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Varysblackfyre321

Should we lower the age of adulthood in the US to be 16?

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12 hours ago, maarsen said:

Of course not silly. People who had rich families could always buy a medical opinions such as bone spurs that enabled them to dodge the draft.

 Exactly,it really irks me when some extreme anti-feminist tries to declare the argument for excluding women based off the the draft isn’t/was never misogynistic. The thought of further taking voting rights of some men is never up for debate for the type. 

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7 hours ago, Ormond said:

Well, as I am sure has been mentioned in this thread several times before, it is pretty well established that the aspects of the brain that deal with impulsivity and the ability to override emotions by logic don't fully mature until around age 25 -- though of course there are individual differences on this as on everything else.

I tend to think the setting of the age for drinking alcohol at 21 instead of 18 in the United States is a bit unfair. I certainly realize that statistics show that the younger the age at which one starts consuming alcohol (or any other mind altering drug) the more likely one is to develop abuse or addiction problems. But it's also hard for me not to look at Italian culture, where most children start drinking a little wine with meals at a fairly young age, but where the alcoholism rate is very low compared to most of the rest of the world, and wonder why we can't develop a culture like that, where children are taught how to use alcohol responsibly from the early teen years.

Italy does have a law banning the sale of alcohol to those under 18, but like most Mediterranean countries there is no age limit for consuming alcohol. I wonder if by making the consumption of alcohol illegal for minors themselves, instead of just banning adults from selling it to them, we make it into more of a "forbidden fruit" which actually seems more attractive in those risk-taking years of adolescence than it would otherwise be. 

Interesting point, I’m inclined to think banning alcohol can increase its allure to children. Especially when ever facet of media depicts it as a an adult thing to drink. 

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I think this can make people rethink their preconceived notions.  And that's worthwhile.  I was a dick to @Iskaral Pust, and I apologize for that. 

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Honestly, I'm more worried about minorities in the criminal justice system if the age of adulthood was lowered than notions of appropriate ages for substance use, voting, military service, and the like.

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On 1/23/2019 at 9:20 PM, Varysblackfyre321 said:

Hmm. I'm going to have to think more on this. Just tossing it out there, do you think many states in the US should lower its drinking or smoking age to 18? 

I overlooked this.  Yes, I do.  The same logic applies: if 18 is old enough for those other responsibilities, then it is old enough to make decisions on substance (ab)use.   And arguably parents/guardians should have the right to decide whether to permit those substances before age 18.

i know there are medical arguments about susceptibility for misuse/abuse at ages as young as 18, but it is still a problem to infantilize full (legally/technically) adults.

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10 hours ago, DMC said:

I think this can make people rethink their preconceived notions.  And that's worthwhile.  I was a dick to @Iskaral Pust, and I apologize for that. 

You were throwing a bit of a tantrum at that point, but the patient logic of @Mlle. Zabzie was carrying forward the debate very effectively. 

It was a fun discussion.  Civics, governance and social contracts are topics that are too often taken as axiomatic or too dull to contemplate.  But self-determination requires us to continually test why we have the system we do.  Personally I would debate/challenge the electoral college before the age of suffrage. 

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1 hour ago, Iskaral Pust said:

You were throwing a bit of a tantrum at that point, but the patient logic of @Mlle. Zabzie was carrying forward the debate very effectively. 

To clarify, while I indeed did throw a tantrum* in this post, I stand by most of what I said substantively - with one important exception.  To review:

Attaching extension of suffrage to "responsibilities or loss of special safety nets" does not make any sense.  The elderly are afforded a special safety net, and that's certainly no reason to consider taking away their vote.

Similarly, tying suffrage to education is completely irrelevant.  Over 18 year olds have no educational requirement, nor should they.  Even the argument that they should would only be valid if we fixed the savage inequalities and inherent vicious cycle of the public education system.

Tying voting rights to "be consistently integrated with other rights and responsibilities" is indeed a valid argument - I was wrong to say that only exists in your head.  It's a valid argument I suppose, but not a particularly compelling one.  I don't find the rights and responsibilities afforded to citizens when they turn 18 as important enough reasoning for not extending the vote to 16-17 year olds.  We've covered my objection to the draft argument.  As for different treatment under the criminal justice system, an individual's personal situation - including age - should always be taken into account in prosecution/sentencing (and to be fair often is).  Plus, this should ideally not be relevant to most citizens anyway.  What are the other rights and responsibilities?  Incurring debt?  Entering contracts?  Yeah, like I said, not compelling at all to me.

*Apparently we're using throwing a tantrum as code for being a drunk asshole like an enabling mother or 1960s reporter.

Edited by DMC

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2 hours ago, DMC said:

We've covered my objection to the draft argument. 

I'm no fan of the draft, as it imposes a lot on people's freedom of choice, particularly for those who may have a difficult time adapting to military life (and having been in, I know it ain't for everybody).
It should be avoided where possible.
Given the United State's large resources in wealth and manpower, its doubtful we would ever have to rely on it again. Though, it seems to me not every nation may have that luxury. Think Israel, or perhaps, Lithuania which recently instituted a draft, for awhile, because of it's fears of Putin.
The point I'm making is basically: The draft should be avoided, but assuming it may be needed, then at what age can a person be conscripted for service, is at least a factor in determining the appropriate age of majority.
Certainly, I'm not a fan of going full blown Starship Troopers and completely anchoring any theory of voting rights on the ability to do military service isn't a desirable state of affairs. But, I would say, the age that somebody could be hypothetically drafted, and deemed mentally nature enough for military service, in my view, is a factor to be considered when deciding the age of majority.

