Monday, December 10, 2007

Reasoning

Reason (for our purposes as a noun) is typically defined such that it includes the mental powers for drawing conclusions, making inferences, and judgments. Normally, reason seems sufficient enough a criterion to determine the innate innocence (as discussed last time) of an individual. Individuals lacking reason are generally said to be innocent, and individuals who have reasoning capabilities are not innocent.

It seems intuitive that for certain individuals who are so incapacitated that they lack the ability to reason, such as newborns or those with profound mental retardation (note, I'm talking about profound impairments in reasoning capability, not mental retardation as a whole) or brain degeneration, they truly are innately innocent, because in each case, none are able to comprehend the significance of causes, effects, and actions in the world. However, studies are showing more and more that younger children than ever thought possible are drawing conclusions about the world based from experiences. If such is the case, then children too must be considered along the spectrum as reasoning human beings, functioning at a level appropriate for the kinds of things they have to reason about.

So it is not so much the case, as the Catholic Church claims, that even young children below the age of 7 as specified by the "Age of Reason" (whereby a child is thought capable of committing sin) have no reason. But then if a child is capable of reasoning to a certain degree, is there still a need to view children as any more innately innocent than an adult, who is also a reasoning individual along the spectrum?

This is because the appearance of the ability to reasoning alone doesn't mandate one's expertise or optimal operative capacity to reason. Inadequate reasoning therefore wouldn't guarantee the individual not having innocence, according to the previous argument. Children supposedly have inadequate reasoning capabilities as well. Therefore, it can only be said that children and adults both maintain a degree of innocence if one is still defining innocence as the lack of ability to reason. This wouldn't change even if the definition of reason were altered, unless any adult can be shown to be operating at full capacity in this regard. With this in mind, it seems more reliable to call individuals who lack the ability to reason completely Ambivalent, rather than "innocent," if we still believe innocence follows a continuum from birth to old age (never being fully self actualized).

A few of my assertions:

1. Both children and adults (as well as mentally retarded) have reasoning capabilities to some degree, regardless of proficiency.

2. Therefore, both children and adults have innocence because neither practice proficient reasoning.

3. Reasoning is different for children and adults (i.e. what is morally obligatory for a child is not always the same was what is morally obligatory for an adult), as is seen in cognitive developmental theories such as Kohlberg's theory of moral development, where it is said that children progress through a series of stages of reasoning in interpreting what morality means that continue into adulthood. This is not just seen theoretically, but also in reality, whenever children incorporate their "different" reasoning into their environments, such as during imaginative play in the midst of a physical world.

4. Therefore, an individual's ability to reason can only be interpreted by measuring their ability to understand or internalize what is appropriate for their cognitive stage (a relative position). For example, for a child who is in the Self Interest (Pre-Conventional) stage of Kohlberg's stages of moral development, one should expect that child to reason about his or her moral obligations respectively, and for an adult who is in the Universal and Ethical (Post-Conventional) stage, one should expect to see that individual reasoning in a way appropriate to that stage. If an individual is not reasoning sufficiently, then it can be said that they are more innocent for their stage of development (according to this criterion of reason).

5. Therefore, the ones who are more innocent are the ones who are less able to interpret or internalize what reasoning is appropriate for their cognitive developmental stage.

6. This is not to imply that these stages are finite or to define morality or human development, we're only focusing on the behaviors and the metacognitive capacities of the individual to interpret these "a priori" facts.

7. To restate, children are innocent because of their incapacity to full reason what is expected of them or to fully draw factual conclusions about the world that are consistent with their cognitive understanding of the world. Adults are innocent because of their incapacity to fully reason these "a priori" facts about the nature of the world that are consistent with their higher but still insufficient cognitive understanding of the world.

Developmental Relativism

For purposes of illustration, I assign a point system, where 100 represents the maximum units of reason for an individual, and therefore the total ability to reason and the total lack of innocence (that is to say the individual is Optimal); and 0 represents the minimum units of reason for an individual, and therefore the total lack of ability to reason and total innocence (that is to say the person is Ambivalent, as stated above). This spectrum is numerically defined such that a child's 0 and 100 (minimum and maximum) are different from and adult's 0 and 100, and that this difference is based on the qualitative differences in the cognitive stages that affect the way reasoning is expressed in both categories. (Those with mental retardation would also fall into this scale as well).

