Ethics is basically concerned with people’s moral obligations to others. This is to mean that ethics is a moral standard or a set of moral standards that guide people on the right and wrong behavior. According to the Josephson Institute of Ethics (), ethics is about how people meet the challenge of doing the right thing when that will cost more than we want to pay. Moral standards can be described as principles having their basis on cultural, religious and philosophical beliefs, and they guide judgment regarding bad or good behavior. One rule that is used in defining ethics is the Golden Rule. In its simplest form, the Golden Rule can be stated as, “do unto others as you would have them do unto you”. However, can this rule be considered as a universal standard for ethics?
Yes, the Golden rule offers the most universal standard of ethical or moral conduct. According to the Josephson Institute (1), the Golden Rule is the basis of any formulation of moral duty. It is guided by the fact that every individual has a moral obligation to another. In human nature, people live in groups and are mutually interdependent among them. Therefore, it is likely that each individual would want to treat others as he or she would want them to treat him or her. The Golden Rule is not just derived from Jesus’ teaching during the Sermon on the Mount. It has roots in several cultures all over the world which include Confucianism, Buddhism, Hinduism, Jainism, Judaism, Taoism, Sikhism, Zoroastrianism, Humanism, Islam, and Christianity.
Human beings often put themselves in other people’s situations and that is why they are able to feel other people’s pain. For this reason, they are able to treat others fairly and compassionately. However, there are those who hold an otherwise argument of the Golden Rule. According to Anderson (1), the Golden Rule is actually not universal, it falls short of meeting the sacrifices that society requires, and it does not represent the highest moral standards. Of concern to the rule is that not all people think, act or believe in the same principles as others, and thus one cannot live his life on the assumption that his ethical ideal will match that of the next person.
According to Reichheld (1), the golden rule is not just a pillar of world’s religions and secular ethics, but it is also the golden business strategy. For example, when a company treats customer’s right or gives them great products, they feel happy and tend to be loyal. They are likely to buy goods from the same company over and over again. On the other hand, when a customer feels misled, mistreated or duped, he or she will complain and most likely leave. When employees are given a raw deal, they are demoralized and they may seek employment elsewhere. This shows that doing good to the customer will bring good back to the business. There will be loyal customers who will even recommend the same to their peers. At the same time, the golden rule is regarded as a common method of...