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Re: Re: Re: [philosophy-156] Tonight's philosophy topic: Freedom and Toleration

From: Jason R.
Sent on: Wednesday, April 23, 2008 9:35 AM
 Perhaps age is not the most accurate metric by which to estimate a person's capacity in many functions, as individuals begin life with varying talents and progress through them at different rates. However, I do think it is probably the most fair, moreso than the "rite of passage" concept, which is invariably subject to the imposition of significantly biased value judgments. Governments, religious and social groups, economic and political forces; whoever is allowed to determine the criteria for completing a test or rite of passage is afforded a great deal of power, and it is perhaps most important that the least amount of prejudice be allowed to infiltrate the process by which individuals are determined to be capable of exercising their identity as an equal among equals. What do others think?
   Of course, we don't really have one all-purpose test for this; we face tests and evaluations throughout the entirety of our lives, whether they come in the form of a reading test, a driving test, a job interview, etc. While we know that no one person's faculties develop at exactly the same rate as those of another, we can tell that certain functions begin to mature in a broad sense around certain ages, and age is both universal and without bias. It is not something that is typically subject to a change in political climate or in social order. We also know that certain concepts are easier to grasp than others. Most people don't seem to require a great deal of experience in life to comprehend the morality of killing another human being; stealing is a slightly more complex concept, and political or familial responsibility even more. One age does not fit all, so to speak, and so there are typically several, at least within more traditionally developed societies.
   With most things, a combination of age and achievement seem to work best. Individuals gain a crude recognition of competence by attaining a certain age, and are then afforded the opportunity to earn refined status by the demonstration of advanced capability. Do others disagree? 
   To borrow the hues of Mr. Veksler's position, a prosperous society has a vested interest in the maximization of the value of the individual as quickly as possible, and which is not possible until that individual is able to exercise his or her will freely. In that light, I think that any discussion concerning freedom and toleration should be centered around the process by which an individual is determined to have reached the age of majority-- the point at which the very notions of freedom and toleration become most relevant. Opinions?

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[Meetup] The DFW Examined Life Philosophy Group Mailing List

1.
Subject: Re: Re: [philosophy-156] Tonight's philosophy topic: Freedom and Toleration
From: Shaun Dawson
Date: April 22,[masked]:29 AM
 
As has been implied elsewhere in this thread, it seems to me that age
isn't necessarily a very good metric for this purpose. It seems to me
that we ought to be able to think of better ways of measuring
someone's ability to consent intelligently. Some sort of practical
test, perhaps? This is essentially what credit ratings are, right,
except they only accommodate consent to one type of agreement, namely
the agreement to borrow and lend money. Perhaps that could be
generalized? It seems to me that there is a better way than one size
fits all...

Shaun

On Sun, Apr 20, 2008 at 3:39 AM, Gned the Gnome wrote:
> - Yes, an age of consent is a somewhat arbitrary convention, but is
> admittedly convenient. Suitable methods for overriding it in either direction
> as appropriate for specific individuals would allow fine tuning as needed. The
> 7th and 19th Amendments at the bottom of
> http://texas.freecountries.org/urt-con-amended-2007-10-01.html would be
> examples of how this might be done in a relatively free society.
>
>
>
> Gned the Gnome - philosopher etc.
>
>
>
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: ;
> Sent: Saturday, April 19,[masked]:24 PM
> Subject: Re: Re: [philosophy-156] Tonight's philosophy topic: Freedom and
> Toleration
>
>
>
> We didn't really touch on the question of how to determine the age of consent,
> although we all agreed that there is (or should be) some age of consent, and
> that people below such age deserve special protections and considerations. The
> problems of determining a suitable age of consent raises some very interesting
> points. Can society ever be able to determine some special age that confers on
> people responsibility for their actions and decisions? Wouldn't any such age
> be nothing more than a very crude approximation, a clumsy statistical
> abstraction? It seems that any such age would be as normative as it was
> descriptive. But clearly civilized society seems to require that there be some
> one age at which people are deemed to have attained some status they didn't
> have before that age. Of course no such transition ever magically happens that
> way on anyone's particular birthday. It's a kind of myth that enables
> civilization to continue. It seems that such an age is an agreed on
>
> convention with legal force behind it that is applied everywhere in one
> nation at a time. It's an example of the need for a public sphere.
>
> ...
>
>
>
>
>
> --
> Please Note: If you hit "REPLY", your message will be sent to everyone on this mailing list ([address removed])
>
> http://philosophy.meetup.com/156
>
> This message was sent by Gned the Gnome ([address removed]) from The DFW Examined Life Philosophy Group.
> To learn more about Gned the Gnome, visit his/her member profile: http://philosophy.meetup.com/156/members/4311598/
> To unsubscribe or to update your mailing list settings, click here: http://www.meetup.com/account/?tab=comm
>
>
>
> Meetup Support: [address removed]
> 632 Broadway New York NY 10012 USA
>
>
2.
Subject: Re: Re: [philosophy-156] Tonight's philosophy topic: Freedom and Toleration
From: Gned the Gnome
Date: April 22,[masked]:53 PM
 
