The Instigator
blackhawk1331
Pro (for)
Winning
7 Points
The Contender
petersaysstuff
Con (against)
Losing
3 Points

Dropping the atomic bombs during WW2

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Post Voting Period
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after 4 votes the winner is...
blackhawk1331
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 3/6/2011 Category: Politics
Updated: 6 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 21,389 times Debate No: 15171
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (21)
Votes (4)

 

blackhawk1331

Pro

I am in support of the bombings for multiple reasons. I will, however, allow my opponent to tell why (s)he doesn't support the bombings first. Good luck.
petersaysstuff

Con

I first want to thank my opponent for this debate.
There are a few reasons why dropping the atomic bombs was a bad thing.

1) They caused civilian loss of life which only increased anti-americanism and would just breed resentment.
2) Once other countries saw that we had the ability to use such weapons it lead to widespread nuclear proliferation in Russia which ultimately lead to the Cold War. The remnants of that proliferation can still be seen in our modern day struggles where there is the threat of Iran developing nuclear weapons.

So ultimately the use of the atomic bombs sparked anti-americanism and widespread nuclear proliferation.
Debate Round No. 1
blackhawk1331

Pro

Thank you for accepting this debate. Good luck.

1) They caused civilian loss of life which only increased anti-americanism and would just breed resentment.
a. Civilian loss of life exists in every war. It is almost completely inevitable. Germany bombed Britain, Britain bombed Germany, Japan bombed us, we bombed Japan.
b. Anti-americanism wouldn't breed from a bomb. If everyone who dropped a bomb was hated by the bombed, then why are we allied with Germany? Why aren't we mortal enemies with Japan? They bombed us and our allies, so according to your logic, we should resent them.
c. If there was going to be resentment from bombing, then we wouldn't be the only ones subject to this. We may have dropped the biggest bomb, but Germany dropped more. So did Britain.

2) Once other countries saw that we had the ability to use such weapons it lead to widespread nuclear proliferation in Russia which ultimately lead to the Cold War. The remnants of that proliferation can still be seen in our modern day struggles where there is the threat of Iran developing nuclear weapons.
a. Russia was already working on the atomic bomb when we dropped it. They didn't finish that long after we did. Also, the bomb didn't start the cold war, it prevented it from ever becoming an open war. "We may be likened to two scorpions in a bottle, each capable of killing the other, but only at the risk of his own life." - J. Robert Oppenheimer. This quote was given by the man who led the project of building the atomic bomb. He was comparing Russia and the US during the Cold War. We each have the capability to kill the other, but the odds are we'll die too. Knowing that an American attack on Russia would end us kept us from attacking Russia. Russia's knowledge that attacking us would lead to their destruction kept them from attacking us. Therefore, the atomic bomb kept the cold war from breaking out into open war.
b. Many countries have nuclear weapons. Iraq is just trying to keep up. We don't want them to have the weapons for 2 reasons. One, there is a risk of Al Qaeda taking over. If they get the weapons, we're screwed. Also, Iraq wants to attack Israel, who is our ally.

-----My Arguments-----
1) Dropping the atomic bombs saved millions of lives. The estimated casualties for America were 1,000,000 dead. The estimates for Japan were 10,000,000 dead. 100,000 died to the bombs. That means that 10,900,000 lives were saved. As Spock said, "The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few." Over 10 million lives are worth more than 100 thousand.
2) The Japanese could have prevented all civilian casualties. Before the bomb was dropped on Hiroshima, 700,000 leaflets were dropped warning of the bomb. The entire city could have been evacuated. Instead, the Japanese spit in our face and evacuated only children. Also, the second bomb could have been prevented if Japan had surrendered after the first one. They should have known that we would drop the bomb again if we dropped it once already. It was their own Samurai code that led to the second bombing. They choose victory or death. They were reluctant to surrender. We had no choice but to bomb.
3) Hiroshima was a military hotspot. The Japanese 2nd army was based here. Also, Hiroshima was big in war industry.
4) Bombing happens in war. We were ready to invade Japan. We were going to bomb them anyway. What's the difference between 10 thousand bombs falling in bulk upon the city, and one massive bomb destroying it all at once? Either way, it's razed to the ground.
petersaysstuff

Con

-----Defending my arguments------

It is true that civilian loss of life occurs in every war but not to the the effect that they were with the atomic bombs. In Hiroshima 140,000 people were killed and 80,000 were killed in Nagasaki, way above the estimates you provide later but I will get to that eventually.(1) So yes, the civilian loss of life was very great. And that was on just two days. Two bombs. So my argument about civilian loss of life still stands. As for anti-americanism, one women said this in regards to the bombs: "I hate Americans, they dropped the bomb and they did nothing to America". Anti-americanism was still rampant, just because we aren't mortal enemies now doesn't mean that there everything wen't over well. For example, after WWI Germany was forced to sign the Treaty of Versailles which ultimately lead to huge resentment towards the Triple Entente and ultimately the rise of Hitler. Hatred was huge then but we are allies with Germany now, so your argument about being allies makes no sense thus my claim still stands.

