Personally, I would like to thank Alex Budarin for his thought-provoking diary, Ethics without God. It stimulated a lively (and overall very civil) discussion about not only ethics and God, but about morals in general and a lot of interesting interpretations of various pieces of various scriptures. We're always on uncertain ground when dealing with these things, and I find it encouraging that so many folks are willing to engage in a serious discussion about them.
One of the subthreads that developed, of course, had to do with the Golden Rule, and by that I mean the generally more accepted "Don't do unto others ..." variations than the whimsical "Whoever has the gold ..." version. Not unexpectedly, the discussion centered around interpretations of the Old and New Testaments and a number of interesting and related topics. That was my favorite part of the discussion, to be perfectly honest.
However, it just so happens that on the same day an interesting article appeared in the New York Times Magazine, by Gretchen Reynolds entitled "Looking to Genes for the Secret to Happiness". It could just be that we're not dealing with such an arcane and abstract notion as we might often think. Maybe we're just genetically predisposed to be good.
Don't get me wrong: I don't mean that last statement anywhere near as absolute as it sounds. It's more like maybe its just to our own benefit to be helpful, generous and cooperative. Maybe.
At any rate, I found it an interesting twist on a very old tale.