Jesus said that the law and the prophets are fulfilled if you treat others as  you want them to treat you.  How does that square with how he said most of us have seriously disordered desires and goals?  The answer is that he means that you let God form your desires and treat others accordingly.  That would mean forcing your values on others.

To treat others as you would like them to treat you is based on the idea that if you don’t do this they will do bad to you. It is based on the fear of retaliation. The ethic will only lead to resentment as all “moralities” based on fear do (page 36, What Do Existentialists Believe?).
Some say that the Golden Rule makes sense for if you hate something evil and you embody it you will hate yourself and draw hatred from others on yourself. That is total rubbish as the following example shows. A man can hate his wife cheating on him but have no problem with cheating on her. The Golden Rule fails to ban anything so it is no good. Again the Christians will object that the rule is not about rules but about us whatever we do and whatever mistakes we make retaining a concern for others in our hearts. What it really wants us to do is to force others to do what we like. Concern alone is useless. It is better to do loads of good just because you want to score Brownie points than to do less thanks to concern. So the concern interpretation makes it contradict itself for it pretends to be a moral rule and fails. The same failure exists with love your neighbour as yourself.
Suppose you should treat others as you would like to be treated. Men and women are different. So it follows that the rule will work better between man and man for men know each other better than women can know men. And so with women. It implies the sexes should be segregated.
If somebody does wrong against you, you may accept it and not be hurt by it. Also, the hurt may not appear until the consequences manifest themselves. So to work out the principle you have to ask what the possible results of an action will be and how it will hurt people. The Golden Rule is therefore consequentalist. It does not fit the insane absolutist teaching of Jesus.
To treat others as you would like to be treated presumes that you are a better judge than anybody else about what people should like. Its arrogance and pride and selfishness.
Nobody says the golden rule is useful all the time but that it is useful enough. That is only a question statistics can answer. It is possible the rule does more harm than good overall. The fact that many people hurt each other with bad and good intentions and you cannot see which means you should not boast how good the golden rule is.

It contradicts itself which means any use you get out of it is down to luck. For example, if everybody refused to let others help them so that they could help others then it will not work. The rule is about altruism and yet it is not. So it has no inherent usefulness.

A criminal can say a judge cannot have him jailed for the judge would not like to be jailed. People answer that the judge would be okay with being jailed if he were a criminal and caught. So the rule in this case is “Do not send a person to jail for you would not will to be sent unless you commit a crime.” But considering that people are so corrupt and they cherry-pick what crimes to care about how could anybody will them to send them to jail? And who says the judge has to agree with jailing?

The inverted Golden Rule goes that you must never treat another in a way you would not let them treat you. But it backfires. It would follow that if John wants your wife you should let him take her. To say, "Always treat others as you would like them to treat you", is the same as saying, "Never treat others as you would not like them to treat you."


Jesus made one terrible error, a tautology.  If somebody tells you that you must do good for it is good that sounds deep and profound but it is anything but.  Its just a play on words.  He said that where your treasure is your heart will be there too.  This defines treasure as that which appeals to you deeply.  Nothing is made good by just treasuring it.  If you deny that then if God is your treasure then you are using God as a treasure and it is not about him being really good.  Its a form of greed.  This idea ruins his take on the golden rule.  Its about what you want but what you want is not about being good.

John Maxwell in his Ethics 101 says these are the reasons for embracing the Golden Rule.

First, most people accept it.

Two, it is very clear and understandable.

Three, everybody is a winner with it.

Four it helps simplify moral decisions by giving you direction in difficult moral situations.

Five it is obviously something that should be accepted as valid and to be put into practice.

Most people pay lip-service to it most of the time so that is hardly acceptance. And it is immoral to argue that a rule is right or moral for most accept it. And it is far from clear or understandable or even useful. Nobody is really a winner with it for it requires you put yourself in the place of another but you cannot really do that but guess. It makes moral problems worse for you know you need some lessons the hard way and that means you can use revenge and hate to teach others the hard way too. Making the rule out to be obvious when it is not is just leading people down a dangerous moral path.

Some say the rule is just telling us what morality is about and is not meant to be that practical but is something you can wish was practical. Then it is not a rule but Jesus then did wrong by making it one. The rule is another reflection of Christianity's passive aggressive hypocrisy.


The Golden Rule which wants us to treat others as we would like them to treat us is a failure. Bringing God into it makes it an even bigger failure. The rule exposes the true dark nature of Jesus and Christianity.