Therefore, a child with 55 units of child reason, (and therefore 45 units of unreason) is the same as an adult with 55 units of adult reason. As such, both children and adults maintain a degree of innate innocence due to either one's inability to reach an Optimal level (100). I assert that no individual regardless of knowledge or cognitive capacity can ever be fully actualized for their stage, and so therefore, everyone maintains a level of innocence relative to each other and to other stages of reasoning. This point system is only theoretical though...for there is no way one could arrive at a single quantity to represent something like an individual's innocence.

What does this mean? It means that if both children and adults are innately innocent by degree of their ability to reason, then a child can sin, but only in a manner that is consistent with their understanding of sin, and their ability to express an act of sin. And if such is the case, then the idea that children are any more innocent than adults is incorrect, and that any individual can still be a sinner and innately innocent, because innocence (according to this criterion) is a defined through an individual's capability to reason.

Monday, December 3, 2007

On Innocence

Daisy stood in a meadow of tall flowers. Her sights settled on a blossom of such tantalizing beauty that for a moment it seemed like a princess with an entourage of loyal subjects in full bloom. She bent down to pick this flower princess from its throne in the garden court. What a stunning gown it had, with alternating petals of pink, deep blue and the purest white she had ever seen. The flower was like the sky on that sunny blue day, swirling with puffs of white clouds.

She felt a sudden tremor in the ground, and figured it must have been the flower court demanding their most precious princess back. In joy she began plucking the petals from this flower princess, counting to herself the rhythm of numbers she was practicing in school. The warm wind tossed her hair like gentle finger. Around her the birds chirped like a Sunday choir.

It was on the count of "eight" that she felt the heat. It was on the count of "nine" that the birds were silenced. She was deafened in an instant by the thunder in the clouds. She was blinded in a second by the light. And her breath drew still through the fire in the blast.
The young ones are impatient, discourteous, reactionary, disruptive, and antagonistic to the variety of life. The older ones are nurturing, charitable, forgiving, mature, and grateful for the opportunities that life presents each morning—the innocent are either faulty or pure. The young ones are optimistic, wide eyed, concerned, willing to learn, gentle to the touch and excited by the chance of new discovery. The older ones are distressed, vulgar, depraved, deceptive, corrupt and disobedient—still, the innocent are considered either wanting or whole.

It becomes immediately clear that simple heuristics such as these can never adequately define or quantify the innocence an individual has at any given time in their life, whether they are child or adult. Any descriptor could just as easily be indicative of a child’s behavior or an adult’s behavior in the appropriate context. A child can just as easily knowingly disobey an authority figure as an adult can knowingly disobey a social law or a standard of morality, for instance.

Yet innocence carries with it a connotation of purity, an expectation that the individual under the stigma can do no wrong simply because they are considered not mature enough in their faculties to interpret the consequences of their activities. This presents a contradiction, for a child or an adult can not be both innocent and be knowingly aware of the consequences of their actions, as discussed above, and yet the innocence stigma is the one most commonly associated with children, regardless of aptitude or relative maturity. This presupposes that children, though biologically immature in relation to adults, possess neonatal or infantile cognitive reasoning and behaviors that are completely differentiated from those of adults, when it can readily be seen that even pre-operational age children are quite independent both in thought and action. So therefore, it is not necessarily the case that every child, regardless of age, is innately innocent.

If this is the case than why is it so common in the organization of our social constructions that children be treated as innocent, god-sent, or as possessing some benign part of human nature that other individuals have lost by some manner of social corruption? Why is it so necessary that so many provisions be made in our civilization for preserving the young, sometimes at the sake of the old, and oftentimes at the sake of the young ones themselves? Why does our society uphold the schemas of ageism at the sake of individual equality? Is it true that the innocence paradigm, in the case of children, is one thing responsible for why the world is so harsh for children to live in to begin with—the world outside the chain link fences? Is a Harsh World penetrating the bastion of security and corrupting children, or are children just born corrupted by the human spirit for which they share a piece.