It is true that the Soviet Nuclear project did start during WWII but regardless, after we saw that Russia was making one we made more and so on and so forth. The first one was really the catalyst that started proliferation. It is also true that atomic bombs prevented the Cold War from escalating but as I have already shown the proliferation which started the Cold War was caused by the creation of such a device so my argument about proliferation still stands. I wasn't talking about Iraq, I was talking about Iran...

-----Refutation-----

I have no idea what argument my opponent is making. The over 10,000,000 people were dead according to his evidence. He said //The estimated casualties for America were 1,000,000 dead. The estimates for Japan were 10,000,000 dead.// thus we can see that the bombs didn't save that many, they just weren't the cause of those deaths. So this argument really doesn't work at all...
The claim that we dropped leaflets is somewhat true. We did drop leaflets warning that an attack would happen but no mention of atomic bombs was made and since surviving a regular bombing run wasn't that unlikely that Japanese gave it minimal thought.
So? Columbus Ohio was a big trading area yet it wasn't nuked.
What's the difference? With normal bombs there a) isn't fallout and there is a smaller blast radius and less chance of people getting massively burned (of course you could but it was more common with nuclear bombs) and b) regular bombs didn't genetically mutate the citizens and make the area unusable for years on end. So your argument here doesn't work either.

So in conclusion, my claims still stand whereas my opponents have been refuted. I wait to see what his next move shall be.

(1)http://en.wikipedia.org...
Debate Round No. 2
blackhawk1331

Pro

Do you really want to bet that there weren't over 200,000 civilians casualties in WW2? What difference does it make if it takes 2 bombs, or 2,000 bombs. Dead is dead. Also, the target wasn't a civilian one, it was a military one. We were bombing the Japanese 2nd army, and a war manufacturing area. The Japanese intentionally bombed American Civilian targets. Your argument of civilian loss of life has fallen. That comment makes no sense. Did you leave part out? Why would anything have happened to us for dropping the bomb. Whatever. Anyway, hating your opponent after they beat you is to be expected in most wars. Whether or not that hate stands is is what matters. It didn't stand, therefore, your point fails. The signing of the treaty did lead to WW1, however, there was nothing involving bombs there. The treaty shamed a proud people, and Hitler promised to restore they're pride. By the time they woke up, he was too powerful. They weren't angry over a bomb. Once again, your claim has fallen.

Does it really matter if you have one bomb built or hundred? If we needed more, we'd just build more. The bomb has forever been a prevention of war between civilized countries both owning the technology. We are all afraid of a fallout. Your argument doesn't make a difference either way. More can always be built. Finally, it doesn't mater if you were talking about Iran, they still want to attack Israel, our ally.

-----My Arguments-----

Those weren't over 10 million dead. That was the estimated casualties of an invasion of Japan. The bombs, even using your numbers, killed roughly 200 thousand. Therefore, the bomb saved over 10 million lives. The bombs saved their lives. The leaflets warned of the complete destruction of the Japanese forces. My point stands.
That's not a warning to be taken lightly. They could've, and should've, fled. My point stands.
Columbus wasn't nuked because we were the only ones who could nuke. My point stands. we nuked a military target.
How do you know burning was more common with nukes? Only 2 have ever been dropped. More data is needed to make that call. Hopefully that data will never arrive. The mutations could've occurred without the bombs. They happen naturally. The bombs just increased the amount of mutations. Also, the area is usable. It's unstable, but we can still do stuff with it. Finally, I wasn't referring to those differences. I was referring to the fact that death is death and property damage is property damage. My point stands.
petersaysstuff