A HISTORY OF PHILOSOPHY, VOL 6, PART II, KANT, Frederick Copleston SJ, Doubleday/Image, New York 1964
AQUINAS, FC Copleston, Penguin Books, London, 1991
BEYOND GOOD AND EVIL, Friedrich Nietzsche, Penguin, London, 1990
BOOK OF COMMON PRAYER, Association for the Promotion of Christian Knowledge, Dublin, 1960
CHARITY, MEDITATIONS FOR A MONTH, Richard F Clarke SJ, Catholic Truth Society, London, 1973
CHRISTIANITY FOR THE TOUGH-MINDED, Edited by John Warwick Montgomery, Bethany Fellowship, Minnesota, 1973
CRISIS OF MORAL AUTHORITY, Don Cupitt, SCM Press, London, 1995
EVIDENCE THAT DEMANDS A VERDICT, VOL 1, Josh McDowell, Alpha, Scripture Press Foundation, Bucks, 1995
ECUMENICAL JIHAD, Peter Kreeft, Ignatius Press, San Francisco, 1996
GOD IS NOT GREAT, THE CASE AGAINST RELIGION, Christopher Hitchens, Atlantic Books, London, 2007
THE GREAT MEANS OF SALVATION AND OF PERFECTION, St Alphonsus De Ligouri, Redemptorist Fathers, Brooklyn, 1988
HANDBOOK OF CHRISTIAN APOLOGETICS, Peter Kreeft and Ronald Tacelli, Monarch, East Sussex, 1995
HONEST TO GOD, John AT Robinson, SCM, London, 1963
HOW DOES GOD LOVE ME? Radio Bible Class, Grand Rapids, Michigan, 1986
IN DEFENCE OF THE FAITH, Dave Hunt, Harvest House, Eugene, Oregon, 1996
MADAME GUYON, MARTYR OF THE HOLY SPIRIT, Phyllis Thompson, Hodder & Stoughton, London, 1986
MORAL PHILOSOPHY, Joseph Rickaby SJ, Stonyhurst Philosophy Series, Longmans Green and Co, London, 1912
OXFORD DICTIONARY OF PHILOSOPHY, Simon Blackburn, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 1996
PRACTICAL ETHICS, Peter Singer, Cambridge University Press, England, 1994
PSYCHOLOGY, George A Miller, Penguin, London, 1991
RADIO REPLIES, 1, Frs Rumble & Carty, Radio Replies Press, St Paul, Minnesota, 1938
RADIO REPLIES, 2, Frs Rumble & Carty, Radio Replies Press, St Paul, Minnesota, 1940
RADIO REPLIES, 3, Frs Rumble & Carty, Radio Replies Press, St Paul, Minnesota, 1942
REASON AND BELIEF, Brand Blanschard, George Allen and Unwin Ltd, 1974
REASONS FOR HOPE, Ed Jeffrey A Mirus, Christendom College Press, Virginia, 1982
THE ATONEMENT: MYSTERY OF RECONCILIATION, Kevin McNamara, Archbishop of Dublin, Veritas, Dublin, 1987
SINNERS IN THE HANDS OF AN ANGRY GOD, Jonathan Edwards, Sword of the Lord, Murfreesboro, Tennessee, undated
THE BIBLE TELLS US SO, R B Kuiper, The Banner of Truth Trust, Edinburgh, 1978
THE GOOD, THE BAD & THE MORAL DILEMMA, G R Evans, Lion Books, Oxford, 2007
THE GREAT MEANS OF SALVATION AND OF PERFECTION, St Alphonsus De Ligouri, Redemptorist Fathers, Brooklyn, 1988
THE IMITATION OF CHRIST, Thomas A Kempis, Translated by Ronald Knox and Michael Oakley, Universe, Burns & Oates, London, 1963
THE LIFE OF ALL LIVING, Fulton J Sheen, Image Books, New York, 1979
THE NEW WALK, Captain Reginald Wallis, The Christian Press, Pembridge Villas, England, undated
THE PRACTICE OF THE PRESENCE OF GOD, Brother Lawrence, Hodder & Stoughton, London, 1981
THE PROBLEM OF PAIN, CS Lewis, Fontana, London, 1972
THE PUZZLE OF GOD, Peter Vardy, Collins, London, 1990
THE SATANIC BIBLE, Anton Szandor LaVey, Avon Books, New York, 1969
THE SPIRITUAL GUIDE, Michael Molinos, Christian Books, Gardiner Maine, 1982  
THE STUDENT’S CATHOLIC DOCTRINE, Rev Charles Hart BA, Burns & Oates, London, 1961
UNBLIND FAITH, Michael J Langford, SCM, London, 1982
WHAT DO EXISTENTIALISTS BELIEVE? Richard Appignanesi, Granta Books, London, 2006