Edited by OldGimletEye

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1 hour ago, DMC said:

 As for different treatment under the criminal justice system, an individual's personal situation - including age - should always be taken into account in prosecution/sentencing (and to be fair often is).  Plus, this should ideally not be relevant to most citizens anyway. 

I think this one gets brushed aside too easily. What were talking about here is basically two different attitudes and two different systems of justice for children and adults. The basic upshot here is that children cannot be held morally or ethically responsible for crimes in the same way adults can, as they don't have the mental faculties to always appreciate the nature of their actions. This largely leads to a different mindset in sentencing, where much of juvenile justice focuses on rehabilitation and correction, whereas adult justice has much more of retributive component and sentencing can be much harsher.

It wasn't too long ago, that children could be given the death penalty (at least in England) or punished much in the same ways as adults could for similar crimes. The juvenile justice movement is rather of a recent vintage, I think, and for the most part, a rather progressive achievement of the 20th century.

Edited by OldGimletEye

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1 hour ago, OldGimletEye said:

I think this one gets brushed aside too easily. What were talking about here is basically two different attitudes and two different systems of justice for children and adults.

I agree this is an important point.  (That is specifically why I did not group it in my "not compelling at all" list.)  However, while many states deny rights to over 18 year olds the right to vote - and to be clear I'm generally opposed to that as well since most do not have any clear standard, as is detailed here - there are plenty of other examples of over 18 year olds with objectively diminished mental capacity that aren't deprived of the vote, nor should they.

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Just now, DMC said:

I agree this is an important point.  (That is specifically why I did not group it in my "not compelling at all" list.)  However, while many states deny rights to over 18 year olds the right to vote - and to be clear I'm generally opposed to that as well since most do not have any clear standard, as is detailed here - there are plenty of other examples of over 18 year olds with objectively diminished mental capacity that aren't deprived of the vote, nor should they.

I agree that once one is deemed old enough to vote, whatever one's take on what that age ought to be, that right should be deemed pretty much irrevocable or else we might find ourselves with literacy test and so forth which could be used to disenfranchise particular groups.

It seems to me after reading this thread, there are two disputes here. One is what the age of majority ought to be and the other seems to be assuming, that the age of majority is kept at 18, should some children, ie 16 or 17 year olds be given the right to vote. On the second question, I might be persuaded. On the first question, I'm not inclined to believe that 16 or 17 year olds should be given the full privileges and burdens of being an adult. I don't think 16 or 17 years should lose the expectation of parental support, nor do I think generally should be held to contracts, that they might unwisely enter into, or be regarded by the criminal justice system in the same manner as an adult.

I also think we could probably agree that there has to be a certain age where it is not practicable or wise to allow children to vote. Else, we might find ourselves with 4 year olds voting to have the right not to eat broccoli and having the right to watch Scooby Do until 4 in the morning.

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13 minutes ago, OldGimletEye said:

It seems to me after reading this thread, there are two disputes here. One is what the age of majority ought to be and the other seems to be assuming, that the age of majority is kept at 18, should some children, ie 16 or 17 year olds be given the right to vote. On the second question, I might be persuaded. On the first question, I'm not inclined to believe that 16 or 17 year olds should be given the full privileges and burdens of being an adult. I don't think 16 or 17 years should lose the expectation of parental support, nor do I think generally should be held to contracts, that they might unwisely enter into, or be regarded by the criminal justice system in the same manner as an adult.

Agreed - my approach is the second dispute/question you mentioned.

16 minutes ago, OldGimletEye said:

I also think we could probably agree that there has to be a certain age where it is not practicable or wise to allow children to vote.

Certainly.

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There are so many aspects physically and emotionally that differ between a 16 year old and an 18 year old.

I keep going back to this: due to physical development of the body, a pregnancy is statistically more likely to be carried to term successfully at 18 than at 16.  A child born of an 18 year old is more likely to survive past the first year of life.  A female who begins her rounds of pregnancies at 18 rather than 16 is more likely to survive to menopause -- and be able to help raise her grandchildren.

The success and likelihood of any of these facts of a woman's life decrease greatly the younger she is with her first pregnancy.

There are parallels in emotional development too.  Yes, I have lived with (female) ob-gyns, pediatricians, obstetrical nurses and so on when I was younger.

And males, well, we all know that emotionally and even cognitively develop maturity later than females.

Which is why I honestly don't think legal adulthood should be considered younger than 18.

Considered adults younger than 18 sends young people in larger numbers to life imprisonment and even death row too.

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8 hours ago, OldGimletEye said:

I think this one gets brushed aside too easily. What were talking about here is basically two different attitudes and two different systems of justice for children and adults. The basic upshot here is that children cannot be held morally or ethically responsible for crimes in the same way adults can, as they don't have the mental faculties to always appreciate the nature of their actions. This largely leads to a different mindset in sentencing, where much of juvenile justice focuses on rehabilitation and correction, whereas adult justice has much more of retributive component and sentencing can be much harsher.

It wasn't too long ago, that children could be given the death penalty (at least in England) or punished much in the same ways as adults could for similar crimes. The juvenile justice movement is rather of a recent vintage, I think, and for the most part, a rather progressive achievement of the 20th century.

I would say we(at least in America), haven’t gotten to the point where we could shake our head in disgust on how things “used to be” or whatever. Those underage can still and often enough are tried as adults and given way to extreme punishments. Like I just read of a story of a 16 year old girl prostitute  getting life for killing a man who paid her for sex. https://daily.jstor.org/u-s-sentence-children-life-prison/

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