The Instigator
saar.cone
Pro (for)
Losing
2 Points
The Contender
GarretKadeDupre
Con (against)
Winning
25 Points

All people have the right to safely own an Atomic Bomb

Do you like this debate?NoYes+4
Add this debate to Google Add this debate to Delicious Add this debate to FaceBook Add this debate to Digg  
Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 5 votes the winner is...
GarretKadeDupre
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 1/25/2013 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 4 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,981 times Debate No: 29538
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (5)
Votes (5)

 

saar.cone

Pro

Slavery is immoral.

It is immoral because all people are created with equal authority over each-other; None. Legitimate authority can only be derived by consent.

If a government loses the consent of the governed, those that withdraw their consent retain the same freedoms that the government claimed. The freedom to wage war, to conduct relations with foreign people, to regulate commerce within the boundary of their own property, and to defend themselves from foreign aggressors.

Under this condition (Secession from any governing authority.) a person has the freedom to acquire or build a nuclear weapon using any means he himself acquired from nature or voluntarily acquired from others.

Again, if a governing authority imposes arbitrary rules that may make the ownership of a nuclear weapon "illegal", the person has the freedom to withdraw his consent and retain the freedom to acquire a nuclear weapon.

It is self evident that a person may do what he wishes with the property he has complete authority over. If a person has the freedom to chop down trees on his property and build a home, by that same token he may acquire resources for a nuclear weapon and build it on his property.

However, this person, by building a nuclear weapon, is potentially putting his neighbors at risk by being within the area of the blast radius, or the radioactive debris associated with it.

If a neighbor owned property prior to the introduction of this risk, he has the right by way of an "easement" to demand compensation to his satisfaction for the risk he observes, or else the owner of the nuclear weapon would be required, by force if necessary, to dismantle the nuclear weapon.

This compensation for risk is the same principle as demanding a person put a gun down when they point it at you.

This determination can and should be made by a neutral arbitrator, and can certainly be done before the nuclear weapon is complete. This neutral arbitrator could be a "government", if both the plaintiff and defendant consent to that governing authority.

If no neutral arbitrator can be agreed upon, they must make an agreement among themselves, if they cannot agree among themselves then war will commence and whoever can bring the most force to bear will likely win. Which may not solve the dispute philosophically, but will certainly solve it in reality.

This problem of resolving disputes persists even when one supposes that a ultimate arbitrator must be in place that may affirm arbitrary restrictions about what class of people may own nuclear weapons.
Again there's no superior state of affairs introduced in the environment of a monopoly of violence and arbitration.

Now, if there is no risk beyond a reasonable doubt to the neighbors property, then the atomic bomb may be acquired safely or built within that condition without any further considerations. He has complete freedom to do that, and any infringement of that freedom is immoral.

Safely acquire:
An introduction of risk may be associated with the travel of any nuclear weapon, and the routes and properties within the blast radius of such travel would need to be compensated to the satisfaction of all parties at risk.
If the nuclear weapon were transported in such a way that no risk is introduced, then no compensation is warranted.
GarretKadeDupre

Con

The 2nd Amendment of the Constitution of the United States recognizes the right of civilians to bear the arms of a standard infantryman. 'Arms' refers to "light infantry weapons which can be carried and used, together with ammunition, by a single militiaman, functionally equivalent to those commonly used by infantrymen in land warfare." (1)

Nuclear weapons do not fit this category; thus, since there is no other provision in the Constitution claiming (explicitly or implicitly) that safe ownership of an atomic bomb is a right, this right does not exist.

Safe, civilian ownership of an atomic bomb does not exist. Since it does not exist, it can't be a right. Use of atomic bombs cannot discriminate between innocent people and criminals; neither can the radiation produced by them, which is long-lasting, widespread, and renders an immense area unhospitable.

(1) http://constitution.org...
Debate Round No. 1
saar.cone

Pro

I respect your regard for the Constitution of the United States. However, the Constitution does not contain every right that a person has. In fact I do not care for the word "right", which is why I never used it in my argument. (Only in the title for the sake of succinctness.)

A right is an odd fluffy term that doesn't amount to much when examined with scrutiny. That's why I prefer the term "freedom" and think of it as synonymous.

Every person has self-evident freedoms.

For example, if a person washes up on a deserted island we could say he has absolute freedom to do as he pleases on the island just as easily as we could say he has complete rights over the property. Have we elevated his position by calling them rights rather than freedoms? No.

Anyway, the Constitution doesn't grant freedoms to individuals, it is only a document that binds those that swear to uphold it to not infringe upon specific freedoms of others, and was never intended to be an exhaustive list of freedoms as demonstrated by the 10th Amendment.

"The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people."

