Mapping the world's opinions

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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?

Is eating meat justifiable?

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?

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...

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?

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 ...

Mapping the world's opinions.

Map: 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?

Philosophy , Religion

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.

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?

Economics , International Relations , Politics

Map: 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?

Are vaccines safe?

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?

Health , Politics

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?

Education , Ethics , International Relations , Politics

Should universities no-platform 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?

Map: The relationship between anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism

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 are both words damaging and dangerous to Jewish communities across the globe?

Ethics , Philosophy , Society

Would human extinction be a tragedy?

If humans were to be wiped out and became extinct overnight, would the end of the human race be a tragedy? Or would it be a cause for celebration, the end of a malignant tumour in our ecosystem? Maybe it would be neither?

Map: 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?

Should Julian Assange be extradited?

Following the Ecuadorian government's withdrawal of asylum, Julian Assange was arrested and removed from the country's embassy in London. He faces charges in the US of conspiracy to break into a computer, relating to Wikileaks' publication of more than 250,000 classified military documents and diplomatic cables in 2010. Should Assange be extradited to the US to face these charges? Was he doing a p...

Is Donald Trump mentally ill?

To some, Donald Trump is a rambling buffoon. To others, he is a voice of truth in a political quagmire of lies and deceit. But are his erratic mind, eccentric way of speaking and short attention span indicators of an underlying mental illness affecting the US president?

Gender , News , Politics , Religion , Society

Should Trans people be able to use the bathroom that matches their identity?

Trans identity has become a politicised red button issue in the US and elsewhere. How do we get past the partisan squabbling and parse the truth of the issue.

What separates humans from animals?

For some, it is a deeply ingrained conviction that we are not animals, and the mere suggestion that humans are no different is repugnant. However, is it just our ability to imagine and create stories about there being a difference the only thing that separates us? Or is there something more tangible?

Gender , Science , Society

Is our gender determined by nature or nurture?

Men are from Mars and women are from Venus, so the saying goes. But are the behavioural differences between men and women the result of social and cultural conventions? Or are our gender-specific behaviours driven by biological factors?

Ethics , Gender , Politics , Society

Map: responses to the sexual assault allegations against Brett Kavanaugh

Donald Trump’s pick for the Supreme Court nomination, Brett Kavanaugh, has been accused of attempted rape by Dr. Christine Blasey Ford. The incident allegedly took place at a party when Kavanaugh was 17-years-old.

Society

Should we abolish the British Monarchy?

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. But with the monarchy's diminished role in politics, is it time we relegate this relic to the annals of history? Or does it serve a greater purpose in modern society?

Economics , International Relations , News , Politics

Map: 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?

Can someone identify as trans-racial?

With the outrage following Rachel Dolezal's falsified claims of being African American in 2015, the question of racial identity has been raised. Should we have the right to identify as a different race than the one assigned at birth? And is this legitimate, or another means of cultural appropriation?

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, should abortion as a medical procedure be legal?

Should we all go vegan to save the planet?

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?

History , International Relations , Politics

Is abolishing all borders a good idea?

Millions of people risk their lives trying to cross borders into other countries. Some are fleeing violence and persecution, others are looking for better economical opportunities or to be reunited with family members. But is a world without borders a good idea, if it is even feasible?

Is Political Correctness Detrimental to Society?

Although founded on the idea that everyone should be treated with dignity and respect, political correctness is frequently used to dismiss opinions as racist, sexist, homophobic, Islamophobic, transphobic and misogynistic. What is the real impact of political correctness? Does it foster harmony, or is it a weapon to stifle debate and dismiss controversial opinions as invalid?

Economics , Science , Technology

Will AI take our jobs?

Since the dawn of the information age, society has worried about artificial intelligence replacing human labour. What will the future of automation look like, and will AI take our jobs?

Economics , Politics , Science , Society , Technology

Will the future of transportation be electric?

There is a push towards the usage of electrically powered cars. A few governments envision in the coming year to prohibit sell or even circulation of thermal cars. However electric car still is a niche market Will ti ever become viable

Education , People , Society

Are millennials lazy?

For older generations, Millennials in the workplace are lazy, work-shy and entitled. For Millennials, their generation is more creative, more efficient, and better at challenging established rules of business in a way that sparks growth and innovation. Which one is it?

Science , Society , Technology

Should manned expeditions be sent to outer space?

Are manned missions economically viable or is it more effective to focus on less expensive drone missions?

History , News , Science , Technology

Have astronauts really gone to the Moon?

NASA successfully sent 6 Apollo missions to the Moon with a total of 12 astronauts who landed on Moon's surface.Critics imply that all missions were a fake, no men has landed on the Moon and all related photos and videos were actually taken in a studio.

Does the West still value human rights universally in light of its dismissal on Khashoggi's death?

Having been the loudest voice advocating for human rights, Western governments' evasive stances on the horrifying death of Jamal Khashoggi, a Saudi government dissident, suggest otherwise. In the light of huge economic links and political turbulence, are human rights still valued in western civilization?

Ethics , Health , Science , Society

Should surrogacy be legal?

Most countries have unclear legislation about surrogacy and the debate is on. Should surrogacy be legalized and under what conditions?

Economics , Politics , Society , Technology

Is Universal Basic Income a good idea?

Universal Basic Income (UBI) is a type of program in which people receive a regular sum of money without the requirement to work for it. Does UBI make sense?

History , International Relations , Politics

Map: the causes of the US Defeat in Vietnam

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...

Philosophy

Map: the Mind / Body debate

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

Is diversity critical to a business' financial success?

There is research to prove that diversity (gender, ethnic and social) can improve work place culture and productivity; in consequence increase growth or revenues

International Relations , Politics

Map - 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...

Education , Fashion

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.

Entertainment , Movies , People

Map: 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?

Ethics , Politics , Religion

#CakeGate: can you refuse service on the basis of faith?

The cake that Colorado baker Jack Phillips refused to bake was the kindling that lit a nation-wide discussion in the USA - can a business deny service to an individual purely on the basis of their sexual orientation? As the Supreme Court came to a verdict in favour of the baker, the narrowness of the ruling still left the overarching question unanswered. The baker was quickly followed by others wh...

Sports , Technology

Is VAR good for the game of football?

FIFA, football's global governing body, along with those bodies running the game at regional and countrywide levels are gradually introducing more technology into the game in a bid to assist referees, prevent incorrect decisions and enhance the game's image.

Philosophy , Science , Technology

Is there Alien Life?

It's a question humanity has pondered for millennia, as they've looked up to the stars,wondering if anything has been looking back. Is there life elsewhere in the universe be it simple single-celled organisms or galaxy-spanning super civilisations?

Ethics , Health , Philosophy

Should euthanasia be legal?

Ethical aspects of euthanasia (Greek for "good death"), a physician-assisted suicide of a patient with a goal of ending the suffering from a terminal or incurable illness, were debated since the times of Hippocrates. Since then, although modern medicine made a great deal of progress, euthanasia and its validity as a medical practice still leads to controversies. Should a patient in great suffering...

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