Focus: Free-range parenting

Earlier this year, a debate was sparked following the news of two parents in Silver Springs Maryland, US being accused of irresponsible parenting because they let their 10-year-old son and 6-year-old daughter walk to a park a mile away and return home all by themselves. While some people found it to be acceptable parenting, others criticised the parents of exposing the children to too much danger. It was someone like that who called the police and as a result Danielle and Alexander Meitiv are being investigated by the Montgomery County Child Protective Services.

The focus of this week’s debate is on the benefits of ‘free-range’ parenting as opposed to a disciplined environment.

These are the statements to be debated:
• Unless you push children to face their fears that can’t grow.
• Parental fear is stopping children from growing up to be self-reliant.
• Parents don’t accept free range parenting out of fear of being thought of as bad parents.

Participants will be required to clearly state whether they are ‘for’ or ‘against’ the statement and provide their supporting arguments for the same.

The debate will start at 3pm on Monday, May 25.

Click Here to participate.

Participation requirements:

  • Participants are required to be older than 18 years.
  • First-time participants will be given preference.
  • To participate, please send a request to readers@gulfnews.com along with your details
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Focus: Money vs happiness

In their book ‘Happy Money: The Science of Smarter Spending’ co-authors Elizabeth Dunn, a psychology professor and Michael Norton, a business professor explain how money can buy happiness. According to them “the most satisfying way of using money is to invest in others”. Similarly, in a 2013 study Ryan Howell, an associate professor of psychology at San Francisco State University found that “people think that experiences are only going to provide temporary happiness, but they actually provide both more happiness and more lasting value.”

The focus of this week’s debate is on money, or lack thereof, impact how happy we are?

These are the statements to be debated:

  • No, happiness is priceless.
  • No, money is nothing but green paper printed into rectangles.
  • Yes, money itself can’t buy happiness but it can buy things that bring happiness.
  • Yes, money can help us stay close to other people, which is perhaps the key to happiness. – Gretchen Rubin

Participants will be required to clearly state whether they are ‘for’ or ‘against’ the statement and provide their supporting arguments for the same.

The debate will start at 3pm on Monday, April 6. Participation requirements are at the end of this blog post. Please do read them carefully.

Click Here to participate.

Participation requirements:

  • Participants are required to be older than 18 years.
  • First-time participants will be given preference.
  • To participate, please send a request to readers@gulfnews.com along with your details

Focus: Parenting

The debate topic this week is based on an opinion article written by Lucy Kellaway in the Views section of Gulf News this week. In her article, Kellaway argues that although motherhood is tough and intense, it should not be considered as a job. She also raises the issue of how mothers have changed their minds about jobs and how motherhood used to be viewed as a job because it made them feel better, but that it is the reverse now. However, as times have changed, it is no longer necessary for mothers to stay at home with the children, as fathers can take that role too. With that in mind, should working spouses pay homemakers for taking care of the children?

The focus of this week’s debate is on parenting and whether it should be considered a job?

These are the statements to be debated:

  • Parenting is tough, but it is not a job because you cannot resign from the role.
  • Working spouses should pay homemakers for taking care of the children.
  • Bringing up children is a management job – Margaret Thatcher

Participants will be required to clearly state whether they are ‘for’ or ‘against’ the statement and provide their supporting arguments for the same.

The debate will start at 3pm on Monday, March 30. Participation requirements are at the end of this blog post. Please do read them carefully.

Click Here to participate.

Participation requirements:

  • Participants are required to be older than 18 years.
  • First-time participants will be given preference.
  • To participate, please send a request to readers@gulfnews.com along with your details.

Focus: Overworking

Are you the one who tends to stay behind to power through your work or are you the one who stays behind but ends up just staring out the window without getting much done? Our debate topic this week is inspired by an article ‘Overworking is bad with robots waiting in wings’ by Stefan Stern that was published in the Views section of Gulf News last week. In his article, Stern argues that overwork and low productivity are a growing modern phenomenon and that other than just not achieving much, long hours can be detrimental to one’s health and family life.

The focus of this week’s debate is on overworking and whether it adds to low or high productivity?

These are the statements to be debated:

  • Overworked employees are less productive.
  • Working less hours is the secret to higher productivity.
  • Overworking dulls creativity and problem solving skills.

