The Instigator
DebateJunkie
Pro (for)
Losing
13 Points
The Contender
Amontillado
Con (against)
Winning
24 Points

Resolved: States ought not possess nuclear weapons.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 8/16/2010 Category: Politics
Updated: 7 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 22,181 times Debate No: 12763
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (13)
Votes (9)

 

DebateJunkie

Pro

This is the debate topic for September/October. I thank my opponent ahead of time for what I know will be a fun and challenging debate. :-)

I'd like to start off by defining some words and phrases. "States", as defined by Merriam Webster, is a politically organized body of people usually occupying a definite territory; especially one that is sovereign. According to Patricia Greenspan, a Professor of Philosophy at the University of Maryland, "ought not" means a moral obligation to not do something. Saying "ought not" implies a specific reason not to do something. Weapons of mass destruction that are powered by nuclear reaction. http://legal-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com... defines "nuclear weapons" as types of nuclear weapons that include atom bombs, hydrogen bombs, fission bombs, and fusion bombs.

The core value I uphold is that of Peace. Benjamin Franklin, a well-known political theorist, said about peace, "There was never a good war, or a bad peace." I think everyone can wholeheartedly agree with this. Nothing has ever proved immoral and unethical about peace. When you take a look at war, however, almost every aspect can be considered immoral. This is especially true when nuclear weapons are involved, and I will expand throughout my case.

The judging criterion that supports my core value is Common Good. Common good is described as a specific "good" that is shared and beneficial for all members of a given community. (http://en.wikipedia.org...) In this case, the "goods" are protection, justice, and liberty. Again, I will expand on how nuclear weapons infringe upon these values throughout my case.

-Contention 1: Nuclear weapons unnecessarily cost too much money.

In the history of nuclear weapons, only two have ever been used. In both cases, the United States used the weapons on Japan at the end of World II. The U.S. was winning the war at that time, but Japan was putting up a fight. It was concluded that in order to win, the U.S. had to invade Japan, a move that would result in more American lives lost. So President Truman made the decision to drop atomic bombs on two of Japan's cities instead. Those two cases are the only times a nuclear bomb has been used outside of testing. The use of nuclear weapons is simply not prevalent enough to have spent $5,821.0 billion since 1940. In the 1996 study, "The U.S. Nuclear Weapons Cost Study Project" found in Atomic Audit: The Costs and Consequences of U.S. Nuclear Weapons Since 1940, the costs of maintaining weapons like these was estimated. I will post the link so my opponent and any onlookers may view the statistics more easily. http://www.brookings.edu...

Considering that bill, I must ask my opponent if it is really necessary to spend that much on such a rare use of national security.

These facts prove that this money can go to much better areas, such as education, transportation, or research to benefit the common good instead of areas like construction of an object that clearly does not support peace.

-Contention 2: In just the two occurrences stated above, unthinkable damage has been done.

This is arguably one of the most common arguments one will encounter on this resolution, but it is also one of the most important ones. In the Hiroshima alone, 150,000 people died instantly in the bombing. In Nagasaki, 75,000 people were instantly killed by the nuclear power of the bomb dropped. (http://www.aasc.ucla.edu...) Was it really worth our win in the Second World War to essentially vaporize thousands of innocent Japanese civilians? If war like that means innocent lives lost over a decision that didn't need to be made in the first place, the answer is obviously no. Anyone would agree that lives lost in those numbers is unnecessary.

Other damages caused by these weapons are radiation and thermal effects, which caused much pain and suffering for the survivors of the bombings. Furthermore, minor earthquakes and the collapsing of structures miles away from the drop site caused less obvious but still notable damage.

The aftermath of nuclear war is obviously not upholding peace (since it's a type of
warfare) or common good (since many people suffer).

-Contention 3: There is no proof that this method of war is effective in attaining world power or achieving a warfare goal.