Innocence is defined in a number of different ways. In the legal sense, a person is considered innocent when they are physically not guilty of a crime, and in most common law countries, are considered innocent via the legal system, which is considered a worthy criterion for determining physical innocence from physical guilt. Innocence also manifests itself as a label for non-combatants; that is, people who are in not involved in a battle. The soldiers in the battle are considered the combatants, and therefore are assumed to not be innocent. These conceptions of innocence are valid and intrinsic, because they can be objectively tested. One is either guilty of committing a crime or they are not, and such can be determined in a court of law. One is either guilty of doing a wrongful action or they are not, and such can be determined by whether or not they committed the fault. One is either a soldier or a non-combatant, and such can be determined by whether one is assigned to a troop, or one is a civilian. Another way innocence is often defined, as mentioned above, is in the form of another sort of intrinsic quality that is not be empirically measurable, but nonetheless is heuristically typified sociologically. It is this fact that makes this form of innocence so confounding.

For some reason, the same dualistic comparison is drawn once again to separate the childish realm of reasoning from the adult. This is the distinction I will focus primarily on, since it defines human beings not based on their position (that is, not by whether they are guilty or not guilty, or a combatant or non-combatant) that can be empirically determined. Rather, it seeks to define whole groups of people simply on their age, their relative amount of virtue or purity, amount of life experiences, life expectancy (the justification for the child’s prioritized status), and regards these people as intrinsic victims irrespective of the content of their life experience. The arbitrariness to this very common schema of human development poses serious questions about the legitimacy of innocence, and by extension, many of the provisions set aside for the explicit preservation of this trait in human life. A more satisfactory justification for these provisions requires exploration.

To quantify a person's relative innocence, cultures and individuals throughout history, from the Catholic Church to John Jacques Rousseau, have often appealed to certain criteria. These criteria seem like common sense but when understood deeper, they present inconsistencies and unintuitive results based on how our society understands child development in the modern era. All the following appeals are common arguments made to support the notion that children are more innately innocent than adults, or that children are the embodiment of innocence itself and adults have no affiliation with it. We will later see that this duality is mistaken, that adults and children are in almost every way similar, that their actions are relative in respect to the size of their inhabitable field, and because of that, they are relatively equal in the amount of innocence they possess.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

The Forbidden Toy

In the last post I made the argument about the fallibility of adult cognition, which should not be such a watershed. By the same extension, the same behaviors can be seen in children, but once again reproduced and expressed through "smaller means." Exactly what is meant by "larger" and "smaller" is a relative question pertaining to the existential, psychological, and biological differences we associate (via imperfect "adult-centric" cognitive schema) between childhood and adulthood.

One way the action of cognitive dissonance has been observed in children is through an experiment carried out by Aronson and Carlsmith (1963), where children were asked to rank a selection of toys from the ones they found the most tempting to play with to the least tempting. After they were ranked, the experimenter would take a toy the child liked and leave the child alone with the toy in a room. Half the child subjects were told that they would be severely punished if they played with the toy and the other half were told the punishment would be temperate.

Obviously they weren't going to punish the children. Later the experimenter would remove the punishment, saying that there would be no repercussions from playing with the toy, and the children in the moderate punishment condition were less likely to play with the toy, even though they now understood there'd be no punishment. Likewise, the severe punishment group were more likely to play with the toy once the punishment was lifted. And when asked why, the children in the moderate condition expressed more disinterest in the toy, even though at one time they had ranked it as one of the most interesting to them. The children in the severe punishment condition expressed even higher interest in the toy.

The conclusion from this study represents a concept called overjustification. The children in the severe condition had what is called a good "external reason" for not playing with the toy, because they believed they'd be punished severely if the did, even though they still found the toy as desirable. So when the punishment was lifted they were more likely to play with it. The children in the non-severe condition had an "insufficient external reason" for not playing with the toy, so they had to make up their own justifications against playing with the toy. So they had to convince themselves to find the toy less desirable, and therefore resort to not playing with it.

