Thaddeus Russell has poked the hornets' nest. Can legal minors consent?Recently, Thaddeus Russell made waves on Twitter for daring to question whether adults should be punished for engaging in sexual relationships with teens (as young as 13) that the teens consented to and did not regret as they became adults.
I wanted to point out a few things and discuss.
First, most of those attacking him are libertarian or even anarcho-capitalist. For better or for worse enforcing the age of consent, by libertarian logic, is an act of aggression. The age of consent cares not for consent and arbitrarily delineates an age that allows one to consent to sexual relations with adults when they are not yet a legal adult (or have become a legal adult... depending on the local age of consent). The age of consent does not take into account the consent of the legal minor, the legal adult or the parents/guardians of the legal minor. By libertarian logic, if a 14 year old girl agrees to mutual oral sex with a 24 year old man and her parents/guardians are fine with it and make sure she is safe, there is no victim. Unrelated third parties forcing themselves upon the situation, separating the girl from the man and her parents/guardians and jailing the man and likely the parents/guardians IS an act of aggression. By libertarian logic, the age of the legal minor doesn't even matter. If there is no harm, if there is consent, if the more at risk party (the legal minor) has the assent of their parents/guardians who make sure the legal minor is safe... then there is no victim and forcing the relationship to end and punishing the legal adults IS an act of aggression.
I completely understand why libertarians try to hush hush the logical consistency in this. A decade or so ago, they were much more eager to discuss this topic, but as they have gained in popularity, for the sake of helping the philosophy spread, they really try to act... or truly believe... that this is not the case and typically avoid logical discussion on the topic.
Second, regardless of one's political philosophy, using the argument "children can't consent" is illogical. The issue is that the argument hinges on the hope that the people involved will just ignore the logical misstep (and most will ignore it). The argument goes... the child can't consent because they do not fully understand what they are consenting to due to lack of experience. The child can't consent because they are not fully aware of the potential consequences. The child can't consent because they can be taken advantage of. Can we see the issue here? This applies to anything children do. When my niece went swimming in the ocean, was she fully aware of all the potential dangers? Marine life? Debris? Rip-tides? Watercraft? Etc.? She may have been vaguely aware of some. I may have taught her to swim parallel with the shore if caught in a rip-tide, but she is 9. She may forget, she may not be able to, she may get too scared. Guess what? That is why I, a guardian, was there to make sure she was safe if she couldn't herself. Likewise... if she met a 19 year old guy she fancied and he fancied her. They both wanted to boink genitals... is she aware of STDs? The small potential for pregnancy? Potential for pain and injury? Manipulation by the older party? Again, maybe... but that is why she would have a guardian make sure she is safe and the older party is on the up and up. It's pretty simple, to be honest.
So children can consent, however, parents/guardians are there to make sure they remain safe and that they are consenting to something they have a basic understanding of.
Third, the brain not being developed until 25 is moronic pop science. There is nothing else to say about that. If one believes in that nonsense then I have no interest in debating them and just direct them here: https://drrobertepstein.com/pdf/Epstein-THE_MYTH_OF_THE_TEEN_BRAIN-Scientific_American_Mind-4-07.pdf
To my fellow intellectuals, I ask you to discuss this topic and my logic in the comments.
Published on 2 July 2021.
Published on 2 July 2021.
consent, libertarianism, age of consent, sexuality, teens, thaddeus russell, libertarian, brain
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