Intelligence Squared U.S. Debates

Intelligence Squared U.S. Debates

From NPR

Intelligence Squared U.S. Debates bring Oxford-style debate to America – one motion, one moderator, two panelists for the motion and two against. From clean energy and the financial crisis, to the Middle East and the death of mainstream media, Intelligence Squared U.S. brings together the world's leading authorities on the day's most important issues. Join the debate online and cast your vote for each topic at www.iq2us.org.More from Intelligence Squared U.S. Debates »

Most Recent Episodes

Should We Abolish the Death Penalty?

A recent Gallup poll found that Americans are still largely supportive of the death penalty, with 6 in 10 in favor as punishment for murder. At the heart of the debate are many complicated questions. Within a flawed criminal justice system, is it possible to know every person's guilt with a sufficient degree of certainty? Does the fear of death reduce crime? Are there race and class biases in sentencing? Are some crimes so heinous in nature that punishment by death is the only appropriate measure, or is capital punishment always immoral?

Listen

Loading…

50:29
  • Download
  • Embed
    Embed <iframe src="http://www.npr.org/player/embed/401430861/401430863" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no">

Has the President has Exceeded His Authority by Waging War Without Congress?

The President has launched a sustained, long-term military campaign against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant. But did he have constitutional power to do so? The Constitution carefully divides the war powers of the United States between Congress and the President. Article II provides that "The President shall be Commander in Chief." But Article I provides that "The Congress shall have Power ... To Declare War." Did the President exceed his authority and violate the Constitution?

Listen

Loading…

50:16
  • Download
  • Embed
    Embed <iframe src="http://www.npr.org/player/embed/398013166/398013170" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no">

Should the U.S. Adopt the Right to be Forgotten Online?

In 2014, the European Union's Court of Justice determined that individuals have a right to be forgotten, "the right—under certain conditions—to ask search engines to remove links with personal information about them." It is not absolute, but meant to be balanced against other fundamental rights, like freedom of expression. In a half year following the Court's decision, Google received over 180,000 removal requests. Of those reviewed and processed, 40.5% were granted. Largely seen as a victory in Europe, in the U.S., the reaction has been overwhelmingly negative. Was this ruling a blow to free speech and public information, or a win for privacy and human dignity?

Listen

Loading…

50:25
  • Download
  • Embed
    Embed <iframe src="http://www.npr.org/player/embed/393751110/393751112" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no">

Are Liberals Stifling Intellectual Diversity?

What is college for? For many, it's a time for personal and intellectual growth, to meet new people, and to explore ideas and philosophies that challenge their beliefs. Or is it? Recent cancellations of conservative speakers, rescinded honorary degrees, and scrutiny of certain campus groups have heightened perceptions that there is pervasive liberal intolerance on campuses. Are liberals shutting down speech and debate on campus? Or is this theory a myth, based on the preponderance of liberals at universities rather than intentionally discriminatory actions?

Listen

Loading…

50:16
  • Download
  • Embed
    Embed <iframe src="http://www.npr.org/player/embed/390359841/390359847" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no">

Should the World Bet on America

America owes $6 trillion to China, our sprawling military complex often appears helpless against disparate threats abroad, and the War on Terror has stripped us of the moral high ground. Washington is paralyzed by bitter partisanship, our children are falling behind their international peers, and our middle class is no longer the world’s most affluent. But we’ve been warned about America’s decline before. Remember Sputnik? Yes, times are tough, but America is recovering from the Great Recession faster than almost any other advanced country, an energy boom could add billions to the GDP, we’re still a leader in technological innovation, and our military strength and geopolitical advantages remain unrivaled. Are our best days behind us, or should the world still bet on America?

Listen

Loading…

50:16
  • Download
  • Embed
    Embed <iframe src="http://www.npr.org/player/embed/387181908/387181910" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no">

IQ2US Tribute to David Carr

Upon hearing the news of the sudden passing of The New York Times's David Carr on February 12th, 2015, we assembled this rememberance. David appeared on our stage on October 27, 2009 arguing against the debate motion: Good Riddance to Mainstream Media.

Listen

Loading…

6:48
  • Download
  • Embed
    Embed <iframe src="http://www.npr.org/player/embed/386500584/386500586" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no">

Is Amazon the Reader's Friend

In late 2014, Amazon and the publishing house Hachette settled a months-long dispute over who should set the price for e-books. In Amazon’s view, lower prices mean more sales and more readers, and that benefits everyone. But for publishers, the price of an e-book must reflect the investment made, from the author’s advance to a book’s production. The conflict, resolved for now, has only raised more questions about the value of books, Amazon’s business practices, and the role of publishers. Is book publishing an oligopoly, a dinosaur in need of disruption? Is Amazon, which accounts for 41% of all new book and 67% of all e-book sales, a monopoly? Who is doing right by readers and the future of books?

Listen

Loading…

  • Download
  • Embed
    Embed <iframe src="http://www.npr.org/player/embed/379050803/381442138" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no">

IQ2US Retrospective on the Freedom of Speech

With the world outraged by the attacks on satirical newspaper, Charlie Hebdo, last week in Paris, we think back to our debate from 2006 on the motion: Freedom of Expression Must Include the License to Offend. The debaters were Philip Gourevitch, David Cesarani, Christopher Hitchens, Daisy Khan, Signe Wilkinson, and Mari Matsuda. The complete debate can be heard at http://intelligencesquaredus.org/debates/past-debates/item/545-freedom-of-expression-must-include-the-license-to-offend.

Listen

Loading…

  • Download
  • Embed
    Embed <iframe src="http://www.npr.org/player/embed/376619227/381440217" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no">

Should We Genetically Modify Food?

Genetically modified (GM) foods have been around for decades, and they are developed for a number of different reasons—to fight disease, enhance flavor, resist pests, improve nutrition, survive drought. Across the country and around the world, communities are fighting the cultivation of genetically engineered crops. Are they safe? How do they impact the environment? Can they improve food security? Is the world better off with or without GM food? 

Listen

Loading…

  • Download
  • Embed
    Embed <iframe src="http://www.npr.org/player/embed/369807208/381434566" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no">

Should We Legalize Assisted Suicide?

In 1994, Oregon voters passed the Death with Dignity Act, which legalized physician-assisted suicide for the terminally ill. Since then, it has become legal in 4 more states, including New Mexico, where the state court ruling that it is constitutional is under appeal. Will these laws lead to a slippery slope, where the vulnerable are pressured to choose death and human life is devalued? Or do we need to recognize everyone’s basic right to autonomy? The debaters are Peter Singer, Baroness Ilora Finlay, Andrew Solomon, and Dr. Daniel Sulmasy.

Listen

Loading…

  • Download
  • Embed
    Embed <iframe src="http://www.npr.org/player/embed/365397433/381431588" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no">
Back To Top