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The Golden Rule


At the end of 2009 I would like to quote 'Unexamined Assumptions', a subpart of a chapter called Falsity, from the interesting on-line book :

On the Preservation of Species

A Logical Argument in Support of a Rational Basis for Community including Necessary and Sufficient Conditions for Sustainable Happiness for All Sentient Beings in a Hypothetical World

1989 - 2007 , by Thomas L Wayburn

Unexamined Assumptions
We think we know almost everything; what we actually know is almost nothing – and most of that is false. The most pernicious type of ignorance is belief in falsehood. We are ignorant, but our minds are filled with something.

In the beginning, our minds begin to be filled by words, which represent ideas. Next, our minds begin to be filled with notions, i.e., unexamined assumptions, promulgated or inculcated by parents, teachers, government, business, etc. Some of these notions we hear repeated everyday, but others are buried so deeply that never are we aware of their existence. In either case they are prejudices, by definition, since they have been assimilated without the exercise of judgment or reason, i.e., from Latin: prejudicium – before judgment. Some are true, but most are false.

Social institutions are willing to go to great lengths to prevent falsehood from being exposed. Heterodox views are everywhere repressed. The world stands on the brink of the Orwellian abyss.

People who are unwilling to examine their prejudices are said to be closed-minded. The notion that all fundamental philosophical questions have been answered is the ultimate mind closer. The world is filled with closed-minded people and most of them will never be influenced by appeals to reason, but that does not excuse any one of us as individuals from dragging out and examining under the cold light of reason even our most cherished prejudices.

The world may not be ready to give up its myths, but there is no law of the universe that says we cannot understand something merely because our ability to make a living depends on our not understanding it.

As soon as one of our assumptions is questioned or its opposite averred by even one solitary soul, it becomes incumbent upon us to drop the contested claim as an assumption and provide for it, instead, a proof. If the claim be metaphysical, it must be supported by reasonableness, aesthetics, and utility. That’s what I believe. None of us is completely open-minded. I am curious to know, however, why there is such a great disparity between what one can say to an individual and what one can say to the general public.

To summarize, we accept much falsehood for two important reasons:
  1. most of what we believe was learned before we were able to examine its reasonableness critically
  2. we are bombarded by lies every single day of our lives

Adding remarks: The Golden Rule
We've ended up in a society that is aware of itself, but unable to change it.

The awareness has created a 'happy schizophrenic' attitude on an individual level, often combined with an increasing lack or willingness to invest in each other or collective and social initiatives.

There is - without any guarantee- a way out. Live your life according to the principle

'Do unto others as you would have them do unto you'

Try to live up to this principle 'by heart' and not just because of fear. This principle is the leading principle, the Golden Rule, in most cultures, philosophies and religions [Christianity (Luke 6:31), Confucius (Analects 15:23), Buddhism (UdanaVarga 5:18) ], except for the Islam, as it is not mentioned in the Quran. However, a very restricted version of the principle of reciprocity can be found in Imam al-Nawawi's Forty Hadiths (Number 13) where the Golden Rule only applies only among "brother" Muslims.

Still the golden rule is a basic relativistic-logic ethic and one of the most universal moral codes known.

Anyhow, let's go for a better world and start with ourselves....

- Ethics Of Reciprocity
- Versions of the Golden Rule in 21 world religions
- Where is the golden rule in the Quran?

This post first appeared on Selfbetterment, please read the originial post: here

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The Golden Rule