Levels of Meaning in the Golden Rule

Journal of Religious Ethics 15 (1):106 - 129 (1987)
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Abstract

The golden rule is most adequately conceived as a series of ascending principles about pleasure, sympathy, reason, brotherly or sisterly love, moral insight, and God-consciousness. The account draws primarily on Christian and Confucian traditions and on studies by contemporary philosophers. Questions are then discussed about the use of substantive moral assumptions and intuition in the rule, its supererogatory character, and the role of its spiritual level. The golden rule is proposed as a principle bearing valuable meanings from its diverse cultural heritage.

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