Ethic of reciprocity

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The Golden Rule or ethic of reciprocity is a maxim,[2] an ethical code, or a morality,[3] that essentially states either of the following:

The Golden Rule is arguably the most essential basis for the modern concept of human rights, in which each individual has a right to just treatment, and a reciprocal responsibility to ensure justice for others.[4] A key element of the Golden Rule is that a person attempting to live by this rule treats all people with consideration, not just members of his or her in-group. The Golden Rule has its roots in a wide range of world cultures, and is a standard which different cultures use to resolve conflicts.[2][5]

The Golden Rule has a long history, and a great number of prominent religious figures and philosophers have restated its reciprocal, bilateral nature in various ways (not limited to the above forms).[2] 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).[2][6] The ethic of reciprocity was present in certain forms in the philosophies of ancient Babylon, Egypt, Persia, India, Greece, Judea, and China.

Examples of statements that mirror the Golden Rule appear in Ancient Egypt, for example in the story of The Eloquent Peasant which is dated to the Middle Kingdom of Egypt (c. 2040–1650 BCE): "Now this is the command: Do to the doer to cause that he do."[7] Rushworth Kidder states that "the label 'golden' was applied by Confucius (551–479 B.C.), who wrote, 'Here certainly is the golden maxim: Do not do to others that which we do not want them to do to us.'" Kidder notes that this framework appears prominently in many religions, including "Hinduism, Buddhism, Taoism, Zoroastrianism, and the rest of the world's major religions".[8]

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