Participants will be required to clearly state whether they are ‘for’ or ‘against’ the statement and provide their supporting arguments for the same.

The debate will start at 4pm on Monday, March 9. Participation requirements are at the end of this blog post. Please do read them carefully.

Click Here to participate.

Participation requirements:

  • Participants are required to be older than 18 years.
  • First-time participants will be given preference.
  • To participate, please send a request to readers@gulfnews.com along with your details.

Focus: Love apps

According to the dating industry, there are an estimated 5000 dating sites in Europe, including some 1500 in the UK alone. According to Monica Porter, a London-based journalist and writer, online dating is considered as mainstream as online shopping. Similarly, Brett Harding of Lovestruck (an award-winning dating site) said: “We have changed. We are no longer willing to put in the legwork in meeting someone. Online has become the acceptable de facto method.” In the latest addition to dating apps are the smart pendant, which gathers data from your social network, iTunes playlist and Netflix and will then vibrate when a compatible partner is within reach.

The focus of this week’s debate is on love apps  and whether they are ruining the art of building relationships?

These are the statements to be debated:

  • Love apps are making people lose the art of conversation.
  • Love apps take away the possibility of meeting someone based on their personality, rather than their looks.
  • Love apps take away the idea of romance.
  • Extreme online shopping: love.

Participants will be required to clearly state whether they are ‘for’ or ‘against’ the statement and provide their supporting arguments for the same.

The debate will start at 4pm on Monday, February 16. Participation requirements are at the end of this blog post. Please do read them carefully.

Click Here to participate.

Participation requirements:

  • Participants are required to be older than 18 years.
  • First-time participants will be given preference.
  • To participate, please send a request to readers@gulfnews.com along with your details.

Focus: Media bias

As news on the Paris terrorist attacks flooded last week, in Nigeria more than 2,000 people were killed by Boko Haram in one of the “deadliest massacres” according to Amnesty International. However, the difference between the massacres is that one gained news coverage and worldwide support, while the other was completely ignored. Simon Allison for the Daily Maverick, a partner on the Guardian Africa network said: “It may be the 21st century, but African lives are still deemed less newsworthy – and, by implication, less valuable – than western lives.” Do you agree or disagree?

The focus of this week’s debate is on media bias and on what makes one massacre more newsworthy than the other?

These are the statements to be debated:

  • Some lives are considered more valuable than others, when it comes to news coverage.
  • It is not about media bias, rather about failure of nations to stand up for their own.
  • If it doesn’t fall into a ‘clash of civilisations’ thesis, it doesn’t make for a compelling narrative.

Participants will be required to clearly state whether they are ‘for’ or ‘against’ the statement and provide their supporting arguments for the same.

The debate will start at 4pm on Monday, January 19. Participation requirements are at the end of this blog post. Please do read them carefully.

Click Here to participate.

Participation requirements:

  • Participants are required to be older than 18 years.
  • First-time participants will be given preference.
  • To participate, please send a request to readers@gulfnews.com along with your details.

 

Focus: Freedom of expression

Following the attack on the French satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo in Paris, social media users sparked a debate on freedom of expression. The magazine was known for publishing controversial cartoons targeting Islam and had continued to do so even after being taken to court under anti-racism laws. However, users of various social media channels strongly condemned the attacks by calling it an attack on freedom of expression. Similarly, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said: “It is also an attack on freedom of speech and the press, core elements of our free democratic culture. In no way can this be justified.”

The focus of this week’s debate is on freedom of expression and whether it should be restricted?

These are the statements to be debated:

  • Freedom of speech is of no use unless people exercise this right.
  • The right to free speech doesn’t give people the right to be irresponsible.
  • Self-censorship is necessary in a multicultural society, where provocation can incite violence.

Participants will be required to clearly state whether they are ‘for’ or ‘against’ the statement and provide their supporting arguments for the same.

The debate will start at 4pm on Monday, January 12. Participation requirements are at the end of this blog post. Please do read them carefully.

Click Here to participate.

Participation requirements:

  • Participants are required to be older than 18 years.
  • First-time participants will be given preference.
  • To participate, please send a request to readers@gulfnews.com along with your details.