Con

-----Defending-------

I never said that there weren't over 200,000 casualties...
What difference does it make? Well you ignored my argument on this which said this
"What's the difference? With normal bombs there a) isn't fallout and there is a smaller blast radius and less chance of people getting massively burned (of course you could but it was more common with nuclear bombs) and b) regular bombs didn't genetically mutate the citizens and make the area unusable for years on end. So your argument here doesn't work either."
So basically my argument on that still stands regarding that. Moving on, I am aware that what was there was a military plant but it was a civilian city as well and we had no regard for that. My argument about civilian loss of life has fallen? Lol how so? When did the Japanese bomb an American city? The quote? I was just showing that there was anti-american sentiments contradicting your claim that there weren't in the previous round. But here you make another contradiction, //. Anyway, hating your opponent after they beat you is to be expected in most wars// so you conceded that there was hate and thus my argument about anti-americanism still works. About the next phrase, //er or not that hate stands is is what matters// it lasted for a great many years and there are still people who do hate us AND my original argument was that it made anti-americanism which is true as you conceded just a moment before thus my argument does work. :) I was giving an example as to a time when anti-americanism did take its toll. I was not arguing that the bomb made Hitler come to power I was just showing that anti-americanism did happen. So once again, my claim stands.

My opponent ignored my argument about proliferation by saying that it doesn't matter how many bombs are built. Isn't that a perfect cop-out to no answer my arguments? My argument for proliferation still stands seeing as my opponent barely made an effort, and a terrible on at that, to refute it.

----------Refutation--------
Ok, clarifying what you were arguing there helps but it doesn't prove your point seeing as Japan was already discussing a conditional surrender with the Soviet Union but we wanted and unconditional one and that is why we bombed. A land invasion would have been necessary seeing as there would have just been another type of surrender. So your argument that it saved lives fails utterly.
"While publicly stating their intent to fight on to the bitter end, Japan's leaders at the Supreme Council for the Direction of the War (the "Big Six") were privately making entreaties to the neutral Soviet Union, to mediate peace on terms " (1)
The leaflets made no mention of an atomic bomb and since surviving regular bombings wasn't all that rare they, somewhat rightfully, took no notice. So your argument there doesn't work. Also, the only reason we wanted to nuke them was to get them to surrender unconditionally, essentially humiliate them.
What? Columbus had a major plant the supplied most of the wings for planes and was a big trading area but it wasn't bombed. Regardless of whether or not nukes were involved it still was left alone. So guess who's argument still stands? Mine.
Regarding the burns, considering nuclear weapons have a) a bigger blast radius and b) usually a bigger yield and c) they burn hotter it is true that they do produce more burns. Therefore my argument stands. The mutations could have occurred without the bombs? Oh yeah, because massive amounts of gamma rays just burst out of nowhere in a condensed area. But really, you've got to be kidding me right? When a nuclear bomb goes off intense amounts of gamma rays are produced in a very rapid time and all condensed together thus making a deadly combination. So my argument here stands whislt your's utterly falls. It was unusable for years after, remember that it has been over 60 years since then.... And regardless of what you were referring to my argument about the massive differences and the much greater scale hold way more water.

---------Overview---------

So basically my opponent has failed to negate my claims regarding the civilian causalities in just 2 days, he has failed to negate my argument regarding anti-americanism, in fact it is quite the opposite, he conceded it and he has failed to negate my argument about proliferation so all of my arguments still stand. On the flip side, none of the arguments that my opponent has made stand and thus I strongly urge you to vote Con.

Your turn Pro.

(1) http://en.wikipedia.org...
Debate Round No. 3
blackhawk1331

Pro

Where did your argument about civilian casualties go? I'd like to point out to everyone that the argument was dropped. Once again, dead is dead. It doesn't matter what bomb was used if everyone is dead. The radiation should be gone by now. The radiation outside of the plant at Chernobyl is cleared up, and that expansion happened awhile after the bombs. That land is cleared. Civilians have often been wounded and killed in bombings. What about the bombing of London? Berlin? When did the Japs bomb us? I'll tell you. They flew tiny hot air balloons up with bombs. The balloons would fly over America, and eventually pop releasing the bomb. These weren't targeted at the military. They were meant to attack the civilians. A few were killed/ wounded. A thought occurred to me. You are worrying about civilian loss of life. Are you aware what the Japs did to the conquered peoples? They made life a living hell for them. The Japanese occupation was so bad that we released the Philippines from American control. Hate and anti-americanism are totally different things. You'd hate someone if they attacked you. In the long run, though, you'd probably grow to forgive them. America didn't even sign the Versailles Treaty. Your statement still fails.

It doesn't matter how many are built. If one gets dropped, then they all start being built and dropped. If you have 100, you can build 100 more. Plus, the more bombs there were, the bigger the deterrent.