I keep stressing the point that only two nuclear bombs have ever been used. This is for a good reason. Those two times do not prove anything good of nuclear weapons. If as a basketball newbie you make two free throws, are you proven a strong basketball player? If as a first-time competitor in a spelling bee you spell a word correctly and win two rounds, are you guaranteed to win the next rounds? If as a novice debater you win two debates, are you a debate champion? The answer to all of those questions is no. Succeeding twice in something as subjective as any of those things or nuclear warfare does not always make you expert or "winner." That being said, we can gather that it is too early in nuclear weapon history to declare them a successful deterrent to war. It is said that they scare off other countries that want to wage war, however, many wars have taken place since the beginning of nuclear warfare. Supporters of nuclear weapons argue that holders of the weapons hold more power than countries that don't. The world's superpowers are the U.S., Russia, China, the U.K., France, Japan, Germany, Italy, Saudi Arabia, and India. Holders of nuclear weapons include the U.S., Russia, the U.K., France, China, India, Pakistan, North Korea, and Isreal. (Federation of American Scientists: Status of World Nuclear Forces) To say that the 66% of world superpowers that possess nuclear weapons are in power because of the weapons is an overgeneralization. In fact, every statement I've addressed in this contention is a post hoc fallacy. To say that every war is prevented due to nuclear weapons and nations in power are there because of them is incorrect and not provable.

Because nuclear bombs are immoral, unethical, and illogical, and because they do not uphold peace or the common good, I affirm the resolution Resolved: States ought not possess nuclear weapons.
Amontillado

Con

I am really excited to debate the September/October topic with my opponent, and I'd like to thank her for what I know will be an intriguing debate.

To begin my case, I accept my opponent's definitions. However the contravening core value I'll hold up in this debate is Just War. The eighteenth German philosopher Kant believed "possessing good intent constitutes the only condition of moral activity, regardless of the consequences envisioned or caused, and regardless, or even in spite, of any self interest in the action the agent may have" (http://en.wikipedia.org...). After the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation shifted the focus of the Civil War from preserving the Union to freeing the nearly four million African Americans in bondage, it satisfied the conditions of moral activity and became a just war. In this case I disagree with Franklin and my opponent that there has never been a "good war."

The judging criteria intrinsic to Just War Theory, is human rights and whether or not they are being violated or upheld. Individuals' unalienable rights defined by Merriam Webster "(as freedom from unlawful imprisonment, torture, and execution) regarded as belonging fundamentally to all persons"(http://www.merriam-webster.com...)

I'll begin by attacking my opponent's case and then presenting my own.

Aff's Contention 1: Nuclear Weapons unnecessarily cost too much money.

My opponent's source analyzes the period when spending on nuclear weapons was outpacing spending in any other sector. When stockpiles of nuclear weapons in the 1960's reached roughly 32,000, the bill was outrageous, just as it would be if the U.S. decided to build 32,000 F22 jets running at 150 million each (it would come out to nearly 5000 billion and that's without annual maintenance)(http://en.wikipedia.org...). My opponents source comes from 1997 when the U.S. arsenal contained "nearly 10, 400," and cost the nation roughly "$26 billion" a year. However reducing the arsenal to "3000-3500" would bring the costs down by 65% to "9 billion a year" (http://www.cbsnews.com......). A moderate arsenal would not be too extravagant for a military budget and at nine billion would represent a little more than 1.3% of military spending in 2010 (http://en.wikipedia.org...).

Aff's Contention 2: Considerable Damage has been done

The real question surrounding this contention is not whether or not unthinkable damage has been done. That is not an argument, that is fact. Considerable damage has been done, but it was war. A voluntary war no less perpetrated by the Japanese people. The question we must evaluate is whether or not the damage justifies the weapons possession by Nations.

In the cases of Nagasaki and Hiroshima, roughly 225,000 people died. My opponent failed to address that the citizens of Nagasaki and Hiroshima were warned weeks in advance of the bombing as was the nation of Japan. (http://www.historynet.com...) The truth is these nations were at war with each other and the Bomb was used as a weapon of war. Just as Japanese weapons of war killed 300,000 Chinese in the Nanjing Massacre. This weapon of war is destructive like every other weapon of war. However in reality we cannot hold the bomb responsible, nor can we hold the U.S. responsible for doing what a nation does when it's at war. In the end if you warn a nation at war, if you continue there will be consequences, that nation must accept responsibility for its actions. (http://en.wikipedia.org...)

Aff's Contention 3: No proof

My opponent argues that these weapons do not give the nations that possess them greater clout on the world stage. I must agree that they may not make you an overnight superpower, but I must argue that this is not their point. They are weapons in a military arsenal, like the muskets that were stored in Lexington and Concord, meaning, they are tools of defense and not scepters of dominance.

