Plontis: Thanks for your reply, as always I appreciate the commitment you have to this forum. Although I certainly acknowledge the points you make (and they are good points), it seems that we are arguing in circles. If we were to discuss the Golden Rule outside of this particular argument, there would be no contention other than perhaps our philosophical disparities. I understand your premise that the Golden Rule variations lie in how they are phrased in the various traditions, these variations are in turn associated by the basic principle "of putting yourself in someone else's shoes and acting (in some way) towards them as you would want to be acted on yourself." However if Kung utilizes the Golden Rule as a variable in which he acknowledges that certain traditions make no distinction between the principle and parochialism then Global Ethic encounters a very real problem. If in a certain tradition the "Golden Rule" (or its basic principle) and parochialism are interwoven and inseparable, then I can't see how Kung expects the Global Ethic project to succeed without first clearly expressing the necessity for the said tradition to subvert. On the contrary we see that Kung expresses the opposite, in that the very fiber of the religious doctrines need not change. This is the basis of my argument with regard to Kungs understanding of the Golden Rule as a principle with no variation, or atleast no parochial variation. You have also acknowledged this contradiction, however you seem to imply that the parochialism that exists in Islam is not a doctrinal fundament. What I am saying is that the "shell" Kung wants to remove is in essence part of the "kernal." In Islam, the codification of parochialism is not just some outside factor that has limited the very basic and simplest form of the Golden Rule, it is the factor on which the "Golden Rule" (or its basic principle) functions. I am not entirely sure that I have understood you here. Are you suggesting that there may exist a variation of the Golden Rule in some traditions where history and prejudice have not yet been removed to reveal its universalism? While this may be true of some ancient doctrines be they secular or relgious, you must consider that other doctrines are formulated on a history of prejudice. Where its essential principles are constructed on the very language of parochialism. If you are saying the opposite, in that versions of the Golden Rule in some traditions are not universal in nature even after the encrustations of history and prejudice are removed. Then I would agree. Kung's principle is "a minimal basic consensus relating to binding values, irrevocable standards and moral attitudes, which can be affirmed by all religions." Stripping away the "undeniable dogmatic or theological differences" will not result in a consensus to binding values, parochialism is an irrevocable standard and moral attitude in Islam. This is such a beautifully rendered and well executed analogy, I was left undecided on whether to taint it with a rebuttal. Any rebuttal would be akin to vandalizing the Mona Lisa! well, Mona Lisa could use a mustache, a beard and a pair of horns so I'll try my untrained hand at art. As a composer, Kung must understand that the differences in the melodies are just as important as the similarities, especially when the orchestras are not playing from the same piece of music. The musical compositions that each orchestra is playing may have similar pitches, modes and gradations, however there are discernable differences. Lets say the composer writes a simple tune taken from the chords in which the various musical compositions share, this simple tune played together with the other musical compositions should correspond in harmony. However if a particular orchastra is not in harmony with the rest, then this would suggest that its musical composition contains notes that discord from the others. The chords it shares with the other orchestras works only within the strophe of its own musical composition. The composer should express the necessity to rewrite these notes or have them stricken from the musical composition in order for the orchestra to play in harmony with the his simple tune. If the composer does not acknowledge that the notes within the musical composition must be improvised then he is simply plugging his ears and ignoring the cacophony. I find this part of your analogy interesting. It seems that you are suggesting that the Global Ethic project is Kungs way initiating dialogue and directing criticism at those traditions which hold to parochial principles. If that is the case, I believe he should make it clear so his audience is not misled into thinking that all religions share the same ethical prinicples. . I agree, I'll read more of Kungs literature on Global Ethics and then perhaps the truth will reveal itself. I based my opinion on these links: http://www.scu.edu/ethics/practicin...s/laughlin-lectures/kung-world-religions.html http://cae.hkbu.edu.hk/html/newsletter/vol8/8B_Becker.html http://www.scu.edu/scm/summer2005/kung.cfm I couldn't agree more. I might add that to me the "winner" in any debate is the person who learns the most, and in this regard I believe I have been the winner in all the debate we have had in the past.