Pillars of the Christian Faith Demolished III
Consider The Golden Rule
The Golden Rule
(Investigator 120, 2008 May)
All religions concern
themselves (or at least their members would have us believe) with
ethics — a system of values conducive to the harmonious functioning of
the human psyche, and society as a whole. In the Revised Standard
Version of the Bible, we are told that:
"So whatever you wish that
men would do to you, do so to them; for this is the law and the
prophets." (Matthew 7:12).
This passage of scripture,
known as the Golden Rule, has been attributed to Jesus and is
considered a summary of his ethical teachings:
"Our Lord looks
back to what He has been saying in c. 5 about the fulfilling of the of
the Law, and sums up His teaching on the whole subject with this
important practical maxim." (Page 650 in Dummelow, JR: The One
Volume Bible Commentary, Macmillan & Co., Ltd., London, 1911)
Christians think, only their religion has a monopoly on such values.
Fortunately, they are mistaken in this regard as I shall now proceed to
The Ethical Maxims of
NOTE: all quotations
(unless otherwise indicated) that appear below are an abridged list
from the following website:
going to take a pointed stick to pinch a baby bird should first try it
on himself to feel how it hurts."
Religions. Yoruba Proverb (Nigeria).
is the sum of Dharma [duty]: Do naught unto others which would cause
you pain if done to you."
state that is not pleasing or delightful to me, how could I inflict
that upon another?"
NIkaya v. 353
do to others what you do not want them to do to you." Analects 15:23
one who may do for you, that you may cause him thus to do."
The Tale of the Eloquent
Peasant, 109 110. Translated by R.B. Parkinson. (The
original dates to 1970-1640 BCE and may be the earliest version ever
is the sum of duty: do not do to others what would cause pain if done
to you." Mahabharata 5:1517
of you [truly] believes until he wishes for his brother what he wishes
Number 13 of Imam
Al¬-Nawawi's Forty Hadiths.
is hateful to you, do not to your fellow man. This is the law: all the
rest is commentary."
Talmud, Shabbat 31a
imprinted on the hearts of all men is to love the members of society as
nature alone is good which refrains from doing unto another whatsoever
is not good for itself."
Dadistan i dinik 94:5
The nearly universal nature
of the Golden Rule shows that ethical values are not the exclusive
monopoly of any one religion. Indeed, the world would probably be a
better place if the various faiths concentrated on what they have in
common, rather than their differences. This might encourage more
believers to dismount from their moral high horse, and stop persecuting
and killing each other in the name of their respective gods. Then
again, maybe I'm simply being hopelessly naive.
PILLARS OF THE CHRISTIAN FAITH DEMOLISHED
(Investigator 133, 2010 May)
Christian writers with
their usual methods of dishonesty have tried to ascribe "The Golden
Rule" to J. C. But historical records show that this same "Golden Rule"
with some variations in the presentation, but meaning the same, was
presented to the world long before the Christian era or the birth of J.
It states in brief, a gist
of this rule:- "Do
unto another that what you would have him do unto you."
History records its use by
the following religious teachers and approximate dates:
Pittacus — 650 bc.
Aristotle — 385 bc.
Confucius — 500 bc.
Aristippus — 365 bc.
Thales — 464 bc
Isocrates — 338 bc.
Sextus — 406 bc
Hiller — 50 bc.
The above are all heathens
and used the golden rule long before J.C. did in about 30 ad.
Most of the heathen
religious figures and the religious books of the ancients breathe forth
a spirit of love and kindness towards enemies.
There are over 800 writings
from the pens of the ancient heathens setting nearly all the duties of
life and teaching the immortality of the soul, etc, all copied in due
course by the dishonest Christian writers and claiming it as their own,
and that Christianity is superior to other religions.
But my demolition of its
three pillars — Miracles, Prophecy, and Faith — prostrate the divine
claims of Christianity, and does not leave an inch of ground for
Christianity to rest on. It shows up as a fraudulent, false and
fictitious religion, and J.C. as "The God who never was."
Brian de Kretser
Darwin, N.T. Australia
CONSIDER THE GOLDEN RULE
(Investigator 134, 2010
Jesus stated: "In everything do to others as you would have them do to
you; for this is the law and the prophets." (Matthew 7:12) This rule
received its label "the Golden Rule" in the 16th century
Mr Straughen (#120) listed
other ancient versions of the rule to refute some Christians who think,
"only their religion has a monopoly on such values."
The Encyclopedia of
Biblical and Christian Ethics (1987, R K Harrison) says: The rule was not unknown to the
pagan world, occurring in Oriental and European authors alike. When it
is quoted, however, it usually appears in a negative form such as "Do
not do to others what you would not have them do to you."
The New Testament accepts
that Gentiles and non-Christians do get some ethical standards correct
and therefore may, when God's judgment comes, be "excused". (Romans
Mr De Kretser (#133)
claimed that the Golden Rule is one of 800 heathen writings "copied…by
the dishonest Christians and claiming it as their own."
I've pointed out before
that having some words or ideas in common does not demonstrate copying.
Any two books about World War II, for example, have many words and
phrases in common but without plagiarism. It's when whole paragraphs
are almost identical that suspicion arises. Jesus referred not to
"heathen writings" but to the Old Testament, the "law and the
prophets", as his source. One scripture he would have had in mind is,
"You shall love your neighbour as yourself." (Leviticus 19:18)
Critics sometimes challenge
the Golden Rule: "Presumably, therefore, if you would like everyone you
meet to hand you a gold coin…then you must present a gold coin to each
of them, even though they do not actually give you any." (Arnheim, M.
Is Christianity True? 1984) Or if you like chocolate then give
chocolate to others even if they hate chocolate to get more chocolate
back. (Hospers, J. An Introduction to Philosophical Analysis,
1967) Or if you want help when in difficulty, then help the
murderer who's having difficulty escaping the law.
Jesus explained that the
Golden Rule is about giving "good gifts" to the innocent in need: "Is
there anyone among you who, if your child asks for bread, will give a
stone? Or if the child asks for a fish, will give a snake?" (Matthew
The Golden Rule is as much
about sensible, lawful and unselfish "wants" as it is about actions.
It's a guide to responding to innocent others in situations of need
with lawful and caring actions appropriate to that need.
The "Good Samaritan", for
example, encountered a stranger who had been robbed and left for dead
and "did as you would have him do to you" by dressing his wounds and
taking him to an inn to recover. (Luke 10:29-37)
The Golden Rule is also
related to Theodicy (why God permits evil), and to Judgment:
In #104 I argued that the
reason why God (if He exists) allows humans to suffer is our "knowledge
of good and evil". (Genesis 3:22) This "knowledge" is the attitude
everyone has that they are right in their ethics and actions and that
others who disagree (including God) are wrong. Such attitude is not
refuted by God using force but by God saying, "Go for it, prove it,
show me." Then He would have to stay on the sidelines as if
non-existent so that people can act freely without being intimidated by
If God stays away to let
humans prove their supposed rightness then humans become responsible to
do all the good that God would do if he didn't have to stay away. Here
we have a basis for charity, altruism and working to improve living
standards. The Golden Rule is a guide to fulfil these obligations.
Furthermore, if the reason
for permitting evil is to let people prove their supposed goodness,
then the appropriate basis for judgment is for people to be judged by
For all of us
must appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each may
receive recompense for what he has done in the body, whether good or
evil. (II Corinthians 5:10).
For judgment will be
without mercy to anyone who has shown no mercy. (James 2:13, 24)
…all were judged
according to what they had done. (Revelation 20:13)
Let us therefore do
appropriate good to people we encounter, thus following the Golden Rule.