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Intelligence Squared U.S. Debates

Updated 9 days ago

Business
Education
Government & Organizations
News & Politics
Non-Profit
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America feels divided. From the most salient questions about our national identity and place in the world, to fundamental concerns about technology, religion, the economy, and public policy, Intelligence Squared U.S. is here to help. A respite from polarized discussions, we bring together the smartest minds to debate and dissect issues in depth, restoring civility and bringing intelligence to the public square in the process.

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America feels divided. From the most salient questions about our national identity and place in the world, to fundamental concerns about technology, religion, the economy, and public policy, Intelligence Squared U.S. is here to help. A respite from polarized discussions, we bring together the smartest minds to debate and dissect issues in depth, restoring civility and bringing intelligence to the public square in the process.

iTunes Ratings

1439 Ratings
Average Ratings
1159
145
62
25
48

Fantastic

By joabraham1 - Jun 12 2019
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Well informed debates on the topics that matter

Always interesting topics!!

By yasaiiKL - May 31 2019
Read more
Great topics with knowledgeable guests.

iTunes Ratings

1439 Ratings
Average Ratings
1159
145
62
25
48

Fantastic

By joabraham1 - Jun 12 2019
Read more
Well informed debates on the topics that matter

Always interesting topics!!

By yasaiiKL - May 31 2019
Read more
Great topics with knowledgeable guests.
Cover image of Intelligence Squared U.S. Debates

Intelligence Squared U.S. Debates

Updated 9 days ago

Read more

America feels divided. From the most salient questions about our national identity and place in the world, to fundamental concerns about technology, religion, the economy, and public policy, Intelligence Squared U.S. is here to help. A respite from polarized discussions, we bring together the smartest minds to debate and dissect issues in depth, restoring civility and bringing intelligence to the public square in the process.

Rank #1: Allison Schrager on Risk and Reason In Everyday Life

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What happens when an economist walks into a brothel? In this episode, economist and author Allison Schrager talks with host John Donvan about her new book, “An Economist Walks Into a Brothel,” and how you can use reason to assess risk in your everyday life.

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Aug 09 2019
46 mins
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Rank #2: Do Too Many Kids Go To College?

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Getting a college degree is often touted as a way to increase your income and your ability to compete in the job market. But are too many unprepared students being pushed into taking on large amounts of debt? A team of experts faces off in the latest Intelligence Squared U.S. debate.

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Nov 21 2011
52 mins
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Rank #3: Science Refutes God

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On the fundamental question--evolution or creation?--Americans are on the fence. According to one survey, while 61% of Americans believe we have evolved over time, 22% believe this evolution was guided by a higher power, with another 31% on the side of creationism. For some, modern science debunks many of religion's core beliefs, but for others, questions like "Why are we here?" and "How did it all come about?" can only be answered through a belief in the existence of God. Can science and religion co-exist?

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Dec 11 2012
52 mins
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Rank #4: Is Islam A Religion Of Peace?

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That's how former President George W. Bush characterized it, but some take a different view. A panel of experts takes on the question in the latest Intelligence Squared U.S. debate.

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Oct 14 2010
52 mins
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Rank #5: Nadine Strossen & Thane Rosenbaum on Hate Speech in America

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In this episode of Discourse Disrupters, two of America’s top legal minds tackles one of the most pressing questions of the day: what should we do about "hate speech."

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Jul 26 2019
57 mins
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Rank #6: Does Freedom Of The Press Extend To State Secrets?

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Does the public's right to know interfere with the government's ability to protect citizens? Four experts go head to head on the issue in the latest Intelligence Squared U.S. debate.

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Jun 16 2011
52 mins
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Rank #7: Are Liberals Stifling Intellectual Diversity?

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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?

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Mar 03 2015
52 mins
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Rank #8: Should We Genetically Modify Food?

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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?

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Dec 10 2014
53 mins
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Rank #9: Do Millennials Stand A Chance?

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Millennials—growing up with revolutionary technology and entering adulthood in a time of recession—have recently been much maligned. Are their critics right? Is this generation uniquely coddled, narcissistic, and lazy? Or have we let conventional wisdom blind us to their openness to change and innovation, and optimism in the face of uncertainty, which, in any generation, are qualities to be admired? The debaters are Binta Niambi Brown, David D. Burstein, W. Keith Campbell, and Jessica Grose.

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Apr 16 2014
53 mins
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Rank #10: Are The Rich Taxed Enough?

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How do we fix the economy? The U.S. government's budget deficit is nearing a trillion dollars for the fourth straight year and unemployment remains high. With the Bush-era tax cuts set to expire at the end of 2012, what is the best move for continued economic recovery? Are the nation's wealthiest paying their fair share, or should tax cuts be extended to everyone in the name of job creation? Debaters include Romney's economic supervisor, Glenn Hubbard, economist Arthur Laffer, former Secretary of Labor Robert Reich and economist Mark Zandi.  

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Oct 29 2012
52 mins
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Rank #11: Does Affirmative Action On Campus Do More Harm Than Good?

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Affirmative action, when used as a factor in college admissions, is meant to foster diversity and provide equal opportunities in education for underrepresented minorities. But is it achieving its stated goals and helping the population it was created to support? Its critics point to students struggling to keep up in schools mismatched to their abilities and to the fact that the policy can be manipulated to benefit affluent and middle class students who already possess many educational advantages. Is it time to overhaul or abolish affirmative action? 

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Mar 26 2014
52 mins
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Rank #12: #105 - Should We Abolish the Death Penalty?

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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?

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Apr 22 2015
52 mins
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Rank #13: #118 - Is Free Speech Threatened On Campus?

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Protests have erupted on university campuses across the country. To many, these students are speaking out against racial injustice that has long been manifested in unwelcoming, sometimes hostile environments. But to critics, their demands have gone too far, creating an atmosphere of intolerance for opposing or unpopular points of view. Are the protesters silencing free speech, or are they just trying to be heard? And are the universities responding by defending free speech, or by suppressing it?

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Mar 08 2016
53 mins
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Rank #14: Will 'Buy American' Policies Backfire?

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"Buy American" provisions included in legislation such as President Obama's stimulus package have touched off a heated debate. A panel of experts argues whether they help or hurt the United States in the latest Intelligence Squared U.S. debate.

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Sep 30 2009
52 mins
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Rank #15: Is The Internet Closing Our Minds Politically?

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On the Internet, it's easy to find like-minded people and to frequent sites where you agree with the content. And algorithms are serving up more personalized search content. Are we running the risk of getting trapped in information bubbles? A panel of experts debates for Intelligence Squared U.S.

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Apr 23 2012
52 mins
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Rank #16: Does China Do Capitalism Better Than America?

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As China experiments with its own form of state-run capitalism, the country has managed to maintain a strong economy while many Western countries are faltering. A team of experts faces off in the latest Intelligence Squared U.S. debate on the motion, "China Does Capitalism Better Than America."

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Mar 20 2012
52 mins
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Rank #17: #143 - Do Liberals Hold the Moral High Ground?

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Motion: Liberals hold the moral high ground.

Do conservative or liberal philosophies lead to more just outcomes? Opposing moral philosophies have long fueled debate about America’s policy goals and national identity. For conservatives, morality is grounded in ideals such as patriotism, including a respect for order and authority; fairness and liberty in the sense that an individual’s actions yield just rewards, or consequences; and reverence for the sanctity of religious and moral tradition. Liberals place moral emphasis on caring: for the poor, the disadvantaged, and the marginalized; on fairness in the sense of redressing both historic wrongs and current inequalities of outcome; and on generosity extending beyond the bounds of nations or cultures. In today’s divisive political arena, which side best embodies the nation’s most cherished virtues? Morally speaking, is the left right?

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Dec 13 2017
53 mins
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Rank #18: Should We Legalize Assisted Suicide?

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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.

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Nov 20 2014
53 mins
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Rank #19: Does Income Inequality Impair The American Dream?

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Income inequality has been on the rise for decades. In the last 30 years, the wages of the top 1% have grown by 154%, while the bottom 90% has seen growth of only 17%. As the rungs of the economic ladder move further and further apart, conventional wisdom says that it will become much more difficult to climb them. Opportunities for upward mobility—the American dream—will disappear as the deck becomes stacked against the middle class and the poor. But others see inequality as a positive, a sign of a dynamic and robust economy that, in the end, helps everyone. And contrary to public opinion, mobility has remained stable over the past few decades. If the American dream is dying, is it the result of income inequality? Or is disparity in income a red herring where more complex issues are at play? The Debaters are Elise Gould, Edward Conard, Nick Hanauer, and Scott Winship.

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Oct 29 2014
53 mins
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Rank #20: Should College Football Be Banned?

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In recent years, college football programs have been hit by a series of scandals. And observers have long raised questions about the risks of head injuries. A panel of experts looks at the state of college football in the latest Intelligence Squared U.S.

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May 15 2012
52 mins
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