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For the album by Prince, see Controversy (album).
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A controversy is a matter of opinion or dispute over which parties actively argue, disagree or debate. Controversies can range from private disputes between two to large scale disagreements.

Perennial areas of controversy include religion and politics. Controversy in matters of theology has traditionally been particularly heated, giving rise to odium theologicum. Controversial issues are held as potentially divisive in a given society, because it leads to heated debates, arguments and tension. Some controversies are considered taboo to many people, unless a society can find a common ground to share and discuss their feelings on a certain controversial issue.

Benford's law of controversy, as expressed by science-fiction author Gregory Benford in 1980, states "Passion is inversely proportional to the amount of real information available."


[edit] In law

In jurisprudence, a controversy differs from a case. While the latter includes all suits, criminal as well as civil, a controversy is a purely civil proceeding. For example, the Constitution of the United States states that "the judicial Power shall extend to ... Controversies to which the United States shall be a Party" (Article 3, Section 2). The meaning to be attached to the word Controversy in the constitution is that given above.

The Case or Controversy Clause of Article III of the USs Constitution ( Art. III, Section 2, Clause 1) has been deemed to impose a requirement that United States federal courts are not permitted to hear cases that do not pose an actual controversy—that is, an actual dispute between adverse parties which is capable of being resolved by the court.

[edit] In propaganda

The term is not always used in a purely noble manner. The use of the word tends itself to create controversy where none may have authentically existed, acting as a self-fulfilling prophecy. Propagandists, therefore, may employ it as a "tar-brush," pejoratively, and thus create a perceived atmosphere of controversy, discrediting the subject:

"Beatrix Potter's creation, Peter Rabbit..."
"Beatrix Potter's controversial creation, Peter Rabbit..."

Thus controversy may itself be judged controversial: see list of controversial books.

[edit] In advertising

On the other hand, controversy is also used in advertising to try to draw attention to a product or idea by labeling it as controversial, even if the idea has become widely accepted to a given segment of the population. By doing this, the company hopes that people will wish to "see what all the commotion is" and pay to view the medium. This strategy has been known to be especially successful in promoting books and films.

[edit] In early Christianity

Many of the early Christian writers, among them Irenaeus, Athanasius, and Jerome, were famed as "controversialists"; they wrote works against perceived heresy or heretical individuals, works whose titles begin "Adversus..." such as Irenaeus' Adversus haeresis. The Christian writers inherited from the classical rhetors the conviction that controversial confrontations, even over trivial matters, were a demonstration of intellectual superiority. See Christian theological controversy.

[edit] See also

[edit] Social/political controversy

[edit] Social/political controversy: local US interest

[edit] Social/political controversy: other recent

[edit] Secular controversy: intellectual and historical

[edit] Christian controversy

[edit] Other religious controversy

[edit] External links

et:Vaidlus simple:Dispute


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