Topics without Briefs

Looking for an interesting debate topic? Often the hardest part job of a Director of Debate is coming up with the best, most concisely-yet-accurately worded, controversial and entertaining resolutions. Whenever you’re in need of a topic, check out the below list of about 500 debate resolutions that I have assembled. Search for a particular word, or just scroll down to a random spot and be surprised!

Note however that no briefs have been written yet on these topics. If you do chose the topic, please email me (ksabath@jsa.org) any brief you write as a result!  Thanks!

Resolved, that…

Public High school students in the United States ought not be required to pass standardized exit exams to graduate.

Public health concerns justify compulsory immunization.

Compulsory inclusion of non-felons’ DNA in any government database is unjust.

Vigilantism is justified when the government has failed to enforce the law.

Secondary education in America should value the fine arts over athletics.

The actions of corporations ought to be held to the same moral standards as the actions of individuals.

The United Nations’ obligation to protect global human rights ought to be valued above its obligation to respect national sovereignty.

The primary purpose of formal education ought to be to impart knowledge.

Lesser developed nation’s right to develop ought to take priority over its obligation to protect the environment.

Providing for basic human needs of citizens in a society ought to be valued above individual property rights.

Inaction in the face of injustice makes an individual morally culpable.

Discriminations in society on the basis of chronological age alone are justified.

The public’s right to know is of greater value than the individual’s right to privacy.

The pursuit of feminist ideals is detrimental to the achievement of gender equality.

When in conflict, American cultural unity ought to be valued above cultural diversity.

Laws which protect citizens from themselves are justified.

On balance, institutional censorship of academic material is harmful to the educational development of the students.

When in conflict, the spirit of the law ought to take priority over the letter of the law.

The principle of majority rule ought to be valued above the principle of minority rights.

A victim’s deliberate use of deadly force is justified as a response to physical abuse.

Competition is superior to cooperation as a means of achieving excellence.

The pursuit of scientific knowledge ought to be limited by a concern for societal good.

Members of the United States Congress ought to value the national interest above constituent’s interests when the two are in conflict.

Society ought to value the sanctity of life above the quality of life.

Wikileaks was right—the public’s right to know ought to be valued above U.S. national security interests.

American criminal justice system ought to place a higher priority on retribution than on rehabilitation.

Violent revolution is a just response to oppression.

An unjust government is better than no government at all.

That decisions of the U.S. Supreme Court in criminal cases ought to reflect the values of the American people.

A parliamentary system of government would better fulfill the values underlying the American Constitution.

The brotherhood of man transcends the sovereignty of nations.

Allowing innocent people to be harmed is preferable than giving into terrorists demands.

Nothing is politically right that is morally wrong.

Uniformity in education leads to mediocrity.

Even in a democratic society morality can be legislated.

Liberty is more precious than law.

Protection of the environment should take precedence over the development of natural resources.

The economic health of a nation is more important than the social programs for its citizens.

The rights of the victim should take precedence over the rights of the accused in felony cases.

We should not expend societal resources on the enforcement of laws against victimless crimes.

Debate resolutions should not confront sensitive religious issues.

On balance, government employee labor unions have a positive impact on the United States.

Merit pay based on student achievement should be a significant component of K-12 teacher compensation in United States public schools.

Failed nations are a greater threat to the United States than stable nations.

When in conflict, the United Nations should prioritize global poverty reduction over environmental protection.

By 2040, the federal government should mandate that all new passenger vehicles and light trucks sold in the United States be powered by alternative fuels.

Private ownership of handguns should be banned in the United States.

The costs of legalized casino gambling in the United States outweigh the benefits.

Participating in multinational diplomatic efforts is beneficial to U. S. interests.

The American media work against the best interest of the American public.

United Nations should be the primary agent to lead and direct the fight against terrorism around the world.

In the United States, colleges and universities should be permitted to pay stipends to their Division I athletes.

When a choice is required for public high schools in the United States, government funding should prioritize vocational education over college preparatory education.

Student aptitude should be assessed through standardized testing.

Corporate offshoring aids in the economic development of the United States.

The United States government should allow Americans to purchase prescription drugs from other countries.

English should be the official national language of the United States.

Americans should be allowed to share copyrighted media over the internet.

the United States should comply with United Nations’ decisions concerning international peacekeeping operations.

Use of a cell phone should be prohibited while operating a motor vehicle.

Affirmative action should not be practiced in college and university admission.

The death penalty should be abolished in America.

Commercial airline pilots should be armed in the cockpit.

Should dating techniques be taught in schools?

