Divisive Topics

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Divisive Topics 1-10

Throughout the United States and the world, certain topics can quickly become extremely divisive. This is particularly true for topics which become infused into politics, requiring people to take one side or another when voting. While these are by no means the only divisive topics in the United States' culture, the 10 subjects identified for this report include: assisted suicide, capital punishment, climate change, concealed weapons, genetic engineering, immigration, minimum wage, stem cells, polygamy, and vaccines.

Below, you will see a deep dive of our findings. This includes a one to three word name/title to describe the topic, and one statements from either side of the topic. For each subject, we have relied on just one source which addresses both sides of the subject. For each subject, the section title provides the requested one to three word name to describe the subject.

A) I believe human beings have the right to choose the manner and place of their death. Often, the suffering that a terminally ill person is experiencing cannot be treated with medication, and denying them the right to die would only prolong that suffering and pain.

B) I believe that human life is sacred. Physician-assisted suicide could be easily abused or misused, resulting in the untimely death of individuals who either may have recovered, or may not have understood the choices they were being offered.

The source for this topic can be found here.

A) I believe that the existence of the death penalty does not deter future crimes. Further, in order to live in a civilized society, we must refuse the concept of "an eye for an eye." Punishing a criminal by doing to them the exact crime for which they are being punished will not solve anything, and is immoral.

B) I believe the death penalty helps allow grieving families of victims to heal from the trauma they've endured at the hands of a criminal. The death penalty serves as a form of justice for the most heinous crimes committed in our society.

The source for this topic can be found here.

A) I believe that climate change is a dire problem which our society is facing, and which needs to be addressed in order to ensure the continued health and safety of future generations.

B) I believe that climate change is not a real problem, and has been over-hyped by scientists who stand to gain personally from the belief that it does exist. Data supporting the idea of climate change is largely falsified and exaggerated.

The source for this topic can be found here.

A) I believe that allowing law-abiding citizens to exercise their second amendment right via concealed carry helps to decrease the instance of crime. Additionally, the presence of a citizen with a gun can help to prevent further damage at the hands of a criminal.

B) I believe that concealed carry laws do nothing to help prevent crime and in fact, increase the instances of gun crimes committed in the United States.

The source for this topic can be found here.

A) I believe that genetic engineering has the potential to help cure debilitating and deadly genetic conditions which currently plague our society. With further use and research, genetic engineering can be extremely beneficial to future generations.

B) I believe that genetic engineering is too new and un-researched a topic to be trusted. Instead of utilizing this medical technology to help combat diseases, I believe it will be used by well-to-do families to "design" their baby's appearance in a way that is unethical.

The source for this topic can be found here.

A) I believe that the United States was built by immigrants, and we owe our success as a nation to those brave enough to come here. I believe that it is our duty as a nation, particularly one which has always applauded the "melting pot," to welcome and support anybody who wishes to come here. Additionally, I believe that immigrants are primarily law-abiding and contributing members of society, without whom America would not enjoy the successes it has.

B) I believe that immigration needs to be tracked and controlled in order to avoid terrorists and other criminals coming into our country. I believe that if you want to be an American citizen, you should do so the right way, as nobody is above the law.

The source for this topic can be found here.

A) I believe that the minimum wage should reflect the minimum amount of money necessary to live happily and healthily in the United States. I believe that as it stands, the current minimum wage does not allow for this, even for those individuals who are working 40 or more hours per week. Further, I believe that an increase in the minimum wage would stimulate the economy, because those individuals impacted by a higher salary would be more likely to spend money, thereby putting it back into the economy in a way they weren't able to before.

B) I believe that the minimum wage is not intended to represent the amount of money necessary to live and support a family. Those jobs which pay minimum wage are unskilled, and often held by teenagers who do not require a higher paycheck to live. Further, I believe that increasing the minimum wage would only harm small businesses that cannot afford to pay higher salaries and, as a result, would be forced to lay off staff members.

The source for this topic can be found here.

A) I believe that stem cell research possesses the potential to identify cures for existing human conditions and diseases we are unable to treat. Particularly in the "areas of regenerative medicine and therapeutic cloning...[I believe that] stem cells provide huge potential for finding treatments and cures to a vast array of diseases including different cancers, diabetes, spinal cord injuries, Alzheimer's, MS, Huntington's, Parkinson's and more."

