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My son, the 8 year old philosopher


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30 replies to this topic

#1
Dave Bockman

Dave Bockman
  • 2849 posts

So, my heart blazed with love especially brightly last night after a light-hearted post-dinner conversation with the lad. He's currently mad for this particular toy called 'Bakugan', which has all the necessary media tie-ins to fully hook the wayward child into a full-on crack-like addiction.... toys, a cartoon, website, online games, guides, etc.

Each Bakugan is a few dollars, anywhere from about $4.00 to $19.00 depending upon a Byzantine labrynth of reasons known only to the toy's marketing company and any child (parents are neurobiologically incapable of grasping the reasons).

Anyway, he mentioned that with his next allowance he'll have enough for 3-5 new Bakugan, to which I replied, "Would you care to have a conversation about deciding on upper limits of how many Bakugan you will own? You already have over a dozen, for example, so perhaps setting a limit might be helpful in managing your money wisely?"

"Daddy, ANY discussion like that would be silly because it would be YOUR PREFERENCES, not MINE, because I don't want to set a limit."

Yes! But then, he added,

"Like, let's say you saw this really neat watch you wanted to have. That would be like me saying you can't buy that watch because it's my preference that you shouldn't buy it."

PWND! I love it

Posted Image

 

 


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"Use the flame of knowledge to light candles, not peoples' hair"-- S. Molyneux


#2
Ned

Ned
  • 2799 posts

that's pretty awesome. the next generation i think is going to see all this hard work we are doing as just kinda obvious. UPB, duh


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#3
chewgarus

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That's so cool! I'm always excited to hear about kids who are raised well (I would never have been able to form a thought like that when I was 8).

Once we start seeing how "precocious" children are by raising them in a good environment, we'll start to see more clearly just how bad current parenting is (i.e. what its opportunity costs are).


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#4
Colleen

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 He sounds like a brilliant little boy. And what a cutie ! [:)]


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#5
Stefan Molyneux

Stefan Molyneux
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It would be wonderful if the philosophical genius of the planet could begin to approach the natural brilliance of your average child...[:)]


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#6
Nathan

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It would be wonderful if the philosophical genius of the planet could begin to approach the natural brilliance of your average child.../board/emoticons/emotion-1.gif

Oh no kidding!  My friend's kids are total geniuses.

 


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#7
Milo

Milo
  • 257 posts

Awesome!  That story gave me a warm feeling. Kudos to you for fostering an environment where your child can express such insightful ideas.

"UPB, duh" indeed [rollsmile]


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#8
inside my head

inside my head
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Ahaha! That is an awesome kid. I look forward to the next generation of FDR-ers. (I would probably have my kid study podcasts - is that appropriate? xD)


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#9
Pim

Pim
  • 171 posts

Fantastic! Children are truly amazing little beings. I guess we really should have hope for humanity!


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#10
Mel

Mel
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What a great story!

And what I really appreciate is that you can see the value in that interaction. A lot of other parents that I know would have taken a situation like that and posted with absolute disdain about their kid giving them a hard time, which would be followed by responses like "I miss those babyhood days when they couldn't talk back!"

Your son's reasoning at 8 years old is really cool too see, and your reaction to it speaks volumes too.


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#11
vcadd

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 /board/cfs-file.ashx/__key/CommunityServer.Components.UserFiles/00.00.00.46.27/4612.jpg


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Fist in the Air in The Land of Hypocrisy


#12
shantale

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That is so wonderful to here.


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#13
Loonie

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    Liberty Videographer

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What a great story!

And what I really appreciate is that you can see the value in that interaction. A lot of other parents that I know would have taken a situation like that and posted with absolute disdain about their kid giving them a hard time, which would be followed by responses like "I miss those babyhood days when they couldn't talk back!"

Your son's reasoning at 8 years old is really cool too see, and your reaction to it speaks volumes too.

 

 Dave, that is so awesome!  This is how the world will change.  I so admire you for being vulnerable to your son.

He's so lucky to have you as a parent.   Thank you for giving us this gem....


