bborg

Taking Children to Protests

52 posts in this topic

There can be NO MORAL EQUIVALENCE between US and THEM.

Ever. On any issue, large or small.

We good guys are fighting for our rights, and for freedom for our children. The socialists and altruists are fighting for the destruction of rights; not only do they have contempt for themselves, but they are fighting to cripple their children's lives. It is ALWAYS reprehensible for them to take their children to demonstrations.

It is fine for us to take our children to our demonstrations. As the children grow, we can readily explain in age-appropriate ways exactly what we are fighting for, and prove that it's right.

Moral equivalence has noting to do with it.

First, I would like to say that this is not personal - no harm has been done to those children due to this one incident.

I would like, however, explain my reasoning because I think it is an important point to make. Proper epistemology is one of the best protections against bad ideas . Teaching that is one of the most important aspects of parenting. This includes creating a habit of forming judgment in a first handed manner and accepting ideas only after proper intellectual due diligence. That is why the concept of hierarchical approach to education is so important. That proper epistemological approach (and thus consistency in its enforcement in a developing mind) is more important than the benefit of having learned a particular subject in a proper sequence. It is more important than promoting a right idea right now at that age. Placing children in a position to make judgments or repeat slogans about issues they do not fully grasp - even if those are the right ideas - is inconsistent with that purpose.

I judge my background in physics as inadequate for me to make an informed decision about TEW at this time - at least until I fully grasp what is being disputed - and discussions here and OO.net help in that regard. I want my son to do the same when he encounters an idea he does not have enough knowledge to fully grasp. I want him to only accept and promote ideas he understands - which at this time in his life means not forming judgment about many issues. If he uses reason and adheres to that principle - holding right ideas is only a matter of time. The exposure to bad ideas will have no effect.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Proper epistemology is one of the best protections against bad ideas . Teaching that is one of the most important aspects of parenting. This includes creating a habit of forming judgment in a first handed manner and accepting ideas only after proper intellectual due diligence. That is why the concept of hierarchical approach to education is so important. That proper epistemological approach (and thus consistency in its enforcement in a developing mind) is more important than the benefit of having learned a particular subject in a proper sequence. It is more important than promoting a right idea right now at that age. Placing children in a position to make judgments or repeat slogans about issues they do not fully grasp - even if those are the right ideas - is inconsistent with that purpose.

Absolutely agree. And regarding the approach being more important than promoting the right idea - because knowledge is contextual, without the requisite knowlede what you end up with isn't even the right idea! I understand that the children wanted to help, and making a family outing of the protest, including letting the kids hold signs, seemed like a harmless compromise. But this sends the false message to the children that they are actually helping. Holding a sign with words on it that are meaningless to you is not to promote an idea, no matter what's printed on it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It was a family outing at a protest, not a lesson claimed to be educationg children. "Epistemological theories of hierarchical understanding" have nothing to do with it. It was simply a protest with signs to bring attention to the book. Nor were the children used as participants claimed to be providing an intellectual "defense of the threats they are fighting". They were obviously only holding their mother's signs. This has already been pointed out and nothing further was required to "refute points made earlier". The children holding signs can only look "ridiculous" to those who speculate that anyone has claimed that the children "have the reading comprehension to have done so". It was a simple protest whose creativity brought success for its intended purpose, for which we can all be thankful to those who took the effort to do it. Every event does not have to be turned into "epistemology".

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
It was a family outing at a protest, not a lesson claimed to be educationg children. "Epistemological theories of hierarchical understanding" have nothing to do with it.

How could attending a protest not be a learning experience for the children? To pass this off as just a family outing at a protest, as if they'd gone bowling, is bizarre to me.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have read the comments here, and watched them, over time, gravitate toward support for what we were doing. I appreciate everyone (most notably Bill Bucko, who offered a very principled defense) who has taken the time to convince those who initially had a negative reaction to what they saw.

By way of introduction, I am the father of two of the children in that picture, and Jenn's husband. I was also at the rally, and made the sign reading "When I grow up, I want to be FREE". I am absolutely convinced, as a growing number in this forum seem to be, that we did nothing wrong here. What I'd like to do is offer a little background, and hopefully convince anyone left who still thinks that we are somehow using or brainwashing our kids.

