When does someone become an "adult"?
#1
Laws tend to vary when it comes to the age that makes one an adult. As an example, the age when someone is legally permitted to drink varies from 16-17 to 26 depending on the region. Minimum age of marriage varies. Age of sexual consent varies. Etc.

When does one become an "adult", if at all such an age can be identified in the first place? I would guess that age of "maturity" varies person to person, and hence a sweeping minimum age law doesn't have any scientific basis.

However, practically, which minimum age can the government adopt? Should governments even have minimum age laws in the first place?
#2
(05-Aug-2010, 07:47 PM)siddharth Wrote: Laws tend to vary when it comes to the age that makes one an adult. As an example, the age when someone is legally permitted to drink varies from 16-17 to 26 depending on the region. Minimum age of marriage varies. Age of sexual consent varies. Etc.

When does one become an "adult", if at all such an age can be identified in the first place? I would guess that age of "maturity" varies person to person, and hence a sweeping minimum age law doesn't have any scientific basis.

However, practically, which minimum age can the government adopt? Should governments even have minimum age laws in the first place?

All such laws make arbitrary judgments wrapped in rigid sounding concepts. If you truly go down the thinking path you're on, the logical end is in questioning personhood and sentience itself. This is not such a preposterous idea. In any case, yours is an interesting question to consider, and like we did in the discussion on free-speech, we can try and come up with logically defensible subjective "truths" about our idealistic selves.
"Fossil rabbits in the Precambrian"
~ J.B.S.Haldane, on being asked to falsify evolution.
#3
I agree. If the issue can be split two ways, one being the scientific aspect and the other being the policy one, I can sense we already have - more or less - the answer to the first, and that the second will prove more tricky.

Quote:If you truly go down the thinking path you're on, the logical end is in questioning personhood and sentience itself.

Absolutely. It seems apparent that the age of "maturity" would vary person to person based on the "qualities" we seek to define it.

More importantly, can we have a practical approach to have legislations based on such "maturity" requirements? I would love to read the views of others.




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