This overjustification, for the children in the moderate condition, when observed in childhood appears to result in a child's forced compliance (usually with an adult), when observed in adulthood, results in the more extreme forms of social cohesion, shared social schemas, adult compliance (as seen in the Milgram studies), and all sorts of applications in adult social psychology from hierarchial structures like the military, government, how adults formulate their laws and regulations and whether adults resort to obeying them. In the most extreme cases, where psychosis is involved, the formation of cults and shared delusions (Festinger, 1956).

All this goes to show how children react in situations when prophecy fails. As is seen in adults, the stronger their personal conviction, the more they'll seek to justify or amend their conviction retroactively when it doesn't pan out the way their beliefs where structured initially. Any attempt to label children as cognitively handicapped in comparison to an adult is ignoring the similar handicaps that adults commonly have. This will be explored in a follow up on the concept of adultcentrism.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

When Prophecy Fails...

It's 1956. A story in the local Chicago news reports: "Prophecy from planet Clarion call to city: flee that flood." Apparently a housewife had come under the conclusion, through automatic writing, that she had received a message from the planet "Clarion" that the world was to end due to a massive flood, and according to the message, December 21st all of human civilization will be wiped out.

In the analysis of the apparent similarities between childhood behavior and adult behavior, invariably the subject of prophecy comes up, and likewise, what happens to individuals when their beliefs about the world and their activities are incongruent. This tale of the housewife and her message from Clarion became the subject of a landmark study headed by Leon Festinger on the topic.

This housewife was successful in amassing a close knit collection of believers from the community and surrounding areas, and they founded an encampment, where through their various stages of shedding selfishness (giving up jobs, families, all their money and possessions) would be deemed worthy and be spared the devastation by the interception of flying saucer. All of this was revealed through the automatic writings of the housewife, Mrs. Marion Keech.

More skeptical minds saw this event as an opportunity to gain some anecdotal insight into how human beings adjust when their beliefs about the world and their behaviors come into conflict, for surely the prophecy in the scientific community, was assumed to fail. The idea, as carried out in Festinger et al. was for a team of social psychologists to infiltrate the group as prospective members, and record the happenings of the social dynamic as they observed them, the justifications, rationalizations, or complete breakdown of the group. It was known that each member of the group had invested heavily in the belief that they would be saved from a great flood through their actions. Festinger hypothesized that following any disconfirmation of their belief the group would proselytize in order to lessen the negative effects of the disconfirmation.

Following some interesting confrontations where the research team were so successful in presenting themselves as believers that one of them were thought to be one of the alien messengers in disguise, the night of December 20th was drawing to a close. When midnight struck and no saucer apppeared, the group wasn't devastated, insisting that it wasn't technically midnight yet because another clock in the room was slow 5 minutes. By 4:00 am, with no visitors yet, another automatic writing session produced a new response from Clarion...that the God of Earth had spared the planet due to their actions. There was to be no devastation.

"The little group, sitting all night long, had spread so much light that God had saved the world from destruction."

The term cognitive dissonance refers to the "uncomfortable feeling from having two conflicting thoughts at the same time, or from engaging in behavior that conflicts with one's beliefs, or from experiencing apparently conflicting phenomena." The theory put forth by Festinger based on his observations, as well as other more experimentally designed studies, is that when a human being is placed in a state of cognitive dissonance, they will engage in some thought or behavior that will sooth the discomfort, such as warp their beliefs to fit their behaviors, ot ignore information that does not support their beliefs.

My first comment in regards to this episode of cognitive dissonance, is that young children could not have constructed such a belief as elaborate as these individuals did in 1956. This is due to a number of factors: the fact that children normally have little knowledge of extra-terrestrial bodies, extra-terrestrial intelligence, and the phenomenon of automatic writing, and the fact that children don't physically own anything, and therefore investment in any one particular belief can not be measured in terms of what the child has "given up," (but it can be measured, my next post will be about this). Often if children do seem to have inordinate amounts of knowledge about such things, less skeptical adults see them as "Indigos," "Star Children," and other such entities, and more skeptical adults are right to point out the proliferation of children's educational media for the early appearance of such leaps of cognitive reasoning. It takes a lot for a young child to recognize the permanence of the Earth, once a child is capable of doing that, they will broaden their cognitive sphere to that of the cosmos, as this adult cult was capable of doing.

