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Top 70 Controversial Debate Topics For Critical Thinkers in 2024

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Jane Ng 07 June, 2024 7 minutes min read

Whether you love or hate them, controversial debate topics are an inescapable part of our lives. They challenge our beliefs and push us out of our comfort zones, forcing us to examine our assumptions and biases. With so many controversial issues, you needn’t go far if you’re looking for a compelling debate. This blog post will provide you with a list of controversial debate topics to inspire your next discussion.

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Table of Contents

Image: freepik

Overview

What is the simple definition of debate?A discussion between people in which they express different opinions about something.
What words describe debate?Argument, deliberation, controversy, dispute, contest, and match.
What is the main target of the debate?To convince that your side is right.

What Are Controversial Debate Topics?

Controversial debate topics are subjects – that can spark strong opinions and disagreements among people with different beliefs and values. These topics can cover various subjects, such as social issues, politics, ethics, and culture, and may challenge traditional beliefs or established norms.

One thing that makes these topics controversial is that there is often no clear consensus or agreement among people, which can lead to debates and disagreements. Each person may have their own interpretation of the facts or values that influence their perspective. It’s difficult for all to reach a resolution or agreement.

Despite the potential for heated discussions, controversial debate topics can be a great way to explore different viewpoints, challenge assumptions, and promote critical thinking and open dialogue. 

However, it is crucial to distinguish controversial topics from controversial opinions – statements or actions that cause disagreement or conflict. 

  • For example, climate change can be controversial, but a politician’s comment denying the existence of climate change can be controversial.

Good Controversial Debate Topics

  1. Is social media harming society more than it helps?
  2. Is it appropriate to make marijuana legal for recreational use?
  3. Should college be provided for free?
  4. Should schools teach comprehensive sex education?
  5. Is it ethical to use animals for scientific research?
  6. Does human activity account for the majority of climate change?
  7. Should beauty pageants be stopped?
  8. Are credit cards doing more harm than good?
  9. Should diet pills be banned?
  10. Should human cloning be permitted?
  11. Should there be stricter laws on gun ownership or fewer restrictions?
  12. Is climate change a serious issue that requires urgent action, or is it overblown and exaggerated?
  13. Should individuals have the right to end their own lives in certain circumstances?
  14. Should certain types of speech or expression be censored or restricted?
  15. Is eating animal meat unethical?
  16. Should there be more or less strict regulations on immigration and refugee policies?
  17. Is job security the biggest motivation rather than money?
  18. Are zoos doing more harm than good?
  19. Are parents legally responsible for their children’s actions?
  20. Does peer pressure have a net positive or negative impact?
Controversial debate topics
Controversial debate topics

Fun Controversial Debate Topics

  1. Is it better to have a small group of close friends or a large group of acquaintances?
  2. Should you brush your teeth before or after breakfast?
  3. Should you put mayo or ketchup on the fries?
  4. Is it acceptable to dip fries in a milkshake?
  5. Should you brush your teeth before or after breakfast? 
  6. Is it better to use a bar of soap or liquid soap? 
  7. Is waking early or staying up late better?
  8. Should you make your bed every day?
  9. Should you wear a mask in public places?

Controversial Debate Topics For Teens 

  1. Should teenagers access birth control without parental consent?
  2. Should the voting age be lowered to 16?
  3. Should parents have access to their children’s social media accounts?
  4. Should cell phone use be allowed during school hours?
  5. Is homeschooling a better option than traditional schooling?
  6. Should the school day start later to allow for more sleep for students?
  7. Is studying should be voluntary?
  8. Should schools be allowed to discipline students for social media use outside of school?
  9. Should school hours be reduced?
  10. Should drivers be banned from using mobile phones while driving?
  11. Should the legal driving age be raised to 19 in some countries?
  12. Should students take classes on parenting?
  13. Should teenagers be allowed to work part-time jobs during the school year?
  14. Should social media platforms be held responsible for the spread of misinformation?
  15. Should schools make drug testing mandatory for students?
  16. Should cyberbullying be considered to be an offense?
  17. Should teens be allowed to have relationships with significant age differences?
  18. Should schools allow students to carry concealed weapons for self-defense?
  19. Should teens be allowed to get tattoos and piercings without parental consent?
  20. Is online learning as effective as in-person learning?
Image: freepik

Social Controversial Debate Topics

  1. Should hate speech be protected under freedom of speech laws?
  2. Should the government provide a guaranteed basic income for all citizens?
  3. Is affirmative action necessary to address systemic inequalities in society?
  4. Should Violence/Sex on TV be abolished?
  5. Should illegal immigrants be allowed to receive social welfare benefits?
  6. Is the pay discrepancy between men and women the result of discrimination?
  7. Should the government regulate the use of artificial intelligence?
  8. Should healthcare be a universal human right?
  9. Should the assault weapons ban be extended?
  10. Should billionaires be taxed at a higher rate than the average citizen?
  11. Is it necessary to legalize and regulate prostitution?
  12. Who is more important in the family, father or mother?
  13. Is GPA an outdated way of assessing a student’s knowledge?
  14. Is the war on drugs a failure?
  15. Should vaccinations be mandatory for all children?

Controversial Debate Topics On Current Events 

  1. Is the use of social media algorithms to spread misinformation a threat to democracy?
  2. Should COVID-19 vaccine mandates be implemented?
  3. Is the use of artificial intelligence ethical in the workplace?
  4. Should AI be used instead of humans?
  5. Should companies be required to provide advance notice of lay-offs to employees?
  6. Is it ethical for companies to lay off employees while CEOs and other executives receive large bonuses?
A poll by AhaSlides on the topic of banning zoos.

Key Takeaways

Hopefully, with 70 controversial debate topics, you can expand your knowledge and gain new perspectives. 

However, it is essential to approach these topics with respect, an open mind, and a willingness to listen and learn from others. Engaging in respectful and meaningful debates on controversial topics with AhaSlides’ template library and interactive features can help us broaden our understanding of the world and each other, and possibly even lead to progress in finding solutions to some of the most pressing issues of our time.

Frequently Asked Questions

1/ What are good topics to debate about? 

Good topics to debate can vary widely depending on the interests and perspectives of the individuals involved. Here are some examples of good debate topics:

  • Is climate change a serious issue that requires urgent action, or is it overblown and exaggerated?
  • Should individuals have the right to end their own lives in certain circumstances?
  • Should certain types of speech or expression be censored or restricted?

2/ What are some controversial debates? 

Controversial debates are those that involve topics that can generate strong and opposing viewpoints and opinions. These topics are often contentious and can provoke heated arguments and debates among individuals or groups who hold different beliefs and values. 

Here are some examples:

  • Should schools allow students to carry concealed weapons for self-defence?
  • Should teens be allowed to get tattoos and piercings without parental consent?
  • Is online learning as effective as in-person learning?

3/ What is an emotional and controversial topic in 2024? 

An emotional and controversial topic can provoke strong emotional reactions and divide people based on their personal experiences, values, and beliefs. 

For example:

  • Should teenagers access birth control without parental consent?
  • Should parents have access to their children’s social media accounts?

Do you still want to be more explicit about an excellent debater portrait? Here, we’ll give a practical and convincing example of a good debater for you to learn and hone your debate skills.