The Instigator
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The Contender
Pro (for)
13 Points

Dropping the atom bomb on Hiroshima/Nagasaki.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/4/2008 Category: Politics
Updated: 7 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 8,564 times Debate No: 6137
Debate Rounds (3)
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I think it was totally unecassary to drop the atom bomb on Japan as they were about to surrender anyway and it killed so many people, I also believe that America didn't have full knowledge of the atom bomb, so it was a case of 'I've found something that we can throw at them.' Of course Japan was not totally innocent, as they commited some henious crimes (Pearl Harbour) and I'm not going to argue that Japan was right when it so clearly wasn't (siding with Hitler) but I did not think it was a good idea to drop the atom bomb on Japan.


My opponent's resolution is somewhat incorrect, although the meaning is fairly clear (there were very different bombs used). He makes the contention that:

1) The Japanese were about to surrender anyway.
2) America didn't know what the bomb would do & thus it was essentially a new toy.


On the first point, Japan was warned on July 26, 1945 that it must surrender or face "prompt and utter destruction" This warning detailed the exact terms of the surrender agreement and outlined the penalty for refusal (

Japan responded with the term "mokusatsu," which is literally "sliencekill" or the notion that the idea of surrender was so ludicrous that it would die in silence and contempt.

Clearly, the Japanese were NOT about to surrender.

On the second point, the development of the atom bomb had been ongoing since the 1930's and in earnest since the Manhattan Project was started in 1939. Thus, the world's best scientists had been working on this problem for anywhere from 6-15 years. They had a complete understanding of what the bomb would do. In fact, memos of the War Department completely describe the effects of the bomb ( and on top of that, Truman received a detailed report of the effects of the bomb after Trinity exploded at Alamagordo (

Thus, it is clear that those with the power to make military decisions in the US had full knowledge of what the bomb could and would do. To suggest that the average citizen need be informed is ludicrous - the Manhattan project was of the utmost secrecy, and chances are great that the public wouldn't understand the effects of the bomb ANYWAY without actually seeing it used, which would have terrible military repercussions, especially if Germany were to realize that Oppenheimer had lied about the specifics of constructing a bomb and make one themselves.

Clearly, it is not the case that the Americans didn't have full knowledge of the bomb.


Two arguments for using the bomb:

1) Utilitarianism

The estimated casualties of an invasion of the Japanese archipelago vary greatly, but the general consensus seems to be that more than a million persons would have died, and possibly FAR MORE than that, as the Japanese government had approved a draft measure that could have increased their available military manpower by 28 MILLION.

By contrast, the atomic bombs have killed fewer than 500,000.

2) Demonstration to Germany (and other nations).

The Germans were very close to successfully testing their own atomic weapon, and the demonstration in Japan showed the Germans that the Americans both had a bomb and were willing to use it. Regardless of the fact that the German military had surrendered, if Nazi scientists had discovered how to make a bomb, Germany would have quickly regained all of their lost ground in Europe.


So far, I have completely refuted my opponents contentions and provided arguments that he will subsequently have to refute.

Debate Round No. 1


(I'm new to this by the way, and I'm sure I will pick up how you set out your arguments, but for now, I'm going to try and do it as simply but effectively as possible.)
1. My opponent makes the contention that Japan were not about to surrender.
2. My opponent also makes the contention that America knew exactly how to use the bomb.

Firstly, you have provided a lot of evidence and text proving your point, but as a matter of fact, Japan were on low rations of clothing, food and weapons which would have made it almost impossible to continue fighting to the end. So on the contrary, Japan simply did not enough resources to carry on fighting.

Secondly, you have explained that America had full knowledge of the bomb, but what I would like to know, very simply, is if America had tested the bomb for a somewhat lengthy amount of time; why did they not come across the effects of radiation sickness?
After all, that was a great killer in the end. And a lot of people in Japan of our generation are still suffering the effects of the atom bomb, which, of course, was not intended.


1) My opponent has explained utilitarianism to me.
2) My opponent has also provided an argument for the Demonstration to Germany.

1) Yes, as I mentioned in the beginning, the Japanese were not perfect at all. They had bombed Pearl Harbour but if I'm not mistaken, the Japanese did not just use one bomb which wiped out the vast majority of people living in that area, I am sure Japan had used far more than just the one bomb on Pear Harbour.
So, if America had retaliated with the same quantity of atomic bombs, the effects would be much more disastrous than America. My point is, America had created such a terrible bomb, that if they'd have constructed the same amount of bombs used on Pearl Harbour, then Hiroshima would most likely not exist today.

