Intelligence Squared US

Intelligence Squared US We are America's Debate Series, as heard on public radio, television and Apple podcasts. Cast your vote and join the debate at http://iq2us.org.
A nonpartisan, nonprofit organization, Intelligence Squared U.S. (IQ2US) was founded in 2006 to restore civility, reasoned analysis, and constructive public discourse to today's often biased media landscape. IQ2US has presented more than 120 debates on a wide range of provocative and timely topics. From clean energy and the financial crisis, to the Middle East and the death of mainstream media, IQ2US brings together the world’s leading authorities on the most important issues of the day.

06/06/2019
Is Social Media Just a Reflection of Human Behavior? || Debate Clip

We've debated whether or not social media is healthy for democracy. But do these platforms just reflect natural human behavior?

The debaters discuss the “mirror metaphor” and whether social media just reflects human behavior. An excerpt from the debate "Social Media Is Good For Democr...

For the U.S., tensions are rising with both allies and adversaries. Is our national security under threat?
06/06/2019
Unresolved: U.S. National Security

For the U.S., tensions are rising with both allies and adversaries. Is our national security under threat?

For the United States, tensions are rising with both allies and adversaries. Rogue states are racing to master new technologies and create weapons of mass destruction. And faith in international institutions is seemingly deteriorating. What does this all mean for U.S. national security?

This week, a congressional committee voted to continue a federal ban against creating genetically modified babies in the...
06/06/2019
Prohibit Genetically Engineered Babies

This week, a congressional committee voted to continue a federal ban against creating genetically modified babies in the U.S. Would you agree with the science if it was scientifically perfected?

Imagine a world free of genetic diseases, where parents control their offspring’s height, eye color and intelligence. Would it lead to eugenics and a stratified society where only the rich enjoy the benefits of genetic enhancement? Or would the real injustice be depriving our children of every sci...

06/05/2019
Do Plants Have Faces?

Watch farmer and author Joel Salatin and Gene Baur, president and co-founder of Farm Sanctuary, debate the ethics of whether plants are living organisms and if they should be eaten.

Before you click: If you could live forever, would you?
06/05/2019
You Could Live Forever With This Sci-Fi Time Hack

Before you click: If you could live forever, would you?

In science fiction, time passes in funny ways—vastly slowed down, insanely sped up. Maybe this trope is the secret to eternal life in the real world.

Can Trump deliver key swing states and another victory for the GOP?
06/04/2019
The Republican Party Should Not Re-Nominate Trump

Can Trump deliver key swing states and another victory for the GOP?

Americans are gearing up for the 2020 presidential elections, and Republicans have a choice: Should Donald Trump be their nominee?

Is college still the best way to ensure social mobility? Overall enrollment at colleges and universities is down for the...
06/04/2019
Too Many Kids Go To College

Is college still the best way to ensure social mobility?

Overall enrollment at colleges and universities is down for the seventh year in a row, according to National Student Clearinghouse.

The herd mentality that assumes college is the only path to reaching one’s full potential is under fire. Is it still the best way to ensure social mobility, or is America’s love affair with higher education unjustified?

Last week, President Trump warned that a U.S.-Iran war could result in the “official end of Iran.” Should the U.S. o...
06/04/2019
Diplomacy With Iran Is Going Nowhere

Last week, President Trump warned that a U.S.-Iran war could result in the “official end of Iran.”

Should the U.S. opt for diplomacy or more forceful intervention?

Does America’s continued attempts to pursue diplomacy, at the expense of more forceful interventions, portray the U.S. as weak on a global stage? Or is diplomacy the best of bad options and the only legitimate way to garner international support?

We teamed up with Newsy to debate corporate subsidies. Are they a strategic investment or an unnecessary handout?
06/03/2019
Eliminate Corporate Subsidies

We teamed up with Newsy to debate corporate subsidies. Are they a strategic investment or an unnecessary handout?

The auto industry, agriculture, the energy sector. What do they have in common? These industries benefit from government subsidies in the form of loans, tax breaks, regulation, and other preferences. Do we need subsidies, or is this corporate welfare?

Think about your most strongly held political belief. How did you arrive at your position?
06/03/2019
How to Debate... Yourself.

Think about your most strongly held political belief. How did you arrive at your position?

Think about your most strongly held political belief. How did you arrive at your position?  What experiences, information, or opinions influenced you?

06/02/2019
Monsanto's Robert Fraley: GMOs Present No Safety Issues

Executive VP of Monsanto Robert Fraley dismisses safety concerns of genetically engineered crops posed by Charles Benbrook of the Center for Sustaining Agriculture and Natural Resources.

On which side of the debate do you stand?

Critics of organic food argue that there's just not a lot of solid evidence that going organic makes you any healthier. ...
06/02/2019
Organic Food Is Marketing Hype

Critics of organic food argue that there's just not a lot of solid evidence that going organic makes you any healthier.

Is the movement worth the hype? 🥕

Should we all go organic because few things are more important than our health? Or is the organic movement, and the firms cashing in on it, hawking a hoax, or at least grossly overstating the biological benefits to be had when the chicken that we eat is raised with some more legroom?

Remember, steel is more powerful than straw.
06/01/2019
5 Steps to Winning Your Next Debate

Remember, steel is more powerful than straw.

Check out our simple five-step approach for debating better – whether you’re joining us on the IQ2 stage or having dinner with a friend who voted for someone you didn’t.

Products like Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods are meant to taste like meat, be marketed to meat-eating customers, and r...
06/01/2019
Don't Eat Anything With A Face

Products like Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods are meant to taste like meat, be marketed to meat-eating customers, and replace some of those customers’ meat purchases.

How should meat producers respond?

In this country, most of us are blessed with an abundance of food and food choices. So taking into account our health, the environment and ethical concerns, which diet is best? Are we or aren't we meant to be carnivores?

An attempt to form a government in Israel has failed, just as Jared Kushner arrives to discuss peace plans. Should the U...
06/01/2019
Flexing America's Muscles In The Middle East Will Make Things Worse

An attempt to form a government in Israel has failed, just as Jared Kushner arrives to discuss peace plans. Should the U.S. get involved?

What role should America play in the Middle East? How do we strike a balance between our national interests, moral obligations, and the maintenance of world order?

Drones are increasingly deployed in combat worldwide. Have we entered a new era of warfare?
05/31/2019
In Yemen Conflict, Some See A New Age Of Drone Warfare

Drones are increasingly deployed in combat worldwide. Have we entered a new era of warfare?

Iran has been developing drones for both itself and its proxies. In recent months those drones have been used for targeted assassinations, military strikes and to sow chaos in the region.

Charter schools have been marketed as a low-cost way to advance excellence and equity in our public school system. Meanw...
05/31/2019
Charter Schools Are Overrated

Charter schools have been marketed as a low-cost way to advance excellence and equity in our public school system. Meanwhile, opponents argue that charters lack accountability.

On which side of the argument do you stand?

In the last 25 years, charter schools have become a highly sought-after alternative to traditional public education. Between 2004 and 2014 alone, enrollment increased from less than 1 million to 2.5 million students. Have charter schools lived up to their promise?

05/30/2019

Looking for a smart summer read? We’ve got you covered. Tap here for our entire summer reading list: https://smarturl.it/IQBooks

Who controls your virtual reputation? Right now, you don't.
05/30/2019
The U.S. Should Adopt the 'Right to Be Forgotten' Online

Who controls your virtual reputation? Right now, you don't.

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.” Was this ruling a blow to free speech and public information, or a win f...

Proponents of globalization argue that it has created a wealth of opportunities for workers and consumers around the wor...
05/30/2019
Globalization Has Undermined America's Working Class

Proponents of globalization argue that it has created a wealth of opportunities for workers and consumers around the world. Meanwhile in the U.S., jobs are disappearing.

Are we the losers of this grand experiment?

Globalization ushered in an era of free trade, fluid borders, and unparalleled corporate profits. For its proponents, the global integration of states and their economies was a political and economic win that created a wealth of opportunities for workers and consumers around the world. But in the Un...

Some argue that our days of being a global leader are behind us, but we’ve been warned about America’s decline befor...
05/29/2019
Declinists Be Damned: Bet on America

Some argue that our days of being a global leader are behind us, but we’ve been warned about America’s decline before. Would you bet on 🇺🇸?

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. Are our best days behind us, or should the world still bet on America?

According to Pew Research Center, 51% of Americans view the Israeli government unfavorably. Should the US consider putti...
05/29/2019
The U.S. Should Step Back From Its Special Relationship With Israel

According to Pew Research Center, 51% of Americans view the Israeli government unfavorably.

Should the US consider putting some distance between itself and Israel?

Israel believes America’s special relationship is vital. It is, certainly, to Israel. But what about for the US? Should the US consider putting some distance between itself and Israel? Would such a change in policy serve American interests, or is it a move we would come to regret?

Get up to speed on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's role in climate change, from regulatory mandates to costs ...
05/28/2019

Get up to speed on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's role in climate change, from regulatory mandates to costs of energy alternatives.

Enter our briefing room here: https://smarturl.it/ClimateChangePrep

The long-term collection of phone metadata reveals a wealth of detail about our lives. Is it a gross invasion of privacy...
05/27/2019
Mass Collection of U.S. Phone Records Violates the Fourth Amendment

The long-term collection of phone metadata reveals a wealth of detail about our lives. Is it a gross invasion of privacy? Or necessary to keep us safe?

Is collection of phone records a “search” or “seizure"? If so, is it “unreasonable”? Does it require a particularized warrant and probable cause?

Proponents of facial recognition technology say it will make life more convenient and safer. But it’s also at the core...
05/27/2019
Facial Recognition

Proponents of facial recognition technology say it will make life more convenient and safer. But it’s also at the core of a growing system of surveillance.

Here's everything you need to know about facial recognition:

Sometimes it’s nice to be recognized. Sometimes it’s not. But pretty soon almost wherever you go, it’s possible that someone will know who you are. Facial recognition technology is improving rapidly and spreading even faster. Its uses include mundane conveniences such as unlocking your smartph...

How should the U.S. treat captured alleged terrorists? Throwback to our 2010 debate:
05/27/2019
Treat Terrorists Like Enemy Combatants, Not Criminals

How should the U.S. treat captured alleged terrorists? Throwback to our 2010 debate:

How should the U.S. treat captured alleged terrorists? In a war with no foreseeable end, whose actors are neither criminals nor soldiers, can we keep America safe and still bring terrorists to justice?

Would the world be better off than religion? British philosopher A C Grayling and author Matthew Chapman argue it would ...
05/26/2019
The World Would Be Better Off Without Religion

Would the world be better off than religion?
British philosopher A C Grayling and author Matthew Chapman argue it would be.

Does religion breed intolerance, violence, and the promotion of medieval ideas? Or should we concede that overall, it has been a source for good, giving followers purpose, while encouraging morality and ethical behavior?

05/26/2019
Can you be a scientist and believe in God? || Debate Clip || Science Refutes God

Can you be a good scientist and still believe in God?

Watch theoretical physicist Lawrence Krauss, physicist Ian Hutchinson, and author Dinesh D'Souza respond:

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...

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, organic sales doubled from 2012-2017. Is the organic movement worthy of...
05/26/2019
Organic Food Is Marketing Hype

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, organic sales doubled from 2012-2017. Is the organic movement worthy of the hype?

Should we all go organic because few things are more important than our health? Or is the organic movement, and the firms cashing in on it, hawking a hoax, or at least grossly overstating the biological benefits to be had when the chicken that we eat is raised with some more legroom?

Worried about national security? Watch five foreign policy thought leaders argue for or against a number of motions revo...
05/26/2019
Unresolved: U.S. National Security

Worried about national security?

Watch five foreign policy thought leaders argue for or against a number of motions revolving around some of America’s most pressing national security issues:

For the United States, tensions are rising with both allies and adversaries. Rogue states are racing to master new technologies and create weapons of mass destruction. And faith in international institutions is seemingly deteriorating. What does this all mean for U.S. national security?

President Trump has arguably challenged democratic traditions. Has he exposed weaknesses in America's political system? ...
05/25/2019
Western Democracy Is Threatening Suicide

President Trump has arguably challenged democratic traditions. Has he exposed weaknesses in America's political system? Or strengthened democratic institutions both at home and abroad?

Recent waves of populism and nationalism - including those that fueled Brexit and Donald Trump - have some fearing the end of Western democracy. But are these events really a threat to the liberal world order?

Video games: Are they quality mood enhancers? Or unhealthy stimulants? 🎮
05/25/2019
Video Games Will Make Us Smarter

Video games: Are they quality mood enhancers? Or unhealthy stimulants? 🎮

As video games gain prominence, some game creators are turning to global issues, such as poverty alleviation, international diplomacy, and combating climate change, for inspiration. Will video games soon provide innovative solutions to our most pressing social, political and economic challenges? Or....

What do you think happens to our consciousness when we die? Sound off below!
05/24/2019
Death Is Not Final

What do you think happens to our consciousness when we die? Sound off below!

Is the prospect of an existence after death “real” and provable by science, or a construct of wishful thinking about our own mortality?

Are some crimes worthy of the death penalty? If so, how much evidence is "enough evidence" to ensure their conviction is...
05/24/2019
Abolish the Death Penalty

Are some crimes worthy of the death penalty? If so, how much evidence is "enough evidence" to ensure their conviction is just?

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. Legal in 32 states, it has come under renewed scrutiny in light of several botched executions in 2014. At the heart of the debate are many complicated question...

Investors are reacting to the trade war with China. Here's how its playing out in the stock market:
05/23/2019
Trading a Trade Battle: ‘Markets Don’t Appear Ready for That’

Investors are reacting to the trade war with China. Here's how its playing out in the stock market:

How do you trade a trade dispute? A previously abstract question is becoming more pressing for investors as U.S.-China trade relations fray. Here are ways they are adapting.

We already enhance our bodies in so many ways. Is genetic engineering the natural next step?
05/23/2019
Prohibit Genetically Engineered Babies

We already enhance our bodies in so many ways. Is genetic engineering the natural next step?

Imagine a world free of genetic diseases, where parents control their offspring’s height, eye color and intelligence. Would it lead to eugenics and a stratified society where only the rich enjoy the benefits of genetic enhancement? Or would the real injustice be depriving our children of every sci...

05/22/2019
Putting the “Silicon” in Silicon Valley || Debate Clip

Is there magic in Silicon Valley? Watch tech historian Leslie Berlin argue there is.

Leslie Berlin argues that from the beginning, tech founders made changes through commercial markets. An excerpt from the debate "Silicon Valley Has Lost Its ...

Are smart tech devices guiding so much of our decision making that we're losing free will without even realizing it?
05/22/2019
Smart Technology Is Making Us Dumb

Are smart tech devices guiding so much of our decision making that we're losing free will without even realizing it?

Smart technology grants us unprecedented, immediate access to knowledge and to each other—a ubiquitous and seamless presence in everyday life. But is there a downside to all of this connectivity? Are smart tech devices guiding so much of our decision making that we are losing autonomy without even...

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