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We live in a time of information abundance, which far too many of us see as information overload. With the sum total of human knowledge, past and present, at our fingertips, we’re faced with a crisis of attention: which ideas should we engage with, and why? Big Think is an evolving roadmap to the best thinking on the planet — the ideas that can help you think flexibly and act decisively in a multivariate world.

A word about Big Ideas and Themes — The architecture of Big Think

Big ideas are lenses for envisioning the future. Every article and video on bigthink.com and on our learning platforms is based on an emerging “big idea” that is significant, widely relevant, and actionable. We’re sifting the noise for the questions and insights that have the power to change all of our lives, for decades to come. For example, reverse-engineering is a big idea in that the concept is increasingly useful across multiple disciplines, from education to nanotechnology.

Themes are the seven broad umbrellas under which we organize the hundreds of big ideas that populate Big Think. They include New World Order, Earth and Beyond, 21st Century Living, Going Mental, Extreme Biology, Power and Influence, and Inventing the Future.

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Church and State

The Big Idea for Saturday, February 11, 2012

The question of religious freedom, and of the relationship between religion and government, was paramount in the founding of the United States. Almost 250 years later, these issues continue to spark fierce cultural and legal battles, as Americans with deeply held religious views clash with those who are equally protective of secular principles. 

This has flared up once again in early 2012, in the form of a Catholic protest against federal health care laws that would require employee health plans (even in Catholic institutions) to pay for contraceptives. The debate, as always, is about the limits of freedom for individuals and institutions bound together by the laws of a shared State. 

Perspectives

  1. 1 The Contraceptive Clash: Not About Religious Rights
    Steven Mazie Experts' Corner
  2. 2 Clean Water is the Best Prophylactic
    Daniel Honan Think Tank
  3. 3 The Religious War on Reproductive Health
    Adam Lee Daylight Atheism
  4. 4 Has Condom Availability in Schools Increased Teen Pregnancy?
    Marina Adshade Dollars and Sex
 

Church and State

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