Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Optional Adulthood

Why not ?
  (+8, -2)
(+8, -2)
  [vote for,

Almost all human societies have an age when someone is considered to be an adult, with all that implies.

This "one size fits all" approach seems irrational.

Some individuals may be mature, balanced and reliable at 14 or 15; many, many more never are.

But if an individual is older than some arbitrary age, then they are deemed "adult"

It would make much more sense if individuals were given the right to choose.

At age 18, citizens are given the option of taking an oath of independence and signing up as a grown-up. And that's it; they can never go back.

But some might choose to be "permanent children". They can't vote. They can't buy alcohol or cigarettes, own cars or firearms (though they may use them with permission), get married, buy a house, run for political office, or many other things, and social benefits are much reduced. But they don't have the responsibilities of an adult citizen, either.

They would however be permitted to enlist in the armed forces (in order to help keep the numbers down).

This would also address the problem of those unfortunate individuals who, while physcally adult, lack mental capacity, like Justin Bieber.

Precocious individuals would be permitted to apply to an appropriate judicial authority to be fast-tracked at any age, provided that character witnesses supported the claim, and the applicant could present a convincing viva-voce case.

8th of 7, Jul 19 2015

The law, in its majestic equality http://www.quotatio....com/quote/805.html
Anatole France [8th of 7, Jul 19 2015]


       //the responsibilities of an adult citizen, either.// what are they?
pocmloc, Jul 19 2015

       Not to steal bread when you're hungry, beg for money if you're destitute, or sleep under bridges if you're homeless.   

8th of 7, Jul 19 2015

       If adulthood is an opt-in arrangement I'd like the applicants to pass some basic tests, too, before they take responsibility for my well-being by means of voting. I'd rather not have someone incapable of doing basic arithmetic to vote on my country's financial politics, nor give anyone a marriage license who doesn't know anything about condoms. If there was such a general test, the potential for misuse and bribery would be large enough to save the Greek economy, too.
Toto Anders, Jul 19 2015

       I really don't see the point. The primary benefit children enjoy is legal right to food, clothes, and shelter. And I doubt 8th is proposing to provide for all applicants as wards of the state.   

       I also cannot see any reason giving up, say, the right to drink should be related to receiving whatever other right 8th prescribes to only children.   

       And I don't think many will volunteer to be parents for these grown children.
Voice, Jul 19 2015

       In case anyone is interested, I have been an orphan for several years now and am up for adoption.
MaxwellBuchanan, Jul 19 2015


       [bigs], he can get very grouchy if you try to palm him off with the cheap stuff. You don't want to see him when he's angry. Really, you don't.   

8th of 7, Jul 20 2015

       Oh sure... where was this idea thirty years ago?   

       //You don't want to see him when he's angry. Really, you don't.// It's not me you want to worry about. Sturton is the one with the vicious temper, especially when he's in his cups. The intercalary can get a bit ratty too, but his condition means that he's hardly likely to cause any serious injury. (He is a rabies carrier, though, so don't let him nip you.)
MaxwellBuchanan, Jul 21 2015

       No sleeping under bridges ?   

       After nearly forty years, I still wax nostalgic when I go under a good bridge. Sheltered many a cold night under bridges twixt San Diego and New York, San Francisco and Salt Lake City.
normzone, Jul 22 2015


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