Intelligence Squared U.S. Debates

Airs Sunday, July 3, at 6 p.m. The auto industry, agriculture, the energy sector. What do they have in common? These industries benefit from government subsidies in the form of loans, tax breaks, regulation, and other preferences. Critics say that not only do these subsidies transfer wealth from taxpayers to corporations, they distort the markets and our economy. Proponents say that government has an important role to play in launching innovation via strategic investment. Do we need subsidies, or is this corporate welfare?

Airs Sunday, July 26, at 6 p.m. As technology rapidly progresses, some proponents of artificial intelligence believe that it will help solve complex social challenges and offer immortality via virtual humans. But AI’s critics say that we should proceed with caution. That its rewards may be overpromised, and that the pursuit of superintelligence and autonomous machines may result in unintended consequences. Is this the stuff of science fiction? Should we fear AI, or will these fears prevent the next technological revolution?

Intelligence Squared U.S. Debates / Intelligence Squared U.S. Debates

Airs Sunday, June 19, at 6 p.m. Protests have erupted on university campuses across the country. To many, these students are speaking out against racial injustice that has long been manifested in unwelcoming, sometimes hostile environments. But to critics, their demands have gone too far, creating an atmosphere of intolerance for opposing or unpopular points of view. Are the protesters silencing free speech, or are they just trying to be heard? The debaters are Wendy Kaminer, John McWhorter, Shaun Harper, and Jason Stanley. 

Airs Sunday, June 12, at 6 p.m. What if we didn’t have to grow old and die? The average American can expect to live for 78.8 years, an improvement over the days before clean water and vaccines, but it's still not long enough for most of us. So researchers around the world have been working on arresting the process of aging through biotechnology. What are the ethical and social consequences of radically increasing lifespans? Should we accept a “natural” end, or should we find a cure to aging?

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Airs Sunday, June 5, at 6 p.m. Since the Syrian Civil War began in 2011, more than 4 million Syrians have fled the country, creating the greatest refugee crisis since World War II. The United States has taken in just over 2,000 Syrian refugees since the war’s start, and the Obama administration has pledged to take another 10,000 in 2016. What are our moral obligations, and what are the cultural, economic, and security issues that must be taken into account? Should the U.S. let in 100,000 Syrian refugees?

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