New Ideas for Debate Topics
The same topics are used again and again in debates. Why not
liven up your next debate with some new ideas? Here are some
more unusual and fundamental questions to debate.
Happiness shouldn't be pursued. The pro side of this could
start with the obvious pain that people face when their expectations
are not met. Maybe it is better to just relax and stop thinking
about happiness. On the other hand, the fact that the pursuit
of happiness sometimes leads to pain doesn't mean it is without
success too. What better thing is there to pursue?
Political Debate Topics
Taxation for non-essential programs is stealing. The pro side
can start with the idea that a consensus or majority makes it
different, and morally acceptable. The con side can point out
that it's wrong to forcibly take your neighbors money to pay
for an art program or public museum that you like, and voting
with others to have the government do it for you is no different
It is morally okay to break laws you don't agree with. The
pro side might say that there have historically been many bad
laws, and that it is almost a duty to break them. We wouldn't
want someone to have turned in escaped slaves just to comply
with the law. The other side could argue that personally choosing
to break the law is corrosive to general respect for laws, and
this respect is necessary to a civil society.
Government should get out of the marriage business. If the
government had nothing to do with marriage, we could drop all
the divisive issues about gay marriage, and just let people marry
in whichever churches or other institutions will marry them.
Taxing all individuals the same is fairer too. On the other hand,
marriage is a long-standing institution, and it would be chaotic
to remove the legal element of it. Insurance policies, property
title and other legal contracts would all need to be rewritten.
Other Debate Topics
We should abolish corporations. It is clear that the legal
entity is often used to reduce liability for true crimes. Why
not let people own companies directly and own up to their actions?
On the other hand, one could argue that the corporations made
our economy as strong as it is, and it would be extremely dangerous
to eliminate them.
There is nothing morally wrong with doing drugs. Clearly the
laws about which plant and other substances you can ingest are
arbitrary. There is no reason why it would be moral to have a
beer, but somehow wrong to have a joint. On the other hand...
(you're on your own on this one).
Intelligence testing is without value. Many people of low
intelligence have succeeded in many areas of life. In fact, the
most intelligent people routinely fail in business. There is
not really anything to be gained by assigning a number to a persons
thinking. Of course, whether or not a person succeeds or fails,
more intelligence means more potential to succeed in many areas,
so it is a useful thing to measure. Whether you can really measure
it, and how you define it are just some of the many related topics.