• MonfortS26
    252
    Every country has age limits on certain behaviors. For example, when you're allowed to buy alcohol or tobacco, and in some places marijuana, the age of consent, when you're allowed to vote, etc... How are these decided? How should they be decided? It seems to me that every country has arbitrarily decided these age requirements, and they're different everywhere. Individuals get wiser with age until the day they die, how can we decide at what point the average person, has the wisdom to drink alcohol? I don't think that the age requirements should be abolished, I just think that they should be based on some form of scientific data and as far as I can see, they aren't. Is there any history I'm missing? What criteria should these laws be based on?
  • DingoJones
    233
    How about whenever each individual can have a basic understanding of the consequences of the action(s) in question? In addition, to be consistent we should allow all such decisions together. If they are old enough to assume risk on their own for something like personal harm playing organized contact sports then we should extend that to all their decisions.
  • MonfortS26
    252
    In my area, kids start playing football when they're in 4th grade. Do you think that 9-year-olds should be allowed to do drugs and have sex? To vote? Should it be reduced to a basic understanding of consequences? Kids that young might be able to understand the negatives associated with these actions when they apply to other people, but are they really capable of understanding how it could impact their lives?
  • DingoJones
    233


    Im saying that when they can have a basic understanding of the impact on their own lives. They may not have the same depth of understanding as they may have when they are older, but those are lessons to be learned.
  • ssu
    774
    It seems to me that every country has arbitrarily decided these age requirements, and they're different everywhere.MonfortS26
    I don't think so. I think age limits portray quite well how permissive and non-permissive the society is and how our societies have changed. Usually earlier adulthood was between ages of 24 or 21, but typically it has gone down to 18 and in some cases 16 year olds are considered adults.

    In some cases the typically permissive societies have raised the age requirements: for instance when girls can get married or at what age can one join the military.
  • DiegoT
    122
    You are never too young to make decisions, and the capacity for becoming responsible of your actions increases gradually with age. When those decisions have grave consequences, some standards should be met. I think age is not what should matter, but the ability to understand and foresee those consequences and to take responsibility for them. This leads to different people having different degrees of privileged, or exclusive, legal capacities to make decisions, if social justice and equality before the Law are to be preserved. For instance, it would be unjust that everybody could run for mayor, or drive a car, regardless of criminal record, intelligence, knowledge...just because a certain age is reached! And the other way round: some gifted kids are mature for responsible voting at 13. They should just be required to prove it with a psychological and cultural test.
  • Athena
    121
    If you want science, try this site

    "The rational part of a teen's brain isn't fully developed and won't be until age 25 or so. In fact, recent research has found that adult and teen brains work differently. Adults think with the prefrontal cortex, the brain's rational part.
    Understanding the Teen Brain - Health Encyclopedia - University of ...
    https://www.urmc.rochester.edu/encyclopedia/content.aspx?ContentTypeID=1...3051 "

    When the constitution of the US was written, age 30 was considered still youth. Here are decisions made with that idea...

    "In the United States, a person must be aged 35 or over to be President or Vice President, 30 or over to be a Senator, and 25 or over to be a Representative, as specified in the U.S. Constitution. Most states in the U.S. also have age requirements for the offices of Governor, State Senator, and State Representative.
    Age of candidacy - Wikipedia
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Age_of_candidacy "

    At age 72 I am surprised by experiencing the difference between knowing facts and knowing the meaning of those facts. A young person who does not consult with older persons may not have the best judgment, and in some areas of decisions making, an older person should surely consult with a young one. But soon computers will take over our thinking tasks so we don't really need to bother with a concern about human reasoning. :wink:
  • Bitter Crank
    6.8k
    "The rational part of a teen's brain isn't fully developed and won't be until age 25 or so.Athena

    That certainly applies to me. I was finished with undergraduate college, had had a great work experience, and was in graduate school by 25. Had I been making good solid decisions right along? Hell no! It was not really apparent to me until many years later just how poor some of my decisions had been -- like thinking that I would succeed at high school teaching, for instance, or how to relate to authority figures. Or how to advantageously build on experience.

    I didn't establish a satisfactory sex life until about 26, and that was a good thing -- because I wasn't ready to make good sexual decisions at 16, 18, or 22. When I decided it was high time to plug into the gay male community (literally and figuratively) I was ready.

    Now, I can honestly say that I have continued to blunder all the way to age 72, though the ratio of blunders to good decisions has improved in favor of good decisions.
  • Bitter Crank
    6.8k
    Brains mature at a more or less consistent rate; what differs greatly from one individual to another is experience. Children who come from at least somewhat privileged or very privileged experiences (excellent education, a wide range of experiences, parents, significant adults, some peers all modeling decision making and social skills) are going to be much better at self-direction and executive agency than most other children.

