What Is Your Controversial Idea?

We all have idea about ourselves, our society, and how the future will play out. Are any of your ideas controversial in nature?

It can be very easy — almost too easy, in fact — to agree with people around you. Whether it comes from the media we consume, our social media feed, or conversations we have with friends or family, thinking in lockstep is quite common.

On the other hand, holding an opinion or an idea that is controversial, particularly when people you know and respect disagree with you, can be extremely difficult. Even if your thoughts are logical and consistent, peer pressure can be a powerful force to overcome.

There is an element of human psychology that sometimes arises, however. We can also be very contrary creatures, and sometimes when everyone disagrees with you, you may be more likely to become stubborn and refuse to change your position.

Listen to a podcast where Michael and Lee discuss a related question: ‘What beliefs do you have that might be wrong?’ We also discuss a bonus question: ‘What makes a place feel like home?’

One recurring problem with controversial ideas is that they may veer dangerously close to conspiracy theories. Even if you don’t think of it that way, others may equate something controversial with something crackpot. And frankly, sometimes it is hard to tell the difference.

And yet, progress is made because people have had an idea that started out being different from the majority of people around them. Gradually, however, additional evidence may be gathered. Ideas evolve. What was once controversial may eventually become mainstream.

Do you have any ideas that you consider controversial? Why do you believe them, and how do you defend them to others?

Related questions: What do you believe? What beliefs do you have that might be wrong? How much of our thoughts are our own? How are you a non-conformist?

2 thoughts on “What Is Your Controversial Idea?”

  1. Our current government institutions are not up to the challenge of climate change.

    That doesn’t mean democracy isn’t equipped to do so. In fact, as younger generations become even more powerful voting blocks and take the reins of power, we may begin to give climate change the attention it deserves. I do, however, think that that will happen later than when we pass the tipping point.

    So about the current institutions: they are currently ploddingly slow and give more power to dirty fuel-producing states than their populations should allow. I fear this will keep us from acting before it’s too late.

  2. My controversial idea is that we are moving toward a moneyless society, and, in fact, we will reach it far sooner than would seem possible. Not “cashless” — there are probably people now who are essentially cashless — but rather “moneyless”.

    I think there are two things that are driving this move. One is the increase in the abilities and the adoption of automation and artificial intelligence. We are just a decade or so away from large numbers of people whose jobs will be replaced by machines. Cars will drive themselves, computers will write computer code, and so on. We already see A.I. crudely involved in writing and generating art. What will they be doing five or ten years from now?

    This will displace a huge amount of the work force. There may not be a single sector of the economy that remains untouched.

    In response, we’re already having discussions about a Universal Basic Income — a fixed amount of money that is given to every person so they can provide much or all of basic living expenses. As trials of the U.B.I. grow more widespread, we will see people who don’t have to work — particularly at dangerous, backbreaking labor — and much work will be done by machines. Basic needs will be met.

    What, exactly, do we still need money for?

    It seems difficult to imagine this in our current society, when everything is geared around money. But I would argue it is specifically because the incredibly skewed income inequality that will make this shift more appealing to a large percentage of the population. If money were currently more evenly distributed, a moneyless society might take even longer to adopt.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *