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  • "Children's" Rights

    Discliamer: I found this article on another forum and found it interesting. I thought I would share it with you for your comments. I am not the author and do not necesarily subscribe to this viewpoint.


    Why children should rebel
    by [email protected] (Eugene) Aug 15, 2004 at 03:49 PM

    Our current concept of childhood is a relatively recent invention.
    Throughout most cultures throughout most of human history, individuals
    today
    referred to as "children" had the right to marry, serve in the army, and
    even act as the head of state.

    We can still see remnants of this in ceremonies such as Barmitzvah
    celebrations practiced by those who follow the Old Testament, though the
    true purpose of such events has been obscured by today's society. In the
    Judeo-Christian culture, boys who reached the age of 13 were considered to
    be full fledged adults, with all the associated rights and
    responsibilities.

    This is a far cry from today's attitudes and practices, where even
    individuals considerably older than 13 are still not allowed to own
    property
    in their own name, enter legal agreements, or have any significant
    decision
    making power over how they are to live their lives. Instead, they are
    entirely at the almost arbitrary mercy of their parents or legal
    guardians.

    This situation is similar to the subordinate legal status women had to
    their
    husbands just a few generations ago. It is in effect a form of slavery,
    though under the supposed belief that this is in the best interest of
    those
    who are enslaved. It was only in 1920 that women finally gained the right
    to
    vote in the United States. Prior to this date, it was considered
    outrageous
    to propose that these "irrational creatures" could be trusted to have a
    say
    in governance.

    In exactly the same way, most people currently assume that children are
    not
    intellectually or emotionally competent to act as our equals in society.
    This view is reflected in our language when people tell each other to
    start
    "behaving like adults."

    However, a few moments reflection should make us realize that "typical
    adult
    behavior" consists of resolving our disputes through military
    confrontations
    and through bitter lawsuits. Nothing in our daily behavior is in any way
    superior to the behavior of those we refer to as "children."

    The very definition of what it means to be an "adult" has been warped by
    our
    society. When we refer to an "adult horse" or an "adult dog", the word
    "adult" refers to the reproductive maturity of being able to produce
    offspring. By contrast, our society's legal definition is based on an
    arbitrary age demarcation, long after biological adulthood has already
    been
    attained.

    Neither biological adulthood nor legal adulthood are a prerequisite for
    intellectually or emotional maturity. Nor are they a guarantee of it. Some
    people are competent to make their own decisions by the age of seven.
    Others
    are still not able to run their own lives even by the age of thirty.

    Just as racism is unacceptable, it is also unacceptable to use arbitrary
    age
    demarcation lines to determine who will have which rights.

    Consider for example the right to drive a car. We obviously need tests to
    determine who can be trusted with this responsibility. However, to be
    fair,
    the same test must apply to all people, regardless of race or gender, and
    regardless of youth. If someone successfully passes the written exam and
    the
    "behind the wheel" test, then there is no justification to deny a driving
    license on the grounds that the applicant is too young.

    The same principle can be applied to all other areas of life. There is
    indeed a real need for limitations. For example, newborn infants can not
    be
    trusted to make their own decisions. However, the point in time at which
    people are given various rights and responsibilities must be decided by
    fair
    and objective tests, not by arbitrary age demarcation.

    If a five year old child born in the United States can pass the same test
    immigrants take to attain citizenship, then this child should be given the
    right to vote just as all other Americans. If a six year old child can
    pass
    a test demonstrating that he is aware of all the consequences of the
    issues
    involved, then he should be allowed to determine who he will live with and
    where he will go to school. If a seven year old child can pass a test
    demonstrating that he has the intellectual fortitude to make his own
    decisions in life, then he should be given the full right to determine the
    course of his own destiny.

    Although no child should ever be forced to take these tests against his
    will, these tests should always be made available to any child who wishes
    to
    take them.

    Of course, there are many people who doubt that any child this young can
    pass such tests. However, this is not the issue. Even if we were to
    believe
    that no child will ever pass these tests, we should not deny them the
    right
    to just "take the test" simply because they are too young.

    If our skeptical predications are correct, and no child ever passes these
    tests, then no harm has been done, since no child will have attained these
    freedoms. If only one in a million passes this test, then nothing will
    have
    changed for the over 99% percent of the children who did not pass, but we
    should not restrict the rights of this one child who did pass simply
    because
    of the poor performance of his peers.



    There is a reason why we are reluctant to allow children to demonstrate
    their competence through such tests. It is the fear that they will
    outperform us. Many teenagers under the age of sixteen would make better
    drivers than their parents, many young children are far more aware of
    international politics than are their parents, and quite frankly, there
    are
    many seven year olds who would make much better decisions in life than
    many
    adults do.

