Is Christ's Golden Rule not so Unique?


I was reading Matthew and Christ said “Do to others as you would have them do to you”

However now I’ve learned that Confucius and Buddha said the same thing almost word for word.

So does that make the Golden Rule not so special or unique and kind of more like a common sense ideal?


Here’s your answer from the Catechism of the Catholic Church:


1776 "Deep within his conscience man discovers a law which he has not laid upon himself but which he must obey. Its voice, ever calling him to love and to do what is good and to avoid evil, sounds in his heart at the right moment. . . . For man has in his heart a law inscribed by God. . . . His conscience is man’s most secret core and his sanctuary. There he is alone with God whose voice echoes in his depths."47


1777 Moral conscience,48 present at the heart of the person, enjoins him at the appropriate moment to do good and to avoid evil. It also judges particular choices, approving those that are good and denouncing those that are evil.49 It bears witness to the authority of truth in reference to the supreme Good to which the human person is drawn, and it welcomes the commandments. When he listens to his conscience, the prudent man can hear God speaking.

1778 Conscience is a judgment of reason whereby the human person recognizes the moral quality of a concrete act that he is going to perform, is in the process of performing, or has already completed. In all he says and does, man is obliged to follow faithfully what he knows to be just and right. It is by the judgment of his conscience that man perceives and recognizes the prescriptions of the divine law:

Conscience is a law of the mind; yet [Christians] would not grant that it is nothing more; I mean that it was not a dictate, nor conveyed the notion of responsibility, of duty, of a threat and a promise. . . . [Conscience] is a messenger of him, who, both in nature and in grace, speaks to us behind a veil, and teaches and rules us by his representatives. Conscience is the aboriginal Vicar of Christ.50


It seems to have it roots in the Old Testament.

[BIBLEDRB]Leviticus 19:18[/BIBLEDRB]

[BIBLEDRB]Leviticus 19:34[/BIBLEDRB]

Even if it’s not altogether unique, why does it matter? To think that way, or in a similar way seems to be something one could do with help of his conscience.


Of course it is a common sense ideal.
Humans learned and experienced this maxim hundreds of thousands of years ago. Had we not, we wouldn’t still be here. We had to learn to live together and be good and help each other in order to survive!
Many smart, compassionate people–be they spiritual leaders or not–have said and tried to teach this concept.

“Never impose on others what you would not choose for yourself.” – Confucius



Which leads us all off into the whole ‘positive’ (“do unto”) and ‘negative’ (“don’t do unto”) others advantages/disadvantages business. :wink:


Confuscius, Plato, Rabbi Hillel, etc. all said such things before the Gospel. The importance is the divine ought or command. That is to say, that this is a statement by God not to be disputed as a philosophical or logical matter.

The Gospel is not a philosophy or an argument after all, so its importance lies not with what it shares with the philosophers. Some Christians make a last ditch attempt to argue with atheists on an assumed uniqueness of the ‘golden rule’, but this is a very shallow approach to religion I think. Really, the importance of religion lies in its whole narrative.


Christ was the first to phrase it in the positive (“do”) rather than the negative (“do not”).

Read why that matters here:


Our Lord Jesus Christ took the Golden Rule much further…

John 13: 34-35

“I give you a new commandment: love one another. As I have loved you, so you also should love one another. This is how all will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”


It’s good that you’re thinking about the golden rule. In the first place, we’re supposed to obey it, not question it. But, I digress.

Perhaps what you’re driving at, saying that the ‘golden rule’ is no “SO” unique is that it is based more on what the Church refers to as natural law, rather than revealed law. I’m not a big defender of natural law, because like common sense, not everybody seems to recognize it.

But, wise and honest people might recognize the generality of principles that do not fall under the category of revealed law, even if the OT and NT later mention these. So, let’s say, a hypothetical primitive tribe might recognize love and cooperation within its tribal unit, but be hateful and aggressive towards another tribe.

Things are unique, or they’re not. But, in the scope of this thread, where things are relative, thing are more unique or less unique, then we can say that it was “more unique” that Christ extended the golden rule from not only friends, but to enemies as well. That’s more unique, as far as I can tell.


It seems to be pretty wide spread.

Buddha: Consider others as yourself.

Jesus: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Love thy neighbor as thyself.

Mohammed: Hurt no one so that no one may hurt you. That which you want for yourself, seek for mankind.

The Talmud: What is hurtful to yourself do not to your fellow man. That is the whole of the Torah and the remainder is but commentary.

Egyptian Late Period Papyrus: That which you hate to be done to you, do not do to another.

Epicurus: Neither harm nor be harmed.

Confucius: Never impose on others what you would not choose for yourself.

From here:

Further reading Karaniya metta sutta . the Dhamma says.

Even as a mother protects with her life Her child, her only child, So with a boundless heart Should one cherish all living beings;

from here




Mark 12:31 - ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’

While unraveling the mess that was me in the recovery process of AA, I came to see an ‘underbelly’ to this verse.

If I don’t love myself, it is impossible to love others. Or, rather, to the degree that I hate/dislike myself I am not able to love others. I can’t give away what I haven’t got.

The key, for me, was discovering Forgiveness in Confession. As places began to be healed through Christ’s Love, the hurting in those areas stopped - and compassion grew for the unhealed places in others. It’s a process and I’m still not ‘all fixed yet’…but as one AAer put it, “I’m on the verge.”


The so called “Golden Rule” predates Christ by many, many centuries within Judaism.

Here is the actual verse…

***So whatever you wish that men would do to you, do so to them; for this is the law and the prophets. *(Matthew 6:12)

This is a synthesis of Gods law given to Moses and what all the prophets spoke. God’s law was given 1500 years before Christ. The prophets spoke from the time of Abraham.

This is why we have to study the Bible and pay attention to what we are reading. Jesus is teaching the same thing that was taught through the law and the prophets for thousands of years. His teaching is not unique even within Judeo/Christian thought, but “is the law and the prophets” from ancient times.



(Remember Christ is the* Logos* --so in all good forms it comes from him ultimately…)

Here this will be of great interest:

Then Cardinal Ratzinger (Later Pope Benedict XVI!) noted in God and the World (Ignatius Press) that

the positive formulation of the Golden Rule by Jesus “calls forth, so to speak, the creative imagination of love. … in the end this opens up an infinitely broad field within the creative potential of goodness that can be developed…And this real self-giving, with all its creative imagination, with all the possibilities that open up to us, is expressed in a quite practical rule, so that it doesn’t remain just an idealistic dream.”


=adawgj;11857925]I was reading Matthew and Christ said “Do to others as you would have them do to you”

However now I’ve learned that Confucius and Buddha said the same thing almost word for word.

So does that make the Golden Rule not so special or unique and kind of more like a common sense ideal?

A bit of a pun here:


One God; OT and NT
One Faith; OT and NT
One Chosen People OT & Only One Church NT
Circumission for men; OT; Baptism for All NT
Confession to Priest [sins covered over in the OT; Prust acrually forging sins in the NT [John20:19-23]
Heaven Hell & Purgatory in the OT; same in the NT
Charity in the OT; & EXTREME -Charity in the NT:thumbsup:

And so on:)

Thanks for asking: Truth remains truth even if rom the Eastern religions. That does not deminish or lessten in any way it value and truth:)

God Bless,


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