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Roger Hicks -- Author of The Rangefinder Book

Roger Hicks is a well known photographic writer, author of The Rangefinder Book, over three dozen other photographic books, and a frequent contributor to Shutterbug and Amateur Photographer. Unusually in today's photographic world, most of his camera reviews are film cameras, especially rangefinders. See www.rogerandfrances.com for further background (Frances is his wife Frances Schultz, acknowledged darkroom addict and fellow Shutterbug contributor) .


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Old 09-24-2013   #41
Major Tom
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Boris Stupak View Post
If you're a handsome, fashionably dressed, attractive young man taking photos of attractive young girls on the street with your shiny new iPhone, your attention would probably be welcomed.

If you're an aging, balding, flabby old geezer with frumpy clothes, going through your "change of life" by buying a 50 year old Leica and a $3000 lens, with a photo vest, a dirty Billingham bag, and taking ogling photos of 16 year old girls for your "street photography" blog, I would imagine you would be perceived differently.
I chuckled. The Buddhist monk one was good too.

On topic, I should preface by making something of an admission: I consider myself a 20-something child, which would be harder to admit if it weren't for so many of my compatriots being in a similar state. In some ways we are more mature than our parents at our age. Most of us are better educated, we're more worldly, we have sophisticated tastes and hobbies and sometimes even better paying jobs, but as soon as I or many others of my generation step out of the post-modern bubble tailored for us we are virtually helpless. We don't know how to be friendly to strangers, we don't know how to fix things, we don't know how to cope with basic sources of stress, we lack willpower and long term planning. We wind up whining a lot and endlessly reinvent the wheel for ourselves as a result. Of course, I risk psychologically projecting my personal problems very thinly but there's more than just anecdotal evidence.

I've been trying to ween myself off by tossing myself into the world now and then. Taking bus rides to places I've never been. Going into the city and walking instead of driving. Taking up photography. Cooking. The world wouldn't be such a bad place if people actually went out and lived in it. I might be worse or better than others but it's a recurring theme. It's part of why I have so much distaste for all the comic book movies. We're spending all our effort on this stuff. Where's our Kubrick? Our Malick? Our Altman? It's sad. It's harder to grow up inside the body of a 20-something because every decision, every mistake bears the same gravity as any adult's, but you have to make those mistakes and burn yourself, otherwise you won't grow up. I wish I could have grown up in the 50s or 60s, but this is it.
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Old 09-24-2013   #42
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Roger, one other thought about your original post. Steering the conversation toward "underage girls" I believe is somewhat of a red herring. I believe the rights and responsibilities of photographers apply to all people in public spaces, not just one small subset. By referring to underage girls, I believe images of perverts lurking in the bushes get raised in people's minds and the conversation thus gets diverted and casts all street photographers in that light.
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Old 09-24-2013   #43
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I think in the not so distant past, humans reached puberty at around 12, had a dozen of children at 25, and most probably dead at 40. Now that we live much longer, we spend much longer time on education, and delay having children until after 30, but we still reach puberty at 12 and still have recreational sex shortly thereafter. Perhaps nature will eventually catch up and make us reach physical puberty at 25.

In the meanwhile, regardless of what local laws and customs specify, I think being underage is a false concept caused by the imbalance that I mentioned above, being physically adult at 12, but psychologically still immature until a much later age. As mentioned by others, some never really reach maturity, how shall we deal with these?

As for photographing underage people, I think there should be no limitations on age. As a photographer, I would like to shoot people of all ages, from very young to very old and everything in between. Unfortunately the current mass paranoia is probably irreversible.
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Old 09-24-2013   #44
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jamie Pillers View Post
Roger, one other thought about your original post. Steering the conversation toward "underage girls" I believe is somewhat of a red herring. I believe the rights and responsibilities of photographers apply to all people in public spaces, not just one small subset. By referring to underage girls, I believe images of perverts lurking in the bushes get raised in people's minds and the conversation thus gets diverted and casts all street photographers in that light.
Of course, it's important to bear in mind that "perverts", paedophiles, sadists, molesters etc have been around as long as the species (and other social animals do terrible things to each other as well) and we've just now been flooded with awareness of it. Are we better as a whole for knowing? I would say we're in an adjustment period, but I hope we learn to deal with it better.
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Old 09-24-2013   #45
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Jamie's long post, in particular, made me think about the "creepiness factor". It would be VERY easy to extend "creepiness" into politics and religion: I could easily name politicians and priests who invoke the same feeling of "This guy is an opportunist creep". The big things are first, that the photographer is a lone, easy target -- he doesn't have a big, rich organization behind him -- and second, so many people are so afraid of even thinking about either politics or religion that they are in desperate need of an easy lone target such as "the paedophile", quickly and easilt conflated with "the photographer". The idea has only just occurred to me, but I think it has some merit.