    There is unfortunately no shortage of examples of adults who drown
    hopelessly in debt by living well beyond their means, destroy their family
    lives with extramarital affairs, or throw their careers away as the result
    of problems with alcohol. Yet our society gives even these types of
    individuals full sovereignty over the lives of their children, even when
    these children would probably be much more capable at running the family
    than their parents.

    In fact, children have an advantage over the rest of society in many ways.
    They are far better at learning new skills and better at analytical
    reasoning. They also tend to be far more creative and open minded. These
    attributes tend to become far less keen as people grow older. This can be
    seen in many daily examples, such as the fact that parents often have to
    ask
    their children for help when learning how to operate their computers.

    The sad thing about our current state of affairs is not just that a large
    segment of our population has its rights and freedoms systematically
    denied,
    but the fact that our society is routinely denied the contributions of
    those
    citizens who potentially have the most to contribute.


    -------------------------------------------


    I placed a copy of this article on my web site at:

    http://ar.vegnews.org/children.html

    Please feel free to post this message to other discussion groups or
    mailing lists.


    If you liked this article, please visit my other web sites:

    Animal Rights and Vegetarian Ethics
    http://ar.vegnews.org


    Objective Morality
    http://ar.vegnews.org/morals.html

  • #2
    Discliamer: I found this article on another forum and found it interesting. I thought I would share it with you for your comments. I am not the author and do not necesarily subscribe to this viewpoint.


    Why children should rebel
    by [email protected] (Eugene) Aug 15, 2004 at 03:49 PM

    Our current concept of childhood is a relatively recent invention.
    Throughout most cultures throughout most of human history, individuals
    today
    referred to as "children" had the right to marry, serve in the army, and
    even act as the head of state.

    We can still see remnants of this in ceremonies such as Barmitzvah
    celebrations practiced by those who follow the Old Testament, though the
    true purpose of such events has been obscured by today's society. In the
    Judeo-Christian culture, boys who reached the age of 13 were considered to
    be full fledged adults, with all the associated rights and
    responsibilities.

    This is a far cry from today's attitudes and practices, where even
    individuals considerably older than 13 are still not allowed to own
    property
    in their own name, enter legal agreements, or have any significant
    decision
    making power over how they are to live their lives. Instead, they are
    entirely at the almost arbitrary mercy of their parents or legal
    guardians.

    This situation is similar to the subordinate legal status women had to
    their
    husbands just a few generations ago. It is in effect a form of slavery,
    though under the supposed belief that this is in the best interest of
    those
    who are enslaved. It was only in 1920 that women finally gained the right
    to
    vote in the United States. Prior to this date, it was considered
    outrageous
    to propose that these "irrational creatures" could be trusted to have a
    say
    in governance.

    In exactly the same way, most people currently assume that children are
    not
    intellectually or emotionally competent to act as our equals in society.
    This view is reflected in our language when people tell each other to
    start
    "behaving like adults."

    However, a few moments reflection should make us realize that "typical
    adult
    behavior" consists of resolving our disputes through military
    confrontations
    and through bitter lawsuits. Nothing in our daily behavior is in any way
    superior to the behavior of those we refer to as "children."

    The very definition of what it means to be an "adult" has been warped by
    our
    society. When we refer to an "adult horse" or an "adult dog", the word
    "adult" refers to the reproductive maturity of being able to produce
    offspring. By contrast, our society's legal definition is based on an
    arbitrary age demarcation, long after biological adulthood has already
    been
    attained.

    Neither biological adulthood nor legal adulthood are a prerequisite for
    intellectually or emotional maturity. Nor are they a guarantee of it. Some
    people are competent to make their own decisions by the age of seven.
    Others
    are still not able to run their own lives even by the age of thirty.

    Just as racism is unacceptable, it is also unacceptable to use arbitrary
    age
    demarcation lines to determine who will have which rights.

    Consider for example the right to drive a car. We obviously need tests to
    determine who can be trusted with this responsibility. However, to be
    fair,
    the same test must apply to all people, regardless of race or gender, and
    regardless of youth. If someone successfully passes the written exam and
    the
    "behind the wheel" test, then there is no justification to deny a driving
    license on the grounds that the applicant is too young.

    The same principle can be applied to all other areas of life. There is
    indeed a real need for limitations. For example, newborn infants can not
    be
    trusted to make their own decisions. However, the point in time at which
    people are given various rights and responsibilities must be decided by
    fair
    and objective tests, not by arbitrary age demarcation.

    If a five year old child born in the United States can pass the same test
    immigrants take to attain citizenship, then this child should be given the
    right to vote just as all other Americans. If a six year old child can
    pass
    a test demonstrating that he is aware of all the consequences of the
    issues
    involved, then he should be allowed to determine who he will live with and
    where he will go to school. If a seven year old child can pass a test
    demonstrating that he has the intellectual fortitude to make his own
    decisions in life, then he should be given the full right to determine the
    course of his own destiny.

