Moral Maze

Moral Maze

Combative, provocative and engaging live debate examining the moral issues behind one of the week's news stories.

  • Updated:
    Weekly
  • Episodes available for:
    30 Days help

Recent episodes (5)

  • Richard III

    Thu, 26 Mar 15

    Duration:
    43 mins

    Available:
    29 days remaining

    As come backs go, Richard III's has got to rate as possibly miraculous. Vilified for more than 500 years as a psychopathic child killer this week one of history's biggest losers is being paraded through the streets of Leicester as a hero. Some say he's been unfairly traduced by Elizabethan spin doctors, but in any event the Bishop of Leicester said Richard should be buried with the dignity and honour that befits a king of England. The passing of time has certainly helped Richard III, but this is an issue for our times as well. Think Jeremy Clarkson and Boris Johnson - pantomime villains or lovable rogues? How much leeway should personality and charisma allow? How forgiving should we be to those who stand apart from their fellow man by dint of their achievements? Could it be that when it comes to their personal lives we hold them to higher moral standards than we expect of ourselves?

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  • Sex Education

    Thu, 19 Mar 15

    Duration:
    44 mins

    Available:
    22 days remaining

    Teaching children about sex is a moral, ethical and emotional minefield, as the latest guidance from the Personal, Social, Health and Economic Education Association has this week demonstrated. The government had announced that it wanted pupils as young as 11 to be taught about sexual consent and had commissioned the PSHE Association to come up with lesson plans. They've just been published and include topics such as pornography, sexual images, sexual consent, rape myths and victim-blaming. The new lessons could be taught in schools after the Easter holiday, although parents would have the right to withdraw their children from the classes and pornography wouldn't be shown to pupils. Are these frank, explicit topics just contributing to the very problem that they're partly designed to address? Are these latest plans outside the proper remit of education or should parents be left to teach their children about such sensitive issues? What should children be taught about sex in school?

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  • The Morality of Social Inclusion

    Thu, 12 Mar 15

    Duration:
    43 mins

    Available:
    15 days remaining

    While other countries have their violent social revolutions, we in Britain tend to confine our class conflict to less bloody battles. Which door you're expected to use has long been a bone of contention. The term "tradesman's entrance" may have fallen victim to the forces of class war, but the concept is resurfacing in luxury housing developments. To get planning permission for these projects, the developers are required to include some affordable or social housing. The less well-off tenants are then expected to use separate entrances - so called "poor doors". It's argued that dividing society into the "haves" and "have not's" is a symptom of a much greater harm than being deprived of a 24-hour concierge to salute you when you walk through the door. How should people living in a diverse society relate to and interact with one another? Should it be the business of the state to engineer integration? Do we have a moral duty to mix socially with people who are different from us?

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  • The Morality of the Imagination

    Thu, 5 Mar 15

    Duration:
    43 mins

    Available:
    8 days remaining

    When is an idea so objectionable that we should be stopped from expressing it or hearing it? That's the question at the heart of the debate about how Mohammed Emwazi turned from a quiet schoolboy into a psychopathic murderer. The focus has been turned on his time at the Westminster University and the extremist preachers who had been invited to talk there. The government is in the process of drawing up guidance for vice chancellors as part of a new statutory requirement on universities to combat radicalisation on campus. There are many examples of thought or imagination being criminalised. They include: cartoon images of child abuse; the arrests of street preachers; so-called predictive policing. Are we living in more censorious times? Is it simply a matter of distinguishing clearly between thoughts and deeds? Can our thoughts live in a world beyond notions of right and wrong and consequences? Or can thoughts be immoral irrespective of whether they're associated with actions?

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  • Freedom of Expression on the Internet

    Thu, 26 Feb 15

    Duration:
    43 mins

    Available:
    1 day remaining

    While the hunt still goes on for the three teenage girls from London believed to be travelling to Syria to join IS there are calls for Twitter and other social media to do more to shut down websites used to disseminate IS propaganda and aid recruitment. One of the missing girls was reportedly following more than 70 Twitter accounts belonging to terrorist fighters or IS sympathisers; IS has deployed social media in the battle for ideas as effectively as it has boots on the ground and there's a terrible, but inescapable irony that they're using one of the values that we hold most dear - freedom of expression -against us. Is it morally inconsistent to defend the rights of publications like Charlie Hebdo, but at the same time demand that the views of those who support IS are supressed? How far should we be willing to sacrifice freedom of speech and our privacy in the fight against terrorists on the internet?

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