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Scholar Makes ‘Moral Case’ for Allowing Legal Age Change Based on Emotions

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Donnie Ray Jones / Flickr
ALANA MASTRANGELO

A bioethicist from the University of Oslo in Norway made what he called a “moral case for legal age change,” by allowing individuals to legally change their age from their “chronological age” to either their “biological” or “emotional age.”

Joona Räsänen, who works at the University of Oslo for a project on “epigenetics and bioethics of human embryonic development,” recently published an article in The Journal of Medical Ethics, entitled, “A Moral Case for Legal Age Change,” in which he made several arguments for allowing individuals to change their age.

“Suppose that someone feels his age is not correct and wants to make himself legally 20 years younger on the grounds that he is being discriminated against due to his old age,” writes Räsänen, “Should he be allowed to change his legal age? The question is not a joke.”

Räsänen goes on to argue that in some cases, “people should be allowed to change their legal age,” adding that he believes there are three main situations which should allow for a legal age change. The first, being when “the person genuinely feels his age differs significantly from his chronological age,” meaning that an individual feels their age is different “emotionally.”

The second scenario, Räsänen argues, would be when “the person’s biological age is recognized to be significantly different from his chronological age,” and the third case would be when “age change would likely prevent, stop or reduce ageism, discrimination due to age, he would otherwise face.”

“I do not deny the existence of chronological age,” insists Räsänen, “It would be impossible to change this age. But, besides this chronological age, there are other ages such as emotional and biological age.”

Räsänen went on to elaborate on his argument that “chronological age” is an entity that can be mutually exclusive from both “biological age” and “emotional age.”

Additionally, Räsänen even claims that differing biological ages have been “confirmed by medical research,” arguing that two men who are the same “chronological” age might take care of their bodies differently, resulting in differing “biological” ages.

The bioethicist argues that one man with a stressful job, who eats unhealthily and does not exercise, can be “biologically” older than a man of his same “chronological age” with a less stressful job, who eats healthily and exercises.

“Thus, biological age does not always correspond with chronological age,” affirms Räsänen, “This has been confirmed by medical research.”

When asked what the bioethicist would say with regards to legally being allowed to change one’s age being likely granting pedophiles a platform to justify their desires, Räsänen admitted that he could foresee a situation in which age change should be limited to “at least 18.”

Räsänen added that he believes an objection to pedophilia “does not undermine the case for legal age change.”

“If the paedophile changes his age just to molest children, he probably does not fulfill the conditions for the age change in the first place,” said Räsänen to Breitbart News, “His body is not biologically that of a child and he does not identify as a child.”

While Räsänen had cited one reason for denying an individual from legally changing his age based on his biological theory, the bioethicist’s answer still lacked consistency, considering he had made the argument in his article that individuals should also be allowed to change their age on the basis of “emotion” or “experience.”

Due to society already normalizing the notion that gender is a social construct based, it would only make sense that a creeping normality would eventually set in, galvanizing individuals to seek out arguments on how they can justify age being malleable as well, only to gradually shine a welcoming light on the darkest corners of society.

You can follow Alana Mastrangelo on Twitter at @ARmastrangelo and on Instagram.

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