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COMMIT: The Golden Rule and Evolution
The Golden Rule may be the mostly widely known philosophical principle. Yet, on a daily basis, many of us violate its spirit. There is a great Chinese proverb that says something like "If you want to hit a dog, you will find a stick." While there are a great many ways people justify undesirable behavior, not a single one of them is based upon logic.
Lookup the world's major religions and see what they have to say about the Golden Rule.
From the group of people that you consider to be friends, name two that are of a religion or belief system that is different from yours. Demoninations of christianity are not included.

I'll be honest and tell you that I'm an atheist. That being said, I don't wish to deny anyone's ability to worship as they please. There isn't inherently anything wrong with religion per se. Well, at least when malicious intent is avoided. And, in that vein, I would like to recognize the one constant amongst not only all religions, but, really, all philosophies and cultures as well. The Golden Rule.

Do unto others as you would have others do unto you.

If we consider the concept of emotions, this rule is implicit. If emotions enable us to work together, then the Golden Rule becames the definition of that agreement. I do for you and you do for me. You don't hurt me and I don't hurt you. As long as we both honor that term, we are motivated to collaborate as long as it the interaction is fruitful. More importantly, and perhaps a better way to put it, collaboration remains an option as long as we don't have any reason to renege on that possibility. That's what the Golden Rule ensures.

Inevitably, religions collide. They don't agree on everything. And that disagreement is always based upon faith. It is never on a quantitative issue. It is always on some qualitative item. Somthing that can't be measured. Hence, the reason why religions conflict. So, why is it then, that while all religious groups can both agree on the fundamental desire to respect everything else, but, at the same time, violate that basic principle? Well, the reason is that people are involved. And people are, well, emotional.

Regardless, this fundamental tenet is required so we can create this ironclad, foolproof system. That's because this concept of the Golden Rule implies a basic agreement that we will need later on. The notion that we are accountable to others. Not beholden to them, but, certainly, when they have a problem with us and reasonably present it, it is incumbent upon us to respect that complaint. If not we are engaging in abuse, the negligence kind. And if we can justify our abusing someone else, there is nothing to stop them from abusing us. When that happens, all hell breaks loose. So, how about we all agree to treat each other with respect?

Finally, you should know that we developed our higher-level reasoning after our emotions. That means that it provided an advantage. Or, to put it another way, that there was a disadvantage in having emotions alone. That, more or less, implies one extremely important rule. That we should use our reasoning to verify our emotions. And when you understand what emotions are - physical sensations based upon a subconscious conclusion - all the more reason that you shouldn't just "trust your gut" or "go with your instinct". Because, you don't know the source. So, unless you are absolutely pressed for time and a decision is urgent, slow it down and use that logic to confirm that what you feel really makes sense.

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