Mapping the world's opinions

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Who should be the 2020 Democratic Party presidential nominee?

The Democrats are preparing to beat Donald Trump in the 2020 US Presidential election. The current field is filled with contenders who vary on policy and vision to take the US forward. So, who are the possible top candidates? What are their policies and what do they represent? And could they beat Donald Trump in an election?

Politics , Society
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Should surrogacy be legal?

Surrogacy is the carrying through pregnancy until birth of one couple's child by another woman. The science has advanced significantly in this area allowing for the choice of surrogacy as an option for many potential parents. Most countries have unclear legislation about surrogacy and the debate is on. Should surrogacy be legalized? Under what conditions should surrogacy be legal?

Ethics , Health , Science , Society
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What is a Nation?

Are nations ancient or modern? Are they natural or artificial? Are they a tool of liberation or coercion? Despite many predicting globalisation would make them obsolete, nations are now back in fashion in a world where leaders tout America First, the Great Rejuvenation of the Chinese People, and Hindutva. Understanding the nation now seems more important than ever.

International Relations , Politics , Society
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Why did the US lose the Vietnam War?

Vietnam was an undeniable failure for the United States government. Despite expending more than $141 billion, and 56,000 American lives, the world’s largest military superpower was unable to achieve its sole strategic objective: to prevent Vietnam from falling under communist control. Historians are deeply divided over the reasons that led to US defeat. Most attribute the loss to several factors t...

History , International Relations , Politics
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Did Alexander Hamilton's financial plan put America first?

Of all the founding fathers of the American nation, Alexander Hamilton remains one of the most enigmatic and controversial characters. In his role as Secretary of the Treasury, Hamilton submitted a financial plan to Congress designed to reduce the national debt by creating a national bank and encouraging economic diversification and the establishment of a manufacturing economy. But more than 200 y...

Economics , History , Politics

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Should burkas be banned in the UK?

Boris Johnson MP recently divided opinion - drawing condemnation from the Prime Minister and provoking a disciplinary investigation by his Conservative Party - for controversial remarks about Muslim women who wear burkas/burqas. Though he did not advocate a ban, his comments have reignited the debate following bans on the full-face-and-body coverings becoming law in countries including France, Bel...

Politics , Religion

Does ending climate change mean the end of capitalism?

Scientific consensus suggests we are experiencing a climate catastrophe. Many see Capitalism's drive for growth and accumulation as being incompatible with a finite planet. Do we need a new system to sustain human life?

Economics , Nature , Politics

Should universities no-platform controversial speakers?

Universities are meant to be the burgeoning hubs of idea exchange, yet denying controversial speakers a platform on campuses has become increasingly acceptable. Are there good reasons to no-platform inflammatory speakers?

Education , Ethics , International Relations , Politics

Should Abortion be legal?

Throughout the world, abortions and a woman's right to have them remain taboo. Despite abortion being illegal in many countries, women continue to have them, sometimes going to extreme and dangerous lengths to obtain them. Going beyond whether or not terminating a pregnancy is right or wrong, what are the pros and cons of abortion? And should abortion as a medical procedure be legal?

Economics , Ethics , Gender , Health , News , Philosophy , Religion , Science , Society

Were the moon landings faked?

NASA successfully sent six Apollo missions to the Moon . Twelve astronauts in total landed on the Moon's surface. Critics imply that all missions were faked and no men have landed on the Moon. They say that related photos and videos were actually taken in a studio.

History , News , Science , Technology

Should you go vegan?

Several forms of pollution - e.g. deforestation, eutrophication of water, leaching of nitrates, antibacterial resistence, release of ammonia, nitrous oxides and methane in the atmosphere - are associated to livestock production. Should we all go vegan to prevent major environmental pollution?

Economics , Ethics , Fashion , Health , Philosophy , Politics , Religion , Science , Society

Mapping the world's opinions.

What is the Mind-Body problem?

What is the mind? Since the beginning of civilization, we have grappled with the idea of consciousness. Could the study of our brain and nervous system account for conscious thought? If not, what are the relationships between the non-physical processes and the physical ones?

Philosophy

Should the Monarchy be Abolished?

The Royal Family is a pillar in the British cultural and political landscape. The country tunes in for their weddings, places bets on their baby names and earnestly discusses their wardrobe choices. Given the monarchy's diminished role in politics, is it time to get rid of the royals? Or do they still serve a purpose in modern society?

