Describe the ethical principle known as the Golden Rule using an example
A principle of business ethic is a guideline or rule which is applied when you are faced with an ethical dilemma, will assist you in making an ethical decision.
The Golden Rule simply argues that, if you want to be treated fairly, treat others fairly; if you want to be told the truth, tell others the truth; if you want your privacy protected, respect the privacy of others. The key is impartiality. According to this principle we are not to make an exception of ourselves. In essence, then, the Golden Rule personalizes business relations and brings the ideal of fairness into business deliberations.
It is found in numerous cultures, religions, ethical systems, secular philosophies, indigenous traditions, and even in the mathematical sciences. And because the Golden Rule crosses so many traditions and philosophies, it possesses tremendous moral authority and reveals a profound unity underlying the diversity of human experience. The Golden Rule also emphasizes values of mutuality, interdependence and reciprocity.
Given its omnipresence across history, the Golden Rule could be described as a universal ethical principle. To reflect on the Golden Rule is to reflect from the perspective of a universal wisdom.
Accordingly, the Golden Rule is not just a moral ideal for relationships between people but also for relationships among nations, cultures, races, sexes, economies and religions. Clearly, the Golden Rule has the capacity to be the ethical cornerstone in developing a Global Ethic as the human family works together to build a peaceful, just and sustainable global society.
Perhaps the reason the Golden Rule is so popular is that it is rooted in history and is among the oldest of the principles of living. Further, it is universal in the sense that it requires no specific religious beliefs or faith. Almost since time began, religious leaders and philosophers have advocated the Golden Rule in one form or another. The following is illustrative:
the Hindu Mahabharata professes: “Men gifted with intelligence and purified souls should always treat others as they themselves wish to be treated”
Confucius summed up the rules of life as follows: “What you do not want done to yourself, do not do to others”
In Bible Jesus taught in the book of Matthew: “So in every thing, do to others what you would have them do to you”
Rabbi Hillel, when asked by a supplicant to be taught the Law, answered:”What thou thyself hatest, do not to thy neighbor. That is the whole Law. The rest is commentary. Go and learn it. ”
It is easy to see, therefore, why Martin Luther could say that the Golden Rule is part of the “natural law”, because it is a moral rule which anyone can recognize without any particular religious teaching. That this thousands-of-years-old wisdom should surface as the number one ethical principle is indeed suggestive of the enduring understanding of how humanity should treat humanity. Some things just never change, it is said.