    You could make a long list of ways in which children are advantaged or disadvantaged by their life circumstances while their brains are maturing.

    Millions of young people are enrolling in college and borrowing money to finance their education -- without much assurance of benefit. They are following their age-cohort crowd and the self-interested advice of colleges. Most of us did the same thign when we were in late adolescence. I'm not sure whether they are well advised or not.
  • Bitter Crank
    6.8k
    We generally qualify people to be fully adult and responsible between the ages of 18 and 21. In late adolescence/early adulthood people make a lot of important decisions in their lives: join the army; take on major debt; get married; have children; go to college (or equally important, not go to college); get facial tattoos; start driving; play football or box; (or at an earlier age, seek to, or get pushed into playing football); vote on the future of the country; and so on and so forth.

    Most of these decisions work out now as reasonably well as decision making has ever worked out for people. There are hits (things go well) and misses (one ends up dead), with more hits than misses because the population has been growing for a long time.

    What has been different during the last hundred years (and more) is a more fluid, rapidly changing, globalizing environment where the future is far more uncertain than it was in say 1300 - 1500. Life in 1400 was no picnic -- plague, fires, wars, death, etc., but the range of decisions was relatively limited. The average person had little latitude in life choices. People today are faced with far more complex, confusing, and murky problems than in the past.
  • tim wood
    1.3k
    Why age? Why not after military service, or after having earned a year's pay and paid taxes on it. Or having graduated from high school and having passed a test to earn universal suffrage. Or simply possessing a collage degree.

    I myself like the idea that no one votes who cannot pass some basic universal test.. Maybe a combination of age, service, and education and testing. Why not? Maybe with educated voters we wouldn't have got the orange pig. And those who fail would have sometinhg to think about.
  • DingoJones
    233


    I like that sentiment. It seems draconic to test for voting like that but ignorance or stupidity causes real damage, is it wrong to defend ourselves by raising the bar so ignorant fools dont ruin everything?
  • ArguingWAristotleTiff
    3.2k
    Now, I can honestly say that I have continued to blunder all the way to age 72, though the ratio of blunders to good decisions has improved in favor of good decisions.Bitter Crank

    That is my answer then BC. 72 years old is when a person should legally make their own decisions. :up:
  • ArguingWAristotleTiff
    3.2k
    Maybe a combination of age, service, and education and testing. Why not? Maybe with educated voters we wouldn't have got the orange pig.tim wood
    Pardon me tim, but I am of age, have served my community, am college educated and continuing on with further formal education, have passed the testing given and I voted for Trump. Suffice it to say that your suggestions would not have given our election a different outcome as I am proof of that.

    And those who fail would have sometinhg to think about.tim wood
    I am still not sure that the Democrats have gotten over the failure to even think about where things went wrong. The first step is to admit you have a problem and the DNC as recent as Friday still believes in their heart of hearts that President Trump is not really OUR president and the resistance continues.

    The best thing President Trump can do is find out what the DNC takes for granted and address the issues of those....oh the forgotten middle class....wait, he is doing that.

    In a blink of an eye, this term will be over and what will the DNC have to offer? A "Not Him" strategy?
  • Athena
    121


    Oh you are old enough to be amazed by what happens to our thinking in our later years. Isn't it awesome! I am sure the age of Enlightenment was in part the result of an increasing number of people living into old age when there is a profound change in our thinking. There must be many people who have reached this age to stimulate each others thinking. Nothing of much good is going to happen when we are left alone without adequate stimunlation of our thinking. Thinkers need each other and this is a whole lot different from arguing with a young person who knows it all but does not understand bigger meanings and not the possibility of enlightened thinking. That moment when it is like a light goes off in our head and we are surprised we never realized that truth before.

    In the 1970's we announced a national youth crisis and I am quite sure that was the result of the transition from liberal education to education for technology. Liberal education cares about completely different truths than education for technology and this transmission had to destroy past values. In school children not to respect their elders but to know their parents were old fashioned and outdated. And people today are sure education for technology is far better than liberal education.