Most modern protests that involve kids *are* using them, and possibly even brainwashing them. So in that context, I can understand someone's initial negative reaction; we see this all the time. The best example I can think of are "save the earth" protests, in which many of the children holding signs have been lied to; they've been told that the earth will actually be destroyed, and all the cute little animals will cease to exist unless they can take action and convince people to use paper instead of plastic. This is a deplorable manipulation of the child's emotions and thought process. THAT is brainwashing. The only thing that can be said in defense is that usually the adult has been brainwashed too, so they don't know any better.

Brainwashing requires a lie. It is the act of thoroughly convincing a person to believe in non-reality, in many cases to support a political agenda. That is not remotely what happened to these kids. Our kids were told the truth of the situation: that our government wants to take some of their money, and use it to pay for houses for other people. I also told them that our congressmen were not listening to the (vast majority of) people who thought it was a bad idea. I told them that going to this protest, and holding up signs was a good way to get them to pay attention.

None of these are lofty concepts that only adults can understand. Indeed, the right to one's own property is one of the first things our children understood. I submit that most children understand this very early, and it is only through their parents' manipulation (through guilt: "You need to share." "Don't be so selfish.") that they are dissuaded.

We allow our kids to view reality unfiltered. If they ask a question, we answer it truthfully. If it is a complex question, we answer it at a level that they can understand, given their age and maturity. By definition, this is not brainwashing, or using them in any way. It is enlightening.

So when our kids are holding up these signs, we are of course not making any claim that our 6 year-old has read Atlas Shrugged. But he absolutely does understand, and agrees with, the ideas put forth in that book. He agrees with them to the extent that he is able to grasp them (and he grasps more than you might think). And as his life goes on, I am confident that the process of independently checking these ideas against reality will only confirm them.

I'm not sure who first said this, but it's absolutely true: Children by nature *are* Objectivists. They are born with the innate desire & ability to understand things around them (reality). It is only through manipulation of the truth (usually by their parents) that they learn to mistrust their rational faculties. That is the way of the "bad guys". And we are not bad guys.

We are good guys. And so are our kids :-)

Thanks,

-Brendan

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I have read the comments here, and watched them, over time, gravitate toward support for what we were doing. I appreciate everyone (most notably Bill Bucko, who offered a very principled defense) who has taken the time to convince those who initially had a negative reaction to what they saw.

By way of introduction, I am the father of two of the children in that picture, and Jenn's husband. I was also at the rally, and made the sign reading "When I grow up, I want to be FREE". I am absolutely convinced, as a growing number in this forum seem to be, that we did nothing wrong here. What I'd like to do is offer a little background, and hopefully convince anyone left who still thinks that we are somehow using or brainwashing our kids.

Most modern protests that involve kids *are* using them, and possibly even brainwashing them. So in that context, I can understand someone's initial negative reaction; we see this all the time. The best example I can think of are "save the earth" protests, in which many of the children holding signs have been lied to; they've been told that the earth will actually be destroyed, and all the cute little animals will cease to exist unless they can take action and convince people to use paper instead of plastic. This is a deplorable manipulation of the child's emotions and thought process. THAT is brainwashing. The only thing that can be said in defense is that usually the adult has been brainwashed too, so they don't know any better.

Brainwashing requires a lie. It is the act of thoroughly convincing a person to believe in non-reality, in many cases to support a political agenda. That is not remotely what happened to these kids. Our kids were told the truth of the situation: that our government wants to take some of their money, and use it to pay for houses for other people. I also told them that our congressmen were not listening to the (vast majority of) people who thought it was a bad idea. I told them that going to this protest, and holding up signs was a good way to get them to pay attention.

None of these are lofty concepts that only adults can understand. Indeed, the right to one's own property is one of the first things our children understood. I submit that most children understand this very early, and it is only through their parents' manipulation (through guilt: "You need to share." "Don't be so selfish.") that they are dissuaded.

We allow our kids to view reality unfiltered. If they ask a question, we answer it truthfully. If it is a complex question, we answer it at a level that they can understand, given their age and maturity. By definition, this is not brainwashing, or using them in any way. It is enlightening.