The point is, often when adults make conclusions about a child's "fantastical beliefs" it is usually to belittle the child's grasp on "reality" and reaffirm the adult in their ability to "perceive the optimal." Clearly though, with the number of unverifiable beliefs that adults hold at any one time, adults are no better perceivers of the optimal than children, it's just adults have a larger "sphere" in which they can draw resources from when perceiving and practicing meta-cognition. To be fair to both developmental stages, (and all those in between), the beliefs described above about the cult represent only a small fraction, a fringe, in a larger majority. The majority of individuals, presumably, do not believe such radical beliefs. But one does not need to be fringe, a cultist, paranoid, or schizophrenic, to be hold beliefs that could be termed "irrational beliefs." Even some of the most scientific and rational minds have held beliefs that can't be objectively tested.

Beliefs lead to the amazing diversity of the human imagination, much of human culture, lore, and myth. The human race would not be as socially cohesive without these shared traditions. The point is to not diminish the importance of irrational beliefs but to understand the difference between what is fact and what is fiction, and the larger gray area in between that the human mind, for all it's abilities, has not been able to perceive yet. Most importantly, this notion of adults having the ability to perceive the optimum should be dismissed, it is simple arrogance on the part of one adult over another, and adult over child. Instead, human cognitive development should be interpreted as a summation of the resources physically and mentally available to the individual at each stage of development, along the lines of a continuum, the likes of which Piaget only hinted at: that the adult is in fact not in a sage of "cognitive competence."

If this is so, the theory would go, than adults couldn't design a test to verify whether or not adults are cognitively competent, because to do so would require knowledge about the universe and higher functions of the mind that human beings have not accessed yet. It would be the equivalent of children testing themselves on knowledge and cognitive functioning that only through proper biological and psychological development could have access to. If this is true, than it poses a problem scientifically, and ironically, must be taken on its own terms.

Sunday, September 2, 2007

Indigo Diagnostics

According to the Indigo Child website (owned by Kryon Writings), the following presents how to identify if a child is indeed "indigo" (note the similarities with the diagnoses of ADHD):
  • They come into the world with a feeling of royalty (and often act like it)
  • They have a feeling of "deserving to be here," and are surprised when others don't share that.
  • Self-worth is not a big issue. They often tell the parents "who they are."
  • They have difficulty with absolute authority (authority without explanation or choice).
  • They simply will not do certain things; for example, waiting in line is difficult for them.
  • They get frustrated with systems that are ritually oriented and don't require creative thought.
To any child development expert and many parents alike, none of these supposed traits seem that counter intuitive. Many of them can be explained as egocentrism--all children naturally come into human society believing they're at the center of it. After all, for the first few years of life they are the center of their family, which in reality is their world at the time. It would be an abnormality if they didn't. The difference is that in normal child development, children are discouraged from pursuing egocentric thoughts and behaviors through negative personal experiences and discipline, and Indigo children are encouraged to be egocentric, their maladaptive behaviors are reinforced through the "special" environment.

The other half of the traits are not uncommon either. Waiting in line is difficult for everyone when they personally have no reason to be waiting in line. The wording of the trait automatically induces the image of a child out of their element, waiting in line with their parent at a bank, which would be difficult if the child is fidgety. But assume an adult is waiting in a line for a balloon at a child's birthday party. Now that the child is in his element and favors the balloon a worthy wait, it is more intuitive to think that the child would be fixated and still. In fact the accompanying adult will be fidgety. So it is not a matter of immaturity as it is an elemental matter. The person doing the waiting has to want whatever is at the front of that line. Sometimes children will willingly wait in a line out of their element, at a bank say, if they're promised some reward in the end, such as a candy. So it makes little sense to assume that because a child can't sit still they are somehow damaged or somehow special. It is the fallacy of non sequitur, "it does not follow...".

There are cases in which no matter of bribe or reward can get a human being to sit still, and no amount of negative reinforcement will get them to sit still once the reward is detracted as punishment. These few cases might be cause for special assistance. Otherwise, encouraging a child to maintain their juvenile egocentrism could certainly have an effect on their ability to sit still under normal circumstances, so the correlation between the two "symptoms" could be quite positively strong. One influences the other. And with mankind's unlimited counterfactual thinking ability, are observed and reinforced by the misdiagnoses of "experts" and mystics themselves. For authentic cases, (meaning cases where the evidence can be falsified) than medication may work tame the behaviors long enough so that a child can absorb more formal discipline. Otherwise, medication in the absence of discipline is counterproductive.

