The golden rule of morality – an ethical paradox

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Abstract

This paper focuses on the dynamics of ethical perspectives that embody the Golden Rule of Morality. Based on critical analysis of this rule in various cultural and religious contexts, but also from the perspective of humanism, the author presents its paradoxical character, the essence of which is interpreted here in terms of a pointer to metaphysical reality. It turns out that social conditionality, as well as the self-referential concept as a starting point of any ethical reasoning, are serious epistemological challenges for the application of the Golden Rule in the position of universal normativity that this study addresses. On the other hand, Judeo-Christian cosmology and the related basis for ethical foundations is presented here as an inspirational space of ethical reasoning in which the paradoxical character of the Golden Rule becomes rather an indicator of a deeper metaethical interpretation of one's own particular ethical attitudes and outcomes than a practical guide to the discovery of ethical universals.

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