Resolved: States ought not possess nuclear weapons(Cross Examination in comments section only 7 que)
Debate Rounds (5)
It is because I agree with John Stewart Mill that
I affirm , "Resolved States ought not possess nuclear weapons."
Before I begin my case, I feel I need to define some significant words in the resolution and make two very important observations in order to achieve the best debate possible.
Observation one: The resolution uses the word ought, which means "used to indicate duty or obligation " meaning I need not provide a method to remove the nuclear weapons, I only need to prove why it should be removed, assuming we are in a hypothetical instance. It also indicates that states have a moral obligation to not possess nuclear weapons.
Observation Two: state is defined as a politically organized group of people usually occupying a definite territory, especially one that is sovereign.
My core value is the concept of morality,which can only be truly achieved by the criterion of the Protection of Lives which states that every person is entitled to his own defintion of morality. The concept of morality is best defined by the Moral Standard Right, which states each individual has a right to his own morals. However, I will prove in the round that immorality does exist despite the definition becaue certain things cannot possibly be moral because they directly destroy the key element that creates morality, which is life.
My value, the concept of Morality is important for global stability because if no state or few states value the life of their citizens or political leaders, then a form of war, conventional or nuclear, is guranteed. Philosopher Professor Vincent Jamison of Duke University explains in his research that, " The daily chemistry of our minds that tell us that murder or thievery is indecent comes from morality. Without this, we would be slaves to our desires. Every intention we ourselves consider selfless or selfish comes from morality. If for example morals or ethics did not exist, then there is no debate that people would make decisions disregarding other people, but only considering themselves." This proves that global stability, which is essentially considered a positive impact, cannot be achieved if morality is not valued.
Since every human is entitled to his own morals, I will use the three most widely known concepts of morality as my contentions and explain why they are particularly applicable to this debate.
Contention one: According to the well known theory of consequentialism(founder of this theory unknown), determining if an action is moral is solely based on the consequences it brings.This philosophy is best for this particular debate because the consequences of a nuclear weapon is both apparent and immediate. An example of this can be seen with the nuclear weapons. The main purpose nuclear weapons themselves serve is to inflict mass destruction in many ways, namely detonation and radiation. The consequences of a launch of a nuclear weapon can be illustrated in the case of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, in which a single nuke decimated two major Japanese cities during World War Two, destroying what both the Japanese and American government agree to be a total of about 200,000 lives. The loss of lives is agreed to be deplorable due to the fact that without life morality itself cannot exist, therefore anything that harms morality is obviously not moral. Don Marquis of the University of Kansas explains that " Murder is not bad because it deems the killer barbaric or if it leaves relatives and family saddened. It is immoral because it deprives an individual of its future." This argument explains that another reason loss of lives is immoral is because it deprives individuals of the future, and civilization itself, along with morality, needs individuals to exist. This is important because life is a prerequisite to morality and the intended purpose of a nuclear weapon is to cause genocide. Unless the negative can prove that the loss of lives is not a morally negative consequence, nuclear weapons are deemed immoral, and if they are immoral that means civilization cannot exist if there are too many immoral things in existence, therefore if civilization cannot coexist with nukes then I win the round.
Contention Two: According to the concept of morality known as Utilatarianism developed by John Stewart Mill and Jeremy Bentham, the two reknown philosophists define morality as " Anything that brings the vast majority of all sentient beings happiness or pleasure." This philosophy can be applied to this debate simply because the vast majority of living things all consider life to be moral, in other words in gives them happiness if they have it, so taking life away in general is considered immoral. Obviously, nuclear weapons possess the capacity to take away life, so taking life away is immoral. This also states that if the majority of sentient beings considers something like nuclear weapons to be immoral,in which they most likely do because many people embrace major religions such as Christianity or Buddhism that directly prohibit murder of any kind, they have the right and the obligation to remove the weapons or do what they feel is morally right. If the negative doesn't prove taking away life is immoral according to most people's standards, then I win this arguments.
