Laneway Learning

The Ideology Smackdown Series

Using Ethics to Overcome Opposition

ideological smackdown

Why are people so stupid? Whether we’re talking about politics, security, justice or the economy, for every sensible opinion you have, there are thousands of people who passionately believe in the exact opposite – and worse, they’re completely convinced they’re right.

Using five raging social issues of our time, The Ideology Smackdown series offers you the chance to get to the bottom of this once and for all, employing professional ethics to understand your opponents, learn how to overcome their incorrect beliefs, and best of all, make sure you weren’t the incorrect one to start with. They say ‘you can’t argue with stupid’; this series will prove that ‘stupid’ never existed in the first place.

Gordon Young, lecturer in professional ethics at RMIT University and principal of Ethilogical Consulting will be leading these super interesting classes throughout the year.

All classes are $16 and are held at Embiggen Books in Melbourne CBD.

collage with donald trump and local tomatoes from Luisiana

Globalism vs Localism

The unexpected rise of Donald Trump to power brought a number of formerly fringe issues into the spotlight, and the debate between globalism and localism present the greatest consequences for the world by far. Should we continue the grand march towards a global community, swapping our sovereignty for increased trade, tourism and cultural exchange? Or should we keep our borders strong, protecting our control over out nation, culture and economy instead?

Is the risk of handing control to multinational groups worth the benefits? And if we choose to isolate ourselves, will we be left behind by those that don't? Should our culture be preserved or combined with others? And who has the right to decide? Why you do of course!

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collage of socialism vs capitalism

Socialism vs Capitalism

It is the defining question of the last century; should the wealthy few be responsible for the needs of the many? Or should success be rewarded and the lazy left to look after themselves?

Even after the end of the Cold War this debate continues to define politics both within Australia and internationally, and despite decades of furious, and often violent debate, we seem no closer to answering this simple question. Until now!

Tuesday, Feb 20th, 2018

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collage with world map and currencies vs nature with rivers and mountains

Economy vs Environment

There is no arguing that a strong economy is good for our quality of life; more income, reliable work, easy credit and the chance to enjoy some luxury are pretty much the goal of a nation, right? But that economic wealth comes at a cost, and for the last several centuries that cost has been the natural environment which supports all life on the planet and makes life liveable.

Environmentalists argue that short-term prosperity that destroys the planet is insanity, but businesses and workers point out that long-term problems tend to seem less serious when you’re unemployed, homeless and starving. So which of these impossible choices is the correct one? We find out in this class!

Tuesday, March 13th, 2018

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collage between secured computer and kids laughing with laptops

Security vs Freedom

Ever since the second plane hit the World Trade Centre on 2001, the question of how to balance security against freedom has become horribly real for governments and citizens everywhere. Those for freedom argue that surrendering our liberty for safety leads to risk government abuse and the death of our way of life, but those for security ask whether any of that matters against the risk of violent death at the hands of terrorist extremists.

As unpredictable low-tech attacks emerge as the new favoured tactic of terrorists, the question arises again; how much freedom should we sacrifice for safety? The answer is up to you!

Tuesday, April 10th, 2018

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syringes and surgery collage

Modern Medicine vs Anti-Vaccination

The rise of the anti-vaccination movement and open skepticism of the medical establishment caught many by surprise. While rejection of modern science is treated as dangerous idiocy by some, for other it is a long overdue challenge to an industry that has held itself aloof from the patients it claims to exist for, and which appears far more interested in power and profit than patient care.

This debate has lead to fierce arguments and the threat of government intervention in parenting with the new ‘no jab, no play’ rules. So which is more important; heeding medical risks or a parent’s right to raise their child as they see fit? Now is your opportunity to decide!

Tuesday, May 15th, 2018

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The images used are in the public domain except these that are under Creative Commons licences: Syringes, secured laptop, Brainy and Brain.