The Golden Rule or ethic of reciprocity is a maxim, ethical code or morality that essentially states either of the following:
• (Positive form of Golden Rule): One should treat others as one would like others to treat oneself.
• (Negative form of Golden Rule): One should not treat others in ways that one would not like to be treated (also known as the Silver Rule).
This concept describes a "reciprocal", or "two-way", relationship between one's self and others that involves both sides equally, and in a mutual fashion.
This concept can be explained from the perspective of psychology, philosophy, sociology and religion. Psychologically, it involves a person empathizing with others. Philosophically, it involves a person perceiving their neighboour as also "an I" or "self." Sociologically, this principle is applicable between individuals, between groups, and also between individuals and groups. (For example, a person living by this rule treats all people with consideration, not just members of his or her in-group). Religion is an integral part of the history of this concept.
As a concept, the Golden Rule has a history that long predates the term "Golden Rule", or "Golden law", as it was called from the 1670s. As a concept of "the ethic of reciprocity," it has its roots in a wide range of world cultures, and is a standard way that different cultures use to resolve conflicts. It has a long history, and a great number of prominent religious figures and philosophers have restated its reciprocal, "two-way" nature in various ways (not limited to the above forms).
Rushworth Kidder discusses the early contributions of Confucianism (551–479 BC). Kidder notes that this concept's framework appears prominently in many religions, including "Hinduism, Buddhism, Taoism, Zoroastrianism, and the rest of the world's major religions". According to Greg M. Epstein, " 'do unto others' ... is a concept that essentially no religion misses entirely." Simon Blackburn also states that...