It doesn't matter if Japan was discussing surrender with the USSR. They weren't fighting Japan, we were. We decide the terms, and we decided unconditional. One problem with WW1 is that we never actually entered Germany. They didn't feel defeated, so this time we had to completely and utterly break them. Japan was on the Axis, they had to fall as well. Plus, even if they did surrender to the USSR, they would have become communist, and we would've fought there anyway. Killing even more. Also, the bomb had to be used. If you have a super weapon, it will be used. It's better that it was used when one nation had it, then when they all had it.
Really, there's no worry that you could die in a regular bombing run? We needed them to surrender unconditionally. That way, they would know we weren't messing around, and they would think twice before attacking us again.
Columbus wasn't bombed because it was far off the coast of a large country. Our nation wasn't even bombed by the Germans. Do you think Japan could have flown over more than half of the nation?
Mutations occur naturally, so they could've happened. Probably not in as great a quantity, but mutations would still happen. It's how we evolve. I win.
petersaysstuff

Con

Where did the argument about civilian casualties go? Read my first paragraph! I specifically deal with the civilian casualties argument. So you are just saying it was dropped because you missed it. My opponent then makes the claim that "the radiation should be gone by now". Ok so what? My original argument was that it was unusable for years on end still stands. You have done nothing to refute this and thus it flows through the entire round. So even if, and let me stress IF because my opponent has provided no source, the hot air balloon tale is true he himself said "a few were killed/wounded" where as over 200,000 civilians were killed in the atomic bombings. So if we go off sheer numbers 200,000 is way greater.
About the conquered peoples, first off, you using the word "Japs" is just a tad racist don't you think? It sounds a little ignorant... but regardless it is true that they made life a "living hell" for conquered peoples but usually, not always, but usually they were POW's not civilians whereas we dropped and two atomic weapons on two cities killing over 200,000 civilians! So my argument about civilian casualties still stands seeing as my opponent has made a minimal effort to negate it, and not a very good one at that. Hate and anti-americanism are closely related. Anti-americanism is hate, just specifically directed at Americans so as I said in my last speech, you conceded that there was hate toward Americans thus it is anti-americanism. My argument regarding the bombs breeding anti-americanism still stands. About the treaty of Versailles, I was giving an example of a time when hatred stood for years on end and lead to another war. I'm sorry if you missed the point of that but just because you didn't understand what I was arguing doesn't mean it falls.

What are you talking about? You have now just conceded my argument about proliferation. You said //It doesn't matter how many are built. If one gets dropped, then they all start being built and dropped.// The key part here is "If one gets dropped, then they all start being built and dropped". That is exactly what I am arguing about proliferation. You have successfully conceded my entire proliferation argument in one sentence so obviously it still stands.

But we knew they were going to surrender yet we just had to show that we had more power by killing 200,000 civilians and then making them suffer a humiliating defeat. Kudos America! But the main point here is that a land invasion would not have been necessarily which my opponent claims it would have been and since he made no attempt to defend that argument it flows to my side. So now my opponent is arguing that if Japan surrendered to Russia they'd become Communist but by now it is obvious he has done no research into this surrender. The condition was that Japan kept it's Emperor! It would not have become Communist and thus your entire argument here falls. So now you are arguing that if you have a super weapon it must be used and it's better for one to use it than all but a) he ignores the point that it lead to proliferation which he previously conceded and b) he has no evidence that other nations other than Russia would begin developing them at that time so this argument doesn't work at all. I didn't say that there was no worry that you could die, I said that surviving them wasn't all that uncommon where as nuclear bombs destroy almost everything. So basically what you are saying here is that US was just trying to show the world that we will mess you up if you piss us off. Oh, that's real good for our global image! That's why anti-americanism spread, because we looked like terrible people for killing 200,000 civilians in just two days!
No, Columbus wasn't bombed because it was a city with civilians.
//Mutations occur naturally, but not as in as great a quantity.// Conceded! I was arguing that mutations occurred more from the fallout and your line that said: //Probably not in as great a quantity// just proved my argument. And I must point out something, mutations aren't what drive evolution, it's natural selection, which organism is best suited to their environment. My argument about mutations still stands.

---------Voting Issues---------

My opponent has failed to negate my argument regarding civilian casualties and therefore it flows through the round and you must keep it in mind while voting. My argument about proliferation was never negated, in fact it was conceded by my opponent therefore it obviously still flows through the round and you should vote Con solely on that. My argument about anti-americanism not just flows through but was also conceded as shown above. My opponent has failed to defend any of his claims as well as refute any of mine and therefore, based on these and any other voting issues you see in the round, I urge you to vote Con. Thank you Pro for this debate.

