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At what age should one be considered an adult?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Stevicus, Mar 16, 2019.

  1. Stevicus

    Stevicus Well-Known Member
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    The other thread about a proposal to lower the voting age (Do You Support Lowering The Federal Election Age to 16?) got me to thinking about the general topic. I didn't want to derail that thread by going off-topic, so I'm starting a new one about this.

    I think most people generally accept 18 as the age one officially becomes an "adult," except when it comes to drinking alcohol (and possibly the freedom to marry without parental permission, in some states).

    On the other hand, when it comes to things like movie tickets and other such places which have different prices for "child" and "adult," the age is often much lower, with 12 being the most common that I've seen. I never could understand that.

    I realize it's not the same in every culture throughout history. I can't recall offhand, but there might be places where 12 or 13 would be considered an adult. If I'm not mistaken, boys in Ancient Rome became men at age 15. Other cultures might have various rites of passage from youth to adulthood.

    Looking back at my grandparents' generation, both of my grandfathers dropped out of school and were working by about age 14. My maternal grandfather ran away from home and got a job on an oil tanker sailing out of Texas. Their generation had to mature and grow up rather quickly, despite their age.

    But nowadays, it's a lot different, and a lot of 20- and 30-somethings are moving back in with their parents (More millennials are moving back home - and it’s making everyone depressed, studies find | Daily Mail Online). Are today's generations less mature than they were 100 years ago?

    These are just some random thoughts I had, but I was just wondering what others think about this topic.
     
  2. Nowhere Man

    Nowhere Man Bompu Zen Man with a little bit of Bushido.

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    Personally I would be okay with 18 but 21 is better because they'll have at least a little bit of life experience out of grade school.

    If all a young adult has to show for is being raised by their parents with everything paid for they are likely going to vote for whoever plugs away for entitlements and handouts without ever developing a proper sense of responsibility and self-sufficiency.

    You will essentially have an entire group already raised and conditioned for dependency.
     
  3. Ellen Brown

    Ellen Brown Well-Known Member
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    I think the Jews like age 30. Jesus is thought to have started preaching around 30 ??? Hmmm
     
  4. Stevicus

    Stevicus Well-Known Member
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    But is that a matter of biology or more a matter of upbringing and environment?

    As I mentioned in my OP, my grandparents had to go to work as early teens and pay their own way. They had no other choice; it was sink or swim. Their example and countless others at least would indicate that, biologically, human teenagers are capable of taking on greater responsibility when put to the test.

    For this thread, I wasn't just thinking about voting, but other aspects as well.

    Sometimes, it just comes off as so absurd. For example, the laws regarding the drinking age - probably one of the most flouted laws in this country. Teenagers drink. I drank before I was legally old enough to do so. Same with smoking. I'm not saying that it's a good thing, but it's happening nevertheless.
     
  5. Salvador

    Salvador RF's Swedenborgian

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    Once a fertile male is able bodied enough to impregnate a fertile female, then he should be considered an adult. Once a fertile female is able bodied enough to be impregnated, then she should be considered as an adult.
     
  6. Shad

    Shad Veteran Member

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    I use to think this myself but now I am leaning towards 20/21.

    It is really about, age sales and movie ratings thresholds. Simply put the purpose is to draw an adult to accompany and/or wavier for a child. One more ticket sold.

    Yah a lot of cultures had rights of passage but live was far different then.

    Similar here but farming so there was work as a youth but nothing on the level of being on a tanker.

    Some are. Modern life in many nations has created lifestyles which are so drastically different that various hardships are never face until later in life. Hardship being part of the normal "growing pains" as part of the transition from dependence to independence, work, etc. Rural compared to urban. Income levels in which a child takes upon a far greater rule such as the eldest working/raising their siblings. Even when I was a teenager I had friends that worked while others didn't until graduating HS.
     
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  7. SalixIncendium

    SalixIncendium सच्चितानन्द
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    I know 16-year-olds that I would consider adults and some 30-somethings that I do not. But I understand that although some mature more quickly than others, this is a subjective measure and we need to draw a line from an objective standpoint.

    I think 18 is a reasonable age to consider one to be an adult for voting, carnal knowledge, etc.

    I am, however, on the fence about the drinking age of 21. I recall my outrage back in the Air Force knowing I was old enough to die for my country, but not old enough to have a beer. But being a father of a 19-year-old, I question if my daughter is mature enough to make appropriate decisions when it comes to alcohol.
     
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  8. Jumi

    Jumi Well-Known Member

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    I think anyone capable of passing a maturity test could be considered an adult. I've known people who were thrust into adulthood in their teens and middle-aged who couldn't handle anything.
     
