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Moral Maze


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

Popular episodes

The Morality of Partying

Jul 29 • 42:58
It’s easy to see how lots of people singing, shouting and smooching in a stuffy space would keep a virologist up at night. Within hours of nightclubs reopening the Prime Minister announced that full vaccination will be the condition of entry from September. The Netherlands recently tried reopening its clubs and quickly decided to close them again amid rising infection rate...

Animal Sentience

Jul 22 • 42:40
The Animal Welfare (Sentience) Bill, currently working its way through Parliament, would for the first time formally recognise that animals have the ability to experience feelings, including pain, joy and fear. If the law is passed, the government will establish an Animal Sentience Committee to scrutinise policy. Many hope it would offer animals greater protection - only t...

The Future of Work

Jul 15 • 42:46
Is it time to rethink our attitude to work? Nearly half of employees care less about their careers since Covid, according to a survey this week of 2000 staff of large companies. Four in ten said they are concerned about work-related burnout and a quarter of women said the pandemic has had a negative impact on their work-life balance. The lockdown has disrupted long-existin...

Justice and Peace

Jul 8 • 43:00
Northern Ireland's largest cross-community victims' group, Wave Trauma Centre, has written to Boris Johnson opposing the idea of a “de-facto amnesty” for Troubles-related prosecutions, after the cases of two Army veterans facing murder charges were dropped. It follows reports that the government has been considering a ban on all prosecutions prior to the 1998 Good Friday A...

Patriot Games

Jul 1 • 42:55
It’s that time every two (or three) years when St George’s flags flap out of car windows and red cross bunting festoons the front of the houses of England football fans. At any other time, such behaviour might be greeted with suspicion, even concern, such is the pejorative perception of patriotism expressed by the English. Why does English patriotism have such bad PR? Patr...

Rights and Rules

Jun 24 • 42:47
The New Zealand weightlifter Laurel Hubbard looks set to make history after being confirmed as the first transgender athlete to compete at an Olympic Games. Hubbard previously competed in men’s events before transitioning in 2013. She is eligible due to a change in International Olympic Committee guidelines on testosterone levels in 2015, and after qualifying requirements ...

The Morality of Swearing

Jun 17 • 42:49
Strong swear words are becoming an increasing part of everyday life, according to research from the British Board of Film Classification. Six in ten of us are now comfortable cursing. A third of us have a greater propensity for profanity than five years ago. What has not changed is the desire to censor swearing in age-restricted cinema and DVD releases. This seems almost q...

The Morality of Taxation

Jun 10 • 42:55
The G7 group of advanced economies has reached a deal to make multinational companies pay more tax. It is a cause which has focussed minds in the wake of a costly global pandemic. For centuries, taxation has been seen as a moral, as well as an economic, principle. At a national level, some see this as a moment for the government to be bold in recouping wealth from those wh...


Jun 3 • 42:38
Philosophers and artists, from Epicurus to Ken Dodd, have grappled with the secret to happiness. Now, neuroscientists at University College London suggest the answer could lie in the equation: (t)=w0 +w1∑j=1tγt −jCRj +w2∑j=1tγt −jEVj +w3∑j=1tγt −jRPEj. While hardly rolling off the tongue, the formula roughly translates to mean that we should lower our expectations to be ha...

Is it immoral to refuse the vaccine?

May 27 • 42:36
According the Health Secretary Matt Hancock, the “vast majority” of people in Bolton who have been admitted to hospital after contracting the fast-spreading Indian variant of Covid-19 had been offered a vaccine but hadn’t taken it. Attempts to persuade vaccine uptake have focussed on public health, social freedom and economic recovery. What about the language of morality? ...

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