The Instigator
Teucer32
Con (against)
Winning
13 Points
The Contender
Amphibian
Pro (for)
Losing
1 Points

Challenge me.

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 2 votes the winner is...
Teucer32
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 6/25/2009 Category: Miscellaneous
Updated: 7 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 894 times Debate No: 8777
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (2)
Votes (2)

 

Teucer32

Con

I'll let my opponent choose.
Amphibian

Pro

I am pro for the resolution. Resolved, the United States use of the nuclear bomb in Japan was justified.

My first contention is necessity, we were left with the options of sending American soldiers to seize the Japanese mainland or using firepower and technology to end the war quickly with fewer American lives lost.

Second contention moral high ground. Our decision to bomb the Japanese was only put into action after repeated pleas to their government asking them to surrender and warning them that we had the capability end the war by force if we chose to do so.

Third contention the need for unconditional surrender. The Japanese government and military had already shown that they were willing to perpetrate merciless atrocities and that they where not beyond attacking countries in the name of empire. The United States could not allow Japan to exist as it was before and during world war two.
Debate Round No. 1
Teucer32

Con

Amphibian,

Thanks for accepting my debate. This should be an interesting topic.

I will begin with a critique of the implications of my opponent's first contention:

A. Basically, my opponent is asserting that American lives are more important than any other lives. This sort of underlying viewpoint is the basis for America's hatred in today's world. No country should be able to say that their own citizens' lives are worth more than others--it creates conflict that can lead to more wars.

B. The next thing that my opponent suggests is that there were two distinct options available to the United States. Look at my opponent's options. What's to say American soldiers couldn't have used firepower and technology to end the war quickly without using nukes? Furthermore, the assumption that firepower and technology is always better has no reason behind it.

C. Alternative: We need to weigh the lives lost without saying one life is better than another. Therefore, it is best to look at how many lives were actually lost in the nuclear bombings in Japan.

Hiroshima: 90,000-166,000 deaths
Nagasaki: 60,000-80,000 deaths

(http://www.rerf.or.jp...)

If my opponent cannot produce evidence saying more people would have died without using the atomic bombs than with using them, his first contention is a lost cause.

Next, for the second contention:

I'm not really seeing the point to here. Take an example: What if I were to say to my opponent, "I'm going to kill you if you don't concede this debate!!!" Pretend I repeat it several times. Unfortunately, my opponent decides to keep debating. Would I suddenly be justified in killing him? Am I really taking a moral high ground?

My point is that just because you are nice enough to warn someone that you are going to destroy them, it doesn't mean you are taking a moral high ground.

This contention is a mess anyway. My opponent has given no reasons as to why taking a moral high ground is important. We can have that debate, but I would not suggest it.

Now for the final contention:

This is a very interesting argument. However, I'm interested to see what my opponent thinks of modern-day America. Many people would argue that America is "not beyond attacking countries in the name of empire."

--Take the War in Iraq for example. The United States is essentially removing a government they don't like to put in one that they do like. What gives us the right to do that? It's all the same thing. It's just neoconservative ideology that allows for the killing of innocent people in the name of whatever priorities the government may have.

If my opponent intends to win his third contention, he must explain why America isn't justified in nuking itself.

I'll stop for now. Great topic, Amphibian. Thanks again for accepting, and I'm looking forward to our next round.
Amphibian

Pro

Thanks for your response.

My opponent argues that, "my opponent is asserting that American lives are more important than any other lives."
This is not what I was saying, I was making the point that in time of war a government has a responsibility to protect
its own citizens. If we were simply talking about an invasion of an innocent nation then obviously we were not
justified. However, we must remember that we were indeed at war with Japan and that we had been initially
attacked by them without military provocation. The Pearl Harbor attacks made it very clear that war with Japan was
necessary and inevitable.

My opponent also argues against the use of nuclear firepower, "What's to say American soldiers couldn't have used firepower and technology to end the war quickly without using nukes?" My question is why does it matter that a bomb war used rather than a bullet. The obvious answer is that with a bomb no American lives were lost, if we had invaded Japan both American and Japanese soldiers would have died. Firebombing resulted in far more deaths than the nuclear bombing did. The Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department established a figure of 124,711 casualties during one bombing of one city. That's nearly as many as where killed in Hiroshima or Nagasaki in just one raid. That was the beauty of the nuclear bomb, it would scare Japan into surrender without having to kill as many people. 1(It was estimated at the time that an invasion of the Japanese mainland would result in more that 500,000 deaths,) that's more than double the people were killed in the bombings. This completely negates my opponents contention C.