    So now we have youth who think they should have the same freedom of decision making as an adult, and think they are smarter than the adults, and they don't check the science before making their argument. This is really paradoxical, so far, education for technology has not prepared the young for life, nor for scientific thinking! Maybe education is improving but we have gone through several decades of destroying our culture and attempting to manifest a technological society with unknown values.
  • Athena
    121


    Military service would necessitate a person be voting age. The voting age was lowered because of the protest of the Vietnam war. It was argued it is wrong to send our youth into war before they are old enough to vote, so the voting was lowered. That goes against the science that our brains are not fully matured until age 25 and the judgment of youth is really awful. Something our criminal justice system should take into consideration and once did. The age for military service takes advantage of the youthful mind, before a person has developed good judgment. This does not matter in the military where the youth is under the control of authority 24/7 and during this historical time of poor judgment, we are attempting to recreate authority of us, where you can peirce and tatoo your body and dye your blue, but best obey and rely on the legitimate authority that is external and above us.
  • DingoJones
    233


    I dont think a brain needs to be fully developed in order for a person to have good judgement. Under 25 isnt the same for everyone, so doesnt it make sense to judge on an individual basis through some sort of Basic test?
  • Athena
    121


    I am very sure Trump is the result of the 1958 National Defense Education Act that is also responsible for our reactionary politics in general and Congress being so stuck in power plays it is in as much trouble as the governing powers of Germany were before Hitler took charge. This is the result of replacing liberal education with the German model of education for technology, and that is the result of the Military Industrial Complex having the power to direct what happens and take over control of education with the goal of having the strongest, highest tech military on earth and we come to this from the second war world against Germany who was better prepared for a high tech war than anyone else.

    Perhaps it was the will of God that got Einstien out of Germany and into the US and several of his colleges who helped us be the first to have the atom bomb and land on the moon. This was a wake-up call and it changed education in the US. But now we have the problems Germany had, including the thugs who think Trump is their leader. We always had thugs, but they didn't normally think our president was their leader and approving of their behavior.
  • Athena
    121


    Do you think science has value? What are the grounds for your disagreement with the science? This is a really hard debate to have because I remember how sure of myself I was when I was young, so I am aware of the young person's point of view and how real that seems. Then around 26 I realized how much my thinking had changed. At that time, age 18 gave me adult status, so when I realized how much my thinking had changed, my friend and I shared our thoughts about realizing at age 18 we were not fully mature. Full maturity and good judgment just does not happen at age 18 and I am wondering how you could be much older and not realize that?

    People who marry young can get into big trouble when the wife passes age 25, because then she needs to claim herself and her right to make decisions, and she is no longer the passive, adoring wife he married. If they do not have good problem resolving skills they end up separating.

    Recently we have learned a lot about thinking and we seriously need to be aware of why our judgment can be absolutely terrible at any age. Only when we are aware can we avoid the pitfalls. Our brains are far more limited and much easy to trick than we want to believe. Our great intelligence is dependent on working together.
  • Hanover
    4.1k
    I don't think that the age requirements should be abolished, I just think that they should be based on some form of scientific data and as far as I can see, they aren't. Is there any history I'm missing? What criteria should these laws be based on?MonfortS26

    It can be based upon any criteria the society wants it be set on. We set speed limits on roadways on the amount of safety we want to assure (0 mph is safest), how much fuel economy we want to have (in the 1970s interstate speed was lowered from 70 to 55), and the amount of time we want to save by allowing people to go faster. Not all of these questions are scientific, but are based upon values we have.

    The age of consent is the same. We have expectations for children versus adults, and we don't want our 10 years old having sex and signing contracts.

    Age of consent moves with the changing values. In the southern US, historically, the age of consent for sex was 14, but older in the north and Europe, 16 and sometimes 17. More recently, the south has raised its age under the thinking that children need protection, while Europe has dropped its age, now with the thought that children should have more freedoms.

    There is also an advantage to a certain figure be decided, even if it doesn't apply well to everyone, as opposed to setting a rule that allows evaluation on a case by case basis.
  • DingoJones
    233


    Wait, time out. Where did I say or imply I saw no value in science?
  • tim wood
    1.3k
    Your post tells me that you have not in any way taken the measure of the man, that you do not understand what he is or what he does, or grasp the danger he is to all persons. And in your wishful and hopeful acceptance, which stands as apologist, you confer on him a carte blanche. Now, Trump is no Hitler, nor America 1930s Germany, but along comes a man with a series of big lies that some people want to believe, and against all sense, do believe - and what do you end up with? As of this date, a man who threatens to shut down the government of The United States of America if Congress won't fund for him a "border wall." "Border wall" in quotes because it's pretty clear that there will never be a complete border wall because too difficult and too expensive (and too useless). As well, that originally Mexico was going to pay for it.

    But it really does not matter what part or aspect of Trump you look at, he's all around grotesque, evil, and awful. The reality is that being President provides him with opportunities to do the good and the right, not a license to do wrong, or whatever he wants. The White House is your house; would you care to see your President kiss MBS's or Putin's hand in your house?
  • tim wood
    1.3k
    That's why the electoral college, to certify good sense and counter bad. They just didn't do their job this time 'round, or did not understand their job in the first place.
  • Athena
    121


    ? :chin: What part of your post is in agreement with science?