    Although no child should ever be forced to take these tests against his
    will, these tests should always be made available to any child who wishes
    to
    take them.

    Of course, there are many people who doubt that any child this young can
    pass such tests. However, this is not the issue. Even if we were to
    believe
    that no child will ever pass these tests, we should not deny them the
    right
    to just "take the test" simply because they are too young.

    If our skeptical predications are correct, and no child ever passes these
    tests, then no harm has been done, since no child will have attained these
    freedoms. If only one in a million passes this test, then nothing will
    have
    changed for the over 99% percent of the children who did not pass, but we
    should not restrict the rights of this one child who did pass simply
    because
    of the poor performance of his peers.



    There is a reason why we are reluctant to allow children to demonstrate
    their competence through such tests. It is the fear that they will
    outperform us. Many teenagers under the age of sixteen would make better
    drivers than their parents, many young children are far more aware of
    international politics than are their parents, and quite frankly, there
    are
    many seven year olds who would make much better decisions in life than
    many
    adults do.

    There is unfortunately no shortage of examples of adults who drown
    hopelessly in debt by living well beyond their means, destroy their family
    lives with extramarital affairs, or throw their careers away as the result
    of problems with alcohol. Yet our society gives even these types of
    individuals full sovereignty over the lives of their children, even when
    these children would probably be much more capable at running the family
    than their parents.

    In fact, children have an advantage over the rest of society in many ways.
    They are far better at learning new skills and better at analytical
    reasoning. They also tend to be far more creative and open minded. These
    attributes tend to become far less keen as people grow older. This can be
    seen in many daily examples, such as the fact that parents often have to
    ask
    their children for help when learning how to operate their computers.

    The sad thing about our current state of affairs is not just that a large
    segment of our population has its rights and freedoms systematically
    denied,
    but the fact that our society is routinely denied the contributions of
    those
    citizens who potentially have the most to contribute.


    -------------------------------------------


    I placed a copy of this article on my web site at:

    http://ar.vegnews.org/children.html

    Please feel free to post this message to other discussion groups or
    mailing lists.


    If you liked this article, please visit my other web sites:

    Animal Rights and Vegetarian Ethics
    http://ar.vegnews.org


    Objective Morality
    http://ar.vegnews.org/morals.html

    Comment


    • #3
      I don't agree with the article. A person can pass a test, say a 5 year old with a good memory, and not be mentally mature enough to know what is going on in the election.

      When I worked in a dangerous outdoor job we were required to take a yearly safety rules exam and there were guys who passed it with flying colors who were definitely not in the "safe" mode to work with!

      Comment


      • #4
        Imaging Study Shows Brain Maturing


        http://www.nimh.nih.gov/press/prbrainmaturing.cfm

        Comment


        • #5

          Maturity should not be based on a selective age, I agree with.

          Comment


          • #6
            Not to be raising the Spectre Of Pedophilia but the article sounds very familiar. It is almost verbatum the same speech I hear from the pedophiles I have to deal with through court mandated therapy justifying their actions.

            While the arbitrary imposition of an age when one is considered and "Adult" can and does have no correlation to actual "maturity" in some cases it does however correlate to the "perceived" maturity of an individual by the society they live in and that perception varys from one society to another.

            To use the analogy of sexual activity two six year olds "going at it like rabbits" is quite a different thing as two 16 year olds or 40 years or....consequences are very different and the appreciation of those consequences is what should be the mark of maturity or Adulthood.

            Points about tests...anyone can memorize the data on a test, understanding that data is the mark or maturity.
            Driving test in particular...one has to be of enough physical size to work the various controls in a coordinated manner, something that can only come with the passing of time (aging).

            Are there children that could be mature enough to be considered adults if age were not a factor...oh, yes there are just as there are "adults" immature enough to be considered "children" irregardless of their age.

            But this "Children's Rights" idea is from the Pedophilia community in an attempt to make their predalictions culturally palatable...T'aint gonna work McGee!

            Comment


            • #7
              Nacktman,
              I hadn't thought of that. It could very well be an adult making these comments. Nonetheless, I try to look at the message, not the messenger. But, thanks for bringing it to my attention.

              Comment


              • #8
                This is a far cry from today's attitudes and practices, where even
                individuals considerably older than 13 are still not allowed to own
                property
                in their own name


                That is false. Anyone of any age can own property and can receive gains on it. Mind you, it would probably be up to someone else to pay the taxes on it, but hey, I would thoroughly enjoy that!

                Bob S.

                Comment

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