The comparison by my opponent of the war to a debate is deeply flawed.

"Take an example: What if I were to say to my opponent, "I'm going to kill you if you don't concede this debate!!!" Pretend I repeat it several times. Unfortunately, my opponent decides to keep debating. Would I suddenly be justified in killing him? Am I really taking a moral high ground?"

What the United States did was offer Japan a chance to end the war with no more lives lost Japanese or American. This was a noble goal but when the Japanese refused we had no choice but to end the war. If my opponent were to switch Debating with Killing American Soldiers then the scenario would fit.

My opponent also questions the justification of America's war in Iraq, I would say that war in Iraq was a good preemtive measure that may have prevent even more tragedy down the road. In relation to Japan we attacked a country that had already bombed us, taken over several countries and was joined with two other nations set on world domination. I think that our reasons for retaliation were very solid. If the United States ever begins acting towards itself as Japan did towards us then a second Civil war would be the necessary repercussion.

1 http://www.history.army.mil...
Debate Round No. 2
Teucer32

Con

Alright. In response to my opponent's last round arguments, I would like to say that I think many of my points were either dismissed or misinterpreted. With that said, I'd like to clear some things up and make some new arguments.

CONTENTION ONE:

A. My first point was essentially that my opponent assumes that American lives are more important than any other lives. My opponent responded with, "This is not what I was saying." I certainly understand this. My critique stems not from my opponent's explications but from his implications. Although we were in a time of war, we set our citizens' lives above others. That, I would argue, is how atrocities are allowed to occur.

(1) "If we were simply talking about an invasion of an innocent nation then obviously we were not
justified."

--My question here is how we are supposed to define an "innocent nation."

Japan was 95% civilian-populated at the time of the bombing, with most of the victims being women and children.
(http://www.lewrockwell.com...)

If my opponent can't call this innocence, then I would really like to see what he does call innocence.

(2) "we had been initially attacked by them without military provocation"

--OK, so they started it, right?! This is such a childish argument. Just because someone hits you doesn't mean you have to slap them right back.

(3) "The Pearl Harbor attacks made it very clear that war with Japan was
necessary and inevitable."

--This was long before Japan had surrendered. There is a reason we don't have an eye-for-an-eye system anymore--we've realized it can't be justified. This is why we take criminals to court after wrongdoings and figure out how to rehabilitate them. Japan was looking for peace at the point where we bombed them.

--My opponent understands that we warned Japan about what we were going to do. What he doesn't understand is that Japan was fully aware of this as well--and Truman knew it!

Take this into consideration:

"Truman knew the Japanese emperor had accepted the terms for unconditional surrender three weeks before the atomic bomb was dropped."

From Truman's HANDWRITTEN diary:

"Discussed Manhattan (it is a success). Decided to tell Stalin about it. Stalin had told P.M. (Churchill) of telegram from Jap emperor asking for peace…"

(http://www.lewrockwell.com...)

If anything, we can see here that Truman was racist in regard to the Japanese.

B. "My question is why does it matter that a bomb war used rather than a bullet."

(1) Fair question. Here's the answer: While bombs and bullets are both used to kill humans, bullets can be used with discretion, while bombs are used for (in the words of Truman) "utter destruction" without regard for innocent human life. So in that sense, I would say that I would, if anything, prefer the bullet over the bomb.

(2) "My opponent also argues against the use of nuclear firepower"

--This is true. In fact, I'm against the use of all useless bombing--nuclear or fire. The problem of the WWII bombings is that it created a terrible precedent for future American wars.

Here's an article that came out this week:

"Mass murder of civilians has been central to all subsequent U.S. wars."

"[It is a] fallacy that bombing of civilians is effective, a mistaken assumption that has led to horrific humanitarian consequences for little strategic gain."

(http://search.japantimes.co.jp...)

My opponent needs to understand that I'm really against the use of any bombing of innocent civilians. It's a lost cause, and it's time we realize it.

C. DEATH TOLL DEBATE

"It was estimated at the time that an invasion of the Japanese mainland would result in more that 500,000 deaths"

--I initially stated that my opponent must prove that the alternative to the use of the atomic bombs would have caused a greater amount of gross death. Although my opponent provided a source and a number, he is far from winning this point.

