Tuesday, March 28, 2006

What is an Adult?

Bystander comments, sensibly as always, on this depressing case.

He sums up:
"The punishment freaks will be calling for her to be treated like an adult. But she is in law and in fact a child, and that is how we must deal with her."
Whilst this is true, I suspect it is not the whole truth. Consider what will happen to this girl on her 18th birthday: she will still be entirely unequipped with the necessary moral reasoning capability to determine right from wrong. I submit that this is what differentiates an adult from a child.

To paraphrase Bystander:
In law she is an adult, but in fact is still a child. How then should we deal with her?


Bystander said...

A good point. A colleague who does a lot of drug-related work says that childhood does not end until the drugs do, so a 26 year old addict needs to be treated (stick and carrot, praise and advice) until he is clean.

The Pedant-General in Ordinary said...

My goodness, a response from the bench.

Welcome to Infinitives Unsplit.

As is always the case, you are completely correct.