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#14
Livemike

Livemike
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Everyone is born a philosopher, if they do not remain one it's because someone talked them out of it.


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#15
SpykerSpeed

SpykerSpeed
  • 14 posts

Everyone is born a philosopher, if they do not remain one it's because someone talked them out of it.

 

So true!

 

That's such a great story, it makes me want to be a parent.  Your son is adorable, btw.

 


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#16
Gruff

Gruff
  • 67 posts

 Thats brilliant, children are the best philosophers!

I had a discussion with my 9 year old son yesterday about religion in his schools curriculum.  We were discussing why atheism isn't taught, and if it were to be taught it shouldn't be taught in a religion class as it is not a religion.  Any way my son said that his school won't teach atheism as they will then lose 'control' of the children.  So profound, I hope he can retain this critical analysis into adulthood.


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It's just me.


 


#17
Dave Bockman

Dave Bockman
  • 2849 posts

My son, the 8 9 year old philosopher


So yesterday we had an intense discussion about something at his school called 'demerit hall' in which students who have accrued a certain number of 'strikes' for various infractions must spend a Saturday morning at the school engaged in some sort of boring labor like landscaping, cleaning up litter, etc. This punishment is by no means common, and is held out as a sort of 'last resort' in the chain which would end in expulsion (I know of only 2 children who have ever actually had to do demerit hall)...

So Davey was asking about actually going to demerit hall, and made assertions like, "How could they force you to go? You could just *not* go on the Saturday you're supposed to go, right? I mean, it's not like they have control over your BODY, right Daddy? It's not like they can move your arms and legs and make you go to demerit hall, right?"

I replied, "Yes you're absolutely right, you own your own body and you choose for yourself to a very large degree where you go and what you do."

"So how can they make you go to demerit hall?"

"Well, they can escalate the threats of punishment I suppose, they could tell the bus driver not to come to our house anymore until you come in for demerit hall, they could forbid you from going on field trips or going out at recess or being a part of the chess club... they could say you can't check any more books out from the library until you go... if all that didn't work I suppose they might expell you and say you're not welcome at the school any more...

"Right, but I still wouldn't have gone to demerit hall!"

"That's absolutely true, but Davey what I haven't talked about here is the contractual obligation we have towards the school. We agreed when we enrolled you that certain methods of discipline like detention (stay 45 minutes after school and do extra school work) and demerit hall were acceptable. We signed a contract agreeing to tha--"

And before I could finish, with the absolute most quietly dismissive/triumphant sound to his voice, he politely interrupted with, "I didn't sign anything!"


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"Use the flame of knowledge to light candles, not peoples' hair"-- S. Molyneux


#18
MarisaO

MarisaO
  • 524 posts

haha!  That is awesome.  Brilliant!  [H]


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#19
memeverse

memeverse
  • 305 posts

This is quite moving. I also think kids are born philosophers until they are corrupted by ideas which put their pure rational capacity at war with itself. But when I hear about people raising kids in a way that allows their natural rationality to flourish there is not only no greater proof for rationality, but also no greater hope for the future.

Reading this made me think of an idea for a movie that could really touch a lot of people. The movie could track the life of a boy (or a girl) from the moment (s)he was born and through the stages of his or her intellectual development that is, unlike the typical family today, simply allowed to flourish intellectually freely.  Ultimately the child would grow into a person who is not only an anarchist/voluntaryist like we who have had to deprogram to understand it and still fight little ghosts impending our personal freedom, are, but who gets it on such a deep level that they could not grasp how anyone believes in the state. Imagine the power such individuals will have in terms of changing the world, but also imagine the incredible challenges and frustrations they may face as a minority of such untainted nature.

I can imagine scenes in the movie just like what Dave describes. Imagine the effect it could have on people watching it as they see a parent in the movie treating his/her kid's ideas as equally important rather than dismissing them...

It could be a thrilling story and a bit of a predicter of a very near future, as yours and other kids raised as free rational individuals, grow up.