So when our kids are holding up these signs, we are of course not making any claim that our 6 year-old has read Atlas Shrugged. But he absolutely does understand, and agrees with, the ideas put forth in that book. He agrees with them to the extent that he is able to grasp them (and he grasps more than you might think). And as his life goes on, I am confident that the process of independently checking these ideas against reality will only confirm them.

I'm not sure who first said this, but it's absolutely true: Children by nature *are* Objectivists. They are born with the innate desire & ability to understand things around them (reality). It is only through manipulation of the truth (usually by their parents) that they learn to mistrust their rational faculties. That is the way of the "bad guys". And we are not bad guys.

We are good guys. And so are our kids :-)

Thanks,

-Brendan

Thank _you_, Brendan. May your children grow brighter and stronger every day.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sophia, it seems that by the standards you state most adult American citizens do not fully understand what they supposedly stand for and hence should not be protesting either. Most Americans do not fully understand what the government is doing by voting for the stimulus package, that being enslaving them. But they understand on some level that taxation is wrong and hence why they are protesting. Do you actually think that everyone that gathered during the "Boston Tea Party" knew fully in a "hierarchical" order exactly what they were protesting? People generally protest at the level of understanding that they have on the subject and if they had to wait for a "hierarchical" understanding we would be in trouble because most military members do not grasp that they are protesting enslavement when they go to war.

So, are you knowledgeable (hierarchically, of course), ready and able to pick up a sign or a gun and start protesting in their place?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I have read the comments here, and watched them, over time, gravitate toward support for what we were doing. I appreciate everyone (most notably Bill Bucko, who offered a very principled defense) who has taken the time to convince those who initially had a negative reaction to what they saw.

By way of introduction, I am the father of two of the children in that picture, and Jenn's husband. I was also at the rally, and made the sign reading "When I grow up, I want to be FREE". I am absolutely convinced, as a growing number in this forum seem to be, that we did nothing wrong here. What I'd like to do is offer a little background, and hopefully convince anyone left who still thinks that we are somehow using or brainwashing our kids.

Most modern protests that involve kids *are* using them, and possibly even brainwashing them. So in that context, I can understand someone's initial negative reaction; we see this all the time. The best example I can think of are "save the earth" protests, in which many of the children holding signs have been lied to; they've been told that the earth will actually be destroyed, and all the cute little animals will cease to exist unless they can take action and convince people to use paper instead of plastic. This is a deplorable manipulation of the child's emotions and thought process. THAT is brainwashing. The only thing that can be said in defense is that usually the adult has been brainwashed too, so they don't know any better.

Brainwashing requires a lie. It is the act of thoroughly convincing a person to believe in non-reality, in many cases to support a political agenda. That is not remotely what happened to these kids. Our kids were told the truth of the situation: that our government wants to take some of their money, and use it to pay for houses for other people. I also told them that our congressmen were not listening to the (vast majority of) people who thought it was a bad idea. I told them that going to this protest, and holding up signs was a good way to get them to pay attention.

None of these are lofty concepts that only adults can understand. Indeed, the right to one's own property is one of the first things our children understood. I submit that most children understand this very early, and it is only through their parents' manipulation (through guilt: "You need to share." "Don't be so selfish.") that they are dissuaded.

We allow our kids to view reality unfiltered. If they ask a question, we answer it truthfully. If it is a complex question, we answer it at a level that they can understand, given their age and maturity. By definition, this is not brainwashing, or using them in any way. It is enlightening.

So when our kids are holding up these signs, we are of course not making any claim that our 6 year-old has read Atlas Shrugged. But he absolutely does understand, and agrees with, the ideas put forth in that book. He agrees with them to the extent that he is able to grasp them (and he grasps more than you might think). And as his life goes on, I am confident that the process of independently checking these ideas against reality will only confirm them.

I'm not sure who first said this, but it's absolutely true: Children by nature *are* Objectivists. They are born with the innate desire & ability to understand things around them (reality). It is only through manipulation of the truth (usually by their parents) that they learn to mistrust their rational faculties. That is the way of the "bad guys". And we are not bad guys.

