How can someone even think of creating controversies through speeches? Why at all will anyone want to bring up controversial issues? Why will anyone want to invite trouble by opining on the controversies in society? True, these questions bothered me all this while. However, when I thought about the so-called controversial topics from a different perspective, I could get rid of these questions that had long occupied my mind.
I realized that speaking on controversial issues is not equivalent to creating controversies. In fact, speaking on them leads to clarity of thought and excellent information sharing. Many a time, controversies are the result of preconceived notions and false beliefs. Bringing up healthy conversations on such topics can help us resolve them. Arguments can turn out fruitful, if taken in the right spirit. Debatable issues, if openly discussed, might no longer remain disputable or vice versa. Although this sounds impossible, it is not.
Controversies can be resolved by means of discussions; and for discussions to take place, controversial subjects need to be talked about. It is important for controversies to be brought up in speeches, debates and group discussions. They need to be looked at, with an unbiased point of view. Let us take a look at some controversial speech topics. (I assume, you are convinced that freedom of expression applies to controversial topics as well!)
Everything that seems technically correct, may not have an ethical standing. With the passing years, 'impossibles' became 'possible' to mankind and prevailed in society; some due to advances in science and some due to rapidly changing social and cultural values. The following speech topics are the outcome of such controversies that we, ourselves, have created.
- Health insurance companies use the medical history and genetic information of their clients. Is it ethical?
- Corruption - Where does it start?
- Can terrorist attacks be justified on grounds of religion?
- Use of nuclear weapons
- Isglass ceiling a reality for women?
- Is sex determination before birth ethical?
- Should HIV test kits be available in drug stores?
- Pros and cons of organ donation
- Mercy killing - Is it a doctor-assisted suicide?
- Making a gender choice during child adoption
- Can same-sex partners adopt children?
- One-night Stands
- Surrogate mothers
- Is it right to legalize abortion?
- Single Parenting
- Is media censorship needed?
- Cloning of human beings
- Animal Testing
- Stem Cell Research
- Artificial Intelligence and Ethics
- Implanted GPS systems - A threat to Privacy
- Pros and Cons of Computer Hacking
- Immigration- Is it good or bad?
Following is a list of controversial topics associated with whether or not certain practices should be legalized. Resorting to legal means is a solution to many contentious issues. While delivering a speech on any such topic, present your point of view on the subject and also say why law will/will not be able to resolve the controversy.
- Should or should not gay marriages be made legal?
- Should the government pay for all health care services?
- Should alcohol consumption be made illegal?
- What should be the basic minimum wage?
- Should unemployment benefits be given?
- Should the driving age be raised?
- What is the ideal age of consent?
- Double jeopardy rule - Should it be abolished?
- Should gambling be legalized?
- Should or should not athletes use performance-enhancing drugs?
- Should or should not polygamy be made legal?
Early exposure to realities of life can have a negative effect on children and teenagers. It is, therefore, important for society to find a suitable age at which the youngsters can be educated about the 'somewhat strange' aspects of life. The following list consists of topics that deal with deciding this 'right time'.
- Should religion be a part of school curriculum?
- Should teachers be allowed to use the word 'God' in class?
- Sex Education - What's the right time for it?
- Should violent video games be banned?
- Is the use of condoms in high schools justified?
- Teen Pregnancy
Some of the speech topics enlisted above might seem too controversial for a discourse. Some of you may not find it appropriate to opine about them in public speeches. But one thing is for sure; creating an open platform for discussing controversial issues will help society develop an unprejudiced mindset.