Would very much appreciate some feedback on this. I have tried to put all of it in my own words without referring to influential sources.
Clearly some of it needs more reasons (like the GR’s presence in every major culture/religion, how the GR resolves practical ethical dilemmas, the evidence for Jesus’ death/resurrection, biblical basis, et cetera), but the following is just a summary. If given the time and opportunity, I’d expand upon it. Any thoughts on the following?…
Every major culture/religion hungers for the answer to the question of Ethics, and only one of the answers, the Golden Rule, is found in every major culture/religion. The universal presence of that answer does not justify it, but the universal hunger for an answer does suggest there is something to satisfy that hunger. The question, or hunger, of Ethics can be phrased “How and why should we be or behave with the Other/self?” Coming late on the scene, all of the theories in Ethics besides the Golden Rule focus on only 1) how we should ‘be’ (character or virtue theories), 2) what we should ‘do’ (conduct or duty theories), or 3) the ‘end’ (consequentialist theories), and they run into difficulties when it comes to whether self or Other should take priority. In contrast, the Golden Rule answers the question by describing the ‘end’ of what we should ‘do’ and how we should ‘be’ (be=do=end) as treating the Other as self (self=Other), as not merely recognizing a sameness between self and Other, but acknowledging that sameness in our behavior with self/Other. So the Golden Rule is the only theory in Ethics which completely answers the question, the only one which has the most justification to be believed and lived.
But in order to be objectively real, it cannot be purely theoretical—it must also correspond to reality—there must be a real being whose nature and behavior (including commands) is described by the Golden Rule. Justification is about having good reasons to believe something is true, to believe that it corresponds to reality. However, just because we are justified in believing something is true does not necessarily mean it ‘is’ true, otherwise we would never know what it is like to be wrong. So the fact that the Golden Rule is the most justified theory in Ethics does not prove its correspondence to reality, for that would commit the reverse of Hume’s is-ought (the ought-is) fallacy. The Golden Rule is true only if it actually corresponds to real being, and regardless how good or bad our reasons.
On the flip-side of the same coin, the mere existence (or assumed existence) of this being cannot justify the Golden Rule, for that would commit the is-ought fallacy. Just because we believe something that is true (or is at least assumed to be true), does not mean we have good reasons for believing—we could be right by accident. Fortunately there are at least two good, strong reasons which justify believing the Golden Rule not only completely answers the question of Ethics, but also corresponds (is true) to real being: 1) as already mentioned, we have a universal hunger for the answer to the question of Ethics, and 2) there is evidence of the being which the answer describes, to which the answer corresponds.
First, universal physical hunger indicates that food existed long enough for us to evolve that hunger for it—likewise, universal spiritual hunger for true meaning (acknowledged even by the self-proclaimed Four Horsemen) suggests there is an actual being described by self=Other. Second, there is evidence, internal and external to the biblical record, of Jesus’ substitutionary sacrifice as the ultimate demonstration of Golden Rule love, and of his divine resurrection. So we are justified in believing in a being described by the Golden Rule because 1) it satisfies the hunger (answers the question) of Ethics, both 2) theoretically (be=do=end, self=Other) and 3) practically, by way of ultimate demonstration (for love is not love without demonstration) (aka revelation). If we are not wrong about any of those reasons and such a being actually exists, we don’t merely justifiably believe, we correspondently know, for knowledge (as Plato affirmed long ago) is belief that is both 1) justified (in that the evidence obligates us to believe something corresponds to reality, whether or not it does), and 2) true (in that something corresponds to reality whether or not we have good reasons to believe it does).
All of the above A) resolves Euthyphro’s (and another unnamed) dilemma between natural law and divine command/revelation [because 1) God commands/reveals in accordance with his good nature, and 2) we can know the Golden Rule through reason and intuition only if it corresponds in order to be known—the dilemma this resolves ought to have a name if it doesn’t already], B) affirms Hume’s is-ought distinction rather than defying or dismissing it (and without dissolving into skepticism), and C) dismantles Gettier’s problem while affirming its underlying intuition (more on that here http://ichthus77.blogspot.com/2011/01/answering-gettier.html), preserving Plato’s justified-true-belief definition of knowledge.
Discussed here on Facebook.
Also see: The Golden Rule (self=Other) and God