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The golden rule is not practical

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 1/24/2020 Category: Education
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 437 times Debate No: 123920
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (4)
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Fact: It is currently not legal to clone humans, Or at least just genetically engineer humans.

Conclusion: There is no one like you, Neither in the mind and in the physicals.

Golden Rule: Treat others like you would want others to treat you

But your needs differ from others. Even if this person is your twin brother, His environment would still differ from you, More or less.

A servant could just drag the king into the servant's favorite diner in the peasants. The king may not like it.

A sociopath may want to commit suicide. With this logic he would kill others as well. Great this is still following the golden rule. It has extremely many exceptions that it has little actual use overall.


There are exceptions to every rule, But that doesn't mean that rules can't be useful or practical.

In the case of the sociopath, He would kill himself before he killed someone else.
In the case of the servant, Who cares if the king doesn't like it? At least he gets to see the way that peasants dine.

Neither of those situations are where the rule should be used, However.
The Golden Rule shouldn't be used for every small decision, But generally for deciding how to treat others in terms of kindness, Attitude, Etc.

Another form of the rule is "Avoid doing what you would blame others for doing", And another interpretation is "Treat others only as you consent to being treated in the same situation". Those are still the Golden Rule, But they're more practical and easy-to-understand. Using those, The Golden Rule isn't impractical at all.
Debate Round No. 1


I totally agree with you that golden rule could actually cause some good, And it can. But it is possible ONLY if their deeds are exactly the same.

Let's elaborate on the sociopath example: Let's say, Thought the sociopath to his own brain, If I want to die, Others too! And so on, He was charged with murder crime and died before he is even ready.

Go another example. Let's say a meat-eater bought Kobe beef in reserve for his vegan friend. In return was him not taking it. This is still following the golden rule, But only in special cases they would thank you for it consider the "golden rule" should really be transformed into: Treat others the way they wanted to be treated.

Your "King and peasant diner" example is useful after all, But the effect it caused is not even close to the present golden rule. The serves want the king to just eat and have a good time, But if the king think this is too dirty for him, That is a fail of golden rule, Based on differences.

Golden rule requires no sympathy at all. It could only work when the others need the exact same of you.


Marcus George Singer, An American philosopher, Observed that there are two different ways of looking at the Golden Rule:

1. Requiring that you perform specific actions that you want others to do.
2. Guiding your behaviour in the same general ways that you want others to do.

Following the former version may be misguided.
However, In the latter interpretation, The Golden Rule isn't pointless or impractical at all.
Debate Round No. 2


The later one is as of a misinterpretation as the former.

Look, More examples. Let's just say you are a king in the opposing reign, And you want the people to praise you, So you compliment them. The citizens from the opposing nations despise you. How does that do? The golden rule is basically that you do something that may not even be fit to them, Then expect no feedback, Which missed one of the core purpose of the golden rule.

You did not refute any of my reasons. So that is it. Looking forward to your next argument.


I'm not sure what you mean by "The later one is as of a misinterpretation as the former. ", So I'd greatly appreciate if you could elaborate.

As for your specific example, I don't know of any kings that genuinely praise people just for complimenting him.

Let's look at it from another perspective. The former interpretation of the Golden Rule is self-correcting in that if you wouldn't want the Golden Rule to be applied in certain situations, Then you wouldn't apply it, If you're following the Golden Rule.
Debate Round No. 3


The second one is just the first one, But less specific. Anyways, It behaves the same, And the golden rule would require unison in needs in order to at least work. I rest my case.


"The second one is just the first one, But less specific. Anyways, It behaves the same"

No it does not. "Requiring that you perform specific actions that you want others to do" and "Guiding your behaviour in the same general ways that you want others to do" have two meanings that are clearly different.

You have not refuted any of my reasons in your last argument.
Debate Round No. 4
4 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Posted by CDRPenguin2 2 years ago
This argument can pretty much be settled in any intro to philosophy course. The categorical imperative is pretty basic so I'm not sure why its a debate. Yes there are SOME historical philosophers who followed Categorical Imperative in a literal sense. Example a challenge to Kant's position that we must always tell the truth as a matter of Categorical Imperative was challenged by Constant. The short of Constant's position is that in the case of should you lie to murderer looking for his target is you should. Kant's response to this was why not simply choose to not answer? This would not be considered lying in typical sense thus be constant with Categorical Imperative.
In modern philosophy we see this again in hedonistic utilitarian views. The idea here is the minimising of pain and maximising pleasure as a form of utility. In the murder case it can be broken down as so using Felicific calculus. To break it down simply bad things ie violence, Lying, Cheat, Stealing, Ect are negatives and issued negative numbers. Positive outcomes gain positive numbers. There is also extent which is the # of people effected. So we lie the murder he is probably mildly annoyed so gets a -2. Note: numbers are arbitrary in this example, But not inflated grossly. Numbers are determined on intensity think like the pain chart at the doctors. The person survives and sees his wife and two kids +4 (+1 for each). Net utility is. If we choose not to lie the negative utility sky rockets for minimal pleasure from the murder. This is an extremely brief explanation missing a few things, But thats the basics.
Posted by godonlyknows 2 years ago
I wonder if you might be taking the golden rule too seriously. I feel that it's really just intended to be an easy-to-remember general moral guideline as opposed to hard and fast law. It is a motto of sorts, Intended to generate in its holder empathy for others as opposed to it being an actual method for living morally.
Posted by Leaning 2 years ago
'Most of the time, The golden rule seems practical, To me.
Personally I view it as one of those phrases that can be viewed in different way.
How canis states it, For example.
I don't think it's wording 'has to be taken to the extreme when one follows it, Though it could be healthy/enjoyable as a mental exercise to do so, I suppose.
Posted by canis 2 years ago
"Treat others like you would want others to treat you". . . Of cause you can no. In the end it will be "treat others the way you guess is right for you and them. . If you fail. . Do something else or go away. . "
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