Cheers,

R.
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Old 09-24-2013   #46
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Both Werner Bischof and Ellen Levitt told their stories often by photographing what would be considered (law) underage children. So did HCB what matters is the intent why did the photographer take a picture of child(ren). While on vacation in Cuba I took photographs of children without t-shirt (all males) playing why because I wanted to capture the immense joy of life they projected while throwing water at each other. Intent matters
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Old 09-24-2013   #47
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jamie Pillers View Post
Roger, one other thought about your original post. Steering the conversation toward "underage girls" I believe is somewhat of a red herring. I believe the rights and responsibilities of photographers apply to all people in public spaces, not just one small subset. By referring to underage girls, I believe images of perverts lurking in the bushes get raised in people's minds and the conversation thus gets diverted and casts all street photographers in that light.
A very fair point, but as I say, the thread was provoked by the idiot BBC piece and by Brian's remark elsewhere. "Underage girls" is simply an acute version of the general principle you raise, prompted by those two instances. I do not recall the sex(es) of the NYC softball players in my earlier example, for instance.

Cheers,

R.
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Old 09-24-2013   #48
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Wanted to ad that some of the creepest persons I ever met were underage children some of them can be as creepy as the creepiest adult.
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Old 09-24-2013   #49
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Wanted to ad that some of the creepest persons I ever met were underage children some of them can be as creepy as the creepiest adult.
Creepy adults usually start as being creepy children.
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Old 09-24-2013   #50
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Of course, it's important to bear in mind that "perverts", paedophiles, sadists, molesters etc have been around as long as the species (and other social animals do terrible things to each other as well) and we've just now been flooded with awareness of it. Are we better as a whole for knowing? I would say we're in an adjustment period, but I hope we learn to deal with it better.
An excellent reminder.

Anyone who has worked in mental health or social care (at least in the UK , which is where my experience lies) knows that these problems are very very far from uncommon, and that not only is there a problem with "strangers" but that children face the gravest threats in the family home.

Media and politicians have however colluded for many years (not conspiratorially, I think, but as part of an unwillingness to face the incredibly ugly truth) in maintaining the public delusion that it's just a few sick freaks and weirdos who are the source of the problem.

What's happening at the moment is that the stone has been lifted and all sorts of vileness is seen to be crawling around beneath it.
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Old 09-24-2013   #51
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Underage children is also a mean to sway the public opinion. For example the recording industry admitted that they used "underage children and child protection" as marketing tool to get internet restrictions and surveillance in place. Say underage children and everyone pictures a molested child. The planed sex filter for the UK is only in place to protect underage children from internet porn in reality it's a tool for censorship. Pervs existed since the dawn of humanity and are not a new phenomena
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Old 09-24-2013   #52
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Most of the Police State is being erected under the guise of "protecting children".
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Old 09-24-2013   #53
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Most of the Police State is being erected under the guise of "protecting children".
No, I don't think so. "Protecting Children" looks like guise number two after "The War Against Terrorism". Who else remembers "Room 101" in Orwell's 1984: a fear of "The Worst Thing In The World"?

Cheers,

R.
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Old 09-24-2013   #54
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This is all too true. It is the unwillingness to face the truth which is the problem.
And part of the truth, surely, is that finding young girls attractive is not unusual. It's what you DO about it that matters. And how old you were at the time. I can happily remember "inappropriately touching" at least one 15-year-old girl when I was 16. I can also remember being 16 at the time.

But since my 'teens... Not so much. Though I did have one or two teenage girlfriends as late as my 20s. How many men are willing to face the truth that what was entirely "appropriate" in their 'teens declines steadily in appropriateness as they get older?

This strikes me as another aspect of the "adult at 25" argument. Maybe you achieve adulthood when you start to have a reasonably clear idea of what is, and isn't, "appropriate".

