Is English the most important language in the world? Is all language translatable? Which parts of which languages are incompatible with other languages and how do different groups of individuals deal with that? Will globalization accelerate the loss of certain native languages? What are the consequences of focusing on learning the dominant languages and not focusing on preserving native languages?
Is there any alternative government structure better than democracy? What’s beyond democracy? Is it important to have everyone’s voice being heard or is it the majority opinion that counts? Does the whole voting system represent a nation? What if voting is not compulsory in Australia?
Do the arts matter? What does Arts Education means to Australians and how do the Arts formulate the character of a Nation? Can the arts inspire change, provoke thoughts in human life or are they a complete waste of time? Is it just extra money spent satisfying our need for entertainment? Is Arts education as important as Sports education in shaping a nation’s wealth and health? Or is Sport more meaningful than Arts?
It is impossible to change the mind of people after they reach a certain age.
Ethical behaviour is more difficult for the rich.
It is OK to use animals in research if it benefits humans.
A reading list for this topic is at http://thormay.net/unwiseideas/DiscussionTopics/Animals-in-research.htm
Only a tiny percentage of any population will ever be knowledgeable about public affairs. This is a good thing.
Many multinational businesses have transcended effective control by national governments.
It is impossible for Australian businesses to enter into joint ventures in many international jurisdictions without compromising ethics.
Segments of the medical profession are compromising public health by peddling drugs. Is this true? In public surveys of trust, doctors are always rated the most trustworthy members of society. However, an examination of the history of medical ethics yields results that are far from reassuring. What is going on here? In a way, patients are hostage to doctors. Do patient fears and helplessness create a kind of Stockholm Syndrome which leaves space for professional abuse?
Visual arts skills, music or performance skills are critical for the vocational success of very large numbers of students, so should not be regarded as optional extras in education funding.
The most economically successful societies have always depended upon a high level of government collusion with commerce and industry, if not control. This argument is a way of saying that the “invisible hand” of the market is not enough to maintain an efficient market, at least beyond village level. There has to be an independent umpire, or forced control (dictator, mafia … )
“Democratic societies are less likely to make war than dictatorships”. What is the evidence?
Our complex societies are approaching the limits of educability for large numbers of citizens (e.g. “functional” literacy hovers at around 50% in most “advanced” societies). Even those selected in schools for high intelligence (e.g. many doctors) seem unable to absorb, retain and use critically all of the knowledge necessary to practice their professions competently. With less able students, good teachers often realize that there comes a point of diminishing returns for teaching effort, so difficult choices have to be made.
Public transport should be free
The larger a country is, the less effective its democracy becomes.