PhiloMadrid - Pub Philosophy Meetings in Madrid

Thursday, January 23, 2014

from Lawrence, SUNDAY PhiloMadrid meeting: The importance of Childhood + News

Essays +news

Dear Friends,

This Sunday we are discussing a topic we've all be there: The importance
of childhood. Maybe the most important issue from a philosophical
perspective is how we come out of childhood given the perils we find on
the way.

In the meantime, Ruel has prepared an essay for us, I managed to write a
few ideas which can read below and Miguel has posted information on his
site on the next Maths tertulia.

Hello Lawrence.
I wrote an article for Sunday´s PhiloMadrid topic and here´s the link:
Thanks and see you on Sunday.


Estimado tertuliano,

Te invitamos a asistir a la próxima tertulia: Formas por doquier

Saludos cordiales,

Tertulia de Matemáticas

Formas por doquier - Un mundo escultural
Martes 28 de Enero de 2014 a las 19h
Centro Segoviano
c/ Alburquerque nº 14, 28010 Madrid

The importance of Childhood

We seem to be biologically disposed to think and classify information
about ourselves and our environment in terms of blocks or chunks of
information. We chop and cut information into bite size packages and
give them a label for easy retrieval. Basically, we just cannot cope
with or find it very hard to cope with a continuous stream of
information over a long stretch of spacio-temporal dimension.

Think how difficult calculus is and think how we solved the technology
of movie making by dividing visual and audio information over space and
time into 35mm blocks on film. In evolutionary terms this might make
sense since the information we need in the race to survive is of a short
duration and quite basic but precise information: run, run faster and,
after a few seconds, we are either dead or the coast is clear(stop running).

Calling young and newly born humans as children has its value and
conveniences, however, it also has its drawbacks in today's world. One
of those drawbacks is that not only do we classify these humans
differently from us adults but more importantly we might fall in to the
language trap, and hence social trap, of assuming that young humans are
some kind of a different creature from adult humans.

As a consequence, some treat children as chattels, as objects to be
possessed like one posses a cow or a 4x4 off road car. Some treat
children as some sort of mission statement for their empty adult life;
others just see children as blobs of biological matter and not human
beings with dignity and respect they deserve. And the worst form of
adult abuse of young human beings is to use them as political or
religious pawns in the struggle for power. In other words, childhood if
full of nasty traps for young people, and reaching an age when one can
defend one's self can easily be a matter of chance as a matter of the
right upbringing.

We create draconian laws giving social workers and those in authority
over guardians of children the absolute power to destroy families and
yet we don't create any safeguards for the stability and prosperity for
parents to bring up their children in a stable and healthy environment.
We trust our children to educators but never question their manipulative
and, in many cases, physical and psychological assault on these young
people just because they have the machine of the state to protect these
adults; or the psychological power religions have over people. The real
damage that social engineering in education can cause to young humans is
never investigated or those responsible held into account. Nor the
indoctrination of these people by the dogma of religions or cult

The importance of childhood is that what we experience when we are young
we take with us and determines our fate for the rest of our life. The
problem is that because we are prone to think of children as some sort
of different creatures from us adults, we tend to protect our children
based on criteria we as adults imagine children need protecting from.
Sure we try to protect children from child abuse, whether domestic
violence or sexual abuse, but these at best can be half hearted efforts,
ineffectual or selective. In other words, we protect children from the
obvious, but not always from the necessary.

Children and childhood are important because they are no less human
beings in the process of development than the adults in the process of
self fulfilment. And what is important at childhood for children to
develop from fledgling biological creatures into self supporting adults
in society? But given the statistics of child labour, children living
under the poverty line and the indoctrination by marketers and purveyors
of dogma, we can only conclude that protecting children from the ills of
society is at best selective.

Today we know that for children to develop into respected adults they
need: access to objective knowledge and opportunities to satisfy their
natural curiosity; protection from predatory adults, whether these are
marketing departments, religious cults, political games or biologically
unbalanced sexual predators; or simply protection from natural or happen
stance events.

We also know that children need a stable environment, but not only for
the children themselves but also for their guardians since adults
charged with looking after children cannot perform their duty towards
their children if they themselves face: economic instability,
conflicting relationships, dangerous environments, unfit nutrition,
ineffective health care, and so on. What affects adults affects the
children in their care.

The importance of childhood is not for children to grow to be good
people, but maybe to give them the opportunity to become reasonable and
rational beings.

Best Lawrence

tel: 606081813
PhiloMadrid Meeting
Meet 6:30pm
Centro Segoviano
Alburquerque, 14
28010 Madrid
Metro: Bilbao
Open Tertulia in English every Thursday from 19:30 to 21h at O'Donnell's
Irish Pub, c/ Barceló 1 (metro Tribunal)

from Lawrence, SUNDAY PhiloMadrid meeting: The importance of Childhood +

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