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  9. Jumi

    Jumi Well-Known Member

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    For comparison, in Europe purchase of alcohol is typically 16-18. You can still drink in some of the countries if you're younger.
     
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  10. Shadow Wolf

    Shadow Wolf Crazy Diamond

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    25, as by then most people have reached full maturity.
    Upbringing and environment will not hasten full maturation. This is very much a matter of biology. People can act mature, but that does not require they actually be fully matured (and where upbringing plays a role).
     
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  11. Shantanu

    Shantanu Well-Known Member

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    I think once ones education has stopped one has reached adulthood. This could take one to the age of 21 as one must strive for university education.
     
  12. Shadow Wolf

    Shadow Wolf Crazy Diamond

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    Ideally, one's education is life long and extends far beyond formal schooling.
     
  13. Shantanu

    Shantanu Well-Known Member

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    Yes I agree with you: we study until we reach enlightenment and there is nothing left to know. But the question was when does one call oneself an adult and that is a sociological question for the benefit of the State rather than for personal development.
     
  14. Vinayaka

    Vinayaka devotee
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    Becoming an adult isn't about chronological age, it's about maturity. Unfortunately chronological age is all we've got that's precise. Some 10 year olds have more wisdom about voting than some 70 year olds.
     
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  15. PureX

    PureX Veteran Member

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    If we are going to ask an 18 year old to die for us, if necessary, in some military campaign, and imprison him or worse if he refuses, then he damn well better be able to vote for or against the people imposing this on him.

    If we were to raise this age, then I think it should include the whole social package: free college, no military conscription, no expectation of economic self-sufficiency, etc. (a continued childhood) until the age of 23 (time enough to finish college).

    I think it would be a mistake to try and go less, to 16. I just don't believe humans are sufficiently mature enough at that age for military service, economic self-sufficiency, or social responsibility.
     
  16. dingdao

    dingdao The eternal Tao cannot be told - Tao Te Ching

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    25 is the age at which your car insurance rates are the lowest. Now this implies good judgement and good reflexes. However, using 25 as the age of majority sounds absurd. Most people have the hormones in place by 13 to have developed an interest in sex. Their judgement in choosing a partner is another matter. One thing to keep in mind here, is that an underage girl going through childbirth gets her tailbone broken in the process. So, to make it explicit, at what age do you trust your daughter to go out drinking?
     
  17. Stevicus

    Stevicus Well-Known Member
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    I don't know. For me, I couldn't wait to turn 18. I was living in a very dysfunctional family situation, with a lot of abuse and chaos. I wanted to get out of there so bad, and to feel like a virtual prisoner with no rights until your 18th birthday. It just sucks. So, my sympathies are with those who are younger and in similar situations.

    I can see it in restaurants, where a child's plate is smaller because young children under 12 may not eat as much, but teenagers can develop ravenous appetites.

    Yeah, they might have to go off and hunt some wild animal or something like that.

    My other grandfather was a farmer. But there have been times and places where teenagers and children have had to grow up fast, whether due to war or some other catastrophe. That tells me that, at the very least, they're not incapable, at least not due to age.

    By the time my generation was born, my grandparents were of the opinion that kids were being spoiled and coddled too much. There might be some truth to that.
     
  18. DavidMcCann

    DavidMcCann Well-Known Member

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    The obvious question is "adult in what context?". I don't know when you can vote in the USA, but you can't become president until you're 30!

    In the political context, I'd limit voting to tax-payers, rahter than to persons of a certain age — why should those who don't pay the piper get to call the tune?
     
  19. Shad

    Shad Veteran Member

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    Understandable. My point was more of reflection of the present looking back.


    Toss in discounts for kids so adults are more willing to eat at a specific location.


    Sure. However I was thinking more in line of religious rights of passage which can include a number of other factors. Marriage, apprenticeships (Roman military for example)


    I think it is a combination. Lets call it experience. I think experienced can "temper" age issues to a certain point.

    Yah in a way I think it is true. However I think the point is better aimed at middle and upper class urban families which have the money to spend in such a manner and do so.
     
  20. Hubert Farnsworth

    Hubert Farnsworth Well-Known Member

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    I know people who made responsible decisions about alcohol at age 18-20, and I know others in their later 20s and 30s who lose all control of themselves when it comes to drinking and actions taken while under the influence. As you say, maturity depends on the person, but if the age of majority is 18, and we trust 18 year olds with the responsibility of joining the military, or adopting a child, 18 should also be old enough to drink. Nearly every European country has a drinking age of either 16 or 18, and they don't have nearly as many alcoholics as the United States does.
     
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