Single Idea 5337

[catalogued under 23. Ethics / B. Contract Ethics / 2. Golden Rule]

Full Idea

Hobbes put the Golden Rule as 'do NOT do to others what you would NOT want done to yourself'. Jesus's formulation encouraged active love. Most Westerners conceive their moral duty as not to do harm, rather than actively doing good.

Gist of Idea

For Hobbes the Golden Rule concerns not doing things, whereas Jesus encourages active love


report of Thomas Hobbes (Leviathan [1651]) by Owen Flanagan - The Problem of the Soul p.20n

Book Reference

Flanagan,Owen: 'The Problem of the Soul' [Basic Books 2003], p.20

A Reaction

This idea probably runs very deep into western culture, where most people feel that they are being very morally good when they are sitting at home and not actually annoying anyone. Utilitarianism also offers a challenge to such complacency.