Contention Three: The moral concept of Dionthology, created by Immanuel Kant, German Philosopher, explains that determining if an action is moral or not is based solely on the moral intent or good will an action has. This philosophy is extremely important because nuclear weapons are not based on good moral intent because they take away lives, as I have explained in my above intention. Also, if the negative happened to outweigh my significant evidence that nuclear detterence do not exist and prove it somehow does, I can argue that the nuclear detterence are based on bad moral intent as it implies that the states are willing to commit genocide simply to protect their own interest and not that of the globe, or states, as described in the resolution.
In each of my three contentions I have demonstrated that the loss of lives is harmful and that it cannot be moral due to it not being part of the moral standard right because it directly contradicts the prerequisite to even have morality, life itself. Even if I did not clearly state why loss of lives is immoral, the negative simply cannot state otherwise else he would be stating genocide achieves morality. This is so essential that unless the negative disproves all three of my contentions, there is no reason I should not be winning the round because, I repeat, each contention directly contradicts how the loss of lives can be beneficial in its own individual way and clearly demonstrates that not only do the majority of all moral philosophies value life, but that without it, as I again repeat, morality cannot exist, meaning the concept of morality is achieved when lives are protected.
Contention 4: Nuclear Detterents are simply an illusion that nuclear armed state's citizens use to feel a sense of security. states that are run by incompetent rulers or dictators in which the people have absolutely no say in politics may use a nuclear weapon simply because they themselves have little to lose and do not care about what happens to the state. James Hott, University of South Carolina professor explains, " The average human makes a false assumption that nuclear detterents are a foolproof way to ensure security. , the probability of a terroist group, which has no specific location or territory attacking is high enough that we spend billions funding our missile defense systems." Hott also explains that " Monarchs and dictators are known throughout history to put themselves in front of their country, even when faced with the prospect of severe destruction on their state, and thus should not be considered reliable in the false concept that nuclear weapons de
I agree with my opponent definitions/observations.
Before I begin I will offer two pre-case observations. One, since the negative is negating that states ought not possess nuclear weapons, it is not the burden of negative to prove that states have an obligation to possess nukes, only that they dont have an obligation to not possess.
Two, since there is no specific quantity given to the word "States", we must assume that it is referring to all states and it is the burden of the affirmative to prove why they ought not possess.
To uphold the resolution I offer the following value of Security.
To uphold Security I offer the following criterion of Maintaining International Constancy, defined as the quality of being unchanging or unwavering. We have a system in place that has been proven to work. No nuclear wars or uses have happened since their power was first witnessed. Therefore we have no obligation to change this system.
Contention 1: Nuclear weapons will not be used and therefore pose no threats to society.
Sub point A: A direct, voluntary launch will be deterred. Kenneth Waltz explains
(Professor of Poly Sci at Berkley, 2003 "The spread of nuclear weapons: a debate renewed")
"The higher the stakes and the closer a country moves towards winning them the more surely that country invites retaliation and risks its own destruction...winning in war (in a nuclear world) is too dangerous to fight for and...the presence of nuclear weapons makes states exceedingly cautious." This is not a difficult theory to comprehend. States know if they use their nukes against another nuclear power they will have them used against them. This type of assured destruction will prevent the use of nuclear weapons between nuclear states.
Sub point B: Non-voluntary or misjudged use is virtually impossible. First of all I'd like to point out that there have been no unintentional uses of nuclear weapons, ever. Secondly, the reason. Any use of nuclear weapons by a state requires a well thought out, determined decision which leads back to my sub point A. Douglas Roche
(Douglas Roche, Sleepwalking in a Nuclear Minefield: The United States Still Worships at the Altar of Nuclear Weapons-Yet Cries 'Heresy' When Others Want to Join the Sect,�€� Sojourners
Magazine, Vol. 37, March 2008' "meaning they could be fired on 15 minutes'
wrote that the process of launching a nuclear weapon takes 15 minutes to occur. Kenneth Waltz also pointed out that the launch can be cancelled within the first 12 minutes of this process. This means that one, a potential nuclear user has 12 minutes to think about his decision or alert authorities that it was triggered by accident, and 2, once he realizes his mistake he can change it. The 15 minute wait prevents this type of accidental launch and also ensures that a nuclear attack would mandate a well thought out decision, and as previously stated this decision would be to not use the bomb.
