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Are children's lives worth more?

TemperedEmpire
Posts: 15
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7/31/2013 3:52:44 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
Something that seems to permeate throughout history is the protection of children, especially in modern times when film and television seems to have granted children a status above the average adult. I really don't see the point in giving one age group a status of importance above another, including children.

However, that's just my opinion; perhaps someone out there truly believes children and young people are "worth" more.
TemperedEmpire
Posts: 15
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7/31/2013 4:01:54 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 7/31/2013 3:58:12 AM, Orangatang wrote:
There is a recent post about this very subject, http://www.debate.org....

Oh, sorry then, I posted this in the thought that there hadn't been a post like this for a while.
Orangatang
Posts: 442
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7/31/2013 4:06:28 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 7/31/2013 4:01:54 AM, TemperedEmpire wrote:
At 7/31/2013 3:58:12 AM, Orangatang wrote:
There is a recent post about this very subject, http://www.debate.org....

Oh, sorry then, I posted this in the thought that there hadn't been a post like this for a while.

It's cool, I guess others can continue the discussion on this post...
Read and Vote Please! http://www.debate.org...
Jack212
Posts: 572
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7/31/2013 4:35:33 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 7/31/2013 3:52:44 AM, TemperedEmpire wrote:
Something that seems to permeate throughout history is the protection of children, especially in modern times when film and television seems to have granted children a status above the average adult. I really don't see the point in giving one age group a status of importance above another, including children.

However, that's just my opinion; perhaps someone out there truly believes children and young people are "worth" more.

Children are more valuable because we've evolved a strong parental instinct. A species that puts its children first will raise more successful offspring than one that doesn't. There's no point debating whether this is right or fair, because it's programmed into our biology and you can't change it if you try.
Sidewalker
Posts: 3,713
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7/31/2013 5:46:19 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 7/31/2013 3:52:44 AM, TemperedEmpire wrote:
Something that seems to permeate throughout history is the protection of children, especially in modern times when film and television seems to have granted children a status above the average adult. I really don't see the point in giving one age group a status of importance above another, including children.

There are a lot of reasons for this. as somebody mentioned already, there is the parental instinct, children are more dependent and less able to protect themselves, and they are seen as innocent, it takes time to become an evil person who deserves to die.

However, that's just my opinion; perhaps someone out there truly believes children and young people are "worth" more.

We say a child has his whole life ahead of him, temporally speaking, they can be expected to live longer than an adult, so worth could be measured quantitatively in terms of duration in the sense that saving a child versus saving an adult can be seen as saving a greater quantity of life.
"It is one of the commonest of mistakes to consider that the limit of our power of perception is also the limit of all there is to perceive." " C. W. Leadbeater
Df0512
Posts: 966
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7/31/2013 9:55:12 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 7/31/2013 3:52:44 AM, TemperedEmpire wrote:
Something that seems to permeate throughout history is the protection of children, especially in modern times when film and television seems to have granted children a status above the average adult. I really don't see the point in giving one age group a status of importance above another, including children.

However, that's just my opinion; perhaps someone out there truly believes children and young people are "worth" more.

There are many reasons. The most obvious would be simply because they deserve it. How can we expect them to grow into successfull adults if they can not live out their childhood happily. This is a fact, happy childhoods lead to a more happier adulthood. Also children do not have a ability to protect themselves. They lack the knowledge and experience to depend on themselves. Even animals know to value the lives of there young. If we start to forget that and start treating children like adults their start dropping like flies. Do you have children?
phantom
Posts: 6,774
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7/31/2013 1:50:32 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
When a child dies, more potential years living are lost than when an adult dies. Most children have a large majority of their life ahead of them. When one dies you could be taking 60-80 years off of his life whereas if an adult dies much of the time the majority of his life has already been spent or at least a larger percentage than a child's and he's got to experience life as a grown capable being whereas a child has never had that experience.

So if you place a value on life it makes sense to me to value a child's life over an adults in general.
"Music is a zen-like ecstatic state where you become the new man of the future, the Nietzschean merger of Apollo and Dionysus." Ray Manzarek (The Doors)
000ike
Posts: 11,196
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7/31/2013 1:57:02 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
I'm sorry, but all this quantified evaluation not only fails to justify the moral impression it fails to account for why it exists. It doesn't matter how old someone is, and your life does not gradually degrade in value as you age. We value the lives of children more because, like someone said, of our innate paternalistic instinct. But of course this isn't the only factor invested in our emotional reactions. So even if someone is old, depending on your relationship with that person and his/her significance to your life, that person's death could mean just about everything to you.

