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

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Recent episodes (5)

  • The Morality of the Imagination

    Thu, 5 Mar 15

    Duration:
    43 mins

    Available:
    30 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:
    23 days 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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  • Is it a Moral Duty to Vote?

    Thu, 19 Feb 15

    Duration:
    43 mins

    Available:
    16 days remaining

    Is it immoral to be apathetic about politics? The Bishops of the Church of England clearly think so. This week they sent a letter to parishes advising 'Christian men and women how to vote". So we all have a duty to join in the arguments and it's wrong to be a 'don't know'! As the election gets closer, however, the prevailing view seems to be that politicians are a sleazy and self-serving bunch of hypocrites. Whatever the bishops say, at least a third of us won't be voting; half of young people aren't even registered to vote. But when politicians focus their efforts on ingratiating themselves with pensioners (the people who vote the most) we say that's cynical. Should 16-year-olds have the vote? Should voting be made compulsory? Is it a moral duty to vote? Or are there other ways, just as morally cogent, to get involved in the political process?

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  • Muslim Leadership

    Thu, 12 Feb 15

    Duration:
    43 mins

    Available:
    9 days remaining

    When an heir to the throne feels moved to step in to a minefield as potentially explosive as Muslim values you know something is amiss. At the weekend Prince Charles, who has been a self-professed admirer of Islam, gave an interview where he expressed alarm at the extent of the radicalisation of young British Muslims.This issue is so profoundly important to the social cohesion of our society that many people, including Muslims, are now asking is there a crisis of moral leadership in Britain’s Muslim community? Where are the powerful leaders, stepping on to the national stage to address these problems and point to solutions? Islam is a diverse faith, but can it really be just a structural problem? Are the leaders there, but finding their voices are being drowned out by an unrelentingly hostile press? Is there something more fundamental about the nature of faith in the public sphere? Or are the majority paying an unfair price for the distortion of their faith by the radicalised few?

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  • Is Inherited Wealth Immoral?

    Thu, 5 Feb 15

    Duration:
    43 mins

    Available:
    2 days remaining

    Is inherited wealth and the social privileges it can secure, immoral? Is the transfer of wealth between generations an injustice - an unearned reward for no work, which elevates luck above enterprise and effort which secures access to privileges that would otherwise be beyond reach? Or is the desire to pass on to our children and grandchildren any wealth that we might have at our death, not only a natural desire to help them start out in life, but also a social and moral contract between the generations?

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