Cheers,

R.
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Old 09-24-2013   #55
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There has been some mention of English law and, as someone who deals with this via work, nailing this whole "underage" thing is somewhat of an impossible task, because of all the reasons previously stated in the post prior to this.

However, some elements of the law are somewhat fluid and grey. For example, how old can a minor (not old enough to vote) be before they can be deemed to be mature enough to look after themselves? The law's answer? If a Police Officer deems them to be mature enough, taking all reasonable variables into account, then they are - using the officers experience as the barometer for this test. I find this to be a sensible approach.

With other things, arbitrary figures are applied. Want to shoot someone in the face? Join the army at 17. Fancy a beer? Wait another year. These arbitrary figures are necessary for practical purposes, but are not a perfect solution and you can not apply such a figure to the question of "What is under age for the purposes of photographing in a public place". That can never be answered satisfactorily. Intangible aspects as everyone have already listed must come into play and every case treated on its merits, on an individual basis.

Its an interesting and provocative question, but ultimately ancillary, which I think is the point of Rogers original post. I'll continue to take photos allowing my morals to be my guide and will be aware of what I am legally entitled to do. Worrying about any more than that is simply an abject lesson in inconsequentiality.
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Old 09-24-2013   #56
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. . . Want to shoot someone in the face? Join the army at 17. Fancy a beer? Wait another year. . .
There's also the question of how society treats transgressions. Simple example (from my own youth). You are found peacefully enjoying a beer in a pub with friends at the age of 16 or 17. What should the policeman do?

(1) Throw you out, without giving you a chance to finish your beer?

OR

(2) Arrest you, throw you in the slammer, not let you out until your parents bail you?

Somehow (1) seems more rational to me.

Also, a story from a policeman friend, sent to police the local Lover's Lane. Standard procedure: Shine a torch through the window. Ask, "What you doing in there, then?"

Young man answers, "Nothing, officer."

"Better let a man take over, then. On your way."

Cheers,

R.
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Old 09-24-2013   #57
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Then you have these insane, irrational, Draconian situations in the USA where an 18 year old boy is found having sex with his 17 year old girlfriend, and the boy is arrested, jailed, and labelled a "sex offender" and "child molester", ruining his life forever.
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Old 09-25-2013   #58
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Then you have these insane, irrational, Draconian situations in the USA where an 18 year old boy is found having sex with his 17 year old girlfriend, and the boy is arrested, jailed, and labelled a "sex offender" and "child molester", ruining his life forever.
And states where you can legally marry your first cousin and nobody will bat an eye.
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Old 09-25-2013   #59
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And states where you can legally marry your first cousin and nobody will bat an eye.
This is legal in the UK and many other countries. Here's an account of some of the science and of the raw prejudice: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/sc...y-1210072.html

Cheers,

R,
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Old 09-25-2013   #60
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The first paragraph of the article proofs that there are effects. Most Aristo families do have some medical conditions caused by Incest.
The problem with intermarriage between close relatives is an accumulative one take the spanish Habsburgs who had extreme deformation of the lips and nose (bulldogs have the same medical conditions) they couldn't even talk right anymore and more than half of the children died under the age of 10 because of medical conditions caused by incest. The first generation nothing happens but after the fifth or tenth intermarriage you will see some major medical problems. Blue blood is another medical condition too thin cellular connective tissue caused by amongst other things consumption of silver and incest makes the condition worse every genetic defect will be enhanced by generation after generation of incest. Also scientist have to publish something no matter how stupid it is best proof the coffee studies and counter studies that are getting published each year. The publish or perish mentality has led to some of the most stupid scientific papers and projects known to man.
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Old 09-25-2013   #61
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The problem with intermarriage between close relatives is an accumulative one
Yep. The aristocracy, as well as other religious, ethnic or social groups that are not only endogamous by law or customs, but also have an isolation issue (e.g. Irish Travellers, Zoroastrians, Yazids) have a increased risk of genetic disorders. But that is a matter of centuries of more or less forced marriages to close relatives - the love marriage to your cousin (only related to you on one hand) is much less risky than merely belonging to one of the above groups.
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Old 09-25-2013   #62
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Pregnancy has already so many risks why ad one more.
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Old 09-25-2013   #63
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Originally Posted by Roger Hicks View Post
This is legal in the UK and many other countries. Here's an account of some of the science and of the raw prejudice: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/sc...y-1210072.html

Cheers,

R,
My memory is a bit foggy, but maybe 9 or 10 years ago there was a case that got a little bit of attention here in the U.S. when some teens were charged with things like "statutory rape" on account of a two year difference in age, and additionally that their particular act involved a mouth (it wasn't kissing). This happened, I'm pretty sure, in one of the states where marrying a first cousin is perfectly ok (it is legal on most of the east coast). My reply was a vague reference to this.