Does the Theory of Evolution promote atheism?

What Is Music?

Should students be required to wear a school uniform?

Do adopted children have the right to know who their biological parents are?

Should there be a green tax on aviation fuel?

Should factory farming of chickens be banned?

Are certain persuasive issues not appropriate for debate speech topics.

State lotteries should be ended.

The United States should pay reparations for slavery.

Cigarettes should be illegal.

We should ban boxing.

There is more intellect than emotion in our way of life.

To be eligible for college, a student should have done twelve months in social service before applying.

Women make better politicians than men.

Movies penetrate the deepest corners of one’s soul more so than books.

You get more news from the radio than from TV.

Women make better teachers than men.

The continuing introduction of new technologies and new media into the classroom madds little to the quality of education.

The only war worth fighting is the war on poverty.

Boys are higher achiever than girls.

High school students should have to pass a national exit exam to graduate.

Homeland security is more important than the protection of civil liberties.

It is unethical to eat meat.

The United States should amend the Constitution to allow foreign-born citizens to serve as President.

Teachers should not use candy as rewards.

Supreme Court proceedings should be televised.

Rap music does more harm than good.

The United States is losing the war on Terror.

The United States Federal Government should ban production of genetically modified organisms (GMOs).

Human cloning should be allowed in the United States.

Credit cards do more harm than good.

The U S Government subsidy of the arts should end.

The US should eliminate farm subsidies.

Soccer players should wear helmets.

The United States should negotiate with Osama Bin Laden

Students should take parenting classes.

Students should be punished for failing to report cheating.

On balance, video games do more good than harm.

Algebra should not be required for high school graduation.

The US prison at Guantanamo Bay should be closed?.

All schools should provide students with music and art education.

Community service should be mandatory in high school.

The Internet has done more harm than good.

Capital punishment should be banned by the United States federal government.

It is morally acceptable to experiment on animals for medical purposes.

College athletes should be paid.

SAT/ACT prep classes do more harm than good.

Peer pressure does more good than harm.

Parents should not buy war toys for their children.

Drug companies should not be allowed to advertise prescription drugs to the general public.

Animals should not be used for entertainment.

The United States should eliminate its own weapons of mass destruction.

Colleges’ early admissions policies do more harm that good.

All Americans should be required to provide one year of national service.

The United States Constitution should be amended to establish a mandatory retirement age for Supreme Court Justices.

Teachers should not use candy as rewards.

Beauty pageants do more good than harm.

Genghis Khan did more good than harm.

Schools should ban animal dissection.

The United States should amend the constitution to criminalize flag burning.

Homework does more good than harm.

The United States should switch to the metric system.

Junk food should be banned from school cafeterias and vending machines.

Zoos do more good than harm.

Single-sex education is better than co-ed.

Wal-Mart is good for America.

The American presidential primary and caucus system does more good than harm.

Size zero fashion models should be banned.

The United Nations Security Council should have no permanent members.

Schools should provide for single sex instruction.

Torture is justified for national security.

Schools should be year round.

Parents should be held legally responsible for their children’s actions.

Letter grades in schools do more harm than good.

Television does more harm than good.

Washington D. C should be made the 51st state?Home schooling does more good than harm.

Physical education in grades K-12 should be compulsory.

Ban plastic bags in grocery stores.

Americans should not be allowed to burn the United States flag as an act of free speech.

It should be illegal to sell coffee and coffee products to minors anywhere in the United States.

Organ donation should be compulsory for all United States citizens.

Voting rights of United States felons should be reinstated after they have served their time.

The United States should end its use of the penny.

On balance, special interests are a positive influence in American politics.

The public’s right to know is more important than the privacy of celebrities.

The United States should guarantee health care for its residents.

Students should be required to learn a second language for high school graduation.

THE ROAD LESS TRAVELLED

This House believes that ‘the power to tax is the power to destroy’. (Justice John Marshall).

This House believes that god can prevent evil, but doesn’t.

This House believes that only the elite can truly successfully manage national affairs.

This House believes ‘the state is not abolished, it withers away.’ (Friedrich Engels).

This House believes that renewed strength of labor organizations is necessary for a progressive economics.

This House believes that the three-strike felony law will reduce crime.

This House believes in the separation of church and state.

This House believes in pacifism.

This House believes that the public monies should not finance art.

This House believes in poetic license.

This House would use force to make peace.

Political Correctness is the new McCarthyism.

This House would support positive discrimination.

This House believes that censorship can never be justified.

Freedom of the individual is a myth.

This House don’t need no education.

The West will regret free trade.

There is, in this age, a dearth of heroes.

This House would reject consensus.

This House would put pragmatism before its principles.

This House would test nuclear weapons.

This House would rebuild the Berlin Wall.

This House would sacrifice economic growth for the good of the environment.

This House would give racists a platform.

This House would make the blood of the patriarchy run in the streets.

This House would heed its priests.

This House believes that developing nations should adopt western feminism.

This House believes in trial by jury.

This House would reject big government.

This House believes that the ‘melting pot’ has failed.

This House would let the language die.

This House believes that strong dictatorship is better then weak democracy.

This House believes apples and oranges make strange bedfellows.

This House would have California secede from the Union.

This House believes that everyone should ride first class at least once in her or his lifetime.

This House believes that television is more significant than the computer.

This House would privatize it.

This House believes that there are necessary illusions.

This House rejects distance learning in higher education.

This House believes that triviality is more oppressive than tyranny.

This House believes that propaganda is amoral.

This House believes that there ought to be a law.

This House believes that the value of natural resources is found in their exploitation.

This House would ration the old to nurture the young.

This House believes that developing nations need strong dictatorship.

This House would legalize prostitution.

This House has an unhealthy obsession with sport.

This House believes that the US is more sinned against than sinning.

This House would let the information superhighway run free.

This House believes that fanaticism works.

This House would allow same-sex couples to adopt children.

This House will regret the trade bloc.

This House believes that the Truth and Reconciliation Commission is a weak response.

This House supports privatization.

This House would adopt quotas.

This House believes that one man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter.

This House would legalize all drugs.

This House supports an across-the-board tax cut.

This House believes that the poverty of the third world is the fault of the first world.

This House rejects the American way of life.

This House believes that the truth is out there.

This House believes that competition is overemphasized in the United States.

This House believes that negative political advertising is significantly detrimental to the democratic process.

This House believes that privacy protections have become too extreme in the United States.

The system of justice, in this House, should be retributive, not distributive.

This House believes that the United States should/should not repay its one billion outstanding debt to the United Nations.

This House would/would not support a constitutional amendment to protect the flag from desecration.

This House believes that the World Trade Organization should/should not accept China.

This House believes that, on balance, prescriptive punishments benefit/do not benefit the United States criminal justice system.

This House believes that the President of Pakistan should/should not allow Benazir Bhutto to participate in the upcoming election.

This House believes that the Republican majority should/should not abandon the Contract with America and seek a consensual agenda.

This House would/would not support Proposition 209.

This House believes that the United States should/should not start a dialogue with the Front for the Islamic Salvation of Algeria.

This House believes that the European Community ought/ ought not expand now.

This House believes that parliamentary debate should/should not encourage the inclusion of evidence.

This House believes that the United States ought/ought not commit troops to Zaire and/or Rwanda.

This House believes that ex’s should/should not remain friends.

This House believes that President Clinton should/should not be forced to face civil charges while in office.

This House believes that the state should/should not seek the death penalty in capital cases involving persons under the age of eighteen.

This House believes that the war on drugs is inadvisable in a free society.

This House believes that old enemies can become new friends.

This House believes that what costs little is of little worth.

This House believes that the public deserves the politicians it elects.

This House believes that a ban on flag burning better serves fascism than freedom.

This House believes that it is better for athletes to retire at the peak of their careers.

This House believes that the Japanese government should allow trials to be broadcast on television.

This House believes that physically challenged people should not be separated in schools.

This House believes that its better for the Japanese people to learn world history than Japanese history.

This House believes that collectivism is better than individualism.

This House believes that aging is golden.

This House believes that Okinawa should be independent.

This House supports same sex marriage.

This House supports political advertising.

This House supports open borders.

This House opposes war propaganda.

This House opposes the death penalty.

This House would meet cruelty with kindness.

This House believes that television destroys lives.

This House opposes patriotism.

This House believes that justice in America can be bought.

This House supports physician-assisted suicide.

This House believes that the meek will inherit the earth.

This House believes that disagreement is freedom’s privilege.

This House believes that a minute of success pays the failure of years.

This House believes that conventionality is not morality.

This House believes that divided we stand, united we fall.

This House believes that well done is better than well said.

This House believes that imagination is the one weapon in the war against reality.

This House believes that there is no security in the world, only opportunity.

This House believes that change is not progress.

This House believes that war is ugly.

This House would remove government from the lives of the people.

This House believes in social unity over cultural diversity.

This House believes ion the adversary system.

This House would soak the rich.

This House would repudiate history.

This House would establish English as the official language.

This House would negotiate with terrorists.