Here's a few excerpts from John Ray Skates' "The Invasion of Japan":

"Truman justified the use of the atomic bombs by claiming that his decision precluded a bloody invasion that would have cost one million casualties. The numbers varied with the occasion--sometimes two hundred and fifty thousand, sometimes five hundred thousand [as in this debate], sometimes one million; sometimes the numbers described deaths, sometimes total casualties, sometimes only Americans, or sometimes Japanese and Americans."

"The source of the large numbers used after the war...has yet to be discovered."

"Such prophecies of extremely high casualties only came to be widely accepted after the war to rationalize the use of the atomic bombs."

With all of this in mind, we can see that nukes did not, as my opponent asserts, save lives.

Therefore, my argument stands.

CONTENTION TWO:

"This was a noble goal but when the Japanese refused we had no choice but to end the war."

--I strongly disagree with this. I have shown with evidence that Truman was aware that the Japanese wanted peace. My opponent, however, has given no evidence to support this argument.

CONTENTION THREE:

"I would say that war in Iraq was a good preemtive measure that may have prevent even more tragedy down the road"

--Once again, I believe this is a terrible assumption to make. My evidence from the Japan Times proves this assumption to be a major fallacy.

--I also think that our situation in Iraq can still be related to our WWII situations. "In Iraq, civilian casualties were high and intentional as part of a campaign to demoralize the population" (http://search.japantimes.co.jp...). Civilian casualties should not be tolerated. There is no conceivable benefit to them.

CONCLUSION:

I think that every single one of my arguments is still valid. My opponent has been making unjustified assertions based in post-war propaganda. My opponent must do much better if he intends to win this debate.
Amphibian

Pro

I would like to thank my opponent for a very interesting and engaging debate.

I will now refute my opponent"s first contention. The flaw with this contention and with the entire case against the resolution is that my opponent seems to have forgotten that we were at war. War is not a slap, it is not a debate. Both of these comparisons are ludicrous. My opponent argues about "innocent" lives lost. The country of Japan attacked a nonagressive nation causing thousands of deaths, they are guilty of that if nothing else. How is a soldier who has been drafted and forced to fight in a foreign country or in his own, Japanese or American anything but innocent? In war people will die and their innocence is less of an issue than their nationality when two militaries are waging war. This is not perhaps how it should be, this is simply how it is. The bombing of a country is never a good thing, but sometimes a course of action is initially a painful one but eventually the wisest one. As I said before the United States had a clear choice, we could win the war or we could lose more American live.

My opponent also brings up a telegram from the Japanese asking for peace. This was rejected because of the need for unconditional surrender the telegram only offered conditional surrender, one of my initial contentions which I will go over again.

"The message Truman cited did not refer to anything even remotely resembling surrender. It referred instead to the Japanese foreign officials™s attempt (under the suspicious eyes of the military) to persuade the Soviet Union to broker a negotiated peace that would have permitted the Japanese to retain their pre war empire and their imperial system (not just the emperor) intact." http://hnn.us...

To explain the need for unconditional surrender I will go over some of Japans Military history. First of all Japan has intuited conflict with the following nations. Russia, Korea, Malaysia, the Philippines, The United States, Manchuria, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia. Japan has attacked, invaded or attempted to invade each of these nations without provocation since the beginning of the 20th century. In the Sino-Japanese war Japan attacked Korea, Manchuria and Taiwan resulting in over forty thousand casualties, in Russo-Japanese war Japan attacked Russians vessels near Port Arthur in China controlled waters before even declaring war, the following conflict resulted in more than one hundred and fifty thousand dead. Then came the second Sino-Japanese war resulting in over four million dead. All of these wars took place in a period of under forty five years, they all took place in neighboring countries and every single one of them was started by a Japanese attack. These do not include wars with the United States Europeans or any nations outside of Asia. So with this history, after the Japanese attacked the United States the need for unconditional surrender was apparent. Since the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki Japan has not initiated nor been involved in a single major conflict. The unconditional surrender of Japan was brought about only through use of the Atomic Bomb and it has clearly benefited not only Japan, but the Asian continent as well as the rest of the world. It is clear that Japans history necessitated unconditional surrender even without actions taken against the United States.

