Hillel and Confucius: The prescriptive formulation of the golden rule in the Jewish and Chinese Confucian ethical traditions

Download Edit this record How to cite View on PhilPapers
Abstract
In this article, the Golden Rule, a central ethical value to both Judaism and Confucianism, is evaluated in its prescriptive and proscriptive sentential formulations. Contrary to the positively worded, prescriptive formulation – “Love others as oneself” – the prohibitive formulation, which forms the injunction, “Do not harm others, as one would not harm oneself,” is shown to be the more prevalent Judaic and Confucian presentation of the Golden Rule. After establishing this point, the remainder of the article is dedicated to an inquiry into why this preference between the two Golden-Rule-formulations occurs. In doing so, this article discovers four main benefits to the proscriptive formulations: I) harm-doing, as opposed to generalizable moral goodness, is easier for individuals to subjectively comprehend II) the prevention of harm-doing is the most fundamental ethical priority III) the proscriptive formulation preserves self-directed discovery of what is good, thus preserving moral autonomy IV) individuals are psychologically pre-disposed toward responding to prohibitions rather than counsels of goodness.
PhilPapers/Archive ID
ROBHAC-2
Revision history
Archival date: 2016-05-01
View upload history
References found in this work BETA
The Golden Rule.Singer, Marcus G.

View all 10 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Add more citations

Added to PP index
2010-08-10

Total views
213 ( #13,663 of 39,660 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
77 ( #5,555 of 39,660 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads since first upload
This graph includes both downloads from PhilArchive and clicks to external links.