Golden Rule, Creation And Destruction Of Civilization


## Golden Rule, Creation And Destruction Of Civilization

There is a golden rule of "Do unto others as your would have done unto yourself". This is supposed to promote mutual beneficence.  You would be charitable because you would also want others to be charitable to you.  You would be kind because you would also want others to be kind to you.  And, you would honor agreements because you also want others to honor agreements.

It is this good faith acting that supports the growth of civilization.  Having people act in good faith as the standard allows for people to focus on more productive activities rather than securing against loss from dishonor.  In a world where everyone is trying to screw each other, the productive capacity of the society is diminished.

This standard of good faith acting, promoted by the golden rule, is also subject to exploitation that leads to the destruction of civilization.  

When you treat others kindly and they don't return the favor, you lose.  And, when a section of society indoctrinated with the golden rule acts kindly only to be taken advantage of by another section in society, then the charitable section suffers and consequently shrinks.

What is needed is proper application of the Golden Rule.  And, we can see from game theory, it is optimal to be charitable when you can expect reciprocation.  However, this reciprocation is not necessarily a tit for tat.  The reciprocation does not need to be in kind or even necessary reciprocated to the person giving the charity.  This is where groups and religion comes in.

There is a charitable group in the US called "The Salvation Army".  Why is it called the "Salvation Army" and not called something like another charitable group called "Goodwill"?  It is because it is a Christian charity, and that the way those receiving the charity reciprocate is by being salvaged - that is, to be born again and become part of the group following the Christian faith.  It is this allowance for indirect reciprocation that allows for greater evolution of society.  For example, by giving service as a juror in jury duty, it is expected that the reciprocation is the presence of citizen jurors for your own fair trial if you ever needed them.

As society becomes more parasitic, you must be more vigilant about ensuring reciprocation - not only to protect yourself, but charity itself can be malignant to society.

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