Different Religions, Same Golden Rule

While it is often easy to focus on the differences between the various religions of the world, there are definitely many similarities which unfortunately often get overlooked. Beyond the many similarities relating to customs and rituals, such as fasting and prayer, many of these similarities are based on what could be classified as the “core values”, or the “essence” of these religions, rather than the “details”.

These similarities are very evident in the teachings of these different religions when it comes to the subject of how we should treat others, so I thought it would be interesting to list the “Golden Rule” of what each religion says about how we should treat others. Here’s just one quote from a short selection of major world religions in alphabetical order:


Baha’i Faith

Lay not on any soul a load that you would not wish to be laid upon you, and desire not for anyone the things you would not desire for yourself.

Buddhism

Treat not others in ways that you yourself would find hurtful.

Christianity

In everything, do to others as you would have them do to you; for this is the law and the prophets.

Confucianism

One word which sums up the basis of all good conduct…loving-kindness. Do not do to others what you do not want done to yourself.

Hinduism

This is the sum of duty; do naught onto others what you would not have them do unto you.

Islam

Not one of you truly believes until you wish for others what you wish for yourself.

Jainism

One should treat all creatures in the world as one would like to be treated.

Judaism

What is hateful to you, do not do to your neighbour. This is the entire Law; all the rest is commentary. Go and learn it.

Native American Pima Proverb

Do not wrong or hate your neighbor. For it is not he who you wrong, but yourself.

Sikhism

As thou deemest thyself, so deem others.

Taoism

Regard your neighbour’s gain as your own gain and your neighbour’s loss as your own loss.

Yoruba (Nigeria)

One going to take a pointed stick to pinch a baby bird should first try it on himself to feel how it hurts.

Zoroastrianism

Do not do unto others whatever is injurious to yourself.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this short list and that these words can serve as a reminder of how we conduct ourselves in our daily lives.

About the Author

Naysan is the editor of Baha'i Blog and he has worked in various avenues of media for two decades. He’s passionate about using the arts and media to support and explore the teachings of the Baha’i Faith and he has produced and collaborated on popular music projects like the "DawnBreaker Collective" and the successful Ruhi-inspired sequence of "MANA" albums. His experience as a producer for CNN was invaluable while working on a number of special projects for the Baha’i World Centre, including the "Building Momentum" and "Pilgrimage: A Sacred Experience" videos. If there’s a media-related Baha’i project out there, chances are that Naysan was involved with it somehow!

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Discussion 6 Comments

  1. Thanks for this lovely list, Naysan. It is wonderful to be reminded that there are common teachings in all the religions.

    One distinction that I have heard recently, though, seems important to me. The concept of a “Golden Rule” grew out of the context of a Christian society, where it was held to be a simple way of determining if a given action would be moral. But the fact that it appears in other religions and cultures does not automatically mean that it is considered a “Golden Rule” within all of them. The name “Golden Rule” seems to imply that it is the highest standard that can be applied to human behaviour. But in some of those religions and cultures, it is not considered a particularly important teaching.

    So, while it is excellent to point out the commonalities in religions and cultures, it remains important to remember that the emphasis and context in which a particular teaching is viewed can make a vast difference in how it is perceived and followed.

  2. I have been flowing your Baha’i Blog Naysan it gives much inspiration in the world of divergence in heights of ides of teaching diverse human traditions cultures and believes. All the religions converge at central pivot of love and unity of mankind at different times with same massage but in different versions. I congratulate you for your tireless effort in your research for bringing such interesting topics in shaping our knowledge by harmonizing most asked question of our Baha’i belief.

  3. This is good to know about the wonderful similarities related to one aspect of the society i,e dealing with neighbors. There must be so many others which if explored and shared shall do more goods to mankind than many other pieces of advises.
    Ashiq Khan

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