This type of evaluation is fluid and valid only on a relative scale. If you want to ask about why we as a society have made this life-value judgment, then that's purely because the intervening emotions that would exist only on a relative scale are absent, leaving only general moral instinct as the sole determinant of worth. This has nothing to do with how much life you've lived; that's our post hoc rationalization of it.
"A stupid despot may constrain his slaves with iron chains; but a true politician binds them even more strongly with the chain of their own ideas" - Michel Foucault
dylancatlow
Posts: 12,245
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7/31/2013 2:34:52 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 7/31/2013 1:57:02 PM, 000ike wrote:
I'm sorry, but all this quantified evaluation not only fails to justify the moral impression it fails to account for why it exists. It doesn't matter how old someone is, and your life does not gradually degrade in value as you age. We value the lives of children more because, like someone said, of our innate paternalistic instinct. But of course this isn't the only factor invested in our emotional reactions. So even if someone is old, depending on your relationship with that person and his/her significance to your life, that person's death could mean just about everything to you.

This type of evaluation is fluid and valid only on a relative scale. If you want to ask about why we as a society have made this life-value judgment, then that's purely because the intervening emotions that would exist only on a relative scale are absent, leaving only general moral instinct as the sole determinant of worth. This has nothing to do with how much life you've lived; that's our post hoc rationalization of it.

I agree that value is dependent on a valuer, so my answer was extremely imprecise. I meant when all else is equal (say a child and an adult are both neutral strangers to a generic observer) it could be justified that a child is worth more than an adult to them, or at least they should be (I know you just LOVE that word)
000ike
Posts: 11,196
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7/31/2013 2:50:49 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 7/31/2013 2:34:52 PM, dylancatlow wrote:
At 7/31/2013 1:57:02 PM, 000ike wrote:
I'm sorry, but all this quantified evaluation not only fails to justify the moral impression it fails to account for why it exists. It doesn't matter how old someone is, and your life does not gradually degrade in value as you age. We value the lives of children more because, like someone said, of our innate paternalistic instinct. But of course this isn't the only factor invested in our emotional reactions. So even if someone is old, depending on your relationship with that person and his/her significance to your life, that person's death could mean just about everything to you.

This type of evaluation is fluid and valid only on a relative scale. If you want to ask about why we as a society have made this life-value judgment, then that's purely because the intervening emotions that would exist only on a relative scale are absent, leaving only general moral instinct as the sole determinant of worth. This has nothing to do with how much life you've lived; that's our post hoc rationalization of it.

I agree that value is dependent on a valuer, so my answer was extremely imprecise. I meant when all else is equal (say a child and an adult are both neutral strangers to a generic observer) it could be justified that a child is worth more than an adult to them, or at least they should be (I know you just LOVE that word)

You lose me at the term "justified". Look, I feel like you're not appreciating the tone, for lack of a better word, of my position. It is not my "opinion" that objective morality is nonsense. It's a fact. It's just a logical fact and it doesn't take that long to figure out why. Complete thoughts function with means and ends. You can't have means without ends. You can't have ought without if. So when you say "could be justified" , it begs the question, justified how? All I know is that people do value children's lives more... it's overstepping a logical boundary to proclaim that it objectively "should" be that way.
"A stupid despot may constrain his slaves with iron chains; but a true politician binds them even more strongly with the chain of their own ideas" - Michel Foucault
dylancatlow
Posts: 12,245
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7/31/2013 2:56:36 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 7/31/2013 2:50:49 PM, 000ike wrote:
At 7/31/2013 2:34:52 PM, dylancatlow wrote:
At 7/31/2013 1:57:02 PM, 000ike wrote:
I'm sorry, but all this quantified evaluation not only fails to justify the moral impression it fails to account for why it exists. It doesn't matter how old someone is, and your life does not gradually degrade in value as you age. We value the lives of children more because, like someone said, of our innate paternalistic instinct. But of course this isn't the only factor invested in our emotional reactions. So even if someone is old, depending on your relationship with that person and his/her significance to your life, that person's death could mean just about everything to you.

