Greetings Psychotherapeut!

Your mention of a modified Golden Rule reminded me of a Carl Sagan essay I read, and thought it would be worth sharing. As others replying to this topic have also mentioned that they do adhere to a Golden Rule version or another, I thought some of these other rules would be worth a look, especially if people here hadn't heard about them before.

In Carl Sagan's book Billions & Billions, which is a compilation of essays and articles that were previously published elsewhere (along with some other, previously unpublished ones), he has the essay, "The Rules Of The Game". He summarizes various cultures and their moral codes, and brings to light some of the other options humans have opted for.

The following are his words, not mine, though certainly in the case of some of the rules, he's not the first to state them:

1. The Golden Rule - Do unto others as you would have done unto you.

2. The Silver Rule - Do not do unto others as you would not have them do unto you.

3. The Brass or Brazen Rule - Do unto others as they have done unto you. (More on this one later!)

4. The Iron Rule - Do unto others as you like, before they do it unto you.

5. The Tin Rule - Suck up to those above you, and abuse those below you. (He points out that this is really the Golden Rule for superiors and the Iron Rule for inferiors, but since there is no known alloy for iron and gold, he calls it the Tin Rule due to it's flexability, like the metal tin.)

I think that once hearing the rules, it's obvious that nobody in real life follows the Golden rule. Many follow the Silver Rule in everyday life, but throughout their lives, often make exceptions. And, we know of plenty of people who follow the iron rule. They are the ones often rotting away in cells.

What's of most interest to me is the Brass Rule. It seems very close to what Satanists live by (again, [b]very close[b], not exactly). In polite society, we are first ladies and gentlemen, but once we have some data on how that person has treated us, we know better how we care to deal with them.

Not only did this rule, as Sagan put it, seem to shout "Satanism" to me when I first read his essay, within the essay itself, he identifies this rule as lex talionis.

Metallic food for thought, I think!
"Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence."
-Carl Sagan