Sub point C: Nuclear weapons are secure. A report published by the Nuclear Weapons Archive details how US nukes are hidden from everyone except the top government officials, and how they are equipped with "links" that render the weapon inoperable if a launch is triggered by anything other than the way it was intended. Nukes in other nations such as France, Russia, and the UK have also been proven secure due to the fact that nobody knows where they are. You cant steal what you cant find, and the locations of nuclear facilities cannot be discovered by anyone other than workers and government leaders. Furthermore, its safe to assume that there are significant security forces in every facility of nations that possess nukes, and when combined with the hidden locations, it makes the chance of nuclear theft virtually nonexistant.
Due to these reasons I urge you to realize that nuclear weapons cannot possibly be used. Since use is the only so called "risk" with nukes, and that this has been proven obsolete, there are no drawbacks to having nuclear weapons.
In summary, the case says nuke use wont happen under any circumstance, thus we have no obligation to not possess.
Now I'll attack my opponents case.
My opponent's value is the concept of Morality. He says in cross-ex that his contentions are basically extentions of his value so my main arguments against his it will be in attacking the contentions. However, he make a big mistake in his contention 1 where he states that life is a prerequisite to morality. Here he admits that there is something more important than his value. Since life is a prerequisite, if I can prove no life is violated then I outweigh on all his morality concepts.
His criterion is the protection of lives. This can be turned to the negative side right now. I have shown you how we are already safe from nuclear weapons, thus lives are already protected. Furthermore, under my criterion of maintaining constancy, the safety we have from nukes will not change. Lives are protected under the negative side.
Contention 1: He states consequentialism, evaluating actions based on consequences, states that nukes are immoral, since launch causes destruction.
However my opponent is evaluating the wrong action. In his resolution we are not evaluating the morality of use. We are evaluating the morality of possession.
His entire contention is about the destructive power of nukes, however since we are talking about possession, my opponent must prove that possession leads to use to make this argument. He has not. He fails to provide any link between posession and use. Since he hasnt even tried to prove use will happen, all of his impacts of nuclear war should be thrown out the door, which basically is his contention.
Contention 2: He talks about utilitarianism, and how its moral because it provides happiness and what not. However my opponent has never stated how he actually upholds this belief. He only talks about how its not upheld on the neg. My opponent does nothing to provide utilitarianism himself.
He states that because nuke weapons have the capacity to take away life, they're immoral. However this theory cannot be applied to actual real life scenarios. Water has the capacity to kill people. Knives have the capacity to kill people. Does it make them immoral?
He then talks about the people wanting nukes to be gone. However the majority of the people arent as knowledgable about MAD theories and nuclear weapon safety as we are, as we have researched this topic extensively. If they were aware of how safe having nukes are, they would not feel that way
Contention 3: Deontology states nukes are immoral because they're predicated on threats and bad intent. Once again these moral theories have no real life application. By this logic it is immoral for me to threaten my opponent with imprisonment if he becomes a serial killer. It is immoral for me to threaten to sue a health insurance company if they refuse to pay for treatment. It is immoral for me to fight back against an attacker because by fighting I'm showing bad intent. This theory isnt applicable to any real life scenarios.
Contention 4: He talks about irrational leaders and terrorists. Irrational leaders are irrational, not stupid. He is incorrect in stating they have nothing to lose. If a nuke destroys their country they have nothing to exert their absolute power over, thus they will avoid nuclear conflict.
Terrorist threat has been disproven by my sub point C, where I show you how nukes are completely safe from theft.
In short, my opponents moral theories sound good on on paper, but when you apply them to real life scenarios you see how ridiculous they are. Since nukes wont be used, states have no obligation to not possess. I urge a con vote.
My value is the one that should be used because the concept of morality will always be universal. Everybody will always have some concept of morality in their minds, even if that entails dancing naked, or doing things we deem bizarre\.
