The golden rule is a rule for people we don't know. We could hardly do unto strangers and people out on the street as they wish to be done unto, since we don't know what they would want from us, empathy or no empathy. We have to go with something we know, how we'd wish to be treated. Or some other personal standard of right that we hold to.

First of all,

the rule does not include the word "should," contrary to what you say. The rule can easily be interpreted as a suggestion: "Do unto others as they would be done unto."

Second, who are you to decide whether someone is sick or not? You speak like a nanny government type. You give a bunch of self-destructive examples. If someone wants to commit suicide, what is the moral thing to do? To prevent them, to talk them out of it, or to help them? It depends, doesn't it? If the person is just down from a breakup, you try to talk them out of it. If the person has cancer with crippling pain, you help them end it. In any case, both people are best served if you understand the other person's perspective.

Your self-destructive examples are not generic. What about the generic class of non-self-destructive examples? Let's say you are a doctor and you want your son to be a doctor. Your son wants to be an artist, but you just can't imagine being happy as an artist. Which rule is more likely to cultivate a good relationship with your son?

“The welfare of the people in particular has always been the alibi of tyrants.” — Albert Camus

"Do" and "you should do" are

"Do" and "you should do" are identical, whether as suggestion or as command. Put the semantics down before you hurt yourself.

Nor did I quote the rule as using the definite word 'should,' I merely pointed out the equivalence of the two, despite your resort to semantics mongering which profits no one. Obviously a 'rule' by its nature implies a 'should,' whether interpreted as command or suggestion.

Retreat to semantics is the sign of a woefully losing argument.

Your next point about how the situation determines how you should respond to a person's wants simply confirms my own point. You don't do unto others as they want to be done unto as a rule, you do what you think is right, based upon your own inner knowledge. If what they want is not right, the only way for you to know this is to imagine yourself in a like situation and imagine what you would want from the others. So you're back to the original formulation.

To your final last ditch argument of the doctor, the answer is simple. If the doctor thought about it he would realize that if he were the boy who wanted to be an artist, he would want to be supported in the career path he wished. He would not have wanted to be pushed toward art when he was pursuing medicine, therefore he should not force the son into a calling not his own.

Thus, "do unto others as you would want others do unto you" applies perfectly to this situation, if you pause and reflect a little. In your rendering (misunderstanding), the golden rule is supposed to mean that you wish everyone to do specifically and exactly whatever you wanted at some specific time and place. So if you wanted a handjob, you must give a handjob unto all others. This is obviously a stupid and facile (deliberate) misunderstanding of the rule, which even you couldn't be expected to make.

You are counting on the abject stupidity and lack of reasoning ability in the doctor to put your argument through, which smacks of a deliberate misunderstanding and misrepresentation. In this egregiously poor argument, deliberate misinterpretation would actually be a step up from actually being that stupid, so pick your poison.

You also did not address my point that the golden rule applies not to friends and family, who we already love for deeper personal reasons, but to people we don't know and might naturally be inclined not to care for or disregard. Since we don't know them personally, we can't depend on knowledge of what they want from us or the soundness of their mental or emotional state. In such cases obviously we can depend only on what we would want from others or on some other standard of right we know in ourselves, not the subjective wishes of every stranger we run into.

When you're in a hole, stop digging. Or, dig up.


Your argument per my doctor example goes something like this:
If the doctor were smart, he would pretend to be a boy wanting to be an artist (i.e., use the platinum rule), and then, using the golden rule, he would realize a boy wanting to be an artist would want others to support him in wanting to be an artist. So, put your self in another person's shoes and then use the golden rule. In other words, use the platinum rule.

As far as strangers go, the platinum rule suggests we don't blindly act based on our prejudices, but rather find out about the strangers' preferences. The platinum rule thus puts an emphasis on communication, empathy, and discovery, rather than the pretense of knowledge stemming from our limited experience.

SUGGESTION: Try to shorten up your comments so that a scroll bar need not pop up. This makes the whole thread easier to use. Surely you can be more concise :)

“The welfare of the people in particular has always been the alibi of tyrants.” — Albert Camus

Too dumb to talk to.

don't take your defeat so harshly

Self-acceptance is one thing, but such savage self-criticism is not healthy for your long term self-esteem prospects. Peace out. I'll give you the last word on this one.

“The welfare of the people in particular has always been the alibi of tyrants.” — Albert Camus


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You find fault with what Jesus said!

What a very sad thing for anyone to say!
There are no failings in anything that Jesus taught!
The only failings are with sinful man!

" In Thee O Lord do I put my trust " ~ Psalm 31:1~

Actually -

What Jesus Christ said was, "Love your neighbor as yourself."

That wasn't true because He said it - He said it because it's true. Arguing semantics to "improve" on something that leaves no room for improvement seems to give some people a deeper sense of meaning or purpose in their thought, but the truth never changes.

Others have discovered this secret...

The punch comes at around 21:50:



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hot topic today...


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