As for the practical dangers of marrying first cousins - in an age of mechanized transport and large population centers, the problems are negligible. In the past when people didn't travel, and there were a lot less of us, the problems were compounded and people were I think reasonably justified in passing laws against it.
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Old 09-25-2013   #64
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In the medical arena capacity for consent needs to be assessed, and acceptance of consent from a minor will be accepted by (Australian at least) courts where the capacity to consent has been assessed by the doctor. This could hold valid to quite a young age but the advice I have been given is that it is unlikely a court would uphold the assessment if the person were under 12. It also depends on the particular treatment (in the medical case) that is being proposed.

I doubt, though, that a court would consider any Joe Average capable of making that assessment. So unless you have a paediatrician along with you, consent to photography, where required, would require legal maturity.

Its the "where required" bit that gets hazy IMHO.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Roger Hicks View Post
In one of the numerous threads on street photography, someone referred to people photographing "underage" girls in public parks. But what does this actually mean? Under what age? See http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-24173194 which argues that 25 is the new age for adulthood. Then go and re-read Romeo and Juliet...

Read the linked article before you respond to this and you'll see why I started the thread.

Cheers,

R.
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Old 09-25-2013   #65
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My memory is a bit foggy, but maybe 9 or 10 years ago there was a case that got a little bit of attention here in the U.S. when some teens were charged with things like "statutory rape" on account of a two year difference in age, and additionally that their particular act involved a mouth (it wasn't kissing). This happened, I'm pretty sure, in one of the states where marrying a first cousin is perfectly ok (it is legal on most of the east coast). My reply was a vague reference to this.

As for the practical dangers of marrying first cousins - in an age of mechanized transport and large population centers, the problems are negligible. In the past when people didn't travel, and there were a lot less of us, the problems were compounded and people were I think reasonably justified in passing laws against it.
I remember that too, so I Googled it: http://youngadults.about.com/od/lega...tutoryrape.htm -- he was 17 and she was 15.

TEN YEARS! He served 2 before the court decided it was ridiculous and let him out. I seem to recall that the maximum penalty for "conventional" statutory rape was less than that, but I can't really be bothered to research further.

What puzzles me is how anyone found out. And why he was prosecuted. Often in such cases we are looking at "children as property" -- she's MY daughter and I reserve the right to control her life absolutely. Of course, married women have been treated the same way in many countries and many eras.

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R.
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Old 09-25-2013   #66
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T. . The first generation nothing happens but after the fifth or tenth intermarriage you will see some major medical problems. . . .
Undoubtedly true; but as sevo points out, this is hardly the norm any more.

Cheers,

R.
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Old 09-25-2013   #67
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In the medical arena capacity for consent needs to be assessed, and acceptance of consent from a minor will be accepted by (Australian at least) courts where the capacity to consent has been assessed by the doctor. This could hold valid to quite a young age but the advice I have been given is that it is unlikely a court would uphold the assessment if the person were under 12. It also depends on the particular treatment (in the medical case) that is being proposed.

I doubt, though, that a court would consider any Joe Average capable of making that assessment. So unless you have a paediatrician along with you, consent to photography, where required, would require legal maturity.

Its the "where required" bit that gets hazy IMHO.
Then again, medical interventions are a bit more dramatic than taking someone's picture. And as you say, what could "where required" mean?