This type of evaluation is fluid and valid only on a relative scale. If you want to ask about why we as a society have made this life-value judgment, then that's purely because the intervening emotions that would exist only on a relative scale are absent, leaving only general moral instinct as the sole determinant of worth. This has nothing to do with how much life you've lived; that's our post hoc rationalization of it.

I agree that value is dependent on a valuer, so my answer was extremely imprecise. I meant when all else is equal (say a child and an adult are both neutral strangers to a generic observer) it could be justified that a child is worth more than an adult to them, or at least they should be (I know you just LOVE that word)

You lose me at the term "justified". Look, I feel like you're not appreciating the tone, for lack of a better word, of my position. It is not my "opinion" that objective morality is nonsense. It's a fact. It's just a logical fact and it doesn't take that long to figure out why. Complete thoughts function with means and ends. You can't have means without ends. You can't have ought without if. So when you say "could be justified" , it begs the question, justified how? All I know is that people do value children's lives more... it's overstepping a logical boundary to proclaim that it objectively "should" be that way.

It's a logical extension of preexisting morality that you have expressed your support for.
000ike
Posts: 11,196
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7/31/2013 2:58:33 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 7/31/2013 2:56:36 PM, dylancatlow wrote:
At 7/31/2013 2:50:49 PM, 000ike wrote:
At 7/31/2013 2:34:52 PM, dylancatlow wrote:
At 7/31/2013 1:57:02 PM, 000ike wrote:
I'm sorry, but all this quantified evaluation not only fails to justify the moral impression it fails to account for why it exists. It doesn't matter how old someone is, and your life does not gradually degrade in value as you age. We value the lives of children more because, like someone said, of our innate paternalistic instinct. But of course this isn't the only factor invested in our emotional reactions. So even if someone is old, depending on your relationship with that person and his/her significance to your life, that person's death could mean just about everything to you.

This type of evaluation is fluid and valid only on a relative scale. If you want to ask about why we as a society have made this life-value judgment, then that's purely because the intervening emotions that would exist only on a relative scale are absent, leaving only general moral instinct as the sole determinant of worth. This has nothing to do with how much life you've lived; that's our post hoc rationalization of it.

I agree that value is dependent on a valuer, so my answer was extremely imprecise. I meant when all else is equal (say a child and an adult are both neutral strangers to a generic observer) it could be justified that a child is worth more than an adult to them, or at least they should be (I know you just LOVE that word)

You lose me at the term "justified". Look, I feel like you're not appreciating the tone, for lack of a better word, of my position. It is not my "opinion" that objective morality is nonsense. It's a fact. It's just a logical fact and it doesn't take that long to figure out why. Complete thoughts function with means and ends. You can't have means without ends. You can't have ought without if. So when you say "could be justified" , it begs the question, justified how? All I know is that people do value children's lives more... it's overstepping a logical boundary to proclaim that it objectively "should" be that way.

It's a logical extension of preexisting morality that you have expressed your support for.

Alright, so if you were using the terms "should" and "justified" in a relative context, why would I hate those words, as you implied?
"A stupid despot may constrain his slaves with iron chains; but a true politician binds them even more strongly with the chain of their own ideas" - Michel Foucault
dylancatlow
Posts: 12,245
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7/31/2013 3:15:32 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 7/31/2013 2:58:33 PM, 000ike wrote:
At 7/31/2013 2:56:36 PM, dylancatlow wrote:
At 7/31/2013 2:50:49 PM, 000ike wrote:
At 7/31/2013 2:34:52 PM, dylancatlow wrote:
At 7/31/2013 1:57:02 PM, 000ike wrote:
I'm sorry, but all this quantified evaluation not only fails to justify the moral impression it fails to account for why it exists. It doesn't matter how old someone is, and your life does not gradually degrade in value as you age. We value the lives of children more because, like someone said, of our innate paternalistic instinct. But of course this isn't the only factor invested in our emotional reactions. So even if someone is old, depending on your relationship with that person and his/her significance to your life, that person's death could mean just about everything to you.

This type of evaluation is fluid and valid only on a relative scale. If you want to ask about why we as a society have made this life-value judgment, then that's purely because the intervening emotions that would exist only on a relative scale are absent, leaving only general moral instinct as the sole determinant of worth. This has nothing to do with how much life you've lived; that's our post hoc rationalization of it.