B) I believe that life begins at conception and, as a result, the use of stem cells for medical research is unethical. I believe that research in this area means the destruction of one human life to save another.

The source for this topic can be found here.

9) POLYGAMY
A) I believe that many relationships are unable to maintain monogamy. Often, husbands or wives stray from their partners and in some cases, build families with other men or women. Because our society allows only for one marriage at a time, these additional partners/families do not enjoy the same protections under the law as a first marriage does. I believe that legalizing polygamy would not hurt anyone, but would extend certain protections to families which already exist and always have.

B) I believe that marriage is intended to take place between two individuals, and is a special bond which must remain monogamous. Because polygamous relationships are almost exclusively one man with many wives, I believe these marriages contribute to societal gender inequality.

The source for this topic can be found here.

10) VACCINES
A) I believe that vaccines are both safe, and help to prevent diseases which have previously plagued our society, killing millions of people. I believe vaccinations have helped save lives and that it's your duty as a parent to ensure your child is properly vaccinated for their own safety, as well as that of other children they encounter.

B) I believe vaccinations possess the ability to cause great harm. Many of the substances used in vaccinations are extremely harmful; and I believe this potential detriment outweighs the potential benefits lauded by doctors. Further, I believe it is not the right of the government or anyone else to make demands regarding my child's healthcare.

The source for this topic can be found here.

SUMMARY
To summarize, 10 controversial subjects in the United States are assisted suicide, capital punishment, climate change, concealed weapons, genetic engineering, immigration, minimum wage, stem cells, polygamy, and vaccines.
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Divisive Topics 11-20

Ten controversial subjects in the United States which can be identified by one-to-three words are medical marijuana, gun control, abortion, universal healthcare, same-sex marriage, the electoral college, the border wall, free college tuition, animal testing, and the national anthem.

Below, you will see a list of these subjects, along with pro and con arguments for each. Per your request, I have only identified one source for each subject. The title of each section provides the requested one-to-three word name identifying the subject.

Pro: I believe that there is a body of research which indicates that marijuana can be beneficial for a variety of conditions, including cancer, epilepsy, pain, and Alzheimer's. In addition to these straight-forward medical benefits, the fact that marijuana can help pain also means that it could help decrease the number of prescription drug-related overdoses and addiction.

Con: I believe that while there is limited evidence regarding potential benefits of marijuana use, the risks outweigh those potential benefits. Risks associated with the drug include "apathy, lost productivity, addictive disease, deterioration in intellectual function, motor vehicle accidents, and psychosis," while evidence to support its benefits is limited. We already have medications for the conditions marijuana could supposedly help, all of which are medically proven and are safer than this largely untested drug which is already abused by many.

The source for this topic can be found here.

Pro: I believe that at the time the Second Amendment was written, the weaponry technology which existed couldn't have rivaled what exists today. It's barbaric to assume those same laws should apply without any alteration. Additionally, the sheer volume of Americans killed every year because of the lack of gun control is completely unacceptable and is substantially more important than a law which was written over 200 years ago. No one is asking for all guns to be banned; we are simply asking for sensible legislation to prevent weapons from making it into the wrong hands.

Con: I believe that it is my Second Amendment right to own and carry a gun. Taking that right away from me or anyone else would be unconstitutional. Further, the people using guns to take lives are already breaking the law; creating a new law would only hurt those citizens who are doing the right thing. Ultimately, allowing good and law-abiding citizens to own guns will help stop criminals when they do act.

The source for this topic can be found here.

3) ABORTION
Pro: I believe that the right to choose is a human right, as decided by Roe v. Wade. While you may not agree with abortion, it's not your body; the law should not get to regulate a human being's bodily autonomy. Additionally, and in response to the argument that abortion is murder, a fetus is not a living human being and could not survive outside the womb; therefore, termination of that pregnancy is not murder, but a medical procedure.

Con: I believe that life begins at conception, making abortion akin to murder. While bodily autonomy is important, it is not more important than a human life. If you aren't ready to get pregnant, you should take the steps necessary to avoid it. Abortion is not only immoral, it is murder in the same way that killing a child is murder.

The source for this topic can be found here.

Pro: I believe that the lack of health insurance which many Americans face, is responsible for nearly 45,000 deaths per year. Guaranteed healthcare is necessary if we are to ensure all Americans have the opportunity to pursue "Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness." No one should die because they can't afford to go to the doctor.