Criterion: Ok, basically he just says he is achieving life better than me so all i need to do is prove detterence false to win.
C1: He states consequensalism is not applicable to the round because we are debating possession. This is false, it is utterly pointless to debate possession without considering the consequences. For example, if i threw a piece of paper on the ground and knew it would cause the world to explode in ten years, I obviously would not throw it onto the ground. In doing this I must consider consequences.
I do prove use will happen through terroist states, which i shall delve further into later.
C2: What i stated was the vast majority of people value life in general. Therefore, if detterence does not work then it will inevitably take away lives through usage. If there is a slight possibility of this occuring the states should not take the risk. If it has potential to take away lives, then it is immoral according to utilatarian standards. He also makes a claim the media does not talk about MAD. Ok, I agree with this but people do know that the loss of lives is harmful so therefore if i once again prove detterence and MAD false my contention stands.
C3: Deonthology, he makes attacks on the intent, but not the Categorical consequences i mentioned in CX. Thei imperative asks people to consider what a world where all states possessed nuclear weapons would be in. This is slightly repetitive, but if detterence is false, the more possession of nukes, the more chance of a nuclear war.
C4: He automatically assumes terroist will smuggle them. You can never get rid of the knowledge of nuke so therefore a terroist could one day aquire the uranium to creat a nuclear weapon. The negative acts as if smuggling were the only way to aquire nukes. How did China get nukes? How did U.K.? How did North Korea? The terroist state argument stands, proving his entire case false.
You can never get rid of the possibility of a reckless ruler, such as Hitler, who killed himself and abandoned his country simply because his own ambitions failed him.
Turning to the neg case:
Value: My value is clearly better because the concept of morality is universal, everyobdy has theri own morals,whereas security is extremely subjective.
Criterion: His criterion is essentially detterence in that he states by posessing nukes we will automatically be secure.
C1: He agreed in cx that we live in a changing world. Therefore, political stability will always shift. We cannot simply dismiss detterence as unrealistic. We cannot undermine the capabilities of the human race to make irrational decisions. You can never get rid of the probability of nuclear war. Also, he does not refute the fact detterence need only fail once for the whole theory to be dismissed entirely. Simply because detterence has worked in the past does not mean it will in the future.
He states detonations have never happened other than Hiroshima and Nagasaki in Cx and that we will never have an accidental detonation. I disprove this with the "Twilight of the Bombs" which is essentially a video directly showing the total amount of detonations in the world since world War Two. The amount is approximately 1,189 detonations. The clip shows several accidental detonations in areas such as Russia and China, although the nuclear weapons then were not as powerful as they are now.
He argues against smuggling but I have proven smuggling is not the only way to aquire nukes.
So basically I have disproven his entire case and defneded mine and that is why you must affirm.
The negative will now give his final rebuttal.
Onto the affirmative. He rebuilds his value saying that his should be paramount because it is universal. However he did not actually refute my argument about him admitting life is a prerequisite to morality. So now we must agree that life is more important than morality since with no life there are no morals. Thus the negative's value of security becomes inherently stronger because it is protecting life, and without my value we could not even debate about morality.
He talks on his criterion saying if he proves deterrence he wins this point. Sure. But as we'll soon see, deterrance is true.
He rebuilds his contention 1 saying that we must evaluate concequences. I agree. My argument however was that his point was all impact and no warrant. He kept talking about nuclear destruction and what it will do but never linked the possession of nuke weapons to them actually being used. Go back and read his original C1 and you'll see. He states he talked about terrorism, however this was more of a side-note mentioned at the very end of his case. My argument still stands here because this contention, contention 1, had no warrants to nuclear use.
Contention 2: He defends my first point against it by saying deterrance is false and nukes will kill people and all that. I'll get to that later in C4.
He drops all of my examples where I apply his theory to other scenarios. So I will repeat my attack and then we will count it as true for showing the flaws of this theory. Here is a direct quote from my opponent "If it has potential to take away lives, then it is immoral according to utilatarian standards". Ok, so lets ban food, water, and houses since all three of these have the potential to kill people. Obviously though those things are moral. But his theoy would say otherwise, showing you how flawed his interpretation of utility is.
