Thursday, November 07, 2013

The Economist's Golden Rule (EGR)

"Regard your neighbour's gain as your gain, and your loss as your own loss"- T'ai-Shang Kan-Ying P'ien

Before I eject "The Big Questions" by Steve Landsburg away (reviewed earlier) from my library, I have to capture a neat idea summarised as the "Economist's Golden Rule".

"I have a favourite consequentialist rule of thumb for good behaviour. It's a rule that I think captures most of our moral intuitions. Roughly, the rule is 'Don't leave the world worse off than you found it.' A cost is a cost and a benefit is a benefit, whether they're felt by you, your neighbour, or a stranger in Timbuktu." 

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