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Hawaii_Jake's avatar

What are the great debates of our current era?

Asked by Hawaii_Jake (25804 points ) December 18th, 2012

In broad terms, what are the discussions we as humans are having?

What are the ones that we should be having?

I’m wondering about worldwide problems.

I see the rights of women, ending poverty, ending violence on its many levels, increasing political freedom for all, and increasing access to basic physiological and safety needs as paramount. Too many people lack even the most rudimentary things.

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20 Answers

janbb's avatar

Right now in America the great debate is how to prevent mass murder.

Since you asked about global issues, I would say climate change and its effect on populations, water and food, exploitative working conditions, global economic inequality and oppression of women.

picante's avatar

I agree with everything stated above and would add balancing intrusive technologies with our needs for privacy and security.This is certainly a first-world problem, but it is pervasive.

gailcalled's avatar

We need to start with the survival of the planet as we know it…everything else is secondary.

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

I’m ashamed I left the sustainability of our planet out of the list I mentioned in the details. It really does come first.

zenvelo's avatar

@gailcalled Nailed it. The most critical discussion right now and for the foreseeable future is how to solve the problem of global climate change.

elbanditoroso's avatar

One of the biggest ones, around the world – the role that religion should play in governance. Is religion a personal attribute or a national requirement?

josie's avatar

As I see it-

Whether individual human beings should be managing their own existence, or whether an elite collectivist institution (political state, political church) should be doing it for them.

Whether human beings should be free to use their capacity for reason to understand reality, or whether they should surrender to mystical faith.

SuperMouse's avatar

I agree with @gailcalled inasmuch as the biggest debate and discussion should be about survival of the planet. It isn’t but it should be.

As for our country the biggest debates are gun control, a woman’s right to choose, and the death penalty. Worldwide the greatest debates are how to finally find some tenable peace plan for the middle east, the exploitation of workers in emerging economies, the crushing poverty in many third world countries, and human rights.

flutherother's avatar

1. Destruction of the natural environment
2. Over population
3. Global disparities in wealth
4. Disarmament
5. Human rights.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

That the 1% are all greedy hogs who did not earn their money ethically, or if they did, they should give most of it to those who were unable or unwilling to do what it took to get that type of wealth.

YARNLADY's avatar

I think @josie nailed it – who should be in charge?

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

What @josie mentions is as old as the written record. Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle all wrote about individual freedoms versus the common good. This is not unique to the 21st century.

YARNLADY's avatar

@Hawaii_Jake So true, and neither are human beings and their issues. Nothing has changed in the last millennium or two..

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

@YARNLADY There are issues unique to the current era. Climate change is just one. Other problems arising from the Industrial Revolution of the 19th century are also new since the Ancient Greeks.

Yes, some things have changed.

Linda_Owl's avatar

We should be talking about Human Rights & coming up with solutions to save our Planet.

LostInParadise's avatar

A looming issue is the role of cybernetics. There is a growing problem of human workers being replaced by robots. Several companies have been relocating their plants from China back to the U.S. It is not because American workers are getting hired, but largely due to a new crop of inexpensive robots like Baxter, who is likely to become a co-worker.

Ray Kurzweil’s singularity may not be as near as he thinks, but it remains a distinct possibility. Machines are not just taking over manual labor. We have computers that can beat us at chess. IBM’s Watson is the all-time Jeopardy champion. What happens if and when we create machines that can think? Of what value are humans if sentient beings can be mass produced?

bucko's avatar

Liberals will bankrupt this country long before we have a global warming crisis.

Paradox25's avatar

Actually the greatest issue here is which political ideology would be best suited to tackle the various issues that we face. Communitarianism vs objectivism, conservativism vs progressivism, socialism vs capitalism, etc.

zenvelo's avatar

@bucko We already have a global warming crisis. And it’s not the liberals bankrupting this country, it’s those who spend money on wars but won’t pay for it.

Bill1939's avatar

I think it is time for a new political philosophy. The dogmas of the left and right have, in my opinion, been proven unable to produce their promised results. Both seem to permit individuals to game the systems they create, one unwittingly promoting sloth and the other exploitation. A successful philosophy will not be dependent upon an ‘us and them’ perspective, but instead will promote an increasingly ingrained recognition of ‘we’ and a desire for all to enjoy the four freedoms President Roosevelt proclaim as essential human rights.

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