The Golden Rule: Central to Most World Religions

If you drew a Venn Diagram of the World’s Religions as the historian and philosopher of religion Karen Armstrong says, the Golden Rule would be central and where they over-lapped:

Confucianism – “Never impose on others what you would not choose for yourself.” (Confucius, Analects XV.24)

Jainism: A man should wander about treating all creatures as he himself would be treated.”
–Sutrakritanga 1.11.33

  Christianity – “Do to others whatever you would like them to do to you. This is the essence of all that is taught in the law and the prophets.” (Matthew 7:12)

  Hinduism – “One should not behave towards others in a way which is disagreeable to oneself.” (Mencius Vii.A.4)

  Islam – “No one of you is a believer until he desires for his brother that which he desires for himself.” (Sunnah)

  Roman Paganism – “The law imprinted on the hearts of all men is to love the members of society as themselves.”

Taoism – “Regard your neighbor’s gain as your own gain, and your neighbor’s loss as your own loss.” (T’ai Shang Kan Ying P’ien)

  Yoruba (Nigeria) – “One going to take a pointed stick to pinch a baby bird should first try it on himself to feel how it hurts.”

JudaismWhat is hateful to you, do not do to your fellow: this is the whole Torah; the rest is the explanation; go and learn’ Rabbi Hillel

Buddhism: Hurt not others in ways that you yourself would find hurtful. Udanavarga 5:18


About creativeconflictwisdom

I spent 32 years in a Fortune Five company working on conflict: organizational, labor relations and senior management. I have consulted in a dozen different business sectors and the US Military. I work with a local environmental non profit. I have written a book on the neuroscience of conflict, and its implications for conflict handling called Creative Conflict Wisdom (forthcoming).
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