Thursday, June 05, 2014

Tattoos, with "parental permission"?

The question was whether children who have parental permission should be allowed to get tattoos.


The majority of commenters still said "no".

My comment was:
Who has the supposed "authority" to tell parents and kids (in other words, other self-owning people) what they can do tattoo-wise? How did they get that "authority" and where would it have come from?

So, a guy took offense at that apparently radical opinion and asked:
... is there anything in this world that you think might possibly be wrong or is it just open season for any and every act committed against another human being. animal, plant etc....?

I replied:
So, acknowledging that I have no authority over other peoples' lives means I don't think anything is wrong, and I advocate "open season"?`Using aggression against people is wrong. Violating private property rights is wrong. I also believe you should do all you say you'll do ("keep your word").

He responded:
Where do you draw the line Kent and by what authority do you decide where the line should be drawn?
And my answer:
I outlined the "line" above. And I don't claim any authority- that would be those trying to make up rules they want to force everyone else to obey.

Truthfully, I don't even like tattoos very much, but I'm not delusional enough to believe I have the right to dictate to other people about things that can't possibly harm me or any other third person in any way.
And so it goes... check out the other comments at the link if you have a Facebook account and can see them. I seriously have a very hard time understanding how some statists "think".

Someone else made another comment after posting his opinion to the negative:

Why do people want to mess up what our Wonderful Loving Father In Heaven Has Made???????????????????????

So, I guess that would rule out planting flower gardens, surgery to correct a heart defect, or wearing clothes. Sigh.



  1. Minors do not have full adult rights. We don't let five year old's play with loaded guns. At least we shouldn't. At 16 they can drive (a very dangerous proposition), at 18 they can vote and join the army, go to foreign land, and kill the people there. At 21 they have full adult rights, they can drink alcohol legally. I wouldn't suggest letting small children getting drunk with a parent's permission. And I wouldn't suggest letting a minor under 16 getting a tattoo with a parents permission. But, if they can drive and endanger the lives and property of others then they sure as hell should be able to get a tattoo if they want one. (I imagine, most of the people [women, especially] will regret their tattoos when they get old. They will fade and the skin will sag and... ugh.)

    1. But, once again, the question is: who is this who isn't allowing them and their parents to make the decision? And where did that person get the authority to make that decision for the parents and kid? I certainly don't have that authority, and no one can give "society" or "government" any authority they don't personally possess.

    2. I tend to think "minors" is a government illusion. People have full rights from birth, they are just perhaps not fully capable of exercising them yet- and each person will be capable at different ages. The notion of a one-size-fits-all age where certain rights suddenly spring forth is dangerous.

    3. Some tattoos get stretched and morph into something hideous long before advanced age can be blamed. But, it's also not my job to protect people from things they may regret in the future. I WILL try to talk people out of something I believe is a foolish choice, but it's not my decision, and I would never advocate making up "laws" to force people to do what I believe they should do.

    4. I'm always amused at American puritanism over alcohol, and the minimum age of 21 for buying a beer.

      Families in Italy (my own extended family included) and elsewhere in Catholic majority areas of Europe, happily give a little taste of wine to their children at a family meal.

      The context is one of social normality and enjoyment of good wine with good food.

      To the best of my knowledge there is no age restriction on buying alcohol, it is there on the shelves of ordinary shops (not behind a counter) and available in cafes and restaurants.

      There is NO public drunkeness - intoxication is regarded as the height of childishness.

      The one exception to that in the past few years are a few college student fans of American and British college comedy genre films.

      The majority of Italian young people out on a warm summers evening are chatting intelligently and drinking - coffee.

      Back closer to my home - we have a large population of Methodists (it was popular ammongst the miners in the 19th century and took less thinking about than being a Quaker). There are few things quite as sad a young Methodist who's experimented with drink...

      Don't you just love the infantilizing effects of taking responsibility for decisions and actions, and any chance to learn the background to making those decisions in a safe environment, away from individuals.

  2. "Live and let live" seems to be the hardest rule for many people to abide by.

