Daily Archives: November 4, 2013

61. Marriage laws–how broad should they be? (proposed by Annette)

Mar­riage laws–how broad should they be? Gay mar­riage is a cur­rent top­ic in many coun­tries around the world, and it is like­ly that it will even­tu­al­ly become the norm in most West­ern coun­tries. What oth­er forms of mar­riage might we be pre­pared to accept? Polygamy is a form of mar­riage that is tech­ni­cal­ly not legal in Aus­tralia, but is infor­mal­ly accept­ed. Should polyg­a­mous mar­riage be legal and if so, with­in which lim­its? How would the legal sys­tem need to change to accom­mo­date polyg­a­mous mar­riage?

60. Recreational drugs–should they be decriminalized? (proposed by Annette)

Recre­ation­al drugs–should they be decrim­i­nal­ized? In 2001, Por­tu­gal became the first Euro­pean coun­try to abol­ish crim­i­nal penalties for per­son­al pos­ses­sion of drugs, includ­ing mar­i­jua­na, cocaine, hero­in and metham­phet­a­mine. (This goes well beyond poli­cies adopt­ed in Hol­land, which has not legalised soft drugs, but does not enforce the exist­ing laws.) Is decrim­i­nal­is­ing drugs a good idea? What would be the effect if it were done in Aus­tralia?

59. Coal seam gas–a technology for a green future? (proposed by Annette)

Coal seam gas–a tech­nol­o­gy for a green future? Most pro­jec­tions of future ener­gy use include an increas­ing pro­por­tion of nat­u­ral gas as part of an effort to reduce green­house gas emis­sions. Nat­u­ral gas is increas­ing­ly pro­duced by “frack­ing”, and has already led to a decrease in US CO2 emis­sions, but it is a con­tro­ver­sial method. Should we allow frack­ing in order to mit­i­gate green­house gas emis­sions? Is it bet­ter for us to use coal seam gas, than direct­ly mine the coal?

57. Trust — Caution — Suspicion -> What is a healthy balance of these in personal relationships, a community, a workplace, between nations? (proposed by Thor)

Amer­i­ca has obvi­ous­ly just gone into sev­ere trust deficit with NSA inter­cept­ing everyone’s pri­vate com­mu­ni­ca­tions. Is this just about coun­tries though? Is the “trust index” drop­ping every­where, even at a per­son­al lev­el? How do cul­tures dif­fer in this?