Then he says that the public may not be aware of MAD theories but they do know loss of lives is bad. My opponent has basically agreed with my argument then, since my point was that the public doesnt support nuke weapons since they are not aware of the safety we have from them. My opponent did not deny this.
Contention 3: Again he drops all my examples where his theory of deontology is applied to other scenarios, showing how it is false. Please extend those. He talks about a world where everyone has nukes and how thats bad. In addition to this not applying to deontology (which talks about bad intent and not universal posession), my opponent cannot make this argument because he never said how we will get to the point where everyone has nukes. He just randomly brings it up and never links to how it will happen.
Contention 4: He states terrorists can get nukes through the same ways major countries got them, assembly through uranium and such. First off he does not deny that terrorists cant steal nukes, please extend this. In addition, affirming will not solve for this problem of terrorist assembly. Nuclear materials have no correlation to nuke weapons. The materials can be found in any nuclear energy plant or in some natural environments. If we affirm and depossess all nukes, it will not solve for terrorist assembly of them because nuclear materials will continue to exist due to their use for nuclear energy.
About reckless rulers. He did not actually address my point about them avoiding nuclear war since destruction of their own country means they cannot rule over anything. He just talks about the possibility. I have proven that this "possibility" of use is no greater than the possibility of the sun burning out tomorrow.
Onto my case.
He says his value is better because it is universal since everyone has morals. I ask, is this a good thing? What about suicide bombers, who's morals tell them to kill themselves and take as many people as they can with them? Is it good that they have morals? As we see, its *because* everyone has their own morals that security outweighs, because people valuing security will not do crazy things like this.
Criterion: Deterrance works so maintaining our nuclear policy is desirable since there is no threat from nukes.
C1: "We cannot undermine the capabilities of the human race to make irrational decisions. You can never get rid of the probability of nuclear war" Lets once again apply his theories to other scenarios. By this logic we should launch a major space campaign to live on Mars since we cant get rid of the possibility that the earth could be destroyed by the end of the month. We should kill everyone in the White House since there is a possibility any one of them could climb the political ranks and become the next Hitler.
So whats my point? It is possible for the probability of something happening (like nuke war) to be so small that it need not be worried about. He keeps talking about the possibility of deterrance failing, but when I have refuted every argument where he gives example of how it could fail, you must realize that we are completely safe from nuke.
Onto his "Twilight of the Bombs" argument. It supposedly lists all these detonations that have happened. However since my opponent did not provide a link to this particular video so we could verify it, I will provide a link for him (1) and then analyze it. This link provides a list of nuclear accidents in the past 60 years. However,the most recent is in 1984. This was before we had the ability to cancel a detonation within the first 12 minutes. Thus any accidents that happened in the past are not a threat now, since we have improved security measures and accident prevention methods than we did 26 years ago.
Round summary/Voting issues:
1. Deterrance. My opponent has only attempted to disprove it through terrorists and irrational leaders. So please extend that rational leaders will not use them since there was no clash on this. Terrorists cannot steal nukes due to their security and assembly through nuclear materials is not solved for by either side since they do not relate to nuclear weapons. Irrational leaders will not let their country be destroyed because they would the have nothing to rule over.
2. My opponents concepts of morality are shown to be ridiculous when applied to real life scenarios, such as banning food, and prohibiting the "immoral" threat of imprisonment for murder.
I thank my opponent for starting and staying committed to this debate (which has been hard for me to find ever since I joined a short while ago). I also really thank everyone who bothered to read all this stuff and I hope we get a lot of votes, as this has been a great sim of an ld round.
I urge a con ballot.
On my value, he claims i make no attacks against life. This is false. The only way lives could possibly be protected is through detterence, so therefore as i have said several times before, disproving detterence disproves his entire case.
On my Contention one: You can read my contention one i clearly link possession to use. The MAD theory essentially states that no nukes will be fired offensively because of mutually assured destruction. Therefore, if detterence is false, then we can only conclude nuclear use is inevitable. He can't use the "side note" attack, this is simply a desperate attempt to garner offense.
