Sometimes, even the things that we take for granted as common sense facts can get turned around by new research and discoveries. Below are 20 different controversial ideas about personal life:
1 – Animal Testing
While some scientists aver that testing medicines and consumer products on animals is a necessary “evil”, other people argue that there are better ways to map reactions and gain information than testing substances on animals.
2 – Embryonic Stem Cell Research
In the United States, despite promising developments from the use of embryonic stem cells, there is a strong moral aversion to using tissue samples from fetuses in order to conduct research. This has led to many scientific laboratories setting up separate facilities in countries such as India in order to conduct the research in a more welcoming political environment.
3 – Vaccines Cause Autism
Many vaccines today still contain small amounts of mercury, used as a stabilizer. While most scientists dismiss concerns that there is any positive correlation between vaccines and child-onset autism, other people are vociferously adamant that there is a direct link between the two.
4 – Homeotherapy
While most scientists firmly dismiss the logic behind homeotherapy, that a tiny amount of a harmful substance can protect the human body against damage or sickness from larger amounts of the substance, many people continue to swear by the efficacy of homeotherapy.
5 – Genetically-Modified Food (GMO)
Many countries around the world have placed a ban on GMO food, believing that these crops are harmful to the human body, the planet as a whole, or both. Many American scientists counter that GMO technology has allowed for greater crop yields and has performed a net good for the human race.
6 – Fracking
With the rise of demand for petroleum products around the world, many companies have begun to frack – inject high-pressure water into oil-rich sands in order to extract trace amounts of petroleum – in otherwise marginal areas. Opponents claim that fracking pollutes groundwater, causes earthquakes, and encourages demand for non-renewable energy resources.
7 – Welfare
Some people believe that the government has a responsibility to provide basic necessities on an emergency or limited basis. Other people believe that personal responsibility trumps the need for the government to intervene.
8 – Abortion
Whether women have the right to terminate their pregnancies at will continues to be the single most controversial personal issue on the planet today.
9 – Gun Control
In the wake of several mass shootings, many questions about gun restriction have been asked. Some people believe that the right to bear firearms trumps any other social considerations while other people believe that greater governmental restrictions on powerful personal weapons is good for society as a whole.
10 – Affirmative Action
The use of selective criteria to give historical minorities a statistical advantage in placements at university, bidding on government contracts, or applying for jobs is a necessary step towards a more egalitarian society.
11 – Native American Names
Many Native American tribes bear names given to them by European colonizers. Even the word “Indian” derives from Christopher Columbus mistakenly thinking he had arrived in India when he landed on the island of Hispaniola. Today, many Native Americans want their traditional names to be recognized in official government documents and IDs.
12 – Same-sex Marriage
Some people who agree that people of the same gender should be allowed to enter into binding romantic relationships disagree that this level of personal union should be allowed to rise to the same status as marriage, traditionally freighted with a number of religious, cultural, and societal connotations.
13 – Gay Adoption
Whether or not a homosexual couple in a committed relationship should be allowed to adopt a child remains one of the most controversial issues of the day.
14 – Transgender Rights
The idea of whether or not an individual can blend or cross gender boundaries, either on a personal identity level or physically, and whether or not their rights to self-determine their own gender identity, is currently a very controversial issue.
15 – The Death Penalty
Certain crimes are so abhorrent that they require a severe response from the state. Whether or not executing someone serves the greater good, or serves as a deterrent, remains deeply controversial.
16 – Torture
Once seemingly a generally accepted fact that torture rarely revealed actionable intelligence, and always came at the abhorrent price of violating human rights, some people are increasingly favoring the re-introduction of torture as a valid method for government agents to interrogate suspected criminals.
17 – Smoking Ban
While few people dispute the harmful effects of smoking, severe restrictions on where smoking is permitted and what forms of advertising are allowed would seemingly lead to the logical conclusion that smoking is harmful and should be banned outright.
18 – Legal Suicide
Many people want to afford certain individuals the right to end their lives while other people feel that the government has an obligation to punish anyone who takes, or attempts to take, their own life.
19 – Marijuana
Certain jurisdictions currently have either a non-prosecution policy towards marijuana or the full legalization thereof but many people continue to insist that some plants should fall under the purview of governmental regulation and kept out of the hands of the general public.
20 – Digital Piracy
Entertainment, music, and software companies claim that piracy costs them many hundreds of millions of dollars in lost revenue. Other people argue that new consumer models include free sampling of products and that this leads to greater subsequent sales.