We are good guys. And so are our kids :-)

Thanks,

-Brendan

Hello and thanks for the info :wacko:

For the record, the nature of my disagreement was having children hold protest signs with slogans the children can't understand at their age. To me this was like the socialist/viro protesters only in the sense that a child is being used to convey a political message that is too complicated for them to grasp. I did not mean to extend the equivocation in the sense that you are brainwashing your kids, or exploiting them for politics.

I personally would have no problem though with my child holding a sign that says "I want to be free", or wave an American flag or dress up like yours did; it would be fun! And since the children asked to hold the signs out of excitement and benevolence then that is obviously a completely different context from asking the children to hold the signs.

Have fun at the next protest :P

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

mmpol01_AtlantaGA.jpg

We are good guys. And so are our kids :-)

I agree. Thanks Brendan.

This is a message I just got From Kelly Reynolds Elmore, the proud mother of the little girl holding the "Ayn Rand was Right" sign:

Betsy,

I saw the comments on your forum about the children at the protest. One is mine. Since I am not a member, I wanted to send you a post I made on a blog about the day. I don't know if you would want to post it, but it explains a little more. The post follows:

I thought I'd post because my daughter is the one holding the sign that says "Ayn Rand was Right." The thing is, it was my sign. She wanted to hold it because it was pink. I don't think anyone was under the impression that she knew anything about Ayn Rand. Anyone with sense knew that she was holding a sign made by her parents.

She did know the basic facts about the protest and understands them. The government wants to take even more of our money than they already do and give it to people that we don't know and love. Even my 5 year old can understand that that is wrong.

The important thing about her being at the protest wasn't the info on the sign she was holding. The important thing was that she saw that I care about what the government does to our lives. That I care enough to stand in the rain. That our voices matter.

She learned almost nothing about bailouts. We talked about them, of course, but children don't take those kinds of things in as some kind of floating abstractions. Children raised rationally just let things they can't grasp yet float by. What she learned was that when she is passionate about something, she should take action.

It would be wrong if I pretended to myself or to her that she knew all about government intervention, bailouts, and human rights. It would be wrong to leave out facts about the other side so that she agreed with me. It is not wrong to take children with you into the world, let them help you as best they can, and answer their questions. Children learn to be adults by watching and mimicking. If you keep them away from any activity they may not fully understand, don't try to take them to the bank, to your work, or to a movie or play.

And by the way, can you imagine why a proud parent would get excited by seeing her child's photo on a well-read blog? It makes me all keyed up to see a picture of Ayn Rand's name on a conservative blog. But if the darling face of my baby is there too, getting as famous as her big green eyes deserve, I just can't help but be happy.

My primary goal is that she is happy and learning, and so she goes with me where I go. I will worry about what liberals and the epistemologists think of seeing her with a sign when I have more time on my hands.

Kelly

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
It was a family outing at a protest, not a lesson claimed to be educationg children. "Epistemological theories of hierarchical understanding" have nothing to do with it.

How could attending a protest not be a learning experience for the children? To pass this off as just a family outing at a protest, as if they'd gone bowling, is bizarre to me.

Anything anyone does is a "learning experience" in some way. But don't equivocate; it does not make a family outing at a protest into a philosophical education requiring structuring it as "epistemological theories of hierarchical understanding". If you find that to be bizarre, maybe reading the first hand accounts of the participants will clear it up.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I'm not sure who first said this, but it's absolutely true: Children by nature *are* Objectivists. They are born with the innate desire & ability to understand things around them (reality). It is only through manipulation of the truth (usually by their parents) that they learn to mistrust their rational faculties. That is the way of the "bad guys". And we are not bad guys.

We are good guys. And so are our kids :-)

Thanks,

-Brendan

I guess you noticed that your children were not born spitting in their own faces.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
My primary goal is that she is happy and learning, and so she goes with me where I go. I will worry about what liberals and the epistemologists think of seeing her with a sign when I have more time on my hands.

Kelly

Epistemology is important, and so is the hierarchical nature of knowledge, which has an explicit role in education, but to use it to dump on these proud and happy families for a protest outing is to give epistemology an undeserved bad name. From the first hand descriptions posted here, the children seem to be doing just fine.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Most Americans do not fully understand what the government is doing by voting for the stimulus package, that being enslaving them.

