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The Goddess Rule
February 4, 2013

The Goddess Rule, which is my alternative to both The Golden Rule and The Silver Rule, is comprised of the following words:

"Intend to treat others as they wish to be treated."



I consider the Golden Rule to be a flawed ideology.  Here's why:

Each person generally has different expectations of how they wish to be treated by others, and sometimes these expectations can be so varied that they are entirely incompatible.  Taken to extremes, The Golden Rule could be the cause of conflict between people, and may even be viewed as "oppressive."

I have also encountered suggestions that "The Silver Rule" is actually better because it states, in essence, "Do not treat others in a manner in which they don't wish to be treated."  Although it is indeed, better, it is still problematic when someone is in need of help and those who are in a position to help them refuse because they wouldn't want to be treated that way (a somewhat mild example could be the Amish or even Christian Science adherents who refuse to apply certain medical treatments because they wouldn't want anyone doing this to them).

The alternative I suggest is to "intend to treat others as they wish to be treated."

I wrote the following on February 4, 2013 in a newsgroup topic called "alt.atheism.moderated," which provides what I consider to be "the better alternative..."


Original introduction
(Note:  The word "ernobe" is the name of another participant.)

Do you want criminal psychopath Charles Manson to be treated as you?  Do you want others who like to be treated a certain way by a dominatrix to treat you in that manner also?  Those are the credibility issues that I suspect ernobe was referring to.

If I had created the famous Golden Rule, I would have worded it slightly differently:

  • "Intend to treat others as they wish to be treated."

First of all, the word "intend" provides a built-in exit strategy, for there may be a reason why one's intentions cannot be satisfied (legal, moral, ethical, physical, etc., restraints).

Secondly, treating people how they wish to be treated is, by nature, accommodating and potentially more consistent with providing compassion.

(Original posting to Google+ can be viewed at https://plus.google.com/u/0/111567455705780110702/posts/PBxBdRBGi2q; thank you to Shanna Rockey for suggesting the term "The Goddess Rule" on January 7, 2014.)

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