We’re all familiar with the classic principle “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you” (or some variation of this). However, many religions and philosophies choose to use the negation of this: “Do not do unto others what you would not like done to yourself.” Now I know these two phrases are logically equivalent. The question is, is one phrasing better than another?
The empasis in the negation of the rule is on restraint, while the classic Golden Rule commands positive actions. While the latter might imply the former, I think the key is in the phrasing. My position is that it is more important to withold negative actions than to perform positive actions. Therefore, the negation of the Golden Rule should be the standard formulation. The reason for my position is that witholding negative actions is a necessary precurser to the giving of the good. So what do you think? Do I have a point or does the form not really matter?
this all assumes the validity of the Golden Rule, which I realize is no given. Any arguments on why both versions might be wrong?