Further, a man that that heavily influenced the Constitution was one called Thomas Jefferson, who in a letter to James Madison on Sep. 6, 1789 said

"I set out on this ground which I suppose to be self evident, 'that the earth belongs in usufruct to the living;' that the dead have neither powers nor rights over it."

Thomas Jefferson was arguing that debts should not extend over the lifetime of the debtor; that children should not bear the debts of their forefathers. A fortiori, if a contract of debt is not binding, then how could the Constitution be binding to those who have not sworn to uphold it? It cannot.

Furthermore, Thomas Jefferson was the one who wrote the Declaration of Independence which states:

"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.--That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it..."

Deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.

So to recap:
1.) The Constitution does not state that it retains all freedoms not mentioned.

2.) Even if it did, the Constitution is not binding to citizens, only to those who swear to uphold it.

3.) Even if it was binding to citizens, they have the freedom declared under the declaration of Independence to withdraw their consent and govern themselves as they see fit.

So the argument that people do not have the freedom to own a nuclear weapon because they don't have the "right" listed in the Constitution falls apart on three separate grounds.

Now then, the next argument you propose is this:
"Safe, civilian ownership of an atomic bomb does not exist."

This would be a compelling argument and I would concede if it were at all true. All I have to do is give you one example of the safe release of atomic energy and there are 65 examples in the United States alone[1].

Yes these are nuclear reactors, not nuclear bombs, but the principle is the same; That the release of nuclear power can be safely contained.

But if you are concerned about nuclear power falling into the wrong hands consider that the US government to date as done $1,768,093,374 worth of damages due to improper nuclear bomb testing and uranium handling[2].

Clearly we need to get nuclear power out of the hands of the psychotic people in government and hand it over to citizens in the private sector who not only do not cause enormous damage to innocents and nature, but actually produce 20% of the nations energy supply.

Now to restate my position:
All people have the freedom to safely own nuclear weapons and it is immoral for anyone to infringe upon that freedom.

I think of "freedom" as synonymous to a "right", but the word "right" has become a mystical and confusing word.

1: http://www.eia.gov...
2: http://www.usdoj.gov...
GarretKadeDupre

Con

"A right is an odd fluffy term that doesn't amount to much when examined with scrutiny."

It only seems so because the word 'right' has been so thoroughly abused and perverted. According to the Declaration of Independence, rights come from God. The word has lost some of it's significance because many people believe that government grants rights, as opposed to merely defending them.

"Every person has self-evident freedoms."

True, but the right to ownership of an atomic bomb is not even a freedom, much less a self-evident one.

"The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people."

OR to the people, not AND to the people. This doesn't necessarily recognize a civilian right to atomic bomb ownership.

"the Constitution is not binding to citizens, only to those who swear to uphold it."

But the Constitution recognizes the right to self-defense, as implied by the 2nd Amendment. Civilian ownership of an atomic bomb infringes on the rights of others' self-defense, because atomic bombs cannot be defended against in a practical manner.

"Even if it was binding to citizens, they have the freedom declared under the declaration of Independence to withdraw their consent and govern themselves as they see fit."

That's right, but the Declaration of Independence only recognizes rights, it doesn't grant them. A right for civilian ownership of atomic bombs just doesn't exist, as opposed to the right of a government to own atomic bombs at the consent of its people. Ownership of an atomic bomb cannot be an individual right because it creates a "risk beyond a reasonable doubt to [your] neighbors (sic) property."

"there are 65 examples in the United States alone [of safe release of atomic energy.]"

Yes, from nuclear reactors, which are, by design, economically productive. This example does not apply to atomic bombs, which are designed solely for indiscriminate death and destruction that is not only wide-spread, but long-lasting.

"the US government to date [h]as done $1,768,093,374 worth of damages due to improper nuclear bomb testing and uranium handling."

That's merely an argument against improper testing and handling.

"All people have the freedom to safely own nuclear weapons and it is immoral for anyone to infringe upon that freedom."

All people encompasses delusional psychotic people. Because of this simple fact, your premise is wrong.
Debate Round No. 2
saar.cone

Pro

"the right to ownership of an atomic bomb is not even a freedom, much less a self-evident one."

Going back to the example of a man washed up on an island, if he happened to find an atomic bomb there he would have complete authority over it. He has -self evidently- the freedom to whatever he wishes with it. Just like he has complete freedom to burn down the forest, dig into the dirt, or whatever else he feels like doing.

Just because you don't like the thought of the man destroying the island, doesn't mean you have any legitimate authority over him, his island, or his atomic bomb. If the bomb has no chance of damaging you or your property you have absolutely no say in what he does with the bomb. Again, he self evidently has complete freedom to do what he wishes.

