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A Case and solution for the establishment of adulthood and its consequences

 
 
Reply Mon 9 Jun, 2008 05:13 pm
There is a vacuum in the legal system at this point in time, a vacuum which leads to glaring contradictions in policy and thus must be rectified. The vacuume is this: there is no universal agreement as to what constitutes an adult.

A 14 year old can be up for consideration to be convicted as an adult but cannot vote on the law which convicts him because he is not considered an adult and is thus considered incapable of deciding what is right but is at the same time considered able to discern between what is correct and what is incorrect and understand the consequences of his actions, a logical contradiction. This is clearly not a viable system and must be amended. A set of criteria must be established to determine adulthood so that the proper ammount of freedom and consequence can be allocated.

I propose that a battery of tests be administered to measure emotional and intellectual deveolpment of all peoples every year, the exact results to be kept confidential except at the request of a legal institution or the examinee. There should be a set norm to be up for revision every five years which must be met or exceeded to determine adulthood and level of responsibility. There should, however, be an age cutoff so that the majority of people will not be subject to suppression by an elite high scoreing group. Any decisions based upon age will be completely restricted by said system and by no other.
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Type: Discussion • Score: 1 • Views: 1,359 • Replies: 11
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GoshisDead
 
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Reply Mon 9 Jun, 2008 06:22 pm
@Zetetic11235,
What constitutes an adult has little to do with the reason minors are tried as adults. The contradiction is in the law that prohibits sentencing for a juvenile crime to extend past the 18th birthday. So we say that a 15 year old kills 5 people and is found mentally competent of his actions, if s/he is tried as a minor s/he will only recieve 3 years in jail. This is according to most, is not an appropriate punishment for a severe crime.

I'm really not sure how a battery of maturity tests would help in this case. The question is, in my opinion, how we balance the punishment fitting the crime. A mentally healthy 15 year old knows just as well as a 30 year old that X- Crime is wrong/against the law. Why should the punishment be less for a 15 year old than a 30 year old?
urangutan
 
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Reply Mon 9 Jun, 2008 10:00 pm
@GoshisDead,
Nice one GoshisDead. From what you have said, I think Zetetic11235 needs to focus their attention at solving the problems that would involve a juvenile being charged with five murders. I would see it as a money munching task that would only end up in the lap of group of over worked social workers. There it would have less value than a doorstop.
Zetetic11235
 
  1  
Reply Tue 10 Jun, 2008 02:58 pm
@urangutan,
You misunderstand the issue I am adressing. If one is to be considered an adult in any case he or she must be considered an adult in every case, if this is not so, break down for me why it is not. If the child is competent enough to know the implications in his killing of 5 people in the same way an adult is, the external ramifications, the devistation to the family ect. then he is mentally adult and should have the same say rights as an adult for he is essentially an adult. You are either an adult or not an adult, if you are not fully developed mentally when compared to another adult then you are not an adult and thus cannot be tried as one, if you are then you are an adult and should have the rights of one.

This is not my main point though, my point extends beyond the consideration of a single category resulting from the contradiction such as trying children as adults, but rather that there is not scientific process implemented in determining adulthood but rather a mishmosh of inconsistent litigation. I am essentially trying to make a case for the need for a true distinction between a capable sentient being and one who is not or only partial capable of making an important decision. For instance, a mentaly retarded person can vote, however, I do not believe that they can understand the issues properly. There are certainly apes capable of making decisions on a similar level as people who are mentaly retarded, they actually have an edge, they have stronger short term memories than most humans! Why are they not allowed to make decisions on the same level as the mentally retarded? There are apes with consistent full scale i.q.s of 75! They can do very basic mathematics and communicate! There must be guidlines dictating who can vote and why based upon set mental ability and emotional development levels.

This is my true concern, and I am very interested in what ideas can come out of this discussion.

I look foreward to your thoughts on this.
GoshisDead
 
  1  
Reply Tue 10 Jun, 2008 04:51 pm
@Zetetic11235,
Scientific tests to determine adulthood aren't really possible without addressing the socio-political and cultural definitions of adulthood. Varying definitions of adult in X situation aren't really that uncommon and often vary from state to state, and definitly vary from nation to nation. Legal age of consent in some states is 16, but in others 18, in some other countries 12, and yet others legal consent is only given by the father of one sex etc... etc... issues of adulthood are cultural for example the FLDS case where adulthood in the case of marriage age is determined religiously, and the Texas govt. is having trouble applying Texas law to it.

