In an enlightened culture, greed, irresponsibility, disrespect are frowned upon and simply “not done,” actions exhibiting these traits are considered poor manners. Worse, the character of anyone committing an infraction would be negatively affected: they lose social status in the eyes of their neighbors. In such a society, your reputation is your wealth — you gain status by doing good for others, creating a great work of art, contributing to your community in some way, or by simply being kind.
There is only one law that an enlightened civilization needs: The Golden Rule. This idea is nearly universal:
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The Golden Rule or law of reciprocity is the principle of treating others as one would wish to be treated oneself. It is a maxim of altruism seen in many human religions and human cultures. The Golden Rule differs from the maxim of reciprocity captured in “do ut des” — “I give so that you will give in return” — and is rather a unilateral moral commitment to the well-being of the other without the expectation of anything in return.
The concept occurs in some form in nearly every religion and ethical tradition. It can also be explained from the perspectives of psychology, philosophy, sociology, and economics. Psychologically, it involves a person empathizing with others. Philosophically, it involves a person perceiving their neighbor also as “I” or “self.” Sociologically, ‘love your neighbor as yourself’ is applicable between individuals, between groups, and also between individuals and groups. Richard Swift suggests that “without some kind of reciprocity society would no longer be able to exist.”
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Do not do to others what you would not want them to do to you. [is] (…) the single greatest, simplest, and most important moral axiom humanity has ever invented, one which reappears in the writings of almost every culture and religion throughout history, the one we know as the Golden Rule. ~ Adam Lee, Ebon Musings, “A Decalogue for the Modern World”
~ Excerpt from The Avatars of Eden
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