Cheers,

R.
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Old 09-25-2013   #68
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No it's not but then I still sometimes see victims of incest coming from smaller communities in the alps and such, also incest was not unknown in the working class but then mostly parent or uncle takes the closest thing to bed he can find and I believe part of the old laws against incest were a way to protect minors and such from their perv. relatives. For instance until the 1970'S the wife and children were considered more or less the property of the Husband (Austria) and he was more or less allowed to do to them whatever he wanted short of murder. Raping his wife was not a crime until some 20 years ago. It's a sin to have sex with a close relative = protection of minors from their relatives
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Old 09-25-2013   #69
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No it's not but then I still sometimes see victims of incest coming from smaller communities in the alps and such, also incest was not unknown in the working class but then mostly parent or uncle takes the closest thing to bed he can find and I believe part of the old laws against incest were a way to protect minors and such from their perv. relatives. For instance until the 1970'S the wife and children were considered more or less the property of the Husband (Austria) and he was more or less allowed to do to them whatever he wanted short of murder. Raping his wife was not a crime until some 20 years ago. It's a sin to have sex with a close relative = protection of minors from their relatives
It would be astonishing if you were not right. But of course there's the question of what constitutes "a close relative".

As a girl, my late mother would amuse herself during long church services by reading the Table of Kindred and Affinity (the C of E list of whom you can and cannot marry); working out who she wasn't allowed to marry; and wondering why anyone would marry them anyway.

And a lot of incest was not exactly "marriage", as you point out.

Cheers,

R.
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Old 09-25-2013   #70
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Roger Sex before Marriage is again a sin so incest a sin and sex before marriage a sin and you can't marry a close relative up to cousin. Means no sex with any close relatives as you only may have sex with your wife therefore children taboo, cousins, sisters etc... taboo.
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Old 09-25-2013   #71
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Roger Sex before Marriage is again a sin so incest a sin and sex before marriage a sin and you can't marry a close relative up to cousin. Means no sex with any close relatives as you only may have sex with your wife therefore children taboo, cousins, sisters etc... taboo.
Not everywhere...

Edit: As a matter of interest, this is a fine example of thread drift: photography to incest.

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R.
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Old 09-25-2013   #72
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In the christian and jewish world it's supposed to be like that. The muslim also prefer marriage before loss of virginity. This is of course from a purely religious point of view. Human laws are a different thing
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Old 09-25-2013   #73
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In the christian and jewish world it's supposed to be like that. The muslim also prefer marriage before loss of virginity. This is of course from a purely religious point of view. Human laws are a different thing
Yes, they actually mean something and are enforceable. I can choose which religion to believe -- I'm not keen on the Judaeo-Christian-Islamic tradition, the more so given the all-but-universal dual standards those religions have historically enforced -- but the laws that I have to obey are governed pretty much by where I live.

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R.
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Old 09-25-2013   #74
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I am an atheist but still accept the fact that the sources for most western countries' law is religion, Hamurabi and the roman empire
I also accept that some part of religion is common sense and was supposed to help people. Religion as an institution is quiet another thing though. And let's be honest how enforcable are Human laws really you have money power contacts you can enforce your right you lack any of these bye bye
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Old 09-26-2013   #75
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>SNIP
And let's be honest how enforcable are Human laws really you have money power contacts you can enforce your right you lack any of these bye bye
?? Would you care to explain that one?
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Old 09-28-2013   #76
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The age at which your government can hand you a weapon and send you off to be killed?

(but in the USA, in many States you can't drink a beer yet)
You can drink once you hit Guam, or another other country.
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Old 09-28-2013   #77
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In one of the numerous threads on street photography, someone referred to people photographing "underage" girls in public parks. But what does this actually mean? Under what age? See http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-24173194 which argues that 25 is the new age for adulthood. Then go and re-read Romeo and Juliet...

Read the linked article before you respond to this and you'll see why I started the thread.

Cheers,

R.
What's the difference between underage children and regular children???

What about overage children???

Underage adults?
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Old 09-29-2013   #78
dct
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This is how human being always look to each other. The answer is always: It depends. No law or court decisions will change this common - but unfair - mindset.
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Old 09-29-2013   #79
Roger Hicks
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dct View Post
This is how human being always look to each other. The answer is always: It depends. No law or court decisions will change this common - but unfair - mindset.
Which is of course akin to the well-known irregular verb:

I am right

Thou art mistaken

He, she or it is downright wrong

Cheers,

R.
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Old 09-29-2013   #80
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Funny,
I mentioned this to my wife, Phd Psychology, and she confirms that in their research they use 24 as the cut off age for adolescence.

For my particular case 60 might be it, 52 now.
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