Why I don't like "The Golden Rule" maxim

"One should not treat others in ways that one would not like to be treated"

It's a maxim from BC times (around 1800BC if I recall) and I don't like it very much.

It's even in the bible, in Leviticus; "Love thy neighbour as thyself" as a more positive spin on the old maxim.

I "get" it. It's platitudinal basis is okay in that it's the absolute minimum a person should base their morals on but it bothers me. It bothers me because if anything in the past year of activist/politics/media has shown us all, it's that this level of empathy isn't enough anymore.

It simply glosses over the issue at hand, people generally want to be treated with care and attention but the way I want to be treated is the same as you might want to be treated. Maybe my bravado is broader than yours and the way I want to be treated (or could possibly be treated by the sociopathic) is disproportionate to the way you might want to be treated.

I think we should update this maxim to;

"One should treat others the way they wish to be treated"

This requires empathy though, I think this is why the current maxim works because I secretly think most people are inwardly narcissistic and it's easier to treat others how we want to be treated rather than how they want to be treated.

Maybe it's age is showing through, maybe it's verbiage is just antiquated...


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