Interesting Debate Topics: Social, Cultural, and Beyond

interesting debate topicsYou cannot make pizza without the dough, right?  The same goes for a debate: you need to have all the necessary ingredients to make it work.  To be able to have an interesting debate, you first have to have an interesting debate topic.  So how do you find that topic?  Ask yourself a few questions: What are you interested in?  What do you feel would be fun to debate about?  Now, consider your audience as well.  What are some topics that you feel others would benefit from understanding and seeing both sides of?  Finally, try combining all those three things into one topic that you feel passionate about.  Still stuck?  We have some wonderful debate topics that will suit any of your debating needs right here.

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Interesting Debate Topics for High School Students

You were probably aware of the debate club in high school, and maybe you were a part of it yourself!  In high school, individuals are at an age group where they are starting to grasp and understand the concepts of politics, society, and how the world works.  Introducing them to debate topics like these are a great way to get them intellectually stimulated.  Here are a few:

  • Is animal testing a justified?
  • Is the death penalty appropriate?  Or should it be banned?
  • Should cell phones be used during class?
  • Should laptops be allowed in classrooms?
  • Is global warming an issue?
  • Is there good reason for the American war on terror?
  • Does school detention do any good in high schools?
  • What impact does social networking and social networking sites have on society?
  • Is euthanasia justified?
  • Are video games containing violence appropriate for children?
  • Are single sex schools more effective than co-ed schools?
  • Is television an effective tool in building the minds of children?
  • Should jobs be subcontracted into developing countries?
  • Is cloning animals ethical?
  • Is the grading system used in high school effective?
  • Do celebrities get away with more crime than non-celebrities?
  • Is it justified to develop nuclear energy for commercial use?
  • Is it effective to censor parts of the media?
  • Are humans to blame for certain animal extinctions?
  • Are alternative energy sources effective and justified?
  • Do school uniforms make school a more effective place to learn?
  • Is drug testing athletes justified?
  • Is it appropriate for adolescents to be sentenced to life without parole?
  • Should high schools provide daycare services for students who have children?

Interesting Debate Topics for College and Beyond

Once people hit college, they have a pretty good idea about how the world works and should have some set beliefs and standards based on what they believe to be moral or immoral.   Here’s a course on effective public speaking and interesting topics to debate for college and beyond!

  • Are social networking sites effective, or are they just a sophisticated means for stalking people?
  • Is torture justified when used for national security?
  • Should cell phones be banned in schools?
  • Is peer pressure harmful or beneficial to individuals?
  • Should violent video games be banned?
  • Should the death penalty be taken away completely?
  • Are beauty pageants a way to objectifying women?
  • Should cigarettes be banned from society?
  • Is it unethical to eat meat?
  • Should homework be banned?
  • Can people move in together before they are married?
  • Do celebrities make for bad role models?
  • Are credit cards are more harmful than debit cards?
  • Should the concept of zoos should be nullified?
  • Should fried foods come with a warning?
  • Should sex education be banned in middle schools?
  • All schools should make it a requirement to teach arts and music to their students?
  • Should juveniles be tried and treated as adults?
  • Is human cloning justified, and should it be allowed?
  • Has nuclear energy destroyed our society?
  • Should parents not purchase war or destruction type toys for their children?
  • Should animal dissections be banned in schools?
  • Should plastic bags be banned?
  • Are humans too dependent on computers?
  • Are security cameras an invasion of our privacy?
  • Should gay marriages be legalized?
  • Is co-education a good idea?
  • Does money motivates people more than any other factor in the workplace?
  • Is it ethical for companies to market their products to children?
  • Is age an important factor in relationships?
  • Should school attendance be made voluntary in high school?
  • Is the boarding school system beneficial to children?
  • Are curfews effective in terms of keeping teens out of trouble?
  • Should libraries have a list of books that are banned?
  • Will posting students’ grades on bulletin boards publicly motivate them to perform better or is it humiliating?
  • Do school uniforms help to improve the learning environment?
  • How far is competition necessary in regards to the learning process?
  • Can bullying in schools be stopped? How so?
  • Is it important for all schools to conduct mandatory drug testing on their students?

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Interesting and Funny Debate Topics

Debate topics do not always have to be serious – they can definitely be humorous as well!  Sometimes the subjects that we feel strongly about fall on the lighter side of things.  Debate topics in general are meant to hold to attention of listeners, and we have some that are sure to hold anyone’s interest!

  • Who is more complicated gender: men or women?
  • Should humans eat to live or live to eat?
  • Do video games cause bad behavior in children?
  • Should older women be allowed to marry younger men?
  • Is it better to be honest and poor or dishonest and rich?
  • Do nice girls finish last?
  • Do nursery rhymes have secret interior meanings?
  • What are the advantages of being a man over a woman?
  • Which of these two are more real – pirates or ninjas?
  • Do vampires get AIDS from sucking blood that is affected?
  • Which is better: daydreaming or night dreaming?
  • Do you think the United States will never have a woman President?
  • Did God create the universe or did it just occur naturally?
  • Do we have less face-to-face interaction because of Facebook?
  • Is there life after death?
  • Are we aliens of some sort?
  • What are the best dating techniques out there?
  • What are the advantages of bottled water vs. regular water?
  • Which is a better show: Vampire Diaries or FRIENDS?
  • What is the best pizza topping?
  • Are Batman and Superman misleading idols?
  • Which is better: Rock n Roll music or Hip Hop?
  • Which is better: Harry Potter or Twilight?
  • Which is the best season of the year?
  • Is it better to date someone attractive and popular or intelligent and smart?
  • Which is better to have as a pet: a cat or a dog?

Seeing Both Sides

An important thing to consider when you are going into a debate is the fact that the person on the other side of the table, or your audience, is going to have something to say against your position.  A great way to prepare for this is, once you have your interesting debate topic chosen; is to list the pros and cons to be able to see both sides of the issue clearly.  Here are a few examples in support and opposition of the argument that, “Physical Education should not be a requirement in schools”:

  • Pro: School is solely for studying, not for play
  • Con: 30 minutes of physical education is good for students’ health.
  • Pro: PE grades can lower student’s GPAs.
  • Con: Physical education is a part of creating a sound and balanced mind and body.

Start Debating!

As you begin practicing debating some of these topics, keep in mind that each of your arguments should be as convincing as possible.  Try not to just churn out points, but actually speak in-depth and give reasons as to why you feel the way you do.  You might get nervous, but try not to show it, and remember that people are genuinely interested in what you have to say.

With all of these interesting topics, you will be sure to have some wonderful ideas to get your thoughts going, and to get the interest of everyone else in the room.  For your one-stop-shop for ideas and ways to be more logical and persuasive with your thoughts, check out this course from Udemy to find your persuasive voice!