The Golden Rule vs. The Silver Rule

The Golden Rule is this basic idea that humans should “do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” This idea is taught in elementary school classrooms around the country (and probably world). 

But is it a “good rule?” 

Nassim Nicholas Taleb writes about the distinction between the “Golden Rule” and “The Silver Rule.” 

The silver rule is a variation and somewhat an inversion of the golden rule. The silver rule states “Do not do unto others as you would not have them do unto you.” The silver rule has its own deficiencies, as it only requires an individual not harm others, and does not ask that person to engage in positive behavior.

But, as Taleb writes, having “broader Skin in the Game,” is better for society. You have less false experts. You have less people pushing their tastes and preferences onto others and, rather, let the truth win. People who add value to the world get compensated. People who subtract value from the world lose out. 

Also published on Medium.