Yes you can make the point that the radiation could kill fish and thereby harm your fishing business, or you could argue that the bomb is big enough to harm a neighboring island, but this doesn't at all do harm to my position. If the atomic bomb exists in such a way to do damage to someone else's property, then that person at risk has the freedom to defend himself in the form of an easement, or if the danger is immediate then they will have to neutralize the threat immediately.

" 'The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.'

OR to the people, not AND to the people. This doesn't necessarily recognize a civilian right to atomic bomb ownership."

So what? It doesn't prohibit atomic bomb ownership, nor did the states cede their freedom to the government to make that determination. Even if they did, a person has the authority to withdraw his consent from the states or to the government and to govern his property as he sees fit. If he does not have such authority, then he is indistinguishable from a slave.

My point was that all rights that the bill of rights promises not to infringe upon are not an exhaustive list. Just because it's not in the constitution doesn't mean we don't have the rightful freedom to safely own and operate an atomic bomb.

"Civilian ownership of an atomic bomb infringes on the rights of others' self-defense, because atomic bombs cannot be defended against in a practical manner."
I completely disagree. As I already pointed out, nuclear energy can be safely contained, and is safely contained in the private sector on a regular basis.

Again, my argument holds that if others are put at risk of harm, they have the freedom, by way of an easement to demand compensation to their satisfaction for the risk they are enduring. This compensation could range from a monetary sum, or safeguards that must be put in place that would ensure the safety of those around him.

The likely event is that either the nuclear bomb would be dismantled or there would be enough safeguards in place that any kind of damage to surrounding property is negligible.

"Ownership of an atomic bomb cannot be an individual right because it creates a 'risk beyond a reasonable doubt to [your] neighbors (sic) property.' "

Prove that an atomic bomb cannot under any circumstances be contained in such a way that it doesn't pose any risk to surrounding property. You keep saying it, but I've provided ample evidence that suggests that it can absolutely be done.

"...from nuclear reactors, which are, by design, economically productive. This example does not apply to atomic bombs, which are designed solely for indiscriminate death and destruction that is not only wide-spread, but long-lasting."

So you're saying that people only have freedoms that are economically productive? If you really wanted to follow this to its logical conclusion it would be philosophical suicide.

" All people encompasses delusional psychotic people. Because of this simple fact, your premise is wrong. "
If a delusional and psychotic person can safely own an atomic bomb, then he has the freedom to own one. Though his condition likely will prevent such safe ownership.

So in conclusion, my opponent has not been able to stand by his original arguments and has produced only more to try to patch up his sinking vessel. At the end of the day we have to admit that all people are born with the same freedoms as everyone else.
Following from this, if we withdraw our consent from the government then we have the same authority that the government retained. We would have the freedom to own nuclear weapons in such a way as to preserve the safety of our neighbors, and that such safety can be guaranteed by simple claims for easement and the act of neutral arbitrators.
The same considerations for any weapon, whether it is a gun being pointed at you, or a nuclear bomb is being put next to your property.
We do not need big brother looking over our shoulders making sure that no citizen can have a nuclear bomb, and in fact such infringement on our freedom is immoral and unjustified.

No one can make the pronouncement, regardless of the facts, that a certain segment of society has less freedoms than another segment. That is illogical, immoral, and unjustifiable.

Thank you, this has been a fun debate, and have a good day.
GarretKadeDupre

Con

"Going back to the example of a man washed up on an island [...]"

Defending a supposed right of a theoretical man in a very unlikely scenario that is not only hypothetical, but never occurred in reality, does not help your case.


"As I already pointed out, nuclear energy can be safely contained, and is safely contained in the private sector on a regular basis."

That analogy only applies to nuclear reactors, which are designed to produce productive energy. Your argument is about atomic bombs, which are weapons of mass destruction designed to produce indiscriminate, widespread, and long lasting death and destruction.

"Prove that an atomic bomb cannot under any circumstances be contained in such a way that it doesn't pose any risk to surrounding property. You keep saying it, but I've provided ample evidence that suggests that it can absolutely be done."

I don't have to prove it, since the burden of proof is on you to prove that safe, civilian ownership of atomic bombs even exists. You have not provided 'ample evidence' that suggests it can be done for reasons that I listed just above. In fact, you've provided evidence showing it can't be done; according to you, the government can't safely own atomic weapons: "the US government to date as done $1,768,093,374 worth of damages due to improper nuclear bomb testing and uranium handling." If a team of government-certified, experienced scientists can't safely manage nuclear bombs, why would some random civilian be able to?

My opponent's argument suggests that nobody can safely own atomic bombs, much less an ordinary citizen.

"So you're saying that people only have freedoms that are economically productive?"

No, I'm not.

"If you really wanted to follow this to its logical conclusion it would be philosophical suicide."

It's a good thing I'm not going to follow your strawman to its logical conclusion, then.