My sister has a kid that is just over 1 years old and I've been an influence on her in terms of ideas, and especially treatment of kids, for quite a while and she's very receptive to it. She's nowhere near an activist or even an advocate, but she doesn't support nor justify the current system and typical practices in typical families. So there's an incredible amount of potential there. It's gonna be interesting to see how he develops. :)


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#20
Kawlinz

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Everyone is born a philosopher, if they do not remain one it's because someone talked them out of it.

Allow me to try and be a bit more precise... I don't think any person could talk another person out of being a philosopher. Saying that we can talk people out of rational positions is being - diplomatic at best, no? Thoughts?


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#21
Dumitru

Dumitru
  • 365 posts

That's right, one cannot be "talked" out of being a philosopher, talked here meaning "reasoned out of". One can only be bullied, abused, attacked, forced or otherwise coerced out of it. Very good point!


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#22
Livemike

Livemike
  • 1001 posts

Everyone is born a philosopher, if they do not remain one it's because someone talked them out of it.

Allow me to try and be a bit more precise... I don't think any person could talk another person out of being a philosopher. Saying that we can talk people out of rational positions is being - diplomatic at best, no? Thoughts?

 

 You've talked me out of my position.  You're right as fivemileshigh says "One can only be bullied, abused, attacked, forced or otherwise coerced out of it". Thank you both for the correction.

 


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#23
Jorad

Jorad
  • 98 posts

This is quite moving. I also think kids are born philosophers until they are corrupted by ideas which put their pure rational capacity at war with itself. But when I hear about people raising kids in a way that allows their natural rationality to flourish there is not only no greater proof for rationality, but also no greater hope for the future.

Reading this made me think of an idea for a movie that could really touch a lot of people. The movie could track the life of a boy (or a girl) from the moment (s)he was born and through the stages of his or her intellectual development that is, unlike the typical family today, simply allowed to flourish intellectually freely.  Ultimately the child would grow into a person who is not only an anarchist/voluntaryist like we who have had to deprogram to understand it and still fight little ghosts impending our personal freedom, are, but who gets it on such a deep level that they could not grasp how anyone believes in the state. Imagine the power such individuals will have in terms of changing the world, but also imagine the incredible challenges and frustrations they may face as a minority of such untainted nature.

I can imagine scenes in the movie just like what Dave describes. Imagine the effect it could have on people watching it as they see a parent in the movie treating his/her kid's ideas as equally important rather than dismissing them...

It could be a thrilling story and a bit of a predicter of a very near future, as yours and other kids raised as free rational individuals, grow up.

My sister has a kid that is just over 1 years old and I've been an influence on her in terms of ideas, and especially treatment of kids, for quite a while and she's very receptive to it. She's nowhere near an activist or even an advocate, but she doesn't support nor justify the current system and typical practices in typical families. So there's an incredible amount of potential there. It's gonna be interesting to see how he develops. :)

 

Most kids - who don't live in a really abusive environment - do tell their parents stuff like this. It's just that most parents ignore it and maybe tell their friends funny stories about how their child is still so innocent and doesn't understand yet how the world works...


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#24
Darius

Darius
  • 825 posts

Great stories, Dave! Brilliant! So nice to hear that.


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#25
memeverse

memeverse
  • 305 posts

This is quite moving. I also think kids are born philosophers until they are corrupted by ideas which put their pure rational capacity at war with itself. But when I hear about people raising kids in a way that allows their natural rationality to flourish there is not only no greater proof for rationality, but also no greater hope for the future.

Reading this made me think of an idea for a movie that could really touch a lot of people. The movie could track the life of a boy (or a girl) from the moment (s)he was born and through the stages of his or her intellectual development that is, unlike the typical family today, simply allowed to flourish intellectually freely.  Ultimately the child would grow into a person who is not only an anarchist/voluntaryist like we who have had to deprogram to understand it and still fight little ghosts impending our personal freedom, are, but who gets it on such a deep level that they could not grasp how anyone believes in the state. Imagine the power such individuals will have in terms of changing the world, but also imagine the incredible challenges and frustrations they may face as a minority of such untainted nature.

I can imagine scenes in the movie just like what Dave describes. Imagine the effect it could have on people watching it as they see a parent in the movie treating his/her kid's ideas as equally important rather than dismissing them...

