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Aspects of the Six Moral Rules


Determining right and wrong in different situations and always taking action can be challenging. For centuries now, scholars, philosophers, religious people, and laypersons have been trying to find the correct and ethical way of doing things. Astronomer Carl Sagan (1993) writes about the six moral rules. He says the ethical rules include: Golden, Silver, Brazen, Iron, Tin, and Nepotism. All these rules have advantages and disadvantages, and a pragmatic person needs to know the circumstances in which each is applicable.

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The Golden Rule involves doing unto others what one wishes them to do unto them. I prefer the golden Rule because religious doctrines support it. Philosophers and Psychologists support the Golden Rule, arguing it motivates the other party to do good. I prefer the Golden Rule over the Silver Rule because it is a proactive approach while the Silver Rule is reactive. I prefer the Golden Rule over the Brazen Rule in that the latter is likely to breed violence and vengeance. Brazen Rule is an eye for an eye rule, while the golden rule advocates turning the other cheek as Jesus taught.

On the other hand, when I compare the Golden Rule to the Iron Rule, I choose the Golden Rule. Iron Rule Iron Rule advocates that one should do to others as they want before they reciprocate. Doing wrong to people who have is not morally right in my view. The world would be much better if all people used the Golden Rule. People should not jump to preconceived conclusions that others will do the bad. It should be noted that believing that others will harm one almost definitely results in them doing so while believing they will do good surprisingly results in them doing good.

I would still prefer the Golden Rule over Tin and Nepotism. The Tin Rule popular among bullies states that one needs to treat those above them well and those below badly. This Rule can stir a lot of trouble among one’s peers. Handling subordinates like “suckers” could make them resist and inform those above one’s conflicting approaches. Alternatively, treating them well just as those above will make both happy and result in better results. The nepotism rule states that one should only treat their family members well while the rest should be treated as one wants. I believe that one should handle all people like brothers and sisters and do to them what one would love to do unto them.

Golden rule use has been in use for centuries and finds its roots in ancient religious writings and medieval secular writings. It is easy to apply and teach, and it is consistent with my views of life. I believe in doing good always, irrespective of what the other person does to me. If I treat people well, I always find out that they repay this by doing good. On some occasions, though, I am forced to deal with people who repay good with evil. I do not usually mind, and I do not repay by doing bad. I also do not just sit and see myself being mistreated. In advocating for this Rule, Martin Luther King said that the black community should not respond to the oppressors with an Iron fist but should not let them have their way.

The Golden Rule benefits are best described in Cal Newport’s book Deep Work. As an enterprise or individual, the compensation received is determined by what it delivers to the clients. Most influential people put other people’s interests before their own (Newport, 2018). The reason the Golden Rule works is that it displays authenticity. A person who others can trust will be in a position to perform better than an individual who uses violence and deception. Doing good first creates strong bonds and is more beneficial than taking unfair advantages. I believe in putting other people’s interests first, as this boosts my influence. I have also noticed that serving many people well boots my Income. The most valuable gift one can offer is themselves, and by doing good, the person becomes an Authentic member of the community. The Golden Rule maxim also advocates for its users to be open to receiving from others.

Examples of How I use the Golden Rule

When I first meet a person, I treat them with love and compassion. It would help if one did what they want them to do to them, the Golden Rule. In these initial stages of the meeting, an individual should also ensure that they do not handle them in a manner they would not wish to be treated, which is the silver rule. The Silver and the Golden Rules are almost identical, and it is hard to apply one without jumping into the scope of the other. I will smile at a person on first meeting them, and most of the time, they will smile back. I will talk to them in a manner I wish to be talked to if I were in their shoes. I always consider first understanding them as the Golden rule best works when one knows the person they are dealing with.

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For people with who I have been acquainted for some time, applying to Golden Rule is easy as I know their likes and dislikes. For instance, I know my friend likes reading, so I purpose to give him ideas of the best novels in town and grab one for them whenever I can. I do not like reading myself but by supporting his hobby, I realize that he also braces my desire of drawing. Another example of how I apply the Golden Rule to people I have known for a while is by buying them birthday gifts. These, as I have come to notice, do not have to be expensive but have to be special and valuable to the person. My Mum, for instance, likes specific types of Necklaces, and on each of her birthdays, I buy them. In return, she buys me nothing on my birthdays, but the Golden Rule is about giving and not getting.

I find it easy to apply Golden Rule, also referred to as ethics of reciprocity. Ancient scholars seem to agree with religious writings on how a person should apply the Golden Rule. While referring to the bible, I use the above-mentioned St Mathew teachings of giving, doing good, and above all, being kind. I follow the Buddhist teachings that if a man loves himself, he should also love others. Islamic Qur’an and Hadiths also guide me as these express the Golden Rule maxim in a concrete, practical manner. Readers of the Qur’an are commanded to behave well with virtually all social groupings, including strangers, travelers, and enslaved people (Parrott, 2019). I have learned a lot from Muslims in the way they express generosity and a giving heart, especially in the holy month of Ramathan.

The toughest part of applying the Golden Rule comes when dealing with Bullies, Manipulative people, and Narcissistic persons. Still, I have realized that the Rule still works in these situations. When a bully comes to me, I do not let them have it their way. Rather I walk away, and if in the future I get a chance of being of help to them, I will still help. The same goes for Manipulative Narcissistic persons, as many of these characters are mentally troubled and need assistance. As a Golden rule user, the best way to do this is to seek mental health interventions for these people, especially if they are close to me.