~~Peter
Debate Round No. 4
21 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Getowned123 6 years ago
Getowned123
Now that you think about it, United States DID start the Cold War. When United State dropped the bomb on Japan, other countries were "oh crap now if the United States decides to invade our country, we would be defenseless". So the natural thing to do start to produce bombs.
Posted by goodwill37 6 years ago
goodwill37
Anti-americanism is worldwide. Every country hates the U.S. for at least one reason. So it doesn't matter if we got more anti-americanism for dropping the atom bombs.
Posted by wolfhaines 6 years ago
wolfhaines
Japan had no chance of surviving without any oil, without an air force and without a Navy. America would have easily beaten Japan without the bomb. The allies could have waited for the bomb to be developed and bombed Germany and Japan and saved lots of allied lives, but they didn't...
It was political, not humanitarian.
Posted by THEBOMB 6 years ago
THEBOMB
The Japanese had been trying to surrender to the United States for a few months before the bomb had been dropped. President Truman would not listen to the Japanese because he wanted the war to continue so he could build a nuclear weapon and show the United States power by dropping the nuclear bomb on Japan. Take a look at this site it gives some insight: http://www.americanthinker.com...

There still is an emperor of Japan.
Posted by blackhawk1331 6 years ago
blackhawk1331
I will give you that we knew they would have to surrender eventually or completely die off. The problem was that we didn't know WHEN they would surrender. They were taking casualties of up to 99.9%. They followed the Bushido code that dictated victory or death. Think about it, they didn't surrender after n entire city was razed to the ground by one bomb. Oh, I forgot to say this, but the civilians weren't so innocent, there were apparently times when even they'd fight. As for your comment in the debate about my sources, the source is a school history book, a few weeks of class, and another smaller history book. We just finished WW2 in school.
Posted by petersaysstuff 6 years ago
petersaysstuff
DAMMIT I typed the wrong thing xD I hate to say it blackhawk but I disagreed xD
But the thing is we knew they were going to surrender anyways.
Posted by phantom 6 years ago
phantom
srry i mean breed not bread lol :)
Posted by phantom 6 years ago
phantom
Wish U could edit ur comments so u wouldn't have to keep adding......
anny way pete I advise you to read "with the old bread" by eugene sledge (a marine who survived the war) hears one quote from his book. had a better one but coudnt find it......

"We received the news with quiet disbelief coupled with an indescribable sense of relief. We thought the Japanese would never surrender. Many refused to believe it. Sitting in stunned silence, we remembered our dead. So many dead. So many maimed. So many bright futures consigned to the ashes of the past. So many dreams lost in the madness that had engulfed. Except for a few widely scattered shouts of joy, the survivors of the abyss sat hollow-eyed and silent, trying to comprehend a world without war."

Just think of all the hardships they had to go through. all the friends, and comrades that died alongside them. All the sons, fathers, and husbands that died, and the many more that would have died if they had invaded Japan. Just think of all the lives that were saved both japanese and american. I don't see how u can be against that
Posted by blackhawk1331 6 years ago
blackhawk1331
Pete, I have a correction for you. We knew that Japan would lose, not surrender. We didn't drop the bomb to humiliate them, we dropped the bomb to end the war. Either bombing or invading was needed. As for your last statement in the comment post, half is true. "we can see that a land invasion would have been necessary" Thank you for agreeing. ;)

Phantom, I heard a story similar to yours on a forum thread on another site. His grandfather or father was a marine, and going to be one of the first to hit the beaches.
Posted by phantom 6 years ago
phantom
actually it was very hard to get the japanese to surrender. If a japenese soldier surrendered he would be shot by his own army. It was considered better to die (and was expected to) than to surrender, or get captured. So Japan would never have surrenderd without being severely damaged first. America killed 200,000 civilians, but in so doing lost 0 of their own.
4 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Vote Placed by ceruleanpolymer 6 years ago
ceruleanpolymer
blackhawk1331petersaysstuffTied
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Reasons for voting decision: i agree with the contender.
Vote Placed by BillBonJovi 6 years ago
BillBonJovi
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Reasons for voting decision: I agree with Pro's arguments and they were better I think
Vote Placed by IamZero 6 years ago
IamZero
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Reasons for voting decision: Pro wins, but both did good.
Vote Placed by Cliff.Stamp 6 years ago
Cliff.Stamp
blackhawk1331petersaysstuffTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Pro needed to support enforcement of unconditional surrender and the requirement of additional force (convention or nuclear).