If i can successfully defeat contention 4, contention 2 is dropped as well.
Contention 2: He attacks utilatarianism using food,water and houses as examples. Since he did not mention these specifically, i am allowed to refute this. His arguments make no sense. Sure, everything can take lives, but food and water are prerequisites to life so he cannot use those examples. True, houses can kill but the probability of a house itself killing is extremely low, for if perhaps a hurricane knowcked the house down it would be nature's fault, not a humans. He also claims the public has no knowledge of nuclear weapons. My argument against this is "Why should they have any?" The concept of detterence is so debatable it would be utter bias to state it as it as fact. Detterence is a theory, not a proven fact, the only evidence to support the effectiveness is past examples, but it does not look toward the future. If nuclear detterence do not exist, the only other purpose is usage, which the public would deem immoral since it would inevitably take lives.
contention 3: he makes no attacks against the categorical imperative, which is essential to deonthology, al he questions is the intent part. He says i don't give a time when we would reach the stage of failed detterence. I do not need to accomplish this, I only need to prove the probability of failed detterence exists. If the probability exists, the theory is false.
contention 4: The fact he is saying smuggling is impossible is not true. This is the same as detterence, there will always be a probability, however low. I agreed the probability was low, not impossible.
My opponent is being highly abusive in this instance. He is simply assuming when i affirm i expect states to destroy nuclear weapons. This is not true, an alternate solution is the formation of an international organization. We cannot get rid of the probability of a terroist state assebling a nuke, which the neg agrees to, but we can make the resources needed to achieve this virtually unattainable, or make it to a point where it would take incredible innovation to create an effective weapon.
Defending my case:
Valiue: he states terroist think it is moral to kill themselves. First off he cannot extend this arguments. Second, terroist view suicide as a necessary evil. example: In the bible, does not god give orders for men to kill others to exact the vengeance? Necessary evils can exist, it does not mean terroists think it is moral. Third, he himself admits life is a prerequisite to morality so obviously if life creates morality is it always going to be moral.
Contention one: He is basically making the argument that because i am condemning earth and the corruption of humanity i cannot win the round. This is utterly not true. Basically every major religion such as christianity, islam ,judaism, and buddhism state the world will end in some way, for better or for worst. in a scientific approach, there is significant evidenc of dinosaurs becoming extinct due to a meteor. 90% of all species have become extinct. When the sun dies out, or when a comet hits, the probability of extinction will increase dramtaically. although the time frame is long, we cannot deny the inevitable possibility.
twilight of the bombs: His source is false, there have been more detonations than 1984. in fact, how could south africa and north korea obtain nukes if not for testing them, which requires detonation. i advise the audience to google or youtube search it. In order for successful detterence, we must have nuclear testing to ensure the weapon has the power to achieve the so called "MAD theory"
I have successfully defneded all of my contentions
He never refuted my terrois state attacks and his only reckless ruler attack was that i was condeming mankind. I successfully disproved detterence, my evidence obviously outweighed his.
My value is more universal
My criterion is more achievable and more directly linked to my value
He admitted we live in a changing world where political tendencies can change.
Therefore, that is why i urge an affirmation ballot.
thank you, opponent, and may i ask, what level of Ld are you in at your school?(novice or varsity)
Viewers please see comments.
Please vote asap!
I think for the drug topic the value isnt all that important. Most people will have similar values; safety, societal welfare, life, etc. Its more about the contentions, since its doubtful that you'll see many morality cases on such practical topic.
On my neg I'm just running plain ol' societal welfare. I argue what I call a 50 Year Counterplan, where I advocate a global policy of a 50 year imprisonment for drug use. I cite how in Turkey, Singapore, and China have extremely harsh punishment (20 years minimum, and Singapore enforces the death penalty) for drug abuse, but also have among the lowest drug usage rates in the world. Its kind of drastic but is nevertheless efficient.
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Vote Placed by savvyboy781 5 years ago
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