Quote:
There are certainly apes capable of making decisions on a similar level as people who are mentaly retarded, they actually have an edge, they have stronger short term memories than most humans! Why are they not allowed to make decisions on the same level as the mentally retarded? There are apes with consistent full scale i.q.s of 75! They can do very basic mathematics and communicate! There must be guidlines dictating who can vote and why based upon set mental ability and emotional development levels.


These are apples an oranges, and applying IQ style tests to a voter registry quite politically dangerous. Very reminiscent of Nazi or Eugenic propaganda.
Zetetic11235
 
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Reply Wed 11 Jun, 2008 10:56 am
@GoshisDead,
It is certainly logically possible to define adulthood in terms of a chosen set of criteria, it is only hindered by silly traditions. There is definately a trifold definition that can be widely accepted, mental maturity, emotional maturity and self sufficiency, the only problem is that a large section of the voting populus would be excluded as many adults do not meet said criteria. The i.q. tests are so-so and I would only require that scores be in the range of normal, 85+ and people could take them regularly and improve their scores, this would actually make it more of a badge of honor and a privlege to vote, as it should be.

I am fully aware of the problems in translating a logical system into a real one, however I can certainly still make the point. I am certainly flexible to feedback, and open for discussion as far as eugenics.
GoshisDead
 
  1  
Reply Wed 11 Jun, 2008 12:16 pm
@Zetetic11235,
The only way govt. could establish a trifold system is to define what adulthood was pan-situationally. It is possible, although, it would likely have to be done from a more fascist govt. than this one. Establishing those types of criteria for voting in most govts would counter their natural system. In order to establish such laws they would have to vote people into office who would lobby for those laws. The nation under the govt would have to be ready to establish such laws before they could happen. Considering that situational adulthood is different for different majority constituencies in the various voting districts it is very unlikely that it would happen organically, hence the need for a more fascist system to establish them.
Zetetic11235
 
  1  
Reply Wed 11 Jun, 2008 01:11 pm
@GoshisDead,
Or a revolution resulting in the law along with several others being implemented(unlikely), but yes, it would require radical tools to implement I suppose, but there is always a way to circumvent the will of the public...You must be very sure that this hypothetical will help more than it will hurt. I believe it may, but not strongly enough to justify an attempt to override democratic process.
Im not sure as to its viability, but I am cetain that it needs very careful consideration.
GoshisDead
 
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Reply Thu 12 Jun, 2008 11:43 am
@Zetetic11235,
Quote:
but there is always a way to circumvent the will of the public

Again if you consider public rule a progressional step forward from Monarchy, Theocrasy, Oligarchy etc... it is highly unlikely that it could happen. What this does is further an elitist divide between the haves and the have nots. This would effectively create a eugenics program in which those with access would only breed with those with access to ensure that their children would have access. Running tandem with access to the vote would be either be that no one without the vote would ever get punished for crimes because they would be deemed incompetent or even more likely that they would become a surf class and be the only ones punished for crimes etc...
Zetetic11235
 
  1  
Reply Thu 12 Jun, 2008 01:37 pm
@GoshisDead,
GoshisDead wrote:
a surf class and be the only ones punished for crimes etc...

That is nonsensical, this measure only chops off the very bottom, it does not create a small minority immune to laws (which effectively already exists among the rich and famous and politically powerful), since it includes the top 80% or so. Personally as a far as voting is concerned, i.q. is nearly so big as knowledge of policies. I do not think that i.q. should be the main determining factor in voting as I have seen just how incompetent a mensan can be. It should rather be about ability to recognize a certain ammount of each candidates platforms before voting for an official....actually im not so certain that this would help, just because someone memorizes a set of policies doesnt mean that they have thought out the consequnces of their implementation. Perhaps this is too sticky a subject to merit much consideration...or perhapse it simply merits much more than I had first assumed. I need to take a step back from this.
GoshisDead
 
  1  
Reply Thu 12 Jun, 2008 02:12 pm
@Zetetic11235,
It is a very sticky subject, as 1) current public opinion and cultural norms at least preach equality and that sort of fundamental exclusion will be met with hackles up. and 2) Historically the power nexus becomes more and more centralized in any political system and elitism is often the catylist, which further tightens the circle of power.
Zetetic11235
 
  1  
Reply Thu 12 Jun, 2008 04:36 pm
@GoshisDead,
I suppose that it is likely that any solution has the potential of being a praxis that is resultant in more evil than good. It seems intuitive that there is a more ideal situation but the same can be said of collectivism.
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