    Do I *like* the idea of a minor getting a tattoo, even with the parents' approval? Not really, but it's not my body or my child, so it's not my business. If I were the tattoo artist involved I think I would refuse the job, but I'm not. Ultimately this falls into the category of "potential bad decision", but not into the category of "crime", and I don't believe it's the business of the law to protect us from our own bad decisions, as long as we're fully informed beforehand.

    Incidentally, I once worked in a car parts business where I was one of only two men employed there who didn't have a tattoo. Even the regional manager had them. Ages ranged from 18 to 70+, but I was never able to find a single person who regretted their decision to get tattooed.

    1. I think there must be something in the ink that is addictive- once you get one tattoo you can't stop- and shields people from future regret (unless the tattoo was botched or you get your sweetie's name stamped on you, and then split up).

      I just like the options that remain open by not permanently marking myself. But, that could change. I have considered a "Time's Up" tattoo...

    2. I've got one tattoo- Army Corp emblems that I served under. I got it when I was 45 and haven't felt any desire to add to the collection, nor do I have any regrets about getting it.
      I do have some younger friends that are addicted to ink and are well on their way to full sleeves and such. Most of the work I've seen is artistic (rather than tribals and tramp stamps) and marks a significant event in their lives like births and deaths, or a deeply held appreciation of a subject that has become part of their lives.
      About the only tattoos I truly dislike are the facial tats- that's just a great way to warn others that you're an idiot.

  3. I'm told that Sailors used to have tattoos and big gold earrings, so that if their body was found washed up - their faith could be determined and there was enough gold to pay for the appropriate burial rites.

    I can't understand the attraction of anyone else getting them, but then, there are a lot of things I don't understand.

    Perhaps in a few years body art will prove to be self limiting; just imagine the school yard conversation between two image conscious teenage females;

    [bares freshly inked flesh] "... and I got this one at the weekend"

    "Urghhh! it looks just like my Granny's!*"

    Perhaps that should be "great granny's". There are former industrial areas where you can sometimes see banners strung up on the front of a house reading; "Happy 30th Birthday Granny"

  4. Kent:

    "People have full rights from birth..."

    I tend to avoid the use of the term "rights". It's ok of you don't, but to me the term implies there are authorities in existence who can grant, take away, or alter "rights".

    I use the term "choices" where most libertarians would use "rights". I have choices. Even when incarcerated by the white man (many years ago) my choices remained intact. I was physically prevented from exercising many of them at that time, but they could not be abrogated. And in time I came to understand that.

    Kent's topic, however, was tattoos with (or without) parental permission. My observation is that the family is the only legitimate governing authority. That's because the human being is apart and separate from all other living beings. Animals are born with instinct -- a robin will build a robin's nest (even in studies where baby robins were hatched in scientific experiments and had never seen a parent). And a sparrow will build a sparrow's nest -- and a beaver will build a beaver dam, etc etc etc.

    As D. M. Mitchell implied in his comment above, parents divvy out responsibility to their children as they perceive appropriate at the time. Some parents are more lenient than others in certain matters, more lax in others -- but it is indeed the parents' choice ("right" for you "rights-minded") as to when, where, etc. That's the human condition.

    And, as I've commented in the past, the time can come when the child assumes responsibility for the parent in loving, intact families. I stayed with my Dad his last 10 years, making sure (insisting in some instances) he was clean, nourished, and in a healthy living situation. He disliked bathing, for instance, ("I don't go anywhere to get dirty!"); but he knew that Friday was bath day, and allowing me to give him a bath and shave and nail trim was an unstated condition of his staying independent. He knew I was not about to live around an odoriferous and unclean human being -- and he knew he needed my help.

    (Plus, Dad was a dyed-in-the-wool statist. He knew the county health nurse lurked).

    Same principle with children and tattoos. Once the child is capable and desirous of leaving the parents' home and living independently, s/he can begin to make dumb (in my opinion -- and, I think, Kent's) choices such as getting tattoos. But until then.....