The “Golden Rule”: Is Being Other-Oriented a Universal Value? Cultural differences among

The “Golden Rule”: Is Being Other-Oriented a Universal Value?
Cultural differences among the world’s people include differences in language, traditions, food and housing preferences, and a host of other elements. Anthropologists and communication scholars who study intercultural communication, a topic we will discuss in more detail in Chapter 4, teach the value of adapting to cultural differences in order to understand others better. But is it possible that despite our differences, a universally held principle influences the behavior of all people? The question is not a new one. Scholars, theologians, philosophers, and many others have debated for millennia whether there are any universal values that inform all human societies.
The importance of being other-oriented rather than self-absorbed is not a new idea. Most world religions emphasize some version of the same spiritual principle, known in Christianity as the Golden Rule: Do unto others as you would have others do unto you.9
Hinduism This is the sum of duty: Do nothing to others that would cause pain if done to you.
Buddhism One should seek for others the happiness one desires for oneself.
Taoism Regard your neighbor’s gain as your own gain, and your neighbor’s loss as your loss.
Confucianism Is there one principle that ought to be acted on throughout one’s whole life? Surely it is the principle of loving-kindness: do not do unto others what you would not have them do unto you.
Zoroastrianism That nature alone is good that refrains from doing unto another whatsoever is not good for itself.
Judaism What is hateful to you, do not do to others. That is the entire law: all the rest is but commentary.
Islam No one of you is a believer until he desires for his brother that which he desires for himself.
Christianity Do unto others as you would have others do unto you.
Do you find this list of variations on the Golden Rule from different world religions convincing evidence that being other-oriented is a universal value? Should additional underlying values or principles, such as how the poor or the elderly should be treated, inform our interactions with others?