Neg Case

Contention 1: Nuclear Weapons provide effective deterrence for large scale wars.
In game theory Nash Equilibrium is what happens when each player makes his very best move considering the foreknowledge of his opponent's very best move (http://en.wikipedia.org...). Essentially in nuclear war this translates to Russia destroying all our cities with the knowledge that we'll reciprocate before we die. In the end when both Nations realize they cannot have victory without losing everything it creates this stalemate and we have the metaphorical bunker that saves us from Nuclear Armageddon: Mutual Assured Destruction (MAD) (http://en.wikipedia.org...).It is because of MAD that nuclear strikes are a reality but never Nuclear War. In essence we can keep North Korea from blowing up Seoul and at the same time rest assured Russia will never obliterate us. We can have our cake and eat it too!

Contention 2: Nuclear Weapons may be used justifiably.

Just wars exist. The American Revolution, The Civil War, and World War II were all fought by the U.S. in the interests of defending human rights. In these wars, firing your musket was not a crime, in these wars the real crime was putting it down. Surrendering to tyranny, slavery, or fascism was the morally repugnant thing to do. In these wars firing a nuclear warhead at a military target is entirely justifiable. It is the difference between half a million men pulling a trigger to end a war and one man pushing a button. These weapons should be kept and preserved like the second amendment as a shield to defend human rights and as a sword to strike down tyranny.

Contention 3: Nuclear Weapons are closely supervised by the world community to efface misuse.

Nuclear weapons possession has been effectively deterred by the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty since 1970. There are only nine nations that possess nuclear weapons and they are monitored by the U.N. Security Council. Five of those nations make up the Security Council for the U.N. and the rest have non-violent records of possession. Since their discovery in the 1940's only two have been used, both by the U.S. and both during World War II against the Japanese Empire. Nations have shown considerable restraint and responsibility when it comes to these highly volatile and dangerous weapons; they have proven they are capable of possessing them without misusing them.

In summation Nuclear Weapons like guns ought not be used indiscriminately. Nuclear Nations have proven they can handle this. As well as nuclear weapons incontrovertible power as a means of deterrence and their inestimable value as tools of just war, therefore I must negate the resolution Resolved: Nations Ought Not Possess Nuclear Weapons.
Debate Round No. 1
DebateJunkie

Pro

I thank my opponent for his response in the first round and look forward to the future rounds that will take place.

First and most importantly I will defend and rebuild my own case then move on to attack my opponent's case.

My opponent attacked my core value by saying the Civil War was in fact a "good war" since it fought for slaves' rights and succeeded in securing those rights. While factually I cannot deny this -- it indeed put a stop to the humanitarian crimes committed against slaves -- ethically I must negate my opponent's statement that this was a good war. The good intent, as he said, was there. But the way the Confederacy and the Union executed their disagreement was unethical. If you slaughter a person for not supporting human rights, that doesn't make you any better than him. Due to diplomacy, there are always violent and hypocritical options. I will elaborate further into this in my attack of his second contention.

Attack on my Contention 1: My opponent argued that my source contained a year when we had a large amount of these weapons in stock. This does not matter. Looking at the history of spending in the chart I provided, it still costs quite a large sum of money to purchase, maintain, and test these weapons even at a total of 3000-4000, which I still argue is simply too many weapons to possess. Seeing as how there have only been 2 used in the entire history of the weapon, this spending constitutes a ridiculous portion of our nation's budget. As of now, the U.S. has a total of 2468 nuclear weapons and plans to add more to that collection in the coming years. We will spend more than $4 billion dollars just buying the additional 108 weapons we3 plan to collect by 2012. (http://www.thebulletin.org...) It is not in the common good to buy Weapons of Mass Destruction that likely won't even be used.

Attack on my Contention 2: My opponent agreed that damage is done, there's no question there. But he seems to justify the attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki by saying "we warned them." Our intent by warning Japan of the coming attacks was to get them to surrender. However, when they didn't, we didn't think about the disaster it would become for the cities' inhabitants. They could not pack up and move their homes and families. They had no defense, yet we still came in and demolished their cities. So the question we've come to reach is, as my opponent said, whether or not the intent justifies the damage. I must say no, since peace was completely disregarded as was the common good of everyone involved.