This is off topic but that is a big part of the problem, isn't it? Foggy understanding of relevant issues can and often does lead to ideological contradictions and betrayal of the very values people otherwise profess they hold.

Do you actually think that everyone that gathered during the "Boston Tea Party" knew fully in a "hierarchical" order exactly what they were protesting?

How is that relevant to the issue of how much a four or six year old understands about politics? Also, it was not the order of knowledge that I was stressing but the importance of forming opinions in a first handed manner. I do not want my son to be like the soldier - that is exactly what I am trying to avoid (that serves a purpose in a military) and even the most intelligent children have a tendency to accept ideas and values on free-fall (this happens in the area of social issues all the time) - especially their parents ideas.

If would have only taken me few questions to create a confusion in my seven year old son about property rights and not because he would not understand the question. Yes it is a concept the relevance of which arises very early, it was certainly discussed in our house on many occasions, but I know how limited and thus fragile my son's understanding at this stage of this life is.

So, are you knowledgeable (hierarchically, of course), ready and able to pick up a sign or a gun and start protesting in their place?

I fail to grasp the relevancy of this statement to the issue being discussed.

------------------

Also, nobody here is "dumping on these families". In fact, I am glad this came up.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
How is that relevant to the issue of how much a four or six year old understands about politics? Also, it was not the order of knowledge that I was stressing but the importance of forming opinions in a first handed manner.

Sophia, it seems the crux of your argument is that the kids in this picture do not understand "politics". While that is certainly true, politics is such a broad concept. Let's face it: MOST people don't understand "politics". But does that mean that they shouldn't protest ANYTHING that their government inflicts upon them?

When a person's rights are being violated (as these kids' rights are), is it not enough that they fight it because they want to preserve that right? Must they fully understand why they have that right, and ALL of the implications thereof?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I'm not sure who first said this, but it's absolutely true: Children by nature *are* Objectivists. They are born with the innate desire & ability to understand things around them (reality). It is only through manipulation of the truth (usually by their parents) that they learn to mistrust their rational faculties. That is the way of the "bad guys"...

This is a really interesting point and I would love to hear more on this if you are interested, or just your experiences as an Objectivist parent in general.

I've increasingly noticed that so many of the stereotypical difficulties that parents will experience with their children would nearly always be a non-issue if the parent treated the child as an intelligent, independent, conceptual being, instead of treating them as some kind of pet that needs to be commanded and disciplined into the correct behavior.

I'm walking through a supermarket and I see a bright, happy, inquisitive child dashing about, picking up different items and looking at them out of curiosity. The child is being reckless though, and is in danger of knocking over items or bothering other shoppers, so the parent bellows "HOW MANY TIMES DO I HAVE TO TELL YOU TO STOP DOING THAT, GET OVER HERE AND CUT IT OUT". Instead of treating the child as an independent, conceptual being, and recognizing that the motivation for the actions is good, and the child just needs to be taught to understand that they shouldn't be reckless, the parent attempts the lazy quick fix of just suppressing the entire behavior through sheer force of discipline and intimidation. To me the only result that can come from that is the child becomes repressed, won't understand why their behavior was wrong, and will just grow to fear their parents and become wiser at avoiding getting caught.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sophia, it is not off topic. You seem to be stating that people that cannot or do not fully understand that which they are protesting should not be protesting. I think that is an irrational standard and hence why I brought it up through my example. You stand up for Ayn Rand's ideas and I am almost certain that you do not know every little thing that she wrote nor why, as it took Dr. Peikoff almost 30 years.

If a child reads a children's book on Darwin's theory and thought he and his theory were/are wonderful and wanted to protest the protesting of Darwin's birthday should he be allowed? Does this child understand all of the items that play a part in the total scheme of things? Most likely not, so what.

The point I was trying to demonstrate by using the Boston Tea Party was that not even most adults have a full understanding of certain principles, but with what they do understand and agree with, they are willing to protest or fight for.

