I think the golden rule is irrational and here's why. First of all, the golden rule presupposes that other people share your preferences. Secondly, I believe that an action is moral only if it minimizes suffering or increases happiness (hedonistic consequentialism). The golden rule sometimes increases suffering and minimizes happiness. If you followed the golden rule consistently and you found a 7 year old who wanted to experiment with heroin, you wouldn't be justified in preventing them from doing so. If you wouldn't want anyone violating your autonomy and telling you what to do with your body, are you justified in violating someone's elses? I would say 'yes' because although we should generally respect the autonomy of other people, we're justified in violating someone's autonomy if it prevents more distress than it causes. Another example. If you knew that your best friend's wife was cheating on him but it could be absolutely guaranteed that he would never find out, she was a loving partner and they had a happy relationship together, would you be justified in telling him? I would argue 'no' because as long as his wife's infidelity is not causing him to suffer or depriving him of happiness (I say this because killing someone in their sleep would deprive them of happiness even if it could be done painlessly), there's nothing morally wrong with it. You can argue that he has a right to know but I believe happiness is more important than knowledge, it's the only thing in the universe that is intrinsically valuable and distress is the only thing that is intrinsically disvaluable, everything else is only instrumentally valuable or disvaluable to the extent that they increase pleasure or pain. He might appreciate your having told him and think he was better off for it but it wouldn't make him any happier and feeling happiness/not suffering is all that matters. Telling him on the basis that he'd want to know the truth is nonsensical because in order to want to know something, you would have to know it. What people want is to be able to genuinely believe that what they know is true. Your desire to know the truth is satisfied as long as you believe that you know the truth, whether or not it actually is true is irrelevant. I could go on but you get the idea. I believe that empathy (which I define as imagining another person's emotional state of mind and adopting it out of identification with them) is the only valid basis for a moral framework and if you based all of your moral decisions on empathy and empathy alone (concern and the desire to help others is not necessarily empathetic), you would naturally adopt a hedonistic/consequentialist world view. What do you think?