Attack on my Contention 3: In his attack of my third contention, my opponent said, "they are tools of defense and not scepters of dominance." This assumption could not be further from the truth. If they aren't tools for gloating, then I don't know what is. Nations are well aware of the 2 uses, both by the U.S. Those 2 uses don't constitute a pressing need for a weapon of this caliber. They have no reason to assume they will need thousands of these weapons to protect themselves from some guaranteed nuclear fallout. The purchase of these weapons by the nine nations my opponent brought up is not to protect like he stated. It's sending a signal that the holding nation is more powerful than those without weapons like this.

Moving on to attack my opponent's case.

Core value: His core value was Just War. "If your intent is good, the result is justified." I must argue that the actions, or means, that you take to reach a goal matter much more than the goal itself. A suicide bomber strives to do good for his god, and he's even presented the option of 72 virgins in heaven. His goal is to do the right thing for his god, himself, and his country. So the next day he heads for a crowded market place with a bomb hidden under his shirt. He succeeds in reaching his goal after the bomb goes off. He made his god proud and maybe even got those 72 virgins. But everyone will agree that those means to achieving his goal were downright wrong. Even though he had good intent, killing the people he killed is unjustifiable by his goal.

Contention 1: Deterrence for large scale wars

My opponent offered the conclusion that stalemates are reached when two nations threaten to use a nuclear weapons against each other. The stalemates reached are often formed due to fear, distrust, and panic. It's simply not moral to threaten to do something immoral, much like threatening to vaporize entire cities. If our nation believes it is so wrong to and unethical to to initiate a nuclear war, we shouldn't be almost doing so. Both sides in these cases operate with the same goal: to prevent nuclear annihilation. By saying we will take action that we have agreed not to take in the past, we aren't held serious when it comes to our intents.

Contention 2: Just wars exist

In his second contention, my opponent said that the Revolutionary War, the Civil War, and the second World War were all wars started to protect human rights. Futhermore, he said that surrendering was "morally repugnant." However, by practicing diplomacy, no one would have been surrendering and no one would have died. If you slaughter a person that perceives human rights differently than you, that does not make you any better than him. My opponent brought up means versus ends, saying that if the intent is good, the end doesn't matter. I must say that I disagree, as I've expressed in the past. (see attack on my opponent's core value.)

Contention 3: Supervision of nuclear arms

While there is supervision of these weapons, the fact that they even need to be supervised says a lot about their usage. Once something becomes too dangerous to operate by one's own will, it is probably immoral. I've been arguing that these weapons ought not be possessed because they cause damage, cost too much, and cannot be proven effective. It's due to this that these weapons should not be a factor of "protection," let alone be a factor of protection that has to be watched closely and carefully.

It is obvious to most that financially, morally, and effectively, not a lot of good can be said about the use of these weapons, which is why I affirm the resolution.
Amontillado

Con

I will begin by rebuilding my case and then attacking my opponents.

Core Value:

Merriam Webster's dictionary defines good as "something conforming to the moral order of the universe." This is what Kant was getting at when he wrote "possessing good intent constitutes the only condition of moral activity" (http://www.merriam-webster.com...). Kant was a firm believer in natural law, in universal morals or ethical duties to live by, so I agree with my opponent that means are just as important as ends. This by no means equates to no just wars. The means of defending civil liberties during the Civil War were just. Yes they involved killing Confederate soldiers, but in the microsphere of soldier vs. soldier and excluding outcomes, Union soldiers were defending their homes, their lives, and their capitol from an invading force. The Confederates fired the first shots and then marched on Washington at Bull Run (http://en.wikipedia.org...). Most importantly, they were fighting to end the evil practice of slavery. They possessed good intent as defined by Merriam Webster and Emmanuel Kant which is why it was a just war.

Contention 1: Deterrence for large scale wars

My opponent does not deny that deterrence is effective; however I must address that she misunderstands how it works. It is not that nations feel it would be sinister to annihilate their enemies; it is that they realize their enemy's annihilation means their annihilation. It is mutually assured destruction, not mutually assured guilt.

