20 Topics to Discuss in Groups (Controversial)

Often the issues that have a controversial content are tried to avoid not to generate differences of opinion among the members of a group.

This is why we will now expose 20 topics to discuss in small groups Which can be controversial. In addition to some useful tips to turn this experience into an open, beneficial and positive debate.

Topics to discuss

Contrary to what many people may believe, generating the instance of these discussions can be very enriching and encourage the delivery of different points of view that increase dialogue and understanding between groups.

The aim of a debate is not that one opinion can influence others, but that everyone involved in the discussion can get more information and a different look after the dialogue.

Within the discussion it may happen that the primary ideas that people had before being debated are strengthened. The important thing is not this, but that each individual can freely and clearly express their opinions, giving strong support to their personal beliefs.

It is always important that within this discussion group there is a person who has the role of moderator. That is, who presents the controversial topic to be discussed, expose the different angles and points of view that exist in relation to the topic and then invite the participants to speak, expressing their own ideas and feelings in relation to the Matter to discuss.

In order for each individual to be able to present his ideas, opinions and points of view, it is essential that the vocabulary and language of the subject under discussion be absolutely clear to all.

If there are ideas that are not understandable some people will stay out of the discussion and will not achieve the objective of the debate, which is that exposition of approaches and possibilities.

Controversial issues can range from religious and / or political issues, to issues with high moral and emotional content. We are going to review some that are considered relevant current discussions and that involve different actors of the society.

Interesting topics to debate that can be controversial

1- Use of animals in scientific research

All kinds of animals, from fruit flies to laboratory mice, are widely used in scientific research. Their participation is essential for scientists to learn more about health and human biology, and this will encourage the development of new medicines, treatments and cures.

However, from the ethical point of view, animals feel the same pain as humans, and if it is accepted that they have rights, scientific experiments and tests would be a violation of their integrity.

In this case, the benefits to mankind happen to a completely irrelevant role, since it is not known what would happen if there are no more animal tests, but there is certainty of the damage done to them by performing these tests.

2 - Gay Marriage

Those in favor say that equal rights should be for all, without discrimination by race, religion, sex or sexual choice.

Thus, denying the right to marry would be part of the discrimination, since all types of couples - heterosexual or homosexual - deserve to have the same legal rights associated with marriage: as property rights, inheritance and adoption.

On the other hand, its detractors consider that the objective of marriage between a man and a woman is procreation and maintaining the institution of the family, something that does not happen in the case of homosexual couples and that gives rise to a different type of families , Which change the traditional conception of parents, children and home.

3- Euthanasia

Debates about moral dilemmas of euthanasia are very old. Some of the arguments that have historically been used are the same ones that are used today.

That is why euthanasia continues to be a debate at all levels of society.

Even the act of euthanasia is illegal, although it occurs passively in every hospital in the world, every day. On the other hand, medical advances have been able to extend patients' lives far beyond their possibilities just a few years ago.

There is an ethical difficulty in adequately and simultaneously interpreting patients' rights or their autonomy - versus the rights and work of doctors. In itself, euthanasia is defined as a deliberate intervention, with the express intention of ending life and so alleviate intractable suffering.

There are two types of euthanasia, the active one that consists in supplying medicines based on the potassium to cause a cardiac arrest; Or passive euthanasia that may be, to withdraw vital supplies from a patient who needs them to stay alive or administer high doses of opioids.

Despite this, there are still many people who consider this medical practice illegal and unethical, and an unacceptable facet in the health professions.

4- Death Penalty

Those who support the death penalty are based on the argument that if someone killed another person, he lost the right to stay alive; Just as punishment should equal the crime and prevent a murderer from continuing to kill other innocent people.

However, detractors of the death penalty consider that this penalty goes against the fundamental human right, which is the right to life. They consider that it can not be verified that by killing a person who murdered another, the crimes will be stopped.

Other arguments are the pain people may feel during the death penalty procedure, such as lethal injection or electrocution.

5 - Religion is not necessary

Those who consider that human beings do not need a religion, are those who claim that there is no scientific evidence of God's existence, therefore, many people might be believing in something that is simply not real.

Another argument is that religious people have imposed a truth that may not be true, generating a whole system of false beliefs, prohibitions and rigid norms of behavior that have sometimes become excessive.

Those in favor of religion believe that their faith gives meaning to life and their beliefs drive them to be better people, therefore religion would provide many more benefits without doing harm.

6- Legalize suicide

Many consider it an inherent right for each person to decide the fate of their life. Although in some parts of the world it is already legalized, in other countries those who try to commit suicide are prosecuted, along with possible accomplices who help them.

The arguments of many have religious bases: life is a gift from God and only he can snatch life. On the other hand, those who are in favor of suicide consider that if a person is alive is an intolerable suffering, it is in his right as a person to end his life.

7- Torture is acceptable in some cases

The debate in this case is called"the time bomb debate". The example used to be in favor of this opinion is the case of a terrorist who is captured, but who before being trapped installed bombs that do not know where they are.

Thousands of innocent people could die for this act, in this case the torture to know the location of that bomb, would be justifiable.

8- Benefits of Cloning

With the latest scientific advances, the cloning processes of plants and / or animals have been successful.

Those in favor of cloning think that this process can solve fertility problems, design healthier humans and organ and tissue cultures, to solve the problem of organ donation, for example.

The detractors in this case assert that gene manipulation will lead to unexpected mutations, further social divisions since"cloned"humans would be treated differently by other people and the risk of developing new diseases.

In addition to this, there is the moral and ethical dilemma of the rights of the clones and it is considered that there is still more research to know all the consequences that could bring the cloning of human beings.

Other controversial topics that generate interesting debates in our society are:

9- Obesity is a disease

10- Video games promote violence in children and youth

11- You should decrease the age of drinking

12- Prenuptial agreements improve family life

13- Corporal punishment is beneficial for children

14- Drugs should be legalized

15- Marriage is an outdated institution

16- The race of a person determines his intelligence

17- Software piracy is not a crime

18- Sending homework to children from school is harmful to them

19- Smoking should be banned worldwide

20- Steroids should be accepted in sports


  1. 33 controversial discussion topics. Retrieved from busyteacher.org.
  2. Should animals be used in research. Retrieved from yourgenome.org.
  3. The euthanasia debate. Retrieved from ncbi.nlm.nih.gov.
  4. The death penalty, the arguments for and against. Retrieved from bbc.co.uk.
  5. Religion is not necessary. Retrieved from debatewise.org.
  6. In defense of torture. Sam Harris. Retrieved from huffingtonpost.com.
  7. 10 advantages and disadvantages of cloning. Retrieved from flowpsycology.com.

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