Society

Is eating meat ethical?

Consuming meat is a big part of some diets around the world, particularly in western food traditions. However, with production being land and resource intensive, and with a number of environmental and health impacts to consider we must ask, is eating meat justifiable?

Economics , Ethics , Health , Politics , Society

What are the positions on Global Warming?

Global warning has been a major concern for climate scientists for a few decades now. However, polling shows public discourse remains divided as to how real it is, what causes it and how to react to it.

Science , Technology

Are anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism the same thing?

With the UK's Labour Party, the French Parliament, and Congresswoman Ilhan Omar in the US all at the centre of rows over anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism, what is the relationship between the two concepts? Is either acceptable? Or do both words describe damaging and dangerous prejudices against Jewish communities across the globe?

Ethics , History , International Relations , Religion , Society

Should Recreational Marijuana be Legal?

Following a public outcry over the case of Billy Caldwell, a 12-year-old boy with epilepsy who was prohibited from bringing back a life-changing supply of cannabis oil from Canada, the use of cannabis for medicinal purposes has now been made legal in the UK. Unsurprisingly this has re-ignited the ongoing question: should we legalise the recreational use of cannabis?

Economics , Ethics , Health , Politics , Science

Will Medicare for all work?

Medicare is currently a program that provides healthcare support for millions of Americans. It is seen by many as a vehicle that could be expanded to help extend coverage to all Americans. But should this be done?

Economics , Health , News , Politics , Society

Should countries accept immigrants?

Donald Trump wants to build a wall. The United Kingdom tries to leave the European Union in an attempt to regain sovereignty over its borders. Every year, thousands of people drown in the Mediterranean while trying to cross over into the EU. At the same time, many European countries sell citizenship to wealthy individuals. Do states have a right to pick and choose who may enter into their respecti...

Ethics , International Relations , Politics

Are vaccines bad?

The safety of vaccines has been contested since 1763 when an Italian Doctor named Gatti introduced inoculations to the French. Since then, concerns over the safety and sanitation of vaccinations have led to a world-wide anti-vaccination movement. Are ‘anti-vaxers’ right to refuse inoculations? Are vaccines safe?

Economics , Ethics , People , Religion , Science , Society , Technology

How should we address homelessness?

Homelessness is on the rise in a number of major cities around the world, like San Francisco, USA and London, UK. The human cost and tragedy of homelessness is shocking, and disappointing that it is happening in some of the richest cities in the world. There are many ideas about what could be done. So approaches would best address the problem of homelessness?

Is an unamendable constitution undemocratic?

Unamendability is a growing constitutional trend. But is it compatible with democratic values? Does unamendability force future generations into a necrocracy, the ‘dead hand’ grip of those that wrote the constitution? Does it place too much power in the hands of the judiciary? Can institutions face modern democratic challenges without the flexibility to amend the nation's constitution?

What should we do about climate change?

We are in a climate crisis. People and natural systems around the world are feeling the impacts of a warming globe, from more intense heat waves, more intense storms, heavier rainfall, melting sea ice and retreating glaciers, etc, etc. No part of our world is left untouched, and the current rate of warming suggests things will only get worse. So what can we do to mitigate global warming? What woul...

Is climate change real?

It is the topic of our times, with changing weather around the world. Is the climate actually changing or are these signals misunderstood and misattributed to natural cycles. Can we know if climate change real? Or is climate change a conspiracy of the left?

Is Salafi Islam compatible with secular Western cultures?

If you have read Samuel Huntington’s Clash of Civilisations or listened to Slavoj Žižek’s commentary on coexistence of cultures in the postmodern world (mainly the West); and reviewed the rhetoric of some Salafi Muslim clerics and European ecclesiastical leaders, you will be able to draw parallels in the sometimes subtle references to exhalation of “self” and denigration of the “other”.

Ethics , Philosophy , Religion

Is Jean Luc Godard one of the greatest film makers of all time?

Jean Luc-Godard was the spearhead of the French new wave cinema. He directed films such as breathless, Vivre-sa vie which defied the laws that set the film making precedence and introduced jump cuts. Post world war 2, USA decided to forego the WW2 debt if France opened its market for US products and regulated its own film industry. In defiance, new directors such as Varda, Godard, Rivette brought ...

Arts , Entertainment , Movies , People

Was Bolivian President Evo Morales ousted in a coup?

Bolivia has been a site of political upheaval since Evo Morales, president of the country for 13 consecutive years, declared his victory in the October 20th election. The streets have been filled with both violent and peaceful protestors. Some argue against the legitimacy of the vote. Others defend the re-election of the left-wing, indigenous leader. On November 10th, Morales resigned and sought p...

International Relations , News , Politics

Did Thanos do anything wrong?

Thanos in "Avengers: Infinity War" may not be evil, but actually employing a logic that, while requiring sacrifice, may be the only thing that can save the Universe.

Entertainment , Ethics , Philosophy

Should there be a united Ireland?

The status of Northern Ireland has been the subject of intense debate and decades of violence, known as the Troubles. Though Northern Ireland is now at peace, the question of whether it should remain in the United Kingdom or join the Republic of Ireland remains a source of contention. Should there be a united Ireland?

History , International Relations , Politics

Is western liberalism obsolete?

Russian President Vladimir Putin said in an interview with the Financial Times that western liberalism is obsolete. Its obituary is being written by everyone from former Trump adviser Steve Bannon to Hungarian prime minister Viktor Orban and journalists like Edward Luce and James Traub. Authoritarian China is ascendant. Free trade, the rule of law, freedom of movement and toleration are in troub...

International Relations , Philosophy , Politics , Society

Will AI take our jobs?

Since the dawn of the information age, society has worried about artificial intelligence replacing human labour. We are now seeing rapid advances being made in this technology that makes the question of critical importance. What will the future of automation look like, and will AI take our jobs?

Economics , Science , Technology

What are the positions on Gun Control?

There are more than 300,000,000 guns in the United States. Guns have claimed the lives of more American citizens than all the wars since the American revolution put together. With guns holding a unique place in the American psyche, should there be measures in place to limit gun ownership? What should these measures look like?

Economics , Ethics , Politics , Science

Who would lead a Martian colony?

Advanced Space capabilities are in all likelihood coming rather soon, with SpaceX’s next generation rockets at the forefront. However, exploration of how a colony will fit into the global stage has only been explored by fiction authors thus-far and not decision - makers.

Ethics , Politics , Society

Should Catalonia become independent?

The demand for Catalan independence has risen greatly in the past few years, to the disappointment of the Spanish government. Is the Catalan drive for independence justified?

Economics , Ethics , International Relations , Politics

What are the views on the US - China trade war?

Donald Trump's protectionist economic policies led to the introduction of tariffs on $250 billion of imports from China. President Xi Jinping responded with tariffs of his own, affecting some $110 billion worth of US-made products. As the two global economic behemoths enter a trade war, what are the implications for both economies and the rest of the world?

Economics , International Relations , News , Politics

Should school uniforms be mandatory?

School Uniforms are a mainstay of education in many parts of the world. The uniform can have a bit impact on the school experience, which makes us consider if they should they be mandatory.

Education , Fashion

Was Boris Johnson's move to prorogue parliament legal?

Boris Johnson took the decision to prorogue parliament for five weeks in the run-up to Britain's deadline for leaving the EU on October 31. His government argues that he was legally able to do so. The preceding parliamentary session was the longest on record and the prorogation was designed to bring it to a natural close. Opposition MPs believe Johnson's motives were to stymy debate and were, ther...

Ethics , News , People , Politics

What is Italy's Immigration Debate? (2018)

In 2016, over 180,000 migrants reached Italy by irregular means. During the first ten months of 2018, this number had dropped to under 21,000. Although the number of unauthorized immigrants in Italy has been decreasing over the last decade, racial tensions have increased after a mix of anti-immigrant campaigns, fake news and horrific tragedies. As a result, “immigration” is the nation’s most discu...

International Relations , Politics

How should we respond to Facebook in light of the Cambridge Analytica scandal?

Cambridge Analytica is a British political consulting firm. In March, allegations broke that CA obtained private information from an estimated 50 million Facebook users without their permission. This data was then shared with third parties, including Donald Trump’s presidential campaign during the 2016 US Presidential Elections. The issue has raised concerns about privacy in the age of Big Data, a...

Ethics , News , Politics , Society

What are the most suitable research philosophies in academic research?