I agree that value is dependent on a valuer, so my answer was extremely imprecise. I meant when all else is equal (say a child and an adult are both neutral strangers to a generic observer) it could be justified that a child is worth more than an adult to them, or at least they should be (I know you just LOVE that word)

You lose me at the term "justified". Look, I feel like you're not appreciating the tone, for lack of a better word, of my position. It is not my "opinion" that objective morality is nonsense. It's a fact. It's just a logical fact and it doesn't take that long to figure out why. Complete thoughts function with means and ends. You can't have means without ends. You can't have ought without if. So when you say "could be justified" , it begs the question, justified how? All I know is that people do value children's lives more... it's overstepping a logical boundary to proclaim that it objectively "should" be that way.

It's a logical extension of preexisting morality that you have expressed your support for.

Alright, so if you were using the terms "should" and "justified" in a relative context, why would I hate those words, as you implied?

I thought you never like those words except when used in a colloquial manner. And I only posted the previous comment so you could function in this dialogue and not some nihilist tangent.
Sidewalker
Posts: 3,713
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7/31/2013 3:19:21 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 7/31/2013 1:57:02 PM, 000ike wrote:
I'm sorry, but all this quantified evaluation not only fails to justify the moral impression it fails to account for why it exists. It doesn't matter how old someone is, and your life does not gradually degrade in value as you age. We value the lives of children more because, like someone said, of our innate paternalistic instinct. But of course this isn't the only factor invested in our emotional reactions. So even if someone is old, depending on your relationship with that person and his/her significance to your life, that person's death could mean just about everything to you.

This type of evaluation is fluid and valid only on a relative scale. If you want to ask about why we as a society have made this life-value judgment, then that's purely because the intervening emotions that would exist only on a relative scale are absent, leaving only general moral instinct as the sole determinant of worth. This has nothing to do with how much life you've lived; that's our post hoc rationalization of it.

That's what the OP asked for, he said this idea of protecting children permeates history, especially in modern TV and movies, the reasons given would therefore be post hoc rationalizations as to why that is so.

He was asking why we seem to value children over adults, so yeah again, that would make it about relative scales and emotional reactions, most of the responses were quite valid regarding these things. The OP asked about what and why people think this way, people responded with what and why they think that way, you don't think that's valid? Is it your contention that people are wrong about what they think, that you know better than they do what they think?

If you want to know what people think then a pretty good approach is to ask people what they think. What would you consider a more "valid" approach to that would be?
"It is one of the commonest of mistakes to consider that the limit of our power of perception is also the limit of all there is to perceive." " C. W. Leadbeater
Rational_Thinker9119
Posts: 9,054
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7/31/2013 3:38:36 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 7/31/2013 3:52:44 AM, TemperedEmpire wrote:
Something that seems to permeate throughout history is the protection of children, especially in modern times when film and television seems to have granted children a status above the average adult. I really don't see the point in giving one age group a status of importance above another, including children.

However, that's just my opinion; perhaps someone out there truly believes children and young people are "worth" more.

Children are worth more than old men, they last longer.
Orangatang
Posts: 442
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7/31/2013 4:39:27 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 7/31/2013 3:38:36 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
At 7/31/2013 3:52:44 AM, TemperedEmpire wrote:
Something that seems to permeate throughout history is the protection of children, especially in modern times when film and television seems to have granted children a status above the average adult. I really don't see the point in giving one age group a status of importance above another, including children.

However, that's just my opinion; perhaps someone out there truly believes children and young people are "worth" more.

Children are worth more than old men, they last longer.

I would also argue that experiences as a child are more valuable in respect to how much happiness they produce than an adult experiences on average. I realize that these experiences could never be tested or quantified to prove my point but anyone with a fascinating childhood would agree.
Read and Vote Please! http://www.debate.org...
The_Fool_on_the_hill
Posts: 6,071
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7/31/2013 6:51:32 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
The Fool: The lives and suffering of Women and Children have always had priority over men's. It's not just children lives. Throughout all societies men have always been "the expendable" humans. Usually Young men being the most expendable.
"The bud disappears when the blossom breaks through, and we might say that the former is refuted by the latter; in the same way when the fruit comes, the blossom may be explained to be a false form of the plant's existence, for the fruit appears as its true nature in place of the blossom. These stages are not merely differentiated; they supplant one another as being incompatible with one another." G. W. F. HEGEL