2) On that topic, you have me. The Germans would have most likely constructed such a destructive bomb and used it on the rest of the countries i.e England, Russia, America e.t.c which had gone to war with them. But why use the bomb on the Japanese, why not use them on the Germans, because, at the end of the day, they had started the war.
The Japanese were not much better, I do agree, however why not use the same bomb on Japan that they had used on Pearl Harbour, because they had not gone to such extremes as the Germans.


I shall now present my own arguments.

1) Targeting a civilian habitat.

The Americans, did know that plenty of innocent people had lived there, they knew the bomb would wipe out the many Japanese people that were going about their daily business. Whereas in Pearl Harbour, at least the people there were soldiers, they had a part in the war. Those people, had nothing to do with the war, therefore, I label this a civilian attack.

2) Radiation Sickness.

I briefly touched on this above. If the finest scientists from around the world had investigated and tested this properly, why were they not aware that it would later give people leukemia? Not only the the people who died from the effects of radiation sickness horrifically (hair loss, bleeding from the mouth, purple spots visible on skin) but people way later, in this era who are STILL suffering from effects of the atom bomb. They are completely disowned and are living on the edges of society, for the Americans mistake.


I hope I have cut across my opinion loud and clear, and I'm sorry if any of the information wasn't quite to your satisfactory, as I said, I'm new at this, I am ready for your argument.



First of all, you don't want to say "Affirmed" at the end of your argument. Affirmed means you side PRO. You would want to say Negated or something to that effect...

1) On the Surrender of the Japanese.

My opponent seems to ignore history. Regardless of the state of the Japanese supply and war capacity (the argument for which my opponent provides no reference), the Japanese were clearly not going to surrender. Mimzee has done nothing to negate the historical evidence that Japan refused to surrender when given the option two weeks before the bombs were dropped, and thus, all my previous points on this issue remain valid.

2) On the American knowledge of the bombs.

My opponent asks how the Americans didn't know about the effects of radiation poisoning. Nothing I came across suggests that they did not. However, remember that the Americans would have never tested the bomb on human targets. Why drop an atom bomb on your own nation when you can drop it on another? Also, it is highly likely that the Americans knew perfectly well what the bomb would do because various scientists had been experimenting (and dying - the Curies) with radioactive material for 40 years by the time the bomb was dropped. In any event, the argument about whether or not they knew the specifics of radiation poisoning is somewhat moot, as it does not pass the argument from utilitarianism.


1) On Utilitarianism.

My opponent makes an egregiously bad argument concerning dropping hundreds of atom bombs on Hiroshima. I'm not even clear as to what his point is here, but his use of counter-factual arguments is meaningless in the long run. The entire notion of dropping lots of atom bombs is a complete red herring.

Once again, the death toll of an invasion of the Japanese islands would have resulted in many times the death toll of dropping the bombs, even including the radiation poisoning. Also, the early end to the war prevented the USSR from joining the conflict against Japan, but

2) On a Global Demonstration.

My opponent has conceded this argument ("On that topic, you have me.") but asks why not drop the bomb on Germany. Unfortunately, Mimzee seems to be unfamiliar with the history of this topic. By the time the Americans had successfully tested an atom bomb that was ready to drop, the Germans had already surrendered.


1) On Targeting a Civilian Habitat.

An invasion of Japan was estimated to have civilian casualties of more than a million, twice the number that have died from the bombs. This is indeed a civilian attack. However, the purpose of the attack was to achieve the political end of ending the war with Japan. Japan had already shown a commitment to total war with their kamikaze practices and refusal to accept American surrender terms in face of "total and utter destruction." This was the only plausible way to get them to surrender quickly.

2) On Radiation Sickness.

Once again, my opponent makes the link to radiation that I have already explained. Scientists probably DID know that there would be a radiation effect. I would imagine they didn't know it would last this long, however. But even still, the argument for radiation sickness fails the counterargument from utilitarianism.


My opponent has posted nothing that I have not refuted, and has also not refuted my two claims on this subject.

Debate Round No. 2


Mimzee forfeited this round.


My opponent has had all of her points refuted, and has failed to refute my two points concerning utilitarianism and an international show of force.

Vote Pro.

Debate Round No. 3
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Vote Placed by sweetipi2007 7 years ago
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Vote Placed by rougeagent21 7 years ago
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Vote Placed by JustCallMeTarzan 7 years ago
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