Contention 2: Nuclear Weapons may be used justifiably

My opponent attacked my contention by saying nations should have pursued diplomacy instead. However in each of the examples, The Revolutionary War, The Civil War, and The Second World War, diplomacy was pursued and failed. During Antebellum America, Northerners and Southerners tirelessly debated the issue of Slavery from the Compromise of 1820 to the Compromise of 1850 before the Southern Slaveholders seceded and fired on Fort Sumter on April 12, 1861 (http://en.wikipedia.org...). The United States even levied an embargo on supplying Japanese Oil in an effort to force it to abandon its military ambitions in the Pacific months before the attack on Pearl Harbor (http://en.wikipedia.org...). I agree with my opponent that it is wrong to "slaughter a person who perceives human rights differently than you," but I disagree that using nuclear weapons to end a war against a nation that along with Germany practiced Lebanserrum (genocide of the local population to create living space for your people) makes WWII unjust (http://en.wikipedia.org...). It is the fundamental right of a nation to defend itself from invasion by an aggressor nation. If nations did not defend themselves and defend allies, the only nations that would exist are those that would exist by brute force. There would be no such thing as democracy, as liberty. Nations have a right to defend themselves, and in large scale wars nations have a right to defend themselves with the bigger guns: nuclear weapons.

Contention 3: Supervision of Nuclear Arms

My opponent argues that if something requires supervision it is "too dangerous to operate by one's own will… it is probably immoral." However I would like to remind my opponent that many things are supervised not because they are always immoral, but because they can be potentially harmful. Money, energy, and education are all monitored and supervised in the U.S. by the National Reserve, the Department of Energy, and the Department of Education to ensure that these powerful tools of our society are used to the benefit of our society. As I have mentioned before, during an unsolicited war, it is the right of the non-aggressor nation to defend itself, this is the correct use of a nuclear weapon, and it is the only example we see in history. Nations have not misused this privilege; I see no sense in revoking it without precedence.

Wars in defense of principles, in defense of human rights, and in defense of lives are just. Occasionally diplomacy is tested and fails. Nuclear Weapons may be used in these wars justifiably. In addition they are effective tools of deterrence and the world community has demonstrated they are capable of using them responsibly.

My Opponents Core Value:

The Vice President of the Confederacy Alexander Stevens said the Confederacy "rest[ed] upon the great truth that the Negro is not equal to the white man; that slavery—subordination to the superior race—is his natural and normal condition. This, our new government, is the first, in the history of the world, based upon this great physical, philosophical, and moral truth" I must argue that a war for liberation is undeniably ethical, especially since slaveholders would rather die than give up the heinous crime of slavery (http://en.wikipedia.org...).

Opponent's first contention:

In the history of this weapon there were two bombings, the scorecard reads 225000 : 0 with two of Japan's industrial military cities destroyed. We will never know just how many American and Japanese lives were saved because we were able to end the war without a full scale invasion, but we can understand from these two demonstrations why nations are so willing to spend money on this technology. Again a modest nuclear budget would offer us deterrence which my opponent did not deny, and would cost merely a fraction of our current military budget. The resolution is ought not, it does not matter how big the arsenal is just whether or not they have one. I maintain a small arsenal would be worth the cost.

Opponent's second contention:

It was war, Japan was the aggressor, and we wanted the war to be over. In order to stop the Third Reich and put an end to the genocide committed by Germany without Nuclear Weapons the Allies were forced to invade Germany. As a result Germany suffered casualties upwards of 7 billion. When it came to putting a stop to Japan, the United States could not afford another such invasion and luckily they didn't have to. While at War, and with warning the United States dropped two atomic bombs on Japan's central gears of their imperial machine. It was not a shock, it was not a surprise, and it was war against aggressors who had attacked the U.S. on their own soil. It was in defense of the nation, and it was to end a war that had already cost millions of lives. As a result, the U.S. did not have to invade Japan and Japan suffered far less casualties than Germany, nearly 2.7 million. Perhaps the common good was better served without a high casualty large-scale invasion. (http://en.wikipedia.org...)

Opponent's third contention:

My opponent argues that these weapons do incredible damage, but that they aren't tools of defense. These weapons are the most capable in our military arsenal and are responsible for ending WWII, they are tools of defense. "Nations are well aware of the 2 uses" and if Nations are sending a signal as my opponent asserts than it's a message that supports my contention of deterrence: "the holding nation is more powerful than those without weapons like this." Also if nuclear weapons are something nations can "gloat" about, they must not be so useless after all otherwise the experienced, educated leaders of the world wouldn't be so interested in them.