- That would seem like a good idea, but if there's a test, the gov't would
get involved and sneak political questions into the test to bias it against
those who won't kiss the gov't's @$$.


Gned the Gnome - philosopher etc.


----- Original Message -----
From: ;
Sent: Tuesday, April 22,[masked]:29 AM
Subject: Re: Re: [philosophy-156] Tonight's philosophy topic: Freedom and
Toleration


As has been implied elsewhere in this thread, it seems to me that age
isn't necessarily a very good metric for this purpose. It seems to me
that we ought to be able to think of better ways of measuring
someone's ability to consent intelligently. Some sort of practical
test, perhaps? This is essentially what credit ratings are, right,
except they only accommodate consent to one type of agreement, namely
the agreement to borrow and lend money. Perhaps that could be
generalized? It seems to me that there is a better way than one size
fits all...

Shaun

On Sun, Apr 20, 2008 at 3:39 AM, Gned the Gnome wrote:
> - Yes, an age of consent is a somewhat arbitrary convention, but is
> admittedly convenient. Suitable methods for overriding it in either
> direction
> as appropriate for specific individuals would allow fine tuning as needed.
> The
> 7th and 19th Amendments at the bottom of
> http://texas.freecountries.org/urt-con-amended-2007-10-01.html would be
> examples of how this might be done in a relatively free society.
>
>
>
> Gned the Gnome - philosopher etc.
>
>
>
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: ;
> Sent: Saturday, April 19,[masked]:24 PM
> Subject: Re: Re: [philosophy-156] Tonight's philosophy topic: Freedom and
> Toleration
>
>
>
> We didn't really touch on the question of how to determine the age of
> consent,
> although we all agreed that there is (or should be) some age of consent,
> and
> that people below such age deserve special protections and considerations.
> The
> problems of determining a suitable age of consent raises some very
> interesting
> points. Can society ever be able to determine some special age that confers
> on
> people responsibility for their actions and decisions? Wouldn't any such
> age
> be nothing more than a very crude approximation, a clumsy statistical
> abstraction? It seems that any such age would be as normative as it was
> descriptive. But clearly civilized society seems to require that there be
> some
> one age at which people are deemed to have attained some status they didn't
> have before that age. Of course no such transition ever magically happens
> that
> way on anyone's particular birthday. It's a kind of myth that enables
> civilization to continue. It seems that such an age is an agreed on
>
> convention with legal force behind it that is applied everywhere in one
> nation at a time. It's an example of the need for a public sphere.
>
> ...
>
>
>
>
>
> --
> Please Note: If you hit "REPLY", your message will be sent to everyone on
> this mailing list ([address removed])
>
> http://philosophy.meetup.com/156
>
> This message was sent by Gned the Gnome ([address removed]) from The DFW
> Examined Life Philosophy Group.
> To learn more about Gned the Gnome, visit his/her member profile:
> http://philosophy.meetup.com/156/members/4311598/
> To unsubscribe or to update your mailing list settings, click here:
> http://www.meetup.com/account/?tab=comm
>
>
>
> Meetup Support: [address removed]
> 632 Broadway New York NY 10012 USA
>
>



--
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3.
Subject: Re: [philosophy-156] Tonight's philosophy topic: Freedom and Toleration
From: Eduardo
Date: April 23,[masked]:39 AM
 