It could be a thrilling story and a bit of a predicter of a very near future, as yours and other kids raised as free rational individuals, grow up.

My sister has a kid that is just over 1 years old and I've been an influence on her in terms of ideas, and especially treatment of kids, for quite a while and she's very receptive to it. She's nowhere near an activist or even an advocate, but she doesn't support nor justify the current system and typical practices in typical families. So there's an incredible amount of potential there. It's gonna be interesting to see how he develops. :)

 

Most kids - who don't live in a really abusive environment - do tell their parents stuff like this. It's just that most parents ignore it and maybe tell their friends funny stories about how their child is still so innocent and doesn't understand yet how the world works...

Indeed and sooner or later they do tell their kids "how the world works" which is probably where we hear all this crap about life being suffering, how self-sacrifice is a virtue and various guilt trips meant to induce submission to authority.

I wonder if this is to a large extent the cause of the teen age rebellion which everyone accepted as "normal". Maybe it's not so much "normal" as much as an expression of frustration with never being taken seriously as a complete individual, like the last opportunity to be assertive before being plugged in to the collective via the entrance to the typical 9-5 job routine that is presented to them as their inevitable future. It's like they're saying, for the last time; "No, I wont be another cog in the machine! Nobody is my boss!". Unfortunately, most of them eventually do become exactly that.


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#26
Magnus

Magnus

    Subversive

  • 952 posts

Wonderful!

I told my young son (around age 4, I think) that something was his choice, and he latched onto that concept and ran with it. It has become a constant theme in our house.

Now, he jealously guards his preferences, as he should.  These days, the challenge for us as his parents is to learn how to best explain the nature of the world to him so that he can make informed choices. 

Issues over his safety used to be a problem in our relationship with him (i.e., getting him to listen to our instructions to avoid some kind of risk of harm).  But now that he is very practiced ands secure in the idea that his preferences are going to be respected, we generally only need to explain or point out some hazard, and he very rationally and agreeably chooses to avoid it.  No more contest of wills.


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"The state calls its own violence law, but that of the individual crime."


-- Max Stirner


#27
Dumitru

Dumitru
  • 365 posts

 But now that he is very practiced ands secure in the idea that his preferences are going to be respected, we generally only need to explain or point out some hazard, and he very rationally and agreeably chooses to avoid it.  No more contest of wills.

Excellent! As a very fresh parent, I appreciate all parenting stories, and this seems pretty important. Thank you for sharing this!

 


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#28
Magnus

Magnus

    Subversive

  • 952 posts

Glad to help. 

Safety is a big deal with us, and sometimes it is a competing concern with letting him exercise his preferences.

My son is now 6, and in my experience, a critical factor in his understanding how to be safe around cars, avoid household accidents, etc., is his degree of foresight.  Foresight has to be learned to a far greater degree than volition.

I believe children have limited capacity for foresight because they have limited life-experience.  We have been trying to teach our son to think ahead, and we have found that the habit of foresight has only really manifested itself in the last few months.  He's quickly becoming more comfortable with predicting outcomes, with using if-then thinking, etc.  But it's a relatively new development.  In comparison, his sense of volition and self-directedness started in utero, as far as I can tell. 

As a result, my general strategy is to (a) let him make as broad a range of choices about his daily life as possible, while at the same time (b) help him understand how to consider the consequences, which are often a big mystery for him.  The first part was easy and took no time at all; the second part is a work in progress.


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"The state calls its own violence law, but that of the individual crime."


-- Max Stirner


#29
Dave Bockman

Dave Bockman
  • 2849 posts

Posted Image

For some reason this just makes me joyous....

 


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"Use the flame of knowledge to light candles, not peoples' hair"-- S. Molyneux


#30
Dumitru

Dumitru
  • 365 posts

What is that, the size of the nat'l US debt? lol

 


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#31
Michael_J

Michael_J
  • 638 posts

For some reason this just makes me joyous....

Quite a wonderful representation of lateral thinking. [:D]

 


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"False ideas never die; only their supporters eventually snuff it." - Hervé This