The Instigator
TeddyKyle
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
BennyW
Pro (for)
Winning
4 Points

Going back in time to stop the invention of the atomic bomb will be beneficial to the human race.

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 1 vote the winner is...
BennyW
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 5/1/2011 Category: Science
Updated: 5 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 2,438 times Debate No: 16233
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (10)
Votes (1)

 

TeddyKyle

Con

I will be arguing as con, opposing that going back in time to stop the invention of the atomic bomb will be beneficial to humanity. Simple rules will be arguing in good faith and be well mannered. No dirty moves like semantics, cheap shots, etc.

We will disregard the theoretical implications of time travel like the infamous paradoxical effect and so on.

Hoping to have a fun debate! :)
BennyW

Pro

I would like to thank my opponent for presenting this argument.

I agree to and accept the terms of the debate. Disregarding all paradox and butterfly effect, assuming that everything else not directly affected would be the same, I will argue that the atomic bomb was not a good thing. The premise of this debate implies only the destructive weapons resulting from atomic energy and so any positive benefit from atomic energy should not be addressed.

To sum this up I will argue that society as a whole would be better off if atomic weapons had never been invented.
Let me jump into my arguments for my point.
First of all, even the man who made the technology possible, Albert Einstein himself was appalled at the idea of dropping the bomb. Also when Truman dropped the bomb he went against the advice of his Generals including Eisenhower and MacArther. [1]

Since that is just certain people's opinion on the bomb, albeit people who's opinion really mattered, I want to address the moral aspect of it, which is really what is central to this debate. It is never acceptable to deliberately kill civilians in war. I will not deny Japan did terrible things but that does not justify retaliating in kind.
Remember also the reason we were making the bomb is that we feared Germany was making it as well, but if for the sake of this argument neither Germany, or the US, or even Russia would have had the bomb as the established hypothetical situation would disallow it.
This has implications for today. Why do we fear Iran and North Korea? It is because they have nuclear weapons.

That is the premise of my argument.
Thank you and I await your response.

1 http://www.doug-long.com...
Debate Round No. 1
TeddyKyle

Con

Let's begin.

If any of us were to go back in time to stop the invention of the atomic bomb, there might or would be adverse effects associated to it.

In 1934 the idea of chain reaction via neutron was proposed by Leó Szilárd, who patented the idea of the atomic bomb. The patent was transferred in secret to Britain's Navy in 1936. In a very real sense, Szilárd was the father of the atomic bomb academically. [1] So technically we will have to stop this man from coming up with the idea of chain reaction which is the foundation for nuclear weapons if we were to stop the invention of the atomic bomb.

Unfortunately the atomic bomb was bound to occur at some point, even if we've managed to go miraculously go back in time to stop Leo' Szilárd from coming up with the idea. Much of the fundamental theory already existed then and the invention of the atomic bomb was just a matter of time before it happened. Physics was close to creating a nuclear bomb. At that time, the bomb was high on the agenda for America and Britain mainly because of the fact that Germany was already researching this idea and this gave American and British scientists impetus to build a fully fledged nuclear weapon before them.

Eventually the Manhattan Project was formed which brought together top scientists around the world including exiles from Europe to make this a reality, funded heavily by both the American and British government. The Soviet Union was kept in the dark about this but unfortunately, there were numerous people involved with the project that volunteered to spy for them, most notably being Klaus Fuchs. This gave fresh motivation for the Russians to also invent an atomic bomb which eventually led to the proliferation of nuclear weapons on both sides.

As it happens the bomb was not used to launch unilateral strikes on the USSR but instead was simply used as a balance to prevent a supposed Soviet ground threat to Western Europe. One might wish that the bomb was invented a few months later so as to prevent its use against Japan (which may or may not have saved lives).

However the bomb being invented by a relatively responsible power is a good thing. The scary prospect would be if the bomb had not been invented by these countries, rather a rogue state invents it, then there is no deterrence to prevent them from using it. Ultimately the scientific know how and ability was around - preventing invention from occurring at some point over the last 66 years would have be impossible.

There has been a lot of contention about the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki about whether it did more harm than good. Personally, I think it ended a war quickly, making more casualties of US troops unneccesary to win the war. However there can be a whole new debate about this itself and we will leave it as such.


If the bomb was not invented by these responsible powers, war will become more of a reality as there will not be any effective deterrent againsts war-hungry nations - like North Korea. North Korea or Iran might very well be the first to possess such weapons then, and then who knows what might happen?

[1] http://en.wikipedia.org...
BennyW

Pro

I thank my opponent for his response.

When my opponent set up this argument he said to disregard all time paradoxes, yet in his argument he says that since technology was headed that way already, the invention of the atomic bomb was inevitable as he states "the atomic bomb was bound to occur at some point". This violates the original precedent regarding time paradox. He set it up as preventing the bomb from being invented at all, not delaying its invention.

One of the points my opponent brings up is essentially the idea of a stalemate brought on by the fear of mutually assured destruction. He also mentions it is better it was us and not some rogue nation. Why is that, wouldn't the mutually assured destruction principal apply to them as well?

While the idea of mutually assured destruction sounds like one of the most convincing arguments in favor of atomic weapons, I suggest that there are better methods with less potential for disaster. Economic sanctions are one powerful way to prevent an enemy nation from attacking especially if they are a country that relies heavily on trade.
"North Korea or Iran might very well be the first to possess such weapons then, and then who knows what might happen? " No because the bomb wouldn't be invented at all according to your original premise.