    "I dont think a brain needs to be fully developed in order for a person to have good judgement. Under 25 isnt the same for everyone, so doesnt it make sense to judge on an individual basis through some sort of Basic test?"

    Given the science, doesn't it make more sense to accept the brain is not fully developed and develop a legal system that takes that into consideration? Denial of scientific evidence leads to serious problems, and I sure as blazes would not be giving young people credit cards simply because they are college students,
  • Athena
    121


    I have a good and mature Christian friend who thinks Trump is a good father to our country. The Evangelist Christians have a very different opinion of Trump than you do. Why is their judgment so different from yours?

    We do understand developing good judgment is a matter of education and maturity, right? We also understand people with education and maturity can have very bad judgment, right? Why?

    When I speak of education I want to stress education for technology does not lead to good judgment as a liberal education is about having good moral judgment. Having a good understanding of democracy is not as simple as breathing the air in the US. A lot of people like Trump. Why?

    How do you support the opinion that Trump is not our Hitler? I am saying because of the change in education he is our Hitler. It is all about how we learn to think and what we believe.
  • DingoJones
    233
    ? :chin: What part of your post is in agreement with science?Athena

    Um, all of it? I didnt deny that the brain develops until 25. What I said was, and amazingly you quoted me and still got it wrong, is that you do not need a fully developed at 25 brain in order to have good judgement. I didnt say your judgement wasnt better with a fully developed brain at 25, you inserted that yourself. There are 25+ year olds who have poor judgements, and youths under 25 with good judgement. That was my point, hence my suggestion of a basic test on an individual basis. Some under 25 year olds can handle a credit card or voting, some 25+ over obviously cannot.
    Hopefully that clears things up, cuz I am certainly not a science denier.
  • Athena
    121


    That is good judgment of what?

    At age 72 I am amazed by how much my judgment has changed and it is being generous to not set the voting age at 50 years of age. The development of our minds does not stop at age 25. :lol: I am now thinking of Plato and the notion that only a handful of people have good enough judgment to trust them with governing decisions.

    Ten-year-olds have better judgment than 14-year-olds and this changes around age 25, and by 70 there is a much greater change. And it is not as simple as either having good judgment or not having good judgment. Getting the best buy on a cell phone is different from deciding who should be our president or what social benefits we should allow children and older Americans.

    The teenager is more likely to violate the rules than a ten-year-old. And it becomes much easier to enjoy the company of a man when his hormones are not raging. And speaking of hormones! A woman can use PMS as a defense argument. I have heard professors make complete fools of themselves, such as the middle-aged psychology professor who dumped his old wife for a young hot one, and told the class women who go out night want to be raped. This poor dude had sex on the brain because of the difference his young wife made, and although his subject was psychology, he was clueless about why his young wife was more stimulating to him than his old one. So much of our judgment is influenced by hormones and when we are unaware of this, our judgment can be really bad. Talking about one's private in front of a class is not a good choice, but as Gibran said, we speak when we are not at peace with our thoughts.

    That is not the only reason for bad judgment. Where a person lives makes a big difference. People in cosmopolitan cities tend to have a different understanding of life than people in rural areas. The kind of people we hang out with and their ages, effects our judgment.

    And this man is the expert on why we have bad judgment...

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CjVQJdIrDJ0
  • Terrapin Station
    5.2k
    I don't believe that such things should at all hinge on age. They should hinge on ability.
  • TheHedoMinimalist
    53
    I don't believe that such things should at all hinge on age. They should hinge on ability.Terrapin Station

    Well, that would be ideal. But, it's not clear to me how we could make it hinge on ability. How do we figure out whether or not someone is mature enough to drink, drive, smoke, watch porn, become a stripper, gamble, get married, rent a car, or have a job or vote? We would have to have at least somewhat of an objective and accurate test to figure out if someone is mature enough for any of the above activities. The only activity that we could make a fairly objective and accurate test on is voting. We could allow minors to vote if they pass a political knowledge test. We could also prohibit adults who can't pass the test from voting. Although, the latter suggestion would be a bad idea I think. I suppose we could also make the driving test harder for teenagers to pass and remove the age limit although that wouldn't solve the problem of reckless driving by teenagers not mature enough to care about the consequences of it.
  • Terrapin Station
    5.2k


    One thing I definitely wouldn't do is make it a "mature enough" metric. I'd be trying to avoid making it anything about value judgments as much as possible.

    We already have driving tests that you're required to pass before you can drive, by the way.
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