  • They often see better ways of doing things, both at home and in school, which makes them seem like "system busters" (nonconforming to any system).
  • They seem antisocial unless they are with their own kind. If there are no others of like consciousness around them, they often turn inward, feeling like no other human understands them. School is often extremely difficult for them socially.
  • They will not respond to "guilt" discipline ("Wait till your father gets home and finds out what you did").
  • They are not shy in letting you know what they need.
First of all, it seems almost paradoxical and certainly contradictory that an individual can be both antisocial and "social with their own kind." It doesn't work that way. Someone who is antisocial can be social indeed, but only if in doing so they are able to take advantage of the other person. An antisocial person doesn't care for friendships, even with their own "kind," unless they can manipulate the friendship to serve themselves without consideration for anyone else. Secondly, most antisocial personalities are shy about letting others know what they need. If they were really antisocial, then they'd never disclose their real motives openly to others because they know that if they did, than they'd loose the ability to take full advantage of the other person. This is why they tend to be sly and cunning, working implicitly with the ability to use social etiquette and morality to their own advantage. A child can not be both friendly with some kids, and antisocial.

These Kryon people use the term "antisocial" without proper understanding of what that term applies to...normally expressed through Antisocial Personality Disorder, the nature of being "antisocial" means a lack of regard for society's moral and legal standards (according the the DSM 4-TR), usually typified by behavioral impulsiveness to the detriment of others without remorse. Surely, such individuals as just described shouldn't be counted on to "bring the human race to the next level of our evolution," whether or not Kryon people are mistaking one behavior for another. And none of this even makes sense to mention as a "symptom" because children can not have antisocial tendencies because they are not old enough to maintain that diagnosis, unless you want to peg them with Conduct Disorder (which these Kryon people seemed to have left out.)

It becomes clear to any rational reader, that finding these symptoms in Indigos are similar to the limitless extendability of horoscopes, and their ADHD counterparts, are more specifically related to some kind of strange parent to child psychological hypochondria (for lack of a better term.) There is nothing about these "symptoms" that is abnormal.

Not fitting into peer groups? Not responding to guilt discipline? Feelings of universal rebellion? Bursts of creativity? Most of these are common human traits of preadolescence, adolescence, and early adulthood, and many either find strength in, or struggle with, these traits throughout the remainder of their life. Once again, these can be attributed to adolescent egocentrism, the subjection of the qualities of the self in relation to others.

Feel intimidated when you walk into a formal environment and think everyone's eyes are on you? Feel ashamed or envious comparing yourself, your personal effects, or your talents with someone else? It's not a symptom, it's a part of growing up, and is completely normal unless it manifests itself as personally debilitating or outwardly malevolent. Even still, when treating these cases where it does manifest itself dangerously, any care takers would be treating the thoughts and/or the behaviors that are debilitating or malevolent, and not be attempting to overhaul the individual's natural growth during their formidable years. There is no reason to jump the gun and give these individuals the stigma of a "disease" on top of this. Once again, counterproductive. You treat the thoughts and the behaviors in a clinical setting, you don't slap another stigma on the individual.

The only traits recognizable in the expression of these symptoms that seem fitting are those that define parental M√ľnchhausen's By Proxy, where the parents get some kind of need for attention satisfied by making their children sick and compulsively seeking treatment for them, only the weapon of choice in this case is not directed at the child's body, but at their psychological health. So it's not so much the children that seem disordered in this equation, it's the parents.

Yet many adults will make these paranoid suppositions, popular science will confirm their beliefs, books and medication will be sold, and another child will be converted. There are few things more childish or "puerile" than that.

