Doing Unto Others

Dave Killion — August 20, 2012

Most people are aware of the Golden Rule ; ‘Do unto others as you would have them do unto you’. But did you know there is also;

– A Silver Rule; Do not do unto others as you would not have them do unto you.

– A Bronze Rule; Do unto others as they have done unto you.

– A Copper Rule; Do unto others as you expect they will do unto you.


– A Tin/Iron Rule; Do unto others before they do unto you.

Ask most people what the Golden Rule means, and I expect many of them will have elements of the Silver Rule incorporated into their definitions. This is a problem. By lumping the two notions together, we lose sight of the fact that transgressing one of these rules is much, much worse than transgressing the other. When we fail to follow the Golden Rule, although we may not be as generous and noble as we would like to be, at least we know we didn’t hurt anybody. But if we fail to follow the Silver Rule, we do hurt people. That’s an oversight libertarians might do well to correct.

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