The term research philosophy refers to a system of beliefs and assumptions about the development of knowledge. In layman’s terms, a research philosophy is the choice a researcher makes on how to pursue his research, consciously or subconsciously. Scholars have identified five of the most prominent research philosophies in academia, however, choosing one is a matter of debate. (main source: Saunder...

Education , Ethics , Philosophy , Science

Does the school system benefit girls more than boys?

Girls outperform boys across all subjects, in all age groups, and across all racial groups. They secure more university places and suffer fewer disciplinary problems. By contrast, boys are overrepresented in programs for students with special educational needs and account for around 93% of suspensions and disciplinary actions. Is the modern school system designed to benefit girls more than boys?

Economics , Education , Gender , Society

What are the options on a second Brexit referendum?

Theresa May’s Brexit deal contains little to please brexiteers or remainers. Should the government go back to the people for a second referendum on Brexit?

Economics , International Relations , Politics

Who was the best James Bond?

Many different actors have portrayed the iconic protagonist of one of the longest-running and most successful franchises in film history. Whose version of 007 was the best?

Entertainment , Movies , People

Is it offensive for sports teams to use Native American mascots and names?

Teams like the Washington Redskins, the Atlanta Braves and the Cleveland Indians have always used Native American imagery and mascots in their branding. Advocacy groups accuse them of cultural appropriation and playing on racial slurs. Are their claims justified? Is the use of Native American imagery a sign of respect for their culture? Is their offence justified?

Ethics , History , Society , Sports

What is Love?

Few words in the English language convey such a range of meanings as the word "love". For many, love is the reason for being, the subject of countless books, artwork, films, and works of theatre. But what is love? Is it an animalistic urge, a deep emotional connection, the manifestation of physical and chemical reactions, the act of being entirely devoted to another individual, or nothing at all?

People , Philosophy , Religion , Science , Society

Should sex education be taught in schools?

With the increasing ubiquity of sexual images, teenagers receive a constant stream of sexual imagery and information. But whose responsibility is it to equip children and teens with the necessary knowledge to form attitudes about sex, relationships and intimacy? Is it the parents'? Or should educators provide teens with comprehensive sex education classes in schools?

Ethics , Gender , Health , Politics , Religion , Science , Society

Who was Shakespeare?

"What's in a name?" one of Shakespeare's star-crossed lovers asked. When it comes to the identity of the greatest writer in the English language, a great deal. That mantle has long been bestowed on a glover's son from Stratford-Upon-Avon. But since the 19th century, there have been doubts over William Shakespeare's identity as the writer of the works attributed to the playwright. Was the Bard from...

Arts , History , People

Are dream interpretations accurate?

Understanding dream meanings has fascinated mankind for millennia. In ancient Greece, physicians believed dreams conveyed indications of diseases present in the body. Sigmund Freud thought dreams revealed repressed desires. Since then, pop psychologists, psychotherapists and psychoanalysts have all begun offering interpretations of clients' dreams. But are dream interpretations accurate?

Philosophy , Science , Society

Should lie detectors be admissible in court?

Once called "the strip searches of the mind", polygraph test creators maintain that their lie detectors can detect when a suspect is lying in 80-95% of cases. Should we use them in the justice system to secure convictions? Or are they a dangerous and gross violation of a suspect's legal rights?

Ethics , Science , Society

Is social media outrage a positive force in society?

The age-old maxim goes, "if you're not outraged, you're not paying attention". This has never been more applicable. Nothing drives social media engagement like outrage and social media platforms have embraced models designed to inflame and spark anger. The success of positive social and political movements like #MeToo and the Arab Spring largely stem from social media outrage but is it a positive ...

Economics , News , People , Philosophy , Politics , Society

Does God exist?

For much of time people have questioned the existence of God. This question understands God as ‘Supreme Being and Creator of the Universe’, not a specific God (Christian, Islamic, Jewish, or other), and explores the various positions and arguments for and against the existence.

Philosophy , Religion

Is society too Politically Correct?

There is much debate around whether Political correctness stagnates society’s progression, or whether it sets the terms for our society. Is Political correctness useful? has it gone too far in today’s society?

History , Philosophy , Politics , Society

Is prison primarily about punishment?

What is the purpose of prisons? Is the restriction of one's freedom supposed to be retribution for the crimes committed against society and the victim? Is it meant to be rehabilitative? Are prisoners supposed to emerge from the experience deterred from committing future crimes and morphed into law-abiding citizens?

Health , Politics

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