The other day I heard someone quote the Golden Rule, “Treat others as you want to be treated”, but then quickly followed it up with, “But I guess the Platinum Rule is, ‘Treat others the way they want to be treated.'” It was interesting to hear someone say this Platinum Rule as I had only seen it once before. Apparently the Platinum Rule is becoming more and more well known. Since it is, I will take a brief moment to reflect on it.
A Feeling of Superiority
The first time I heard about the Platinum Rule I was reading an article about morality. The article commented that the Golden Rule should be replaced by the superior Platinum Rule. It was quite clear that the author thought that those who hold this Platinum Rule are more enlightened and morally superior to those who hold to the Golden Rule. I do not know if this individual was actually being self-righteous in comparing himself to others, but he was certainly declaring his superior insight.
I cannot say this for everybody, but I know that certain people like to claim the Platinum Rule as superior to the Golden Rule because they know that at least in Western culture, the Golden Rule originates from Scripture. Many people dislike the idea of taking anything from Scripture, so they try to find ways to trump Scripture. As I said, I cannot say that for everybody, but that is certainly true for many. Indeed, some do not like that the Golden Rule comes from any religion, not just Judeo-Christian Scripture.
The picture that I have chosen to go with this blog is a perfect example of how some people believe the Platinum Rule to be superior to the Golden Rule. I did not create the picture, it came up as the second image in a google search on “The Platinum Rule”. A comparison of the two rules was presented as one of the first images without even asking for a comparison image.
Lack of Understanding
The idea that the Platinum Rule is superior to the Golden Rule is only because of a lack of understanding of the Golden Rule. Implicit in the teaching of the Golden Rule is the Platinum Rule. The Golden Rule does not teach that an individual should take his/her desires and assume that they are the desires of another. Instead, the Golden Rule teaches the individual to place one’s self in the shoes of another and respond accordingly.
“Treat others as you would want to be treated.” Think about that. The way you want to be treated is how you would like to be treated. That means you would conclude that you would treat others they way they want to be treated.
In other words, the Golden Rule does not instruct, “You like meat, so feed that vegan some meat.” How ridiculous would that be? Instead, the Golden Rule instructs, “If you were a vegan, you would like someone to forego the meat in preparing dinner. You are having a vegan over for dinner, do not serve meat.”
So the Golden Rule encompasses the Platinum Rule. There really is no difference. The only reason one would claim one as superior to the other is because of a lack of understanding of the Golden Rule.
The Platinum Rule is not superior to the Golden Rule. Indeed, the Golden Rule includes the Platinum Rule. The Platinum Rule is only claimed as superior because of a lack of understanding of the Golden Rule.
I am not trying to cut anyone down who uses the Platinum Rule. How could I since it is implicit in the Golden Rule? However, I am trying to let people know that the Platinum Rule is not superior to the Golden Rule and I would like to arrest any attempt to unnecessarily demean the Golden Rule.