Indigos

An increasingly popular New Age ideology posits that certain children being born today are the next evolution of mankind, as predicted, supposedly, by the indigo shade of their auras at birth. These children, as it is said, through their meta-cognitive proficiency and behavioral unpredictability, are hence setting the stage in the world today for the coming of the next breed of super human, the children of the Chrystal Vibration, who will effectively eliminate all the problems of mankind. The indigo children are simply calling our attention to our own faults as a human society, and in the future, supposedly, will set to eliminating human fear (the one enemy the children of the Chrystal Vibration) , which will in turn create a haven for the forthcoming newly evolved children to be born into.

Auras are pseudoscience, and maintain the same validity as Rorschach tests. Both are the result of the intriguing fallacy of the human psyche in interpreting meanings (or finding meanings) in objects and ideas that are already products of delusion or pure fantasy. Psycho-analysis is guilty of the same grievance. People see what they want to see, and if they see a rise in "abnormal behavior" occurring in children these days, whether or not there really is, than they can and will interpret it in many ways, and people will profit off selling the interpretations.

As for indigo children, they are the result of a society increasingly nerved by the idea that their children may in any way be abnormal. Parents, it seems, would rather have a special child than a defected child, at least in their own minds, inventing and buying into (often monetarily) the mythologies presented by new age authors and philosophies. Yet, this delusion is entirely human--childish fantasy projected from an adult mind which supposedly is capable of maintaining rational thought. There is nothing out of the ordinary about human beings deluding themselves into thinking the cause of any particular thing is metaphysical when a naturalistic explanation isn't as satisfying, that the time we are living in now is more unique and special than at any other point in history.

The only thing abnormal here is the rise in ADHD and ADD diagnoses (anywhere from 5% to 50% of the children in any given area in the United States and Canada), which is a called a "disease" although there is no diagnostic test proven to check for "symptoms." As it stands, pharmaceutical companies stand to make a lot of money prescribing antedotes for any child struggling with what is actually the syndrome of natural childhood, just as the New Age authors stand to make millions of dollars selling methodological nurturing suggestions to parents who suspect their child is indigo and may need special attention.

Whether that special attention comes in an orange bottle or out of a New Age book, that child is going to be affected, and it will no doubt echo in their behaviors, their meta-cognitive perspectives, their sense of self, their connection to other "non-indigo" children, and their sense of responsibility to the rest of society. Any special divination given to that child will upset the child's natural growth, whether they are labeled ADHD/ADD or Indigo, and will reflect in that child's behavior, which will only serve to reaffirm the doctors, parents, and mystics of their child's status, special abilities, or deformities. This is a dangerous ideology either way, because now that child is growing up in a bizarre world of delusion, neuroses, paranoia, and outright lies on their behalf, which won't make for a future any more brighter than the one we are already living in the present, and certainly no place for the so-called "chrystal children."

After all, when one is so paranoid that their child is anything but perfect that they are willing to realign the universe so that everything about their child seems justified in their own head, it doesn't seem as if these Indigo children are doing a very great job at "destroying human fear."

The controversy over the abundance of prescription medication treating undiagnosable "diseases" like ADHD causes a whole different set of realistic concerns. Certainly there will be children who fit the category and the condition can be proven to be having significant adverse effects on their ability to live an effective lives, but there is little doubt that most diagnoses are the result of a paranoid overreaction and the shrewd business practices of pharms. Statistically, behavioral disorders are not common enough to effect 1 out of every 2 children. Character is being misdiagnosed as ADHD, and if anything is at stake, it's a child's character--their ability to live a healthy life.

All this goes to show how adults, supposedly the rational minds at work in the world, often think with no better clarity than a child does about events in the world around them. We are paranoid and neurotic creatures from birth to death, regardless of what cognitive Piagetian stage we're in, regardless of whether we are prescribed medication for it or not, and our paranoias and neuroses are either encouraged or discouraged through our environment. Collectively we are in the process of a slow maturation, science and skepticism has been our best tool toward this end. And while there are some children who are encouraged to think with a rational mind, (natural children) whether through education, through parents, through medias, there are always children who are encouraged to think with a deluded mind (Indigos and misdiagnoses) by the same methods. These "children" don't have to be children in the traditional sense...anyone who holds beliefs to be true that are actually fantasies remains a child--regardless of age.

Either way, there's going to be a lot of paranoid and neurotic adults in the future. Is this the next evolution of mankind? Definitely not--looks like more of the same.