Greetings:
It has been a while since I went to a Thursday meeting (my work schedule is currently restrictive). Still, I would like to contribute my two cents to this discussion of determining an age of maturity and responsibility.
It used to be that, at least in certain societies, there were rites of passage to which parents would 'send' their child(ren) to undergo, either on their own or under the auspices of their clan or tribe (the modality depending on the society). It would be interesting to reconsider such a thing in this country. In some places around the world there is something like a national service obligation (either of a civic or military kind) that serves that function, not ritualistically by any means, but nonetheless meaningfully. I think in Cyprus and in Israel (that I know
of) this was the case. Here in the US there used to be a draft, of course, but the history of politics and the military adventures of the last 50 years have left a bad taste in the collective mouth of most folks. A more positive example comes out of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (Mormons -- not the fundamentalist strain in problems recently!), with their mission-bound young men going out all over the world. Still more examples: the Peace Corps, with their work abroad (but as virtual government agents, which is not so great, and has caused problems); and AmeriCorps and TeachForAmerica with their civic work closer to home. Surely these examples point to the possibility of a proper, society-wide rite of passage that might be used to 'graduate' a young person into their age of consent.
 The soul abides and the spirit moves...
----- Original Message ----
From: Gned the Gnome <[address removed]>
To: [address removed]
Sent: Tuesday, April 22,[masked]:53:26 PM
Subject: Re: Re: [philosophy-156] Tonight's philosophy topic: Freedom and Toleration

- That would seem like a good idea, but if there's a test, the gov't would
get involved and sneak political questions into the test to bias it against
those who won't kiss the gov't's @$$.


Gned the Gnome - philosopher etc.


----- Original Message -----
From: <[address removed]>; <[address removed]>
Sent: Tuesday, April 22,[masked]:29 AM
Subject: Re: Re: [philosophy-156] Tonight's philosophy topic: Freedom and
Toleration


As has been implied elsewhere in this thread, it seems to me that age
isn't necessarily a very good metric for this purpose.  It seems to me
that we ought to be able to think of better ways of measuring
someone's ability to consent intelligently.  Some sort of practical
test,
perhaps?  This is essentially what credit ratings are, right,
except they only accommodate consent to one type of agreement, namely
the agreement to borrow and lend money.  Perhaps that could be
generalized?  It seems to me that there is a better way than one size
fits all...

Shaun

On Sun, Apr 20, 2008 at 3:39 AM, Gned the Gnome <[address removed]> wrote:
>  - Yes, an age of consent is a somewhat arbitrary convention, but is
>  admittedly convenient. Suitable methods for overriding it in either
> direction
>  as appropriate for specific individuals would allow fine tuning as needed.
> The
>  7th and 19th Amendments at the bottom of
http://texas.freecountries.org/urt-con-amended-2007-10-01.html would be
>  examples of how this might be done in a relatively free society.
>
>
>
>  Gned the Gnome - philosopher etc.
>
>
>
> ----- Original Message -----
>  From: <[address removed]>; <[address removed]>
>  Sent: Saturday, April 19,[masked]:24 PM
>  Subject: Re: Re: [philosophy-156] Tonight's philosophy topic: Freedom and
>  Toleration
>
>
>
> We didn't really touch on the question of how to determine the age of
> consent,
>  although we all agreed that there is (or should be) some age of consent,
> and
>  that
people below such age deserve special protections and considerations.
> The
>  problems of determining a suitable age of consent raises some very
> interesting
>  points. Can society ever be able to determine some special age that confers
> on
>  people responsibility for their actions and decisions? Wouldn't any such
> age
>  be nothing more than a very crude approximation, a clumsy statistical
>  abstraction? It seems that any such age would be as normative as it was
>  descriptive. But clearly civilized society seems to require that there be
> some
>  one age at which people are deemed to have attained some status they didn't
>  have before that age. Of course no such transition ever magically happens
> that
>  way on anyone's particular birthday. It's a kind of myth that enables
>  civilization to
continue. It seems that such an age is an agreed on
>
>  convention with legal force behind it that is applied everywhere in one
>  nation at a time. It's an example of the need for a public sphere.
>
>  ...
>
>
>
>
>
>  --
>  Please Note: If you hit "REPLY", your message will be sent to everyone on
> this mailing list ([address removed])
>
> http://philosophy.meetup.com/156
>
> This message was sent by Gned the Gnome ([address removed]) from The DFW
> Examined Life Philosophy Group.
>  To learn more about Gned the Gnome, visit his/her member profile:
> http://philosophy.meetup.com/156/members/4311598/
>  To unsubscribe or to update your mailing list settings, click here:
> http://www.meetup.com/account/?tab=comm
>
>
>
> Meetup Support: [address removed]
632 Broadway New York NY 10012 USA
>
>



--
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This message was sent by Shaun Dawson ([address removed]) from The DFW
Examined Life Philosophy Group.
To learn more about Shaun Dawson, visit his/her member profile:
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