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D . The Rules of Development

These rules are an overall guideline for individuals in how to develop into a happy and productive member of society. Some rules are fixed, but flexible, while other rules are more suggestions than they are rules. It should be specifically noted that the age ranges which are chosen to describe the periods of development for each person are in no way "cast in stone," but are instead clearly intended to be flexible, and adjusted from time-to-time in accordance with experience.

Increasingly, science sees evidence of significant activity in the formation of key brain structures during this period of development. The latest evidence tends to suggest that abilities in math, language, and raw IQ appear as a direct consequence of the sounds and sights to which the young child is exposed during this period.28 It appears to be possible to construct a program of sounds and sights which would cause the development of a multi-lingual person with a genius level IQ for each fetus and/or child which is properly exposed to the stimulus of that program. Given the mandate to seek knowledge, etc., it would be virtually criminal to have such a capability and to not put it into use for each child conceived within one of our tribes. Accordingly, it shall be one of the Rules of Development that each parent shall be required to cooperate in developing and/or implementing such a program for each child which they conceive which is to be raised within our tribal family. To the extent that any such program places too great of a burden on any parent required to participate in this program, "Team Parenting"29 shall be used to ameliorate the burden imposed by these rules.

The social structure of our society should include a presumption that any individual who reaches their thirteenth birthday is an adult, barring a mental handicap which prevents the development of the appropriate mental maturity and/or wisdom. The family, the tribe, and society in general owe a duty to children to ensure that each is properly developed before their thirteenth birthday is reached. This will require that substantially more effort be expended towards developing wisdom and teaching morality prior to the thirteenth birthday than is expended in the present civilization. If something must give, then the teaching of some technical skills should be deferred past the thirteenth birthday so that the requisite wisdom and morality may be taught. During this period, the family (primary responsibility), the tribe (secondary responsibility), and the society in general (tertiary responsibility) are each responsible for ensuring proper support of the children and the proper development of each child into a responsible adult by age 13. It will be the usual experience of each such responsible adult that they will have already formed some sort of committed monogamous relationship (i.e., a "marriage"), probably heterosexual in nature,30 before they are declared to be adults at age 13.

Each individual who is in their service years is jointly the responsibility of the individual and the same family, tribe, and society who were responsible for the childhood development of the individual. The fundamental focus during the service years should be to provide some form of service to society, in return for the childhood support. However, individuals who have special skills may be encouraged to continue in their development, and all individuals may well be subjected to some number of years of "basic training"31 in the form of high school, etc.32 The idea, however, is that by age 13, each individual should be wise enough and mature enough to make at least some form of initial decisions about a career path. If the individual feels the need to serve immediately and defer further education, then those desires should be encouraged. If the individual feels the need (and has the ability) for post-secondary education, and that education ends up taking the entirety of the service years, then the individual has rendered individual service by acquiring wisdom and knowledge for a life of service to the society.33 Beyond the pursuit of further education, the kinds of service which an individual might choose to engage in are unlimited. Some might choose missionary work, converting non-believers to the faith. Some might choose military service, thereby directly contributing to the security of society. Some might choose one of many occupational types of service, such as litter removal or hospital aides. During the years of service, the responsibilities of the family, the tribe, and of society as a whole continue for ensuring support and proper development of each individual.

At some point in the early years of their lives together, most couples should choose to relocate themselves and their children to another place at some distance from the place(s) where they initially grew up. The purpose of this relocation is to promote diversity in the human gene pool by forming new relationships between people who are distantly, rather than closely, related to each other. The relocation is optional, however, because there is no need to move everyone. In fact, sufficient genetic diversity should be achieved by relocating far less than half of all families during each generation. Some amount of inbreeding is necessary to genetic strength, but the inherent taboo of incest should never be violated (i.e., as provided elsewhere in this bible, no relationships should be established with anyone more closely related to any given person than a second cousin of that person). The relocation mandate also allows the needs and resources of the people to be easily balanced by providing freshly trained workers to those locations where they are needed the most.

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28 For example, Diane Sawyer hosted an episode of ABC's Prime Time Live which focused on early childhood development. During that show, pictures were shown of the live growth of brain cells due to stimulation received by a child. The implications of that show are tremendous, even up to and including a possible conclusion that it would be tantamount to child abuse to fail to expose your fetus and/or child to stimulating audio and video sources in order to properly cause the infant brain to develop.

29 The concept of "Team Parenting" includes the availability of "wet nurse" assistance with breast feeding duties and the availability of loving and nurturing day care for even the smallest of newborn infants.

30 I do not exclude the possibility of homosexual relationships developing, but I do believe that they will be few and far between, if any at all do exist, because of the new rules proposed herein which will seek to encourage the formation of heterosexual "best friends" from the very beginnings of childhood, and encourage the transformation of those heterosexual "best friends" into spousal relationships at as early an age as the children involved can understand the full nature of the choice which they will then be making. In the English Common Law, that choice would not be recognized before age 7, but it would seem that increasing the wisdom and maturity level of our children could dramatically lower that age even further.

31 But the choice of "basic training" ought to be left pretty much to the individual, although the family, the tribe, and society may well wish to attempt to persuade each individual to take a particular path. The present system of attempting to discourage high school dropouts by the total failure to provide any alternative to high school is clearly a total failure for those individuals who are simply not properly motivated to pursue their high school education. For those individuals, there should be some acceptable organized alternative, and beginning with the "great choice" after graduating from the eighth grade, the individual has the final say in any choice.

32 For so long as the present education system is continued, most children will reach their thirteenth birthday some time during the last half of the seventh grade or the first half of the eighth grade. Thus, from a very practical standpoint, most individuals will be confronted with their first really serious choices at the conclusion of the eighth grade, rather than specifically upon their thirteenth birthday.

33 This of course presumes that the individual will make some substantial contribution to society out of the wisdom and knowledge acquired. It shall be left to the educational system to ensure that only those individuals who have the ability are allowed to progress in the educational system as opposed to leaving for other kinds of service.

Copyright 1994-1999 by the Agnostic Church

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