"The same considerations for any weapon, whether it is a gun being pointed at you, or a nuclear bomb is being put next to your property."

I trust the voters realize that the considerations for guns and nuclear warheads are NOT the same!

So in conclusion, my opponent has not been able to satisfy his burden of proof. I hope you vote Con. Thank you.
Debate Round No. 3
5 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 5 records.
Posted by GarretKadeDupre 4 years ago
GarretKadeDupre
"Technically you're correct, but in principle you are wrong."

I don't understand that statement. Probably because we don't agree on principles. I believe that rights are given by God; they are unchanging.
Posted by superlative 4 years ago
superlative
Technically you're correct, but in principle you are wrong. The principle of the 2nd Amendment and of any law for that matter is "for the good of the people". It's good to have firearms and it's good that citizens have the right to arm themselves with firearms, and if you debate that then that is a different debate altogether. Is it good for the people to own atomic weapons? No, and no people on the earth would every legislate that.

So until people lobby their MP to legislate owning atomic weapons, your argument is as pointless and disingenuous as Gov'ts legislating people having rights to kill their neighbor willy nilly. People fight for the right to bear firearms, because they believe that history (and current affairs) is on their side. It's what the people want, and Gov'ts should align to the people, not people align to the Gov't.
Posted by Deadlykris 4 years ago
Deadlykris
The answer to that question should not be a mystery, if you know where to look and see where it's written in plain English.

Also, I really had nothing to add to my RFD that wasn't already said in earlier RFDs.
Posted by saar.cone 4 years ago
saar.cone
Or her? *shrugs*
Posted by saar.cone 4 years ago
saar.cone
The people have spoken! Was reaching too far, didn't back up my position thoroughly enough, and made quite a few semantic mistakes.
I read and thoroughly appreciated the criticism. Except DeadlyKris who didn't explain his vote at all. :(
5 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 5 records.
Vote Placed by BA_BA_BA 4 years ago
BA_BA_BA
saar.coneGarretKadeDupreTied
Agreed with before the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Agreed with after the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Who had better conduct:-Vote Checkmark-1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:-Vote Checkmark-1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:-Vote Checkmark-2 points
Total points awarded:07 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro made a very poor argument and his sources did not back up his argument. Although i appreciate the effort to bring philosophy into it, he forhets that if you succeed the gov't can still attack you and try you for treason
Vote Placed by youmils03 4 years ago
youmils03
saar.coneGarretKadeDupreTied
Agreed with before the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Agreed with after the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:-Vote Checkmark-2 points
Total points awarded:05 
Reasons for voting decision: I feel bad for Pro. He sets up too strong of a burden for himself. (First, replace "all people" with either "some people" or "citizens in the military" or something like that. Then, replace "atomic bomb" with "explosive weapon" or something that's easier for you to justify.) Pro's arguments make no sense - I refuse to buy the idea that Constitutional rights extend to the construction of an atomic bomb. I refuse to believe the premise that "basic, human rights", many of which would be swept away by the release of an atomic bomb, guide the legality and morality of creating or using one. I vote Con pretty quickly.
Vote Placed by Deadlykris 4 years ago
Deadlykris
saar.coneGarretKadeDupreTied
Agreed with before the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Agreed with after the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Who had better conduct:-Vote Checkmark-1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:-Vote Checkmark-1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:-Vote Checkmark-2 points
Total points awarded:07 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro really had no argument, and could not satisfy burden of proof.
Vote Placed by Double_R 4 years ago
Double_R
saar.coneGarretKadeDupreTied
Agreed with before the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Agreed with after the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: Perhaps Pro should have defined "safely". By assuming the standard definition, his argument was a non starter and Con jumped on it. Without that it was actually close. Cons argument would have been more convincing if he challenged Pro to support his argument in context as opposed to some abstract principle. Was Pro claiming that we should have such a right, that we do in fact have such a right, or that such a right is simply moral? I think this debate would have been much more constructive had this been clarified.
Vote Placed by OhioGary 4 years ago
OhioGary
saar.coneGarretKadeDupreTied
Agreed with before the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Agreed with after the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:Vote Checkmark--2 points
Total points awarded:23 
Reasons for voting decision: I thought this was an interesting debate topic and both gentlemen were cordial to each other, so conduct was a tie. S&G was a tie. Con provided sources and referenced the sources in his R2 argument but they were from a think tank whereas Pro provided more objective sources from the DOJ & the EIA in R2, so I awarded sources to Pro. The R3 argument from Pro was confusing; if the US government has done almost $2 trillion in damages, then why would we want to put this in the hands of people with less training and experience? It seemed that Pro's argument actually became an endorsement for Con who took the ball and ran with it. Argument to Con. Nice work, gentlemen!