Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

The Golden Rule versus the Platinum Rule

  1. Platinum Rule

    9 vote(s)
  2. Golden Rule

    6 vote(s)
  1. Jul 10, 2007 #1
    Which is superior?

    Golden Rule: Treat other people the same way you wish to be treated.
    Platinum Rule: Make it better than it was before you got there, but not because you are waiting for return.

    In my opinion, the Golden Rule is passé. Doing something good for others so that they will do good for you seems selfish. Platinum rules.
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 10, 2007 #2
    Whats wrong with selfishness?
  4. Jul 10, 2007 #3
    Hi, I think this is interesting. This is my first introduction to the platinum rule. Could you point me to a link where I could read about it, I tried googling but it didn't lead to something applicable.
  5. Jul 10, 2007 #4


    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    Nitpicky point:
    The golden rule is about people.
    What's the platinum rule about? Housekeeping?
  6. Jul 10, 2007 #5


    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    You have completely mis-understood the golden rule, judging by your statement above.

    "The golden rule" is a way of identifying any important rule...


    or like:


    In today's english you could say that what the bible says means "treat other people the way you would like them to treat you".

    This is totally ethics 101. When people don't follow this rule, there is a lot of unbalance in their relationships.

    I think your platnum rule could make "golden rule" status with the idea of making things better than they were when you found them.

    But, in many cases, "better" is your judgement call that may not apply to the next person or environment.

    It was Confusius who first made the golden rule
    "do unto others as you would have them do unto you." He came up with it in China around 500 years before the Christians. Buddhists also embraced the idea

    And George Bernard Shaw once said that "The golden rule is that there are no golden rules".
  7. Jul 11, 2007 #6
    What if some doesn't want to be treated like you think you should be treated?
  8. Jul 11, 2007 #7
    Platinum Rule: Make it better than it was before you got there, but not because you are waiting for return.

    ...who's to say you made it better ???

    I understand what you mean like 'the elves and the shoemaker' but I hate people messing with my stuff...

    ...down on my uncles farm the rule was "leave everything as you find it" otherwise you better not wait for him to return :wink:
  9. Jul 11, 2007 #8


    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    Good point. One could only hope that some would let you know that the way you treat yourself is not how some would want to be treated.
  10. Jul 11, 2007 #9
    Do not unto others as you would have them do unto you, they may have different tastes.

    For this reason the platinum rule is better.
  11. Jul 11, 2007 #10
    the platinum rule pre-supposes some objective form of 'better'. What if people like it the way it is?
  12. Jul 11, 2007 #11
    The platinum rule only exists because you or whomever created it is selfish and if a rule,such as, did exist no one would or should know about it if you actually followed it.
  13. Jul 11, 2007 #12


    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    If the golden rule applied to the practice of invading other countries, the invaders will always be invaded. And I haven't seen a case where this rule has been broken, in the past.
  14. Jul 11, 2007 #13
    You can twist any 'rule'.

    If you're a pacifist, you treat others kindly because you want them to treat you kindly.
    If you're a warrior, you kill others who are weak, and want others to kill you if you become weak.

    If you're a doctor, you can improve on a way to treat the sick, out of concern for others.
    If you're a scientist, you can improve on the delivery system for a biological weapon, in order to help defend your country.

    Asimov's three laws of robotics, although they sound good initially, were always creating problems. Rules are no substitute for thinking.
  15. Jul 11, 2007 #14


    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    And thinking is no substitute for feeling.

    If it feels good to treat others well... that is the reward.

    If it feels good to blow people up, blow yourself up.
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2007
  16. Jul 12, 2007 #15


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor

    ?? The golden rule says nothing about "so they will do good for you"!

    Yes, that's true. But the way you want to be treated is a good "first approximation".
  17. Jul 12, 2007 #16


    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    You're right, it does. But then again, that has nothing to do with the Golden Rule. As others have pointed out, you missed the point.
  18. Jul 12, 2007 #17


    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    Re: poll. My chad was hinged. Can I vote again?
  19. Jul 12, 2007 #18


    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    So true. A first approximation will involve how you feel when your thirsty. You want a drink. If you have any sense of empathy or compassion and you see someone looking dehydrated... the subliminal thought process in your head says "when I feel like that guy looks I treat myself to a drink of water".

    Then, based on that feeling and the assumption that the biological needs of the person you see (that's looking dehydrated and heat-stroked) are the same as yours... you offer them a drink of water and other means of cooling their biological systems.

    If you are inexperienced, ignorant, lacking the skills involved with empathy and compassion you ignore their plight or, in extreme examples of idiocy, worsen their state.
  20. Jul 14, 2007 #19
    One could argue that it is the underlying purpose with the Golden Rule.
  21. Jul 14, 2007 #20
    I'm not sure what your point is here.
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook