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abandoning children?

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Well, the number wouldn't be some arbitrary number, it would be based on science and reason. I'm guessing the number would be 16-18. It's true that some may be developed by age 16 while the law says 18. Parents will still have an obligation until that age, but the 16 year old will have the option of trying to become emancipated. That obligation is less than the obligation to a 3 year old. If the parents consider the child to be more "developed" at age 16, for example, they can give the child more responsibilities. But they are still responsible for the basic well being of that child -- including shelter, food, health, etc.

No, it isn't based on education, it is based upon human biology.

well, maybe you've seen something, but I've never seen any solid scientific literature that can point to some kind of definitive change around the age 16-18 that suggests they should now be responsible for what the are doing.

If you think back to the time when you were 5-6 or even 10-12, did you feel that there was something different about yourself that suggested that you had no volition or freewill? or that you can't make choices?

I don't remember any 'sigificant' difference in terms of how my decision making worked. When I played pranks on people when I was 5 or 6, that felt like a conscious choice, I knew if I hid object A from B, then B will be upset, and then I can laugh at B and give the object back to him. Did you feel anything different?

The only differences that I can point to are:

1) person's shorter

2) didn't know as much

3) certain emotional differences <== maybe an argument here, but I'm not sure if we really want to open this can of worms.

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In LFC, you would still be responsible for your actions. If you choose to have children, you will be their legal guardian until they are adults or until you are able to pass that responsibility on to someone else (on a voluntary basis). No one's going to force you to raise the children if someone else is willing to do it, but they will hold you responsible if anything happens to them while you're their legal guardian.

Current child protection laws are based on the same exact principles laws in a LFC society would be based on, minus the government involvement in raising orphans and abandoned children. That part would be left to charities and adoptive parents.

But, as far as assigning blame for what happens to children, the legal guardians are the ones responsible, and by default, the legal guardians are the parents who made the decision to bring the child into the world.

should children also have some responsibility?

does it cover economic responsibility?

To be honest I'm not even sure if I buy the practicality arguments. There are children millionaires out there, and there are also children beggars all around the world who are surviving economically on their own, why should I provide them with a roof when they can just go to a street corner and offer to shine shoes (hell, I'll even give them the shoe-shine cloth for free)?

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well, maybe you've seen something, but I've never seen any solid scientific literature that can point to some kind of definitive change around the age 16-18 that suggests they should now be responsible for what the are doing.

If you think back to the time when you were 5-6 or even 10-12, did you feel that there was something different about yourself that suggested that you had no volition or freewill? or that you can't make choices?

I don't remember any 'sigificant' difference in terms of how my decision making worked. When I played pranks on people when I was 5 or 6, that felt like a conscious choice, I knew if I hid object A from B, then B will be upset, and then I can laugh at B and give the object back to him. Did you feel anything different?

The only differences that I can point to are:

1) person's shorter

2) didn't know as much

3) certain emotional differences <== maybe an argument here, but I'm not sure if we really want to open this can of worms.

Your real question and the heart of this topic is what would be the legal age of adulthood in an Objectivist society. Free will isn't the threshold for adulthood. It is biological development.

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what if I think my child should be his own man?

It does not matter what you think, objectively you caused your child to come into existence and therefore you are responsible for him until the age of adulthood or he is formally and legally emancipated by other means (adoption, judicial emancipation, and I think those are the only two ways).

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It does not matter what you think, objectively you caused your child to come into existence and therefore you are responsible for him until the age of adulthood or he is formally and legally emancipated by other means (adoption, judicial emancipation, and I think those are the only two ways).

so what is the proper age of adulthood? if it can be something really low (3,4,5), then what's the difference?

if it's going to be something higher, then what is the principle/evidence behind it? (it just leads back to the above discussion)

Edited by Puzzle Peddler
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Somewhere around 18 years of age a person ought to and usually has the education, maturity, and ability to enter into contracts and support themselves through work. This is justified by observation of actual young persons, not deduction from some prior principle; it is empirical.

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Somewhere around 18 years of age a person ought to and usually has the education, maturity, and ability to enter into contracts and support themselves through work. This is justified by observation of actual young persons, not deduction from some prior principle; it is empirical.

10 year old children in India can survive by begging for food. If they can survive economically by begging, why do we have to give them education?

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should children also have some responsibility?

does it cover economic responsibility?

To be honest I'm not even sure if I buy the practicality arguments. There are children millionaires out there, and there are also children beggars all around the world who are surviving economically on their own, why should I provide them with a roof when they can just go to a street corner and offer to shine shoes (hell, I'll even give them the shoe-shine cloth for free)?

Stop trolling. Or at least try and troll a little better.

Edited by Nicky
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Bare survival is not the rational standard of care, independence is. Independence requires being able to be productive, and begging is not productive.

well you can understand my concern here, it opens the question of how much you have to give them before they are 'independent/productive'.

there are also people who started off as beggars and ended up as millionaires, so I'm not sure if being a beggar necessarily stops you from having opportunities. Or do we want to say that those beggars who became millionaires must have gotten lucky?

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That would be a decision made based on science and reason. It is not a philosophical question. I can tell you with certainty that it will not be age 6 or 7 and will most likely be around 16-18.

certainty based on what? Based on personal experience? I'm not sure if I'd buy that kind of evidence.

Don't forget that the life expectancy 5000 years old was extremely low, and yet people were able to operate independently.

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how do you propose to define 'independence allowing for productivity'?

if not based on past evidence?

Past evidence and a bit of reasoning is the only way to reach a proper definition of anything. I defy you to justify begging as a form of independence based on any evidence whatsoever when begging is next to outright parasitism as an excellent example of being dependent.

All the ethical virtues need to be studied and understood together because they are mutually illuminating, and are simply different facets of rationality in action. But as a singular starting point try: Productiveness The other virtues are linked from the entry on Virtue.

Edited by Grames
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Past evidence and a bit of reasoning is the only way to reach a proper definition of anything. I defy you to justify begging as a form of independence based on any evidence whatsoever when begging is next to outright parasitism as an excellent example of being dependent.

All the ethical virtues need to be studied and understood together because they are mutually illuminating, and are simply different facets of rationality in action. But as a singular starting point try: Productiveness The other virtues are linked from the entry on Virtue.

alright, if begging is much be too much, how about shoe shining?

some thoughts on the links:

The virtue of

Productiveness

is the recognition of the fact that productive work is the process by which man’s mind sustains his life, the process that sets man free of the necessity to adjust himself to his background, as all animals do, and gives him the power to adjust his background to himself. Productive work is the road of man’s unlimited achievement and calls upon the highest attributes of his character: his creative ability, his ambitiousness, his self-assertiveness, his refusal to bear uncontested disasters, his dedication to the goal of reshaping the earth in the image of his values. “Productive work” does not mean the unfocused performance of the motions of some job. It means the consciously chosen pursuit of a productive career, in any line of rational endeavor, great or modest, on any level of ability. It is not the degree of a man’s ability nor the scale of his work that is ethically relevant here, but the fullest and most purposeful use of his mind.

problem: if my kid chooses to be a lawyer, do I now have a duty to pay all of the tuition from undergrad through law school before I can let him go?

Productiveness is your acceptance of morality, your recognition of the fact that you choose to live—that productive work is the process by which man’s consciousness controls his existence, a constant process of acquiring knowledge and shaping matter to fit one’s purpose, of translating an idea into physical form, of remaking the earth in the image of one’s values—that

all

work is creative work if done by a thinking mind, and no work is creative if done by a blank who repeats in uncritical stupor a routine he has learned from others—that your work is yours to choose, and the choice is as wide as your mind, that nothing more is possible to you and nothing less is human—that to cheat your way into a job bigger than your mind can handle is to become a fear-corroded ape on borrowed motions and borrowed time, and to settle down into a job that requires less than your mind’s full capacity is to cut your motor and sentence yourself to another kind of motion: decay—that your work is the process of achieving your values, and to lose your ambition for values is to lose your ambition to live—that your body is a machine, but your mind is its driver, and you must drive as far as your mind will take you, with achievement as the goal of your road—that the man who has no purpose is a machine that coasts downhill at the mercy of any boulder to crash in the first chance ditch, that the man who stifles his mind is a stalled machine slowly going to rust, that the man who lets a leader prescribe his course is a wreck being towed to the scrap heap, and the man who makes another man his goal is a hitchhiker no driver should ever pick up—that your work is the purpose of your life, and you must speed past any killer who assumes the right to stop you, that any value you might find outside your work, any other loyalty or love, can be only travelers you choose to share your journey and must be travelers going on their own power in the same direction.

what if the options are limited? Does that stop you from being creative? or not?

Edited by Puzzle Peddler
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alright, if begging is much be too much, how about shoe shining?

Who the hell wears shiny shoes nowadays, and where can you find enough of them in one place to support a shoe shining business since everybody drives everywhere?

problem: if my kid chooses to be a lawyer, do I now have a duty to pay all of the tuition from undergrad through law school before I can let him go?

No, all education past the high school level cannot be an obligation. That follows from regarding over 18 years old as legal adulthood.

what if the options are limited? Does that stop you from being creative? or not?

Options are always limited, just in different ways. That is no excuse.

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Who the hell wears shiny shoes nowadays, and where can you find enough of them in one place to support a shoe shining business since everybody drives everywhere?

It's a sustainable business at air ports and train stations. You can even mix in creative ideas and set ups once you get an investor's attention. Check these guys out:

No, all education past the high school level cannot be an obligation. That follows from regarding over 18 years old as legal adulthood.

back to the same problem, why 18? is there scientific evidence that something magical happens around 18? if so where is it?

Options are always limited, just in different ways. That is no excuse.

exactly, so get creative with your begging. I once met a beggar who said this to me while holding a cup: "I take visa, mastercard, and american express", I had a good laugh and gave him 5 dollars. Why can't children be entrepreneurial beggars?

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certainty based on what? Based on personal experience? I'm not sure if I'd buy that kind of evidence.

Don't forget that the life expectancy 5000 years old was extremely low, and yet people were able to operate independently.

I agree that the age put into law may be a bit arbitrary, despite saying otherwise before. When an individual reaches age 16-18 (probably towards 18) it is OK to assume that he/she is biologically developed enough to make rational long term decisions and assess risk factors.

Specifically, a teen's prefrontal cortex - the piece of brain right behind the forehead that is involved in complex decision making - is not capable of the kind of reasoning that allows most grown-ups to make rational decisions.

The reason for the age is especially important in regards to contracts and jail sentencing. Children can't and shouldn't be able to make contracts because, biologically, they aren't able to assess risk factors enough to make rational long term decisions. They have a very short sided view and will act for immediate gratification-- and there are studies done to reaffirm that.

As for why 18, not 17 or 16, that is where I agree the number is a bit arbitrary. 18 is to stay on the safe side to when humans are biologically developed enough.

As for what about people who develop faster or are capable of rational long term decision making before 18, I agree the age based system is unfair to parents who want the responsibility off their backs and to kids who want their rights. However, I don't see how it could be done any other way than an age based system. A test, for example, on adulthood, seems impractical and I don't understand how something like that could be carried out.

Edited by Matt Giannelli
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back to the same problem, why 18? is there scientific evidence that something magical happens around 18? if so where is it?

You may have missed my above post, but I did raise the issue with adult hood that goes beyond productivity/independence. There is also the issue of consent. I am not just talking about sexual consent, but the ability of a child to understand what can be done to his or her body. For instance a reasonable doctor consults parents when talking to a child about medical issues, because a child probably doesn't have the abiilty to understand them.

The purpose of the government is to protect individual rights. A child is an individual who needs special protection, because unlike an adult, he or she is incapable of understanding certain kinds of agreements. When the child is born, the mother agrees to be that child's guardian. Beyond providing education and goods, she needs to be able to make those sorts of decisions for her.

If a legistlative body wanted to create an "age of consent and independence", they should probably consult psychiatrists and doctors. Those people would have the most rigorous definitions. The definiton would not fit everyone, but if an exception needs to be made a judge can do so.

Past this you are going to end up sounding like one of those people who thinks forests don't exist because we can't find the exact number of trees that make a forest.

Could you stop the socratic method stuff? Its condescending and waists time.

Edited by Hairnet
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