This post is just to make one simple point: there is a lot of argument that boils down to the question of how old a child should be before he or she ought to be allowed to, or is entitled to, do this or that.

Newborn infants must be carefully tended, while mentally and physically able adults should be allowed to make their own life decisions. Most disagreements are about the age at which transitions should be made from dependence to independence with respect to specific issues, such as access to information, relationships with other children and with adults outside the family, etc.

The answer varies among cultures and societies, families and schools, religions and philosophies, nations and governments. There are no right answers.

So the question, "Should a child of age ___ be allowed to do _______ ?" is always to be answered, "That depends."

But the more interesting questions have to do with adults. Is there any common ground among peoples of the world as to the rights and responsibilities of (competent) adults?

I think the answer has to do with my theme 'comoe', the condition of man on earth, and arises from the fact that we want the human race to survive and the planet to survive, and those two goals do imply some common rights and responsibilities.