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Emile comments on Welcome to Less Wrong! (2012) - Less Wrong

25 Post author: orthonormal 26 December 2011 10:57PM

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Comment author: Emile 02 January 2012 12:25:53AM 6 points [-]

But there is no universal agreement on the "age of informed consent", it varies from country to country! And yes, the fact that the limit is arbitrary does undermine its strength; there are often scenarios of "reasonable" sex (in that most people don't consider it as wrong) that would be consider statutory rape or whatnot if the law was taken at the letter.

(Also, heck, 10 months is a pretty crappy limit, why not 8 months five days and 42 minutes? 12 months would be much cleaner)

Comment author: Bakkot 02 January 2012 01:43:56AM 4 points [-]

But isn't birth - or first menstruation, or what have you - a much cleaner line? Shouldn't we be going by those, instead? No? Of course we shouldn't; sometimes the obvious choices for where to draw a line are so off from what would be reasonable that we're forced to be arbitrary.

Isn't 20 years a much cleaner line than 17, for age of consent and drinking age? Why not go with those? You have to pick something.