Also and once again I will bring up that we were at war, we had the right and the responsibility to fight the Japanese threat. As I have already shown earlier in my arguments a single firebombing resulted in over one hundred thousand deaths, so all the Atomic Bombs did was allow for a similar death toll with more political influence. It saved lives if anything. Even with this new threat the Japanese still refused surrender after the first bomb was dropped. We gave them an ultimatum and they chose the deaths of thousands over the end of war.

Even considering my opponents arguments my contentions still stand.

1. Necessity
2. Morality
3. Unconditional Surrender

These three conditions justify the use of the Atomic Bomb.
Debate Round No. 3
Teucer32

Con

Alright. It looks like this is the final round. My opponent made some interesting arguments, but I think he dismissed too many of mine.

I'll try to take it line-by-line.

CONTENTION ONE:

A. My opponent dismissed the argument that I thought he was implying that American lives are worth more than other lives. As I've previously stated, it is this type of mindset that leads to more atrocities. My opponent had more than enough space to address it, so don't let him bring it up in the final round.

(1) My sub-point (1) was about innocence. My opponent touched on it by saying that soldiers are all innocent, but Japan had made terrible decisions. Here's the thing: You can't judge a population by the decisions their leaders make. Take the United States as a perfect example. There are tons of people who didn't agree with former-President Bush's decision to go into Iraq. Can you really blame EVERY American for Bush's decision? The land invasion would have taken care of those who actually made the decisions.

Japan was 95% civilian-populated at the time of the bombing!!! Look back to my source from the last round.

(2) My point here was that just because someone starts something it doesn't mean you have to get them back for it. My opponent retorted by saying that its completely different because "it's war." But here's the thing: The human condition is war. What I mean to say is that a petty slap in the face isn't really that far off from declaring war on someone. It's all caused by the same thing.

(3) My opponent argued against this point by saying that my source wasn't citing Japan's surrender. This is incorrect. Even my opponent's own source understands that it was Japan's attempt at negotiated peace. My opponent and his source also lecture about the threat of Russia.

Take this into consideration:

"Based on a detailed investigation of all the facts, and supported by the testimony of the surviving Japanese leaders involved, it is the Survey's opinion that certainly prior to 31 December 1945, and in all probability prior to 1 November 1945, Japan would have surrendered even if the atomic bombs had not been dropped, even if Russia had not entered the war, and even if no invasion had been planned or contemplated."

(http://www.ibiblio.org...)

My argument stands.

B. My point here was that the bullet would have been more effective than the bomb.

(1) Without addressing my point here, my opponent is accepting the fact that the atomic bomb was used without regard for innocent human life. That should be enough reason to vote for me.

(2) My opponent also dismissed this point. The use of the atomic bomb set a terrible precedent for later U.S. wars. This went completely untouched. This is yet another reason to not stand for the use of the bombs.

C. Additionally, my opponent, for all intents and purposes, conceded the death toll debate. By looking at the evidence in the third round, you can see that I have shown that more lives were lost in the bombing than would have been lost in the land invasion. Keep in mind this is total lives lost as well--not just Americans.

CONTENTION TWO:

My argument stands that Japan wanted peace. Therefore, no moral high ground was taken here. I should win this contention.

CONTENTION THREE:

Using bombs as preemptive measures against further attacks has been proved a fallacy. There was no need for unconditional surrender. There is no way to prove that Japan "needed" to be nuked because they are doing alright now. That is, in fact, a logical fallacy. The land invasion, as I've argued, would have left Japan in better shape, with less lives lost. My opponent dropped most of this debate, not even addressing the loss of civilians.

CONCLUSION:

I don't think any of my opponent's contentions stand. In fact, I think many of you will find that you don't like the the implications of many of his arguments.

How, with any reason, can we justify the killing of innocent people? It doesn't work in a practical sense, and I really hope it doesn't make sense in your heart.
Amphibian

Pro

Amphibian forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4
2 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Posted by wjmelements 7 years ago
wjmelements
I suppose a topic.
Posted by Aric 7 years ago
Aric
You will let your opponent chose what?
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by Teucer32 7 years ago
Teucer32
Teucer32AmphibianTied
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Total points awarded:70 
Vote Placed by cbass28 7 years ago
cbass28
Teucer32AmphibianTied
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Total points awarded:61