Originally Posted by Steven E. Webster
"Do unto others as you would have them do unto you" is pretty universal.
You stole my thunder
I find it very interesting, this directive, credited to Jesus. Imagine being a teacher coming into a culture who's morality is carved in stone and then teaching that morality is relative to how you want to be treated? To me, these are some of the most profound words in the bible. It brings into focus the two ways morality is established. Something presumably outside ourselves ( 'laws given by God and immutably carved into stone') vs. laws "carved on the fleshy tables of the heart." I observe that fundamental Christianity leads the battle against moral relativism, yet it seems to me that Jesus was a proponent of determining a moral course of action based on how 'I' want to be treated.
Applying this standard, who would choose to ostracize, judge or condemn a person for just about anything? For instance, if I had murdered someone, I would not want to be killed in return but rather would want mercy. "Mercy is better than justice." Again, Jesus is credited with exercising this 'rule' of morality by example. Responding to the woman who's accusers brought her before Jesus accusing her of the capital crime of adultery, his response was to first get rid of her "accusers" by applying 'the golden rule:' "let him who is without sin cast the first stone." He then said: "...I don't condemn you either." But, Jesus' last words to the adulteress were: "...go and sin no more." Jesus did say that he did not come to destroy the law but to fulfill it. Jesus didn't say the adultery was okeedokee (moral), he just instructed appropriate response when there is moral failure.
I have heard it said that the original sin was people wanting to be God. Is that sin most evidenced in the human predilection to judge?
Having said all this it still seems that, from a biblical perspective, morality is carved in stone but the human response to immorality is not.