Justification of the Golden Rule

The justification for using the golden Rule is that it is an input-based method. Unlike the Silver Rule, which focuses on a cold approach, this Rule advises that a person should get out there and do good. Using the Brazen Rule only on the flip side is good, but it is a reactive method, and in life, a person needs to be proactive. The Iron rule, if used, breeds a lot of conflicts as the other party realizes the manipulation. Nepotism Rule is bad for the same reasons as Iron Rule and can put one into problems with the law. Like Brazen Rule, the Tin Rule easily breeds conflict and makes one a villain in society.

The Rule that is justifiable to be used in the modern world is the above-mentioned Golden Rule. This method can be easily applied in connection with philosophy, duty, ethics, and politics (Salukvadze & Zhukovskiy, 2020). In Philosophy, the Rule is justified by the fact that one good turn deserves another, and doing good has always resulted in performing well. In ethics, the Rule is justified by fair play, which despite being expensive is advocated for. Politicians have also come to know that doing well to electorates will result in re-elections. In the line of duty, the Rule is also advocated for and justifiable. For instance, while at war, every member must be the keeper of the other.

Recommendation for Red Corp Case Study

On knowing that its database has been hacked and information displayed on the internet Red Corp should inform Blue Corp. They should tell them that they act in good faith and do not expect Blue Corp to under-bid. The best way would be to approach their competitor and not split their difference in interest-only hope that they agree to the mutual faith. In any case, should Blue Corp take advantage of the database and take the information to its advantage, it would encourage a selfish attitude in its employees. Such actions make those involved aware that being unethical is the way of doing things, and this attitude would affect Blue Corp in the long run.

Going direct for the Iron Rule cannot be encouraged internally, and if Red Corp uses the data to solicit clients, it will show a bad example. An individual assesses right or wrong by looking at a situation or situation and combining psychological and moral conditions before analyzing moral reasoning (Robani & Halimatusyadiah, 2021). In this above-stated study, it can be seen that organizations that commit fraud to gain external advantages are likely to breed accountants who do fabrication for personal gain. Although unethical behaviors among employees are still common in ethical organizations, organizations can discourage such behavior. Ignoring and hoping that Blue Corp will not find out does not fit the Golden Rule is not the best decision either. The Red Corp would not be happy to know that Blue Cop had such delicate information, and it did not communicate and may retaliate in the future.

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However, a case may arise in the future that Blue Corp also discovers the database. If the blue Corp, as expected, uses the information against the Red Corp, the Golden Rule has to be abandoned for the more selfish Brazen Rule. This supports the claim that it would be best to inform Blue Corp and see their actions rather than wait to hope they will not know. Red Corp’s best way would be to follow the Golden Rule, not take advantage of underbidding and inform the Blue Corp of the leak. A choice for Blue Corp to bring their customers then changes the Rule immediately to Brazen Rule.

Recommendation For Blue Corp Case Study

If Blue Cop realizes that Red Cop has a leaked database and uses the database to under-bid and take its customers, the best Rule would be the Brazen Rule. Under these circumstances, it would only be advisable to pay an eye for an eye as the Blue Cop believes that the red cop will continue doing bad. The Golden Rule, which is always the best way to do things, does not state what to do upon discovering that the other party is doing poorly. The Rule only looks at the inputs doing what is good.

On the other hand, the Golden Rule of turning the other cheek would be tough to apply in these circumstances. This is not only because the Rule would give the Red Corp a massive advantage, but also because it would bring the attitude of negligence in the workplace. The things we admire in men, kindness and generosity, honesty, understanding, and feeling, are the concomitants of failure in our system (Tillinghast, 2020). Although adopting the best approach would make the company loved, it would ultimately fail. Going for the Silver Rule would be going soft on the person and soft on the problem and could make the company go massive loss. As Tillinghast (2020) says, the traits that breed success are those that we hate, like sharpness, greed, selfishness, meanness, egotism, and self-interest. For this reason, the best way to pay evil would be with justice.

Reasons for Change in Moral Stand

In question one, I advocated for the Golden Rule as the personal ethical Rule. However, in the advice given to Red Corp in question two, I advocated for two rules. Using Golden Rule first then changing to Brazen Rule. The reason for the change is first the two cases are different. One is personal while the other is corporate. Second, in the case study, Red Corp will face massive losses should it let Blue Corp continue to under-bid while it does not. The main goal for an organization is profitability, but my main goal is to show compassion and help other people. In the second case, the advice is different because the two are also competing organizations, and if Blue Corp uses the database a win-win compromise is impossible.


Newport, Cal. (2018). Deep work: Rules for focused success in a distracted world. Grant Central Pub.

Parrott, J. (2019). The Golden Rule in Islam: Ethics of reciprocity in Islamic traditions (dissertation). ProQuest LLC.

Robani, M. H., & Halimatusyadiah, H. (2021). The effect of internal control system, information asymmetry, suitability of compensation and organization’s ethical culture on accounting fraud. Jurnal Akuntansi, 11(2), 175–188. Web.

Salukvadze, M. E., & Zhukovskiy, V., I. The berge equilibrium: A Game-Theoretic framework for the golden rule of ethics (static & dynamic game theory: Foundations & applications) (1st ed. 2020 ed.) [E-book]. Birkhäuser. Web.

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Tillinghast, J. (2020). Big money thinks small: Biases, blind spots, and more intelligent investing. Columbia University Press.

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