Reading for Battle

Battle Readings is a regularly updated compilation of articles, essays, and opinion pieces relevant to the themes of the Battle of Ideas.

Choose a theme from the listing on the left to narrow your search, or view all readings.

Health & Well-being

The Emperor's New Clothes? The dangers of the anti-FGM campaign
A Battle in Print essay. Bríd Hehir argues that the campaign against FGM in the UK is built on dubious statistics and prejudices about Africans. Rather than the current focus on bans and coercion, she argues a more nuanced approach is more likely to reduce the prevalence of FGM and would cause less harm.
Bríd Hehir, Battle in Print, 14 October 2014

The Law’s cyber drug war. Is it time to hold peace talks with internet suppliers of ‘legal highs’?
Like alcohol, can these chemicals not be taken in the right way, at the right dose
Jonathan Hurlow, Independent, 1 November 2012

What happened to the caring professions?
The Tory drive to make teachers and carers chase after statistics has hindered rather than helped
Alka Sehgal Cuthbert, Independent, 29 October 2012

Being Pro-Life Doesn't Make Me Any Less Of A Lefty
Listening to fellow pundits on the left react with rage and disbelief to the support by the Health Secretary, Jeremy Hunt, for halving the abortion time limit to 12 weeks, I was reminded of the late Christopher Hitchens. "[A]nyone who has ever seen a sonogram or has spent even an hour with a textbook on embryology knows that emotions are not the deciding factor [in abortions],"
Mehdi Hasan, Huffington Post, 14 October 2012

Human Bodies: donation for medicine and research
Debates Over Ethics.
Nuffield Council on Bioethics

The state’s skewed line on moral issues makes me worried about giving it automatic ownership of our bodies after death
Under presumed consent I am not confident the state would feel a duty to treat a corpse with reverence after death or use it solely to help others live
Francis Phillips, Catholic Herald, 8 October 2012

Why the Women’s Minister Shouldn’t Deny Women Later Abortion
Early access to abortion services is extremely important. Thanks to tests which can detect pregnancies before a woman has even missed a period, women who know they do not want to continue with their pregnancy can now often refer themselves directly into services, with their care paid for by the NHS.
Clare Murphy, Huffington Post, 4 October 2012

Minimum alcohol price 'would save 11,500 pensioners'
The deaths of 11,500 pensioners could be avoided over the next decade if minimum alcohol pricing is rolled out in England, according to new research.
BBC News, 7 September 2012

Fabrice Muamba was 'dead' for 78 minutes
Doctor reveals star needed 15 shocks to restart heart.
Alex West, Sun, 15 August 2012

Blind search for profits behind care home abuse
Even in a euphoric Olympic week, a headline like “Mentally disabled adults abused at Christian Brothers’ home” would have grabbed the attention. It might even have ranked as a scandal – a term RTÉ was applying yesterday to some messing over a reception for our Olympians.
Fintan O'Toole, Irish Times, 14 August 2012

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Optimism versus Pessimism

"The Battle of Ideas is a weekend like no other. I found the 2011 festival immensely stimulating. It gave me a great deal to think about, and a whole new list of books to read - from Virgil to Vygotsky. On to greater battles in 2012!"
Ken Macleod, award-winning science fiction writer; author, The Restoration Game and Intrusion

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