This House believes that it is better to have time than money.

This House believes that in term limits for federal officials.

This House believes that minority privileges deny equality.

This House believes that the American media are corrupt.

This House believes that technology is killing our work ethic.

This House believes that we learned everything we needed to know in kindergarten.

This House would limit the cost of election campaigns.

This House supports a flat tax.

This House believes that the US war on drugs is misdirected.

This House believes that capitalism is detrimental to social justice.

This House believes that presidential term limits should be revised.

This House supports sanctions for citizen non-participation in the democratic process.

This House believes that public shame is an appropriate means of punishing criminal offenders.

This House values life over liberty.

This House believes that commercial advertising is our reality.

This House believes that god is dead.

This House believes that there is a better way to elect the President of the United States.

This House believes that America is blinded by the light.

This House believes that space exploration and development should be an international priority.

This House believes that higher education was intended for the intellectual elite.

This House believes that there is no justice without retribution.

This House believes that nationalism is a virtue.

This House believes that Miranda rights favor the guilty.

This House would detour off the information superhighway.

This House believes in the concept of intellectual property.

This House believes in the two-party system.

This House believes that the scales of justice are tilted.

This House believes that peace is only an illusion.

This House believes that extremists provide an important contribution to the marketplace of ideas.

This House believes that history is not her story.

This House supports discrimination.

This House would establish a national religion.

This House would put an “X” in the center square.

This House would end US participation in the Olympic Games.

This House would restrict free speech.

This House would ban genetic cloning.

This House believes computers are the answer.

This House believes spaceship earth is crashing.

This House believes that patriotism is misguided.

This House would not worship at the temple of sport.

This House would exterminate capital punishment.

This House believes that special interests have ruined democracy.

This House believes that advertising degrades the quality of life.

This House believes that reality is just a linguistic construction.

This House believes that crime pays.

This House believes that we have sold our souls for gain.

This House believes that emperors are worse than pirates.

This House believes that the drug war is a civil war.

This House believes that the First Amendment applies to the internet.

This House believes that basic medical care is a privilege, not a right.

This House would open its doors.

This House would heal the wound.

This House believes that the right to strike should be given to all employees.

This House believes that the IRS needs to be abolished.

This House believes that American automobiles are a better bargain than European automobiles.

This House believes that professional athletes are overpaid.

This House believes that convicted rapists are as bad as murderers and should be sent to prison for life.

This House believes that Kevin Garnett’s professional services are more important than Bill Clinton’s.

This House believes that military justice is an oxymoron.

This House believes that the right to die is the ultimate personal freedom.

This House is resolved that the British monarchy is the best system of government the world has ever known.

This House believes that a comparison of Mother Teresa and Princess Di is morally repugnant.

This House believes that public funding of sports facilities is immoral.

This House believes that forensics programs should emphasize community service over tournament competition.

This House believes that the right to privacy is more important than the freedom of the press.

This House believes that the local is preferable to the global.

This House believes that the public sphere is a phantom.

This House believes that schools should not prepare students for work.

This House supports radical feminism.

This House believes that the good life is best measured by aesthetics.

This House would rock the boat.

This House believes that the news should be interesting rather than mportant.

This House would increase support for the developing world.

This House would tax the monarchy.

This House would erect a new foundation for the 21st century.

This House would dance like a butterfly and sting like a bee.

This House would rather be in than out.

This House would expand NAFTA.

This House opposes affirmative action.

This House would further restrict free speech.

This House would expose the secrets.

This House would dramatically increase funding for the National Endowment for the Arts.

This House would develop a strategy rather than a theory.

This House would be indifferent to national heritage.

This House would reform the present system of checks and balances.

This House supports the power of labor unions.

This House believes that freedom has been taken too far in the western world.

This House would rather be East than West.

This House would hold the military to a stricter standard on sexual harassment.

This House would steal from the rich and give to the poor.

This House would reach for the stars.

This House regards royalty as irrelevant.

This House would ban gambling on the internet.

This House would open the gates to immigrants.

This House would rather be poor than rich.

This House believes that the right to strike should be given to all employees.

This House believes that the IRS needs to be abolished.

This House believes that American automobiles are a better bargain than European automobiles.

This House believes that professional athletes are overpaid.

This House believes that a convicted rapist is no better than a murderer and should be sent to prison for life.

This House believes that motion pictures are a reflection of society norms.

This House believes that dogs are better pets for humankind than cats.

This House believes that civil litigation should have the same requirements as criminal litigation.

This House would take from the rich and give to the poor.

This House would hold the media responsible.

This House believes that labor union have outlived their usefulness.

This House believes that political correctness does more harm than good.

This House believes that the government has forgotten its role.

This House supports campaign finance reform.

This House regrets the decline of conventional morality.

This House would use taxation to regulate behavior.

This House believes that the exploitation of animals is immoral.

This House would kill all the lawyers.

This House is resolved that there should be integration of the sexes in professional sports.

This House is resolved that a global marketplace is good for the US.

This House is resolved that we should increase regulations on the paparazzi.

This House is resolved that the United States should sign the Ottawa Treaty to ban the production and export of land mines.

This House is resolved that when in conflict, individualism should be valued over collectivism.

This House is resolved that communism was better than capitalism for Russia.

This House is resolved that affirmative action is unfair.

This House should change its locks.

This House should balance its diet.

This House should enact campaign finance reform.

This House should increase regulation of firearms.

This House should recycle.

This House should pull the plug.

This House should teach an old dog a new trick.

This House should consider carefully that which seems initially successful.

This House should announce that the King is naked.

This House should check its messages.

This House would consider cohabiting two-gender couples legally married after six months.

This House would require human would-be parents to be licensed before having children.

This House would stop using cosmetics.

This House would throw the television out of our homes.

This House would penalize U.S. citizens who do not participate in the democratic process.

This House believes that PC is OK.

This House believes that country music reflects a decline in American culture.

This House would limit the salaries of professional athletes.

This House would enact a mandatory retirement age for all elected officials in the U.S.

This House believes that the students should run the school.

This house believes that the internet is the new opiate of the masses.

This House would pull the plug.

This House would defend elitism.

This House believes that the emperor is naked.

This House would redistribute the wealth.

This House would eliminate letter grades.

This house believes it is wrong to kill people who kill people to show that we shouldn’t kill people.

This House would dethrone sport.

This House would support exceptions to gender equality in the workplace.

This House would revolutionize the US educational system.

This House believes that the light at the end of the tunnel is an oncoming train.

This House believes any federal budget surplus should be returned to the American people in the form of tax cuts.

This House would dissolve the House of Lords.

This House believes it is not necessary to understand things in order to argue about them.

This House believes the affairs of state must take precedence over the affairs of state.

This House favors qualitative over quantitative research.

This House would prohibit professional atheletes from competing in Olympic Games.

This House would not have named Washington National Airport after Ronald Reagan.

This House would find in favor of Oprah Winfrey.

This House believes when you wish upon a star, your dreams come true.

This House believes that racism can be controlled by legislation.

This House believes that life imitates art.

If you come to rob this House, we’ll let you have it.

This House believes you can judge a book by its cover.

This House believes that immigrants from other countries should focus on trying to blend into the American culture rather than holding fast to their original culture.

This House believes that good things come to those who wait.

This House believes that beauty pageants for children should be banned.

This House believes that some calls to the psychic hotline get results.

This House would shop at home.

This House believes that professional sports needs a flea collar.

This House believes the press is too free.

This House believes you can go to the mall and see America.

This House believes that fun is more important than work.

This House believes that the US should be less involved in world affairs.

This House would rather bare legs than bear arms.

This House believes we shouldn’t fix it if it ain’t broke.

This House would milk the cow dry.

This House believes once you start you can’t stop.

This House believes in order to get it you have to give it up.

This House believes love is foolish.

This House believes any book worth banning is a book worth reading.

This House would lock its doors.

This House would put out the fire.

This House believes you can’t handle the truth.

This House would have a new song for America.

This House would place privilege before merit.

This House approves of political inertia.

This House would avoid the ideological seductions of “false consciousness”.

This House supports the strong state.

This House believes that self-government is degenerate.

This House would break the law.

This House would substantially reduce IMF and World Bank lending programs.

This House supports nullification by African-American jurors.

This House would manage ethnic conflict in Central Asia.

This House would denuclearize the United States.

This House would take policy action to support Kurdish self-detemrination.

This House declares Saddam Hussein the winner of this round of the Middle East conflict.

This House prefers second place to first.

This House would curb road rage.

This House believes results more important than character in national leaders.

This House would contemplate rather than act.

This House would get entangled in the sublime.

This House believes that peace is undesirable.

This House would televise executions.

This House should investigate the investigators.

This House thinks that internet “junk mail” should be illegal.

This House believes that winning isn’t everything; it’s the only thing.

This House thinks the U.S. is the Titanic.

This House believes that technology is killing our work ethic.

This House believes that the U.N. is dysfunctional.

This House would make it up as we go along.

This House would free the prisoners.