The relevancy of the quesiton is that if all people lived by your standards there would be very few protester or defenders of freedom. So, that leaves just you and others like you, a very small group to do the protesting and the defending of your own life.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I'm not sure who first said this, but it's absolutely true: Children by nature *are* Objectivists. They are born with the innate desire & ability to understand things around them (reality). It is only through manipulation of the truth (usually by their parents) that they learn to mistrust their rational faculties. That is the way of the "bad guys"...

This is a really interesting point and I would love to hear more on this if you are interested, or just your experiences as an Objectivist parent in general.

I've increasingly noticed that so many of the stereotypical difficulties that parents will experience with their children would nearly always be a non-issue if the parent treated the child as an intelligent, independent, conceptual being, instead of treating them as some kind of pet that needs to be commanded and disciplined into the correct behavior.

I'm walking through a supermarket and I see a bright, happy, inquisitive child dashing about, picking up different items and looking at them out of curiosity. The child is being reckless though, and is in danger of knocking over items or bothering other shoppers, so the parent bellows "HOW MANY TIMES DO I HAVE TO TELL YOU TO STOP DOING THAT, GET OVER HERE AND CUT IT OUT". Instead of treating the child as an independent, conceptual being, and recognizing that the motivation for the actions is good, and the child just needs to be taught to understand that they shouldn't be reckless, the parent attempts the lazy quick fix of just suppressing the entire behavior through sheer force of discipline and intimidation. To me the only result that can come from that is the child becomes repressed, won't understand why their behavior was wrong, and will just grow to fear their parents and become wiser at avoiding getting caught.

Carlos, wow, it's like you witnessed my own upbringing! :-)

There is *such* a difference on a cold day, between forcing your child to put on his coat, hat, and boots, when he refuses to do it, versus saying something as simple as "You'll be warmer if you wear a coat." And then being able & willing to let him go out in shorts in 36-degree weather if he STILL refuses. Almost all parents would actually force a coat on the kid in this situation, but why? I mean, assuming it's not a miles-long trip across the frozen Alaskan tundra, why force this? The kid will experience COLD for a few moments between the car and the grocery store, no damage will be done, and he will learn from *experience* why he should bundle up. The best way to teach a kid about reality is to let him experience it.

But this is a huge topic, and I'm new to the forum. I don't want to digress -- is there a better place to discuss this? I'm generally not the forum-posting type; I have a job that keeps me very busy indeed. The *best* place to check this stuff out is probably Jenn's (my wife's) blog: http://rationaljenn.blogspot.com/

That said, I'd be happy to get a discussion going under another topic (assuming that's the thing to do here). I feel kinda clueless about how to get another discussion going in another topic, or if it's even necessary. Can you let me know?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Epistemology is important, and so is the hierarchical nature of knowledge, which has an explicit role in education, but to use it to dump on these proud and happy families for a protest outing is to give epistemology an undeserved bad name. From the first hand descriptions posted here, the children seem to be doing just fine.

No one here is "dumping" on anyone, and I'm tired of having everything I say treated as a personal attack. I think I'll call this the "stop being a meanie" tactic. No productive conversation is possible in that context, so I'm no longer going to try.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
But this is a huge topic, and I'm new to the forum. I don't want to digress -- is there a better place to discuss this? I'm generally not the forum-posting type; I have a job that keeps me very busy indeed. The *best* place to check this stuff out is probably Jenn's (my wife's) blog: http://rationaljenn.blogspot.com/

That said, I'd be happy to get a discussion going under another topic (assuming that's the thing to do here). I feel kinda clueless about how to get another discussion going in another topic, or if it's even necessary. Can you let me know?

If a new and separate discussion on a different topic appears within a thread Betsy will often move the posts to a new thread in a section of this forum that more closely fits the topic of discussion.

I guess if you wanted to start a new thread on child-rearing (something all members here are certainly allowed to do) it would probably best fit in the Psychology section ( http://forums.4aynrandfans.com/index.php?showforum=17 ) or the Relationships section ( http://forums.4aynrandfans.com/index.php?showforum=31 ).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Epistemology is important, and so is the hierarchical nature of knowledge, which has an explicit role in education, but to use it to dump on these proud and happy families for a protest outing is to give epistemology an undeserved bad name. From the first hand descriptions posted here, the children seem to be doing just fine.

No one here is "dumping" on anyone...

