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DEBATE TOPICS 1. Academic qualification ensures success in life?

The definition of success differs from person to person and field to field. One could take economic success as a touchstone to label a person successful in life, ignoring his of her other failures, like divorce, health, inefficiency, etc. Others may look at a capacity for overcoming challenges, irrespective of what someone earns and the nature of their private life. So who is a successful person and who is a failure? Do school and college grades and examination results provide a way of predicting or ensuring future success? If that is true, then we should encourage as many young people as possible to go to university and work hard to gain formal qualifications. But is it true? Arent some college drop-outs like Bill Gates and Richard Branson hugely successful icons of success? And should we automatically consider the millions of young people who have not had the opportunity to gain academic certificates to be failures in life? 2. Advertisements do more harm than good Advertising has grown to be an industry worth many billions of dollars across the world. Almost all public space has some advertisements in sight and all forms of media, from newspapers to the internet, are also filled with adverts. Whilst this helps companies sell their produces, and helps consumers to learn what is on offer, many believe that this huge amount of advertising can be harmful. It may make people want too much, or things that they cannot have, or it might make them feel inadequate when they don't have something. Research shows that children can be particularly open to these kinds of risk. 3. Animal Rights The claim that animals have rights was first put forward by the Australian philosopher Peter Singer in the 1970s and has been the subject of heated and emotional debates ever since. There are many contexts in which the question of animal rights comes up. Should we farm animals? If so by what techniques? Should we eat animals? Should we hunt and fish them? Is it morally acceptable to use animals as sources of entertainment in the context of zoos, circuses, horse racing etc.? Often the same organisations that campaign on environmental issues (e.g. Greenpeace) are also concerned for the welfare of animals: both sets of concerns derive from a commitment to the value of Nature and the Earth. The question of animal rights might well come up in a debate on biodiversity, and is one with so many political and social implications that it is also worth having in its own right. This debate is about the ethical principles at issue; the separate debates on biodiversity, vegetarianism, zoos, blood sports, and animal experimentation deal with more of the concrete details. 4. Assisted Suicide/Voluntary Euthanasia Assisted Suicide, also called Voluntary Euthanasia, is currently a contentious issue in many countries. The question in the debate is this: if a terminally ill person decides that they wish to end their life, is it acceptable for others to assist them? This would normally take the form of a doctor administering a lethal injection, which would end their life painlessly. A clear distinction must be made with involuntary euthanasia, by which someone is put down against their wishes, and which is simply murder by another name. In the United States, Dr Jack Kervorkian

nicknamed Doctor Death for his actions beliefs has been campaigning for a change in the law for many years, and has assisted in the suicide of at least 45 people; he was recently found guilty of second degree murder and imprisoned after a widely publicised trial. In the Netherlands, on the other hand, voluntary euthanasia has been legal since 1983, with some 3,000 people requesting it each year. In Australia, assisted suicide was legalised in the Northern Territories with the backing of a substantial majority of the local population, but was then overthrown by the Federal Senate before anyone could actually use the new law. In Switzerland the Dignitas Clinic assists a great many people to kill themselves each year, including many who travel for that specific purpose from countries where assisted suicide is illegal. As a great deal hinges on the practicalities of this debate, it is imperative that the proposition provide a fairly specific set of criteria to explain when assisted suicide would be legal and when it would not. It is worth looking at the legal procedures proposed in Australia and those in use in the Netherlands, as examples of the kind of safeguards which may be needed. 5. Balance in the media Globally countries operate a number of differing codes with regards to media balance in broadcast news services. Some liberal democratic states allow for news to be reported with significant ideological bias, on both sides of the political spectrum. It is common within Europe, however, for news broadcasters to be required by law to present balanced coverage of news, with a range of viewpoints being offered. Is there a need for the state to demand balance in this area? And even if there is, is it legitimate for it to do so? 6. Beauty Contests Beauty contests are popular in many parts of the world. The biggest, the Miss World competition, has been running annually since 1951, and although it is less popular in the UK now than it was in 1968, when it attracted 27.5 million TV viewers, it attracts an enormous worldwide audience around 3 billion viewers in 115 countries. There are beauty contests for various categories of age, sex and sexuality; this topic focuses on adult womens beauty contests as overwhelmingly the most popular and high-profile version. Note that there are difficult technical issues about running this debate: it probably works best as a values debate on whether beauty contests are a good thing or not, but this kind of comparison motion is frowned upon in some policy-based debating circles. Proposing a ban on beauty contests might be met with various entirely valid opposition lines on enforceability and warped priorities (what about porn?), which would tend to undermine the point of the debate. 7. Blood Sports Any morally justifiable means of controlling animal populations needs to pass the tests of necessity, effectiveness, and humaneness. It is on these three issues that the two sides of the hunting debate clash, each claiming that their preferred method of culling best fits these criteria. A vast amount of scientific data and research is being collated in order to back up the respective positions. Here, I have tried to steer away from empirical data and to concentrate instead on the broader arguments for and against; in a real-life debate being able to marshal facts and figures will also be necessary. However, there is a fundamental philosophical difference between the two sides in their view of the relationship between man and animals. The arguments below focus upon

blood sports, which involve hunting with dogs and include fox-hunting, hare coursing and stag hunting, but many are also applicable to hunting in general. 8. Cannabis, Legalisation of The debate regarding the legalisation of drugs, particularly that of soft drugs like cannabis (or marijuana) is capable of being characterised as one which pits the concept of freedom of the individual against the concept of a paternalistic State. Advocates of legalisation argue, amongst other things, that cannabis is not only less harmful than legal substances like alcohol and tobacco, but as a matter of fact has been proven to possess certain medicinal properties. In stark contrast, those opposed to legalisation argue that the legalisation of cannabis will act as a precursor to increased addiction to hard drugs, and will necessarily lead to an increase in the crime rate itself. 9. Cosmetic Surgery Cosmetic surgery (also known as plastic surgery) is surgery that is unnecessary from a medical perspective, but is carried out to improve appearance. Cosmetic surgery is an ancient practice. In the 8th century BC, the Indian surgeon Sushruta Samhita described what is known today as rhinoplasty (surgery to the nose) and otoplasty (to the ear). Body alteration more generally has been carried out by all peoples, from tribal tattoos to the neck-extending Kayans of Thailand. But modern medicine has made the possibilities of cosmetic surgery far more extensive. Anaesthesia has made procedures less unpleasant and less dangerous. In the aftermath of each of the two World Wars, cosmetic surgery leapt forwards as the demand for reconstructive surgery created skills and techniques that could be as easily applied to (perceived) improvements to image as to medical necessity. Consequently, cosmetic surgery has become increasingly popular. In 1948, fewer than 300 board-certified plastic surgeons were in practice in the USA; today the number is more than 4,000. In 2004 12 million cosmetic operations were conducted in the USA alone. Where America has led, much of the world has followed. Television shows and newspaper supplements are now devoted to cosmetic surgery and makeover programmes advocate it. Today more and more parts of the body can be improved. Once the possibilities for surgery were relatively restricted, now almost anything can be the subject of cosmetic surgery. To name but a few, common operations include abdominoplasty (a tummy tuck or reshaping/firming of the abdomen), blepharoplasty (eyelid surgery), buttock implants/reductions, chemical peels (removal of acne scars and sagging skin), chin and cheek augmentation, lipectomy (or liposuction removal of fat from the body), and rhytidectomy (aface lift) Among the most popular procedures are the otoplasty and rhinoplasty mentioned earlier, and finally and most commonly, surgery for the breasts: both mammaplasty ("breast enlargement/reduction") and mastoplexy (breast lift) collectively known as boob jobs. Cosmetic surgery to genitalia is increasingly common. This article considers only cosmetic surgery carried out purely to improve appearance, and does not address plastic surgery for medical reasons, for example post-disfigurement reconstruction or remedial surgery. 10. Hollywoods Influence

In this topic Hollywood is used loosely to stand for the cultural products of the USA, so popular in the rest of the world; principally films, television programmes, music and global broadcasters such as CNN, Disney and MTV. The success of Hollywood is undoubted; in 1998 the 39 most successful movies were all American, and in Europe the domestic film industries struggle to hold even 30% of their national market share. The issue of Americas cultural influence is perhaps felt most profoundly in France, where President Jacques Chirac said in 1999 that France refused to consider cultural products like ordinary goods, subject solely to the law of the market. This attitude is reflected in large subsidies (over $500 million) to French creative industries and in laws which limit the amount of foreign material on television and in cinemas. Such cultural protectionism has become a major issue in WTO negotiations, it has also driven a number of states (e.g. Qatar, Russia, China, France) to sponsor international broadcasting operations to give a non-American media perspective.

Publicitate a ajuns sa fie o industrie n valoare de multe miliarde de dolari n ntreaga lume. Aproape tot spaiul public are unele anunuri n vedere i toate formele de massmedia, de la ziare la internet, sunt, de asemenea, umplute cu reclame. n timp ce acest lucru ajut companiile s i vnd produce lor, i i ajut pe consumatori s nvee ceea ce este pe oferta, muli cred c aceast cantitate uria de publicitate pot fi duntoare. Se poate face oamenii doresc prea mult, sau lucruri care nu pot avea, sau ar putea face sa se simta inadecvat atunci cnd acestea nu au ceva. Cercetrile arat c copiii pot fi deosebit de deschis la aceste tipuri de risc.