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This lesson explores how all the major religions subscribe to the idea that we should behave towards others as we would like others to behave towards us.
5. To apply The Golden Rule you have to imagine yourself in the exact place of the other person on the receiving end of the action or treatment.
If you act in a certain way towards another person, and would be unwilling or uncomfortable to be treated that way in the same circumstances, then you violate the rule.
To apply the golden rule properly, we need knowledge and imagination.
We need to know what effect our actions have on the lives of others. And we need to be able to imagine ourselves, vividly and accurately, in the other person's place on the receiving end of the action.
With knowledge, imagination, and the golden rule, we can progress a long way in our moral thinking.
‘Not one of you truly believes until you wish for others what you wish for yourselves.’
The Prophet Mohammed Hadith
Muslims are expected to pray five times a day, give charity to the poor and fast during the daylight hours of the holy month of Ramadan.
‘This is the sum of duty: do not do to others what would cause pain if done to you.’ Mahabharata
Hindus believe that serving food to the poor is very good karma. Food is distributed to people at the end of many religious ceremonies
‘Treat not others in ways that you yourself would find hurtful.’
Buddhists understand Sila (morality) in three parts:
Right livelihood – not harming oneself or others.
‘I am a stranger to no one, and no one is a stranger to me. Indeed I am a friend to all’.
Guru Granth Sahib
Sikhs are expected to give away one tenth of their earnings in the belief that everyone profits when their contributions are shared with others.
‘In everything do to others as you would have them do to you.’ The Bible. Matthew 7:12
17. Christians believe that unlimited loving-kindness towards others is perfection of the human spirit, because it reflects the true nature of God.
‘What is hateful to you, do not do to your neighbour. This is the whole Torah. All the rest is commentary.’ Talmud
Jews believe that good deeds are an extremely important part of living a sacred life.
Great value is placed on anonymous giving.
‘One word which sums up the basis of all good conduct … loving kindness. Do not do to others what you do not want done to yourself.’
21. Confucianists believe that you should show ‘good conduct’ towards your family, neighbours and society. The symbol means harmony and righteousness.
‘Regard your neighbour’s gain as your own gain, and your neighbour’s loss as your own loss.’
Tai Shang Kan Ting Pien
23. Taoists believe that the development of virtue is the main task in life. Compassion, moderation and humility are the ‘three jewels’.
If we violate the golden rule, we're violating the spirit of fairness and concern that lie at the heart of morality.
The Golden Rule, with roots in a wide range of world cultures, is well suited to be a standard to which different cultures could appeal in resolving conflicts. As the world becomes a global community, the need for such a standard is becoming more urgent.
28. The United Nations exists to:
carry out peacekeeping operations to end some of the world's most difficult conflicts.
help victims of disaster
protect human rights
make international law
foster economic and social development.
that you are
Secretary-General of the United Nations
Using the principle of the ‘Golden Rule’, devise three simple laws which you will ask all the World’s governments to agree to.
Your group must try to persuade the class why your laws are important.
Can you make the World a better place?
Your class will vote to decide which
laws are the most important.
32. Glossary violate – disobey, go against
global – worldwide, international
resolve – solve, put an end to
standard – norm, measure
conflict – clash, quarrel, battle.
34. Useful Web Links http://www0.un.org/cyberschoolbus/ - the United Nations for children – a comprehensive website designed specifically for children on the workings of the U.N, classroom resources, games and news.
http://news.bbc.co.uk/cbbcnews/hi/teachers/citizenship_11_14/subject_areas/united_nations/newsid_1976000/1976057.stm - what does the UN do for children?
http://www.un.org/cyberschoolbus/modelun/index.asp - set up your own model of the United Nations or participate with other young people and schools representing countries around the world and current debates at the UN – all the resources needed to get started!