Con: I believe that the right to free healthcare is not covered in the US constitution and, for that reason, is not an American right. Enacting universal healthcare would mean enormous tax hikes which many Americans cannot afford, and which they should not have to pay in order to ensure another person's medical treatment. Additionally, countries which do have universal health care provide lower quality services than America does, meaning the treatment patients receive is not as good as that provided here.

The source for this topic can be found here.

Pro: I believe that the only argument against gay marriage is that "marriage should be between a man and a woman." This is a biblically-based argument, which should not apply in a country which separates church and state. For that reason, denying certain citizens the right to marry the person they love is discriminatory, and prevents those citizens from enjoying legal benefits associated with marriage.

Con: I believe that marriage is historically reserved for one man and one woman, and should remain that way. Further, marriage should always include procreation, wherever possible. Homosexual couples are unable to procreate in the traditional sense and therefore, have no purpose for marriage. Additionally, extending marital rights to homosexual couples could one day create a precedent for allowing incestuous marriages, polygamous marriages, and more. We cannot allow that to happen.

The source for this topic can be found here.

Pro: I believe that the Electoral College was written into the US Constitution because it is the fairest way to decide who wins the presidency. This method ensures that voters in every part of the country are thoroughly involved in electing their president, as opposed to those states with the highest population having a greater say in the matter. Abolishing the Electoral College would mean giving states such as New York and California a greater say in who runs the country.

Con: I believe that at the time that the Electoral College was created, our country was an entirely different place, requiring very different laws and regulations. The reasons behind the creation of the Electoral College no longer exist and as a result, its use is out-of-date. As it exists today, the Electoral College gives voters in certain states far more power than those in other states, meaning that every vote is not equal.

The source for this topic can be found here.

Pro: I believe that building a tangible border between our country and the next is not racist or discriminatory; instead, it is a physical way of ensuring the safety of our country. Thousands of illegal immigrants cross into the US each year, many of whom commit crimes and/or do not contribute to the country financially. Building a wall will not prevent those who wish to come here legally from doing so, but it will help ensure the safety of our citizens.

Con: I believe that a border wall blocking our country off from Mexico would be enormously expensive, and would serve as a physical reminder of discrimination that exists within the U.S. Further, the wall would likely be ineffective because it can be climbed or flown over. Additionally, those supporting the construction of the wall are failing to take into account the ecological impact it would have on the wildlife in those areas.

The source for this topic can be found here.

Pro: I believe that, as it exists today, the cost of college is crippling for most students. This cost prevents many low-income students from attending, thereby preventing generations of families from improving their financial situation. Additionally, a college degree is becoming a necessity to obtain a job which pays more than minimum wage. Finally, a better-educated citizenry is beneficial for our entire country; we need to prioritize education the same way other countries do.

Con: I believe that nothing in life is free, meaning that if students aren't paying to attend school, the rest of us are footing that bill. As it is, many students don't take their college education seriously; removing the cost to attend would only increase this number, thereby making the point of a better-educated citizenry moot.

The source for this topic can be found here.

Pro: I believe that human lives are more important than animal lives, and the use of animal-testing has saved countless human lives. Additionally, it is absolutely necessary that certain products are tested on living beings. If we are to avoid needless human deaths, there is no alternative to animal testing. The practice is highly-regulated and, in many cases, has benefited animals as well.

Con: I believe that animal testing is inhumane and immoral in a society which has progressed so far medically and scientifically. It's unconscionable that, as a society, we haven't identified a better way of testing products and medications. Additionally, animals are fundamentally different from human beings and, in many cases, the results observed in animal subjects are in no way similar to those experienced by human beings, making the research meaningless.

The source for this topic can be found here.

Pro: I believe that kneeling during the National Anthem is a form of peaceful protest, which all Americans have the right to do. Historically, protests have been one of the most successful ways of making oneself heard regarding injustice; and this particular form of protest forces America to pay attention.

Con: I believe that refusing to stand during the National Anthem is a sign of disrespect for your country and the men and women who have fought to protect it. It is not accomplishing anything and is only turning people away from your cause/dividing the country further.

The source for this topic can be found here.

SUMMARY
To summarize, 10 controversial subjects in the United States are medical marijuana, gun rights, abortion, healthcare, same-sex marriage, the electoral college, the border wall, college tuition, animal testing, and national anthem protests.
Sources
Sources