“The Liberty of the Individual Must be thus far Limited; He must not Make Himself a Nuisance to Other People” – 2 of 16
Ironically, I had not titled this essay upon reading advice at the time… Do title your essays however!
The question of whether people should do onto others, only what they themselves would do upon them is a valid one.
On one hand, people in power may require to, for example, increase taxes to account for economic needs. This doesn’t benefit any one person directly, and in fact, may affect all people under said government; including the persons in power whom applied said increased taxation. Over time, this increased taxation should improve and benefit society as a whole.
On the other hand, there are individuals within our society who take it upon themselves to cause direct harm – be it physically, emotionally, or financially; to others. They appear to be under the belief that they are above the law and can do as they please. Many of these individuals eventually get apprehended and suffer judicial punishment that was essentially self-inflicted. These individuals may then feel that their punishment outweighs the crime they had initially committed. The problem for them is that it is very hard to weigh emotional stress caused onto others; we all experience feelings uniquely. In this case they would have been better to think before acting; for instance; when these individuals are being sentenced, e.g. by a jury; the jury members will be thinking along the lines of, “What if this person had done the crime to me, or my family?”. People have very different discipline levels, some may be very harsh, while others may be very relaxed. It is at this point where the offending person is at the mercy of the people that are way beyond his control. All numbers of emotional and intellectual biases can now come into the situation from a large number of people (the jury).
Ultimately, I believe that if one does unto another only what one does unto oneself; society would be a much more safe and peaceful place.
Firstly, crime rates would dramatically reduce if not diminish completely (provided there are no citizens that don’t take part in the above conscious effort). This would make an enormous amount of funding available for spending in other areas such as health, and education. Our society would truly flourish. Every aspect of our society would benefit from such an ideology.
Secondly, people of all generations, races, sexes, and religions could live in peace. There could be no war, no quarrels etc. By making a conscious effort to think; ‘would I do, say, or act this upon myself’, before taking action; would diminish the need for argument almost entirely. People will still argue, but the number of words and phrases that would be said with direct intention of hurting someone else would nullify, provided all of society took part.
In conclusion, living your life doing onto others only what you would have them do, or you would do onto you is a great step in the right direction. The more people who do, the more humanity will benefit as a whole. I believe it would be a difficult task to have the whole of humanity to live by this ideology, and it would counter-productively, likely be met with strong opposition. Overall, small steps will eventually make a big change.