If there is you will be fined $300.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
You seem to be stating that people that cannot or do not fully understand that which they are protesting should not be protesting.

The point I was trying to demonstrate by using the Boston Tea Party was that not even most adults have a full understanding of certain principles, but with what they do understand and agree with, they are willing to protest or fight for.

Ray, you are misinterpreting what I said. My argument was not about qualifications for protesting.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

When it comes to the Objectivists involved with their children in the "Tea Party" protests, it is pretty clear to me that the parents were acting properly, the experience was a value and enjoyable for the children, and that "No children were harmed psycho-epistemologically in the making of this protest."

If anyone has more to say about the particular families, please communicate directly to them by PM or email or in the comments sections on their indicated blogs.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
If anyone has more to say about the particular families, please communicate directly to them by PM or email or in the comments sections on their indicated blogs.

Jenn just posted about this to her blog (link).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
If a child reads a children's book on Darwin's theory and thought he and his theory were/are wonderful and wanted to protest the protesting of Darwin's birthday should he be allowed? Does this child understand all of the items that play a part in the total scheme of things? Most likely not, so what.

A child should be introduced to a complex idea, in this case, a scientific theory (especially if controversial) when he or she has the necessary prerequisite knowledge and mental ability to grasp it and judge it properly.

How about children's book on Israeli-Palestinian conflict?

The child in your example could have been as easily convinced that Darwin's theory is a scam simply based on a different reading material. He is in no position to independently make a correct judgment. If pro and against arguments were presented to that child he would not be able to work through them by himself. He can of course be influenced by what his parent knows is true. And such influence is often unavoidable. I do not want my son to have to stick his head inside a hot oven in order to accept that it is not a good idea. There are ideas which children must accept on trust from their parents. My goal, however, is to assure first handed judgment as much as possible (allowing a kid to go outside without his coat (when he refuses to wear it) to experience the cold for himself is the same idea).

I am especially careful about social issues because that is one area in which this principle seems to be violated the most (especially in schools - private and public). I do answer my son's questions with honesty. What I believe is not a secret in my house but I do not place my kid in a position to take stands, form opinions, and take actions about things he does not yet have the necessary prerequisite knowledge to properly judge independently. Paying attention to developmental level appropriate content is not sheltering him from reality. It is recognition of proper order. My son understands property rights as it applies to his child context. He does not understand it on a level of social/political issues. My son at the age of seven need not be concerned with current economic and political events. There is simply no need for it. If his rights are being violated it is my responsibility to do something about it - my responsibility to defend them on his behalf.

I am surprised that I have received such a negative reaction to what I wrote. I have not been making personal attacks. I have been explaining why I would not involve my son in a political activism. I think I have good reasons for not doing so.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

And how would that child gain the necessary prerequisite knowledge if not given in a manner that begins with the simplest understanding of the theory or idea. Then they build on that theory or idea as time allows them to gain a larger perspective. One does not wait to study the history of the American Revolution until they full understand John Locke, Thomas Aquinas, Thomas Jefferson, John Adams and so on. A child begins their learning about the Revolutionary War in it's simplest form and once again as they gain more knowledge the child gains a deeper understanding.

A child or an adult can be convinced to agree with something they do not understand, but that does not mean they have to. As a child I was sent to Catholic Sunday school classes of which I disagreed with almost everything they were teaching. I asked a lot of questions and found the answers lacking in anything of substance. I decided to stop asking certain adults questions and gather the information on my own. I agreed or disagreed on a subject in accordance to my knowledge of the subject at that time. When asked if I believed in the idea that Jesus was "reborn" my answer was a direct, "NO!" It seems by your standard I should not have even been asked to come to such a conclusion until I studied physics, Aristotle, Ayn Rand and many others, and I must disagree.

Lastly, I do not agree with letting children run about a grocery store looking and picking up anything and everything they want. As a parent I am responsible for them and their actions, and a grocery store is not a place of learning in the same sense as a school or my home. If the child wants to learn, they can learn about not touching or damaging property that is not their's and how to gather the food and add up the total price. There is an appropriate place to let a child run and study their enviornment, with someone else's property in someone else's home or store is not the place to allow them to do those things.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites