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Intelligence Squared U.S. Debates

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, Intellige

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Does the U.S. Need to Defeat ISIS, or is Containment Enough?

Tue, 18 Aug 2015 06:00:00 -0400

The region under the control of ISIS continues to expand, despite airstrikes and the deployment of U.S. military advisers. Should the U.S. goal be containment, or can ISIS be defeated?

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Mon, 20 Jul 2015 06:00:00 -0400

The U.S., Iran, and other world powers have reached a final deal to limit Iran's ability to build a nuclear weapon. According to President Obama, "every pathway to a nuclear weapon is cut off." But to Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu, this deal will go down as "a historic mistake". In 2013, Intelligence Squared U.S. debated whether "Israel can live with a nuclear Iran." Would a nuclear Iran pose an existential threat to Israel? What role does it play in Israel's condemnation of this historic pact?

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Tue, 14 Jul 2015 06:00:00 -0400

With the recent Supreme Court ruling that upholds the Affordable Health Care Act, President Obama seems to have secured the legislative cornerstone of his Presidential legacy. But is Obamacare now finally on the road to permanence or is the recent Supreme Court ruling just a setback for a still steady opposition to repeal the law? We'd like to take a moment to look back at a debate we held in January, 2014 just four years after Obamacare was signed into law in 2010. The motion being debated that night was: OBAMACARE IS NOW BEYOND RESCUE.

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Fri, 19 Jun 2015 06:00:00 -0400

More women than men are enrolling and graduating from college and their participation in the labor force has grown. So on this Father's Day, alongside the many deserving gestures of love and appreciation, we'd like to take a moment to reflect on what could lie ahead for dear old Dad. The central question arising, are we now at a place where women will achieve in the futurethe same sort of dominane that men have held in the past, or will it always be a man's world?

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Should States be Required to License Same-Sex Marriages?

Tue, 09 Jun 2015 06:00:00 -0400

The Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment provides: "No State shall ... deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws." And now, the Supreme Court is poised to answer the question of whether this clause requires States to license marriages between two people of the same sex. Does the Equal Protection Clause require States to license same-sex marriages, or will marriage be defined as between a man and a woman?

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Is Obama's Iran Deal Good for America?

Tue, 02 Jun 2015 06:00:00 -0400

In April 2015, the P5+1, the 5 permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany, negotiated an interim nuclear accord with Iran. Among the key parameters: Iran's enrichment capacity, enrichment levels, and stockpile would be limited; its Fordow site converted into a research center; and the Arak heavy water reactor redesigned. In return, the IAEA would gain greater access for inspections, and U.S. and EU sanctions would be lifted. Many in the U.S. fear that a deal as outlined would not go far enough and, instead of being a benefit, would strengthen Iran's hand in the Middle East. Not to mention the important question of trust. Is this agreement a "once-in-a-lifetime opportunity" to halt nuclear proliferation, or does President Obama have this wrong?

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Fri, 29 May 2015 06:00:00 -0400

It's graduation season, a time for high school seniors to look backand celebrate their formative years before embarking on the next stepon their academic journey: college. But not every graduating senior attends college and perhapsnot every student should. With enemployment for those with bachelor's degrees still at an all-time high and student loan debt surpassing credit card debt, it begs the question whether its really worth it? And calls to mind a debate we had on October 12th, 2011 where the motion being debated was: Too Many Kids Go To College

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Is Smart Technology Making Us Dumb

Wed, 20 May 2015 06:00:00 -0400

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? It's been said that smart technology creates dependency on devices, narrows our world to echo chambers, and impairs cognitive skills through shortcuts and distraction. Are these concerns an overstatement of the negative effects of high-tech consumption?

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Should We Abolish the Death Penalty?

Wed, 22 Apr 2015 06:00:00 -0400

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

Tue, 07 Apr 2015 06:00:00 -0400

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?

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