I thank my opponent for his response and look forward to his next one.
Debate Round No. 2
TeddyKyle

Con

My opponent seems to have misunderstood me and is confused on where my stance is.
As the title says, I oppose that going back in time to stop the invention of the atomic bomb will be beneficial to the human race.

Since the atomic bomb and its fundemental theory was invented and patented by Leo' Szilárd, what I meant was, going back in time to stop Leo' Szilárd from coming up with the idea would have adverse effects, as he is the inventor of the atomic bomb. As in my previous post, I've said that even if we manage to stop this man from coming up with his theory of chain reaction via neutrons, others would still manage to figure it out as the building blocks for the theory was already prevelant at that time.

"Why is that, wouldn't the mutually assured destruction principal apply to them as well?"
Would you think for one second that rogue countries like North Korea would hesitate to use them on us? Absolutely not. If North Korea or Iran were the countries holding atomic power, where would we stand? They would have just threatened to use it against us in their quest to do something preposterous like form an empire by conquering weak countries one by one. If, like you said, they wouldn't nuke other countries because the mutually assured destruction principial applied to them as well, why are nations around the globe worried about them succesfully manufacturing nuclear weapons? For years, the United States and the international community have tried to negotiate an end to North Korea’s nuclear and missile development and its export of ballistic missile technology. Those efforts have been replete with periods of crisis, stalemate, and tentative progress towards denuclearization. [1] If, like you indirectly proposed with a rhetorical question, North Korea have nuclear weapons this instant, the United States and other countries around the world have them too. Would countries around the world be assured that they will not be nuked by them because other more responsible countries are also in possession of them?

Economic sanctions are one powerful way to prevent an enemy nation from attacking especially if they are a country that relies heavily on trade.

How do you justify this statement? It doesn't make sense to me that sanctions can stop countries from nuking one another. Take the sinking of the South Korean warship in March, in which 46 sailors died. North Korea was most like responsible for this act of war albeit they denied any playing any role in it. They are a country who is heavily sanctioned by a multitude of countries, yet they are blatantly dangerous, constantly threatening the fine thread of global peace we are hanging on.

No because the bomb wouldn't be invented at all according to your original premise.

Again, you are confused on where my stance is.

Thank you, I had a fun debate with you. May the best debater win (although I would love to win).

[1] http://www.armscontrol.org...
BennyW

Pro

I thank my opponent for the Response

Based on your clarification it really would mean that everything is delayed. If that means the atomic bomb would never be dropped on Japan than that is a good thing. As for everything else though, if it would happen anyway then there would be no real difference, everything might just happen later.
"Would you think for one second that rogue countries like North Korea would hesitate to use them on us?" No. However there again you are assuming that History would progress in such a way where they would get it first but most ideas North Korea comes up with they steal from elsewhere. Also, why should the US be trusted as the arbiter, we have already been shown to have terrorized Japan. Then there is always the possibility that someone gets careless anyway.
In response to your comment noneconomic sanctions, you must remember that China has trade relations with North Korea and China is our biggest trade partner.
I thank my opponent for this debate and think it was an interesting theory to think about. Like and hypothetical situation, it is full of speculation but I enjoyed it none the less.
Debate Round No. 3
10 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by RayRayRizz 5 years ago
RayRayRizz
Okay I can't vote because I haven't confirmed my identity yet. So I will vote through comments!! I choose Benny W. The time paradox thing is right on.
Posted by TeddyKyle 5 years ago
TeddyKyle
Yep ;)
Posted by Thaddeus 5 years ago
Thaddeus
Exactly Freeman! Ted and I have a time-machine and we are building a crew of hardened time travellers to zip around time righting wrongs and fighting time zombies!
Posted by TeddyKyle 5 years ago
TeddyKyle
Freeman - I'm not sure I get you.
Posted by Freeman 5 years ago
Freeman
The phrase "will be beneficial" would seemingly imply that you've finished building the time machine and plan on using it once this debate has concluded.
Posted by Molzahn 5 years ago
Molzahn
I'll give it a day or two and if no one else takes up the gauntlet, I'll surely take it :)
Posted by TeddyKyle 5 years ago
TeddyKyle
As for the first assumption, then yes.
We are disregarding time travel as an obstacle here as it is purely theoretical and I only intended it to be used metaphorically.

As for your third question, I like my stance to be thought of as "it would not be beneficial to human beings as a whole if we managed to go back in time (again, disregarding any theories about time travel) and stop the invention of the atomic bomb (by the US and British government)". Thank you.
Posted by Molzahn 5 years ago
Molzahn
Can I assume this debate refers only to weaponized usages of atomic technology? May I also assume that the model of time travel involves the creation of parallel realities (basically meaning that no paradoxes can occur).

If I were to rephrase the title of your debate to, "The atomic bomb was beneficial to current history;" would that be an accurate approximation of the intended discussion?

Let me know if this is the case.
Posted by TeddyKyle 5 years ago
TeddyKyle
Yep I do.
Posted by phantom 5 years ago
phantom
Don't you mean WOULD be beneficial?
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by liljohnny818 5 years ago
liljohnny818
TeddyKyleBennyWTied
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Total points awarded:04 
Reasons for voting decision: Con needed to prove going back in time would NOT be beneficial. Con never proved it. To my understanding the Instigator has BOP, and Con never proved it once. All he proved was that rogue nations would have nukes, which they already have now. I thought BennyW had a valid point with his rebuttal that you were sort of abusing the resolution