The Instigator
Pro (for)
The Contender
Con (against)

Should the legal adult age be raised to 21?

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 7/31/2016 Category: Society
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Debating Period
Viewed: 562 times Debate No: 94303
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (1)
Votes (0)




The legal age should be raised because our society here in the United States is vastly unprepared for the real world. Giving them adult priorities puts them in a uncomfortable position where they can't make decisive decisions for themselves or people around.


We need a legal age for adulthood to determine when people in society are given certain rights. For consistency, we usually pick one age, though in some cases you must be a certain (different) age to have other privileges. For example while 18 is the legal age for adulthood for most things, you must be 21 years old to purchase alcohol in each state. You must be 35 years old to run for POTUS, and you could legally consent to sex at even younger than 18 (16 or 17) depending on the state.

In other words, even if Pro were to prove that certain things require more mature minds, it doesn't mean that adulthood across the board needs to be postponed to 21. We can still put different age limits and restrictions on other things if we notice a strong and sincere need.

Pro has given one single argument: that people in the U.S. are vastly unprepared for the real world. Of course, Pro does not explain what the "real world" is referring to, or how/why young people are definitively unprepared. In this debate, my opponent will have to prove that people who are 21 years old are more prepared to make certain decisions than people who are 18-20 years old. He must also outline what those decisions are.

Pro says that giving young people under 21 "adult priorities" makes them uncomfortable. However if people did not want to make these decisions, shouldn't we assume that they would avoid making them? Again Pro should outline what these decisions are so we can compare. But suppose he is talking about voting, drinking alcohol or smoking cigarettes. If a young person under 21 was really "uncomfortable" making the decision to do any of those things, we should assume they wouldn't make the decision to choose doing them anyway.

We consider 18 the legal age for adulthood because that is when young people are considered smart and able-bodied enough to be in the optimal shape for war. Thus it would be problematic to suggest that an 18 year old is fit to die for their country, but not vote in their country. Furthermore, most people graduate high school at age 18 years old. That is when they enter "the real world" and have a lot more responsibilities for themselves. Many people also start working at this age and working people pay income taxes. Taxation without representation is wrong. Young people 18+ should have a say in their government, community and be afforded other adult privileges.

While the mind is not mature and the brain not fully developed at 18, it doesn't mean that people are not capable of making rational decisions for themselves and others (especially themselves). People 20 and younger have achieved remarkable things, and had a lot more responsibility in society in previous decades/centuries. Maturity is very much linked to culture, not necessarily age.
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Debate Round No. 3
1 comment has been posted on this debate.
Posted by Delta2401 2 years ago
Should be interesting, don't want to spend the time to debate it though with my schedule right now. I would argue that it should be lowered though. Curious if anyone else takes the same approach when debating this.
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