Age of Reason


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Related to Age of Reason: Age of Enlightenment

Age of Reason

The age at which a child is considered capable of acting responsibly.

Under Common Law, seven was the age of reason. Children under the age of seven were conclusively presumed incapable of committing a crime because they did not possess the reasoning ability to understand that their conduct violated the standards of acceptable community behavior. Those between the ages of seven and fourteen were presumed incapable of committing a crime, but this presumption could be overcome by evidence, such as the child having possession of the gun immediately after the shooting. The rebuttable presumption for this age group was based on the assumption that, as the child grew older, he or she learned to differentiate between right and wrong. A child over the age of fourteen was considered to be fully responsible for his or her actions. Many states have modified the age of criminal responsibility by statute.

All states have enacted legislation creating juvenile courts to handle the adjudication of young persons, usually under eighteen, for criminal conduct rather than have them face criminal prosecution as an adult. However, a child of thirteen who commits a violent crime may be tried as an adult in many jurisdictions.

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Masonic lodges are plausibly presented as such "idealized polities" - the expressions of a civil religiosity, the cult of the Enlightenment, whose members lived out the ideals of the Age of Reason. Along with the philosophical society and the scientific academy, the lodge served as a model for the republican and democratic forms of government which were to emerge in Europe from the end of the eighteenth century.
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Thomas Paine in his Age of Reason named Confucius, along with Jesus and the Greek philosophers, as one of the great moral teachers.
The cult of sensibility from which such products ultimately issue is the flip side of the Age of Reason. Two centuries ago, republican ideals were illustrated by literary and painterly portrayals of the pathetic.
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Religion in the age of reason; a transatlantic study of the long eighteenth century.
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While cataloguing the sale, Bonhams found a pamphlet, written by the poet Shelley, denouncing the sentence passed on the publisher of Thomas Paine's Age of Reason. It had previously been thought that only one copy of the pamphlet existed, says David Park, of Bonhams.
The model of a humanistic culture of fairness for all, first theorized during the zenith of the Age of Reason in the late eighteenth century, appears an idealist's pipe dream.
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As beings who hadn't reached the age of reason, children were the flea in the ointment in Age of Reason philosophy.
My suggestion was that we scrapped the present laws and reverted back to the laws of the '30s when the age of reason was seven years old, when murderers were hanged, when young persistent offenders were birched, when troublesome prisoners were put into solitary confinement, and when hard labour was the sentence for the bully boys.