I understand many of my opponent's qualms with nuclear weapons, including cost and devastation, but considering their usefulness as deterrents to large scale wars, their justifiable use, and their supervision by a responsible world community, I do must negate the resolution.
Debate Round No. 2
DebateJunkie

Pro

For my final address of this resolution, I would first like to address the value clashes, then revisit the most important parts of the debate, and lastly sum it all up. Also, I would like to thank my opponent for an interesting first debate and express that I look forward to his final word.

Core Value and Judging Criteria Clashes:

Throughout the debate I have been an advocate of peace and common good, my opponent an advocate of Just War Theory and human rights. I believe that peace always trumps Just War since peace is a universal goal. Contrary to popular belief and any arguments my opponent may still make, peace is attainable and sustainable. It just takes a little more effort than dropping a nuclear weapon on a disagreeing country. Because the principle of peace takes the common interest, general well being, and happiness into mind, it stands over Just War theory, which states that nations do what they must in war as long as their goal is "good."

While my opponent's judging criterion of human rights is an important aspect of war and everyday life, I must say that it upholds my case better than his. It goes hand in hand with peace. In the case of nuclear weapons, human rights are always infringed upon instead of protected. It's due to this that I must argue that my criterion of common good upholds my own case better than my opponent's criterion of human rights upholds his negative viewpoint.

Weighing our values against each other, one must assess whose value is most pertinent to each opponent's own case.

Important Points:

-Contention 1: My first contention states that these weapons, for the two offensive uses during WWII, cost too much to date. Our nation should not place such a rarely used weapon such as these so high on our so-called "defense" budget. My opponent seems to think that possessing less (around 3000-3500) nuclear weapons will be better. On scale, however, we would be spending just as much. As I stated, just buying 108 new weapons over the coming 2 years will cost $4 billion more. And what do we even need more than 2000 of these things around for? We haven't used one since the forties. What makes anyone think that tomorrow there will be a sudden use for them? I uphold that my first contention still stands.

-Contention 2: In my second contention, I say that unspeakable damage is done with these weapons, as proved in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Japan has suffered through long-term effects and immediate effects alike. My opponent agreed to this fact, but he seemed to justify one of his arguments with "it was war." While it is an accepted fact that war causes death, unnecessary deaths are a different story. He essentially said that any weapon can cause damage or sway a nation. If that's the case, why do we need nuclear weapon? Due to my opponent's admittance that they cause damage, I must say my second contention still stands.

-Contention 3: My third contention addresses that there is no proof of nuclear weapons being effective, therefore it is unnecessary to stockpile and claim "preparation against attacks" as a reason. My opponent said that they are in fact weapons of defense, even though our only reason for use was offensive and we have no current reason to assume we'll need them anytime soon. Again, assessing of the argumentation in the previous rounds, my third and final contention still stands.

Opponent's Case:

-Contention 1: My opponent seems to think that nuclear weapons deter from large-scale wars. If Russia were to threaten us, we could threaten back in a practice called Mutually Assured Destruction. In a country where we believe nuclear war is immoral and unnecessary, the threatening to use them makes us seem hypocritical. I cannot stress this enough: the threatening to do something immoral IS immoral, even if you don't follow through. Due to this, my opponent's first contention falls.

-Contention 2: My opponent argues in this contention that there is such a thing as a just war. While I'm not disagreeing that there are good results sometimes, such as in the Civil War, I am disagreeing that the means taken to reach an end in war can be unjust. My opponent mentioned using nuclear weapons to "end a war against a nation that along with Germany practiced Lebanserrum (genocide of the local population to create living space for your people)" and said it was just. In this case, the use of nuclear weapons immediately make the war unjust. But my opponent's example of the Civil and Revolutionary War do not pertain to this case since there were no weapons of mass destruction involved. Since his examples are irrelevant to this resolution, this contention falls.

-Contention 3: My opponent addressed the supervision of nuclear weapons to make sure that they weren't being used illegally or dangerously. I argued that they shouldn't require supervision that strong, since that probably means they aren't ethical. As a response, my opponent brought up money, energy, and education as examples of supervised practices. I must refute this by saying that they are supervised on a much lighter scale. Money boosts the economy and helps businesses, energy provides power and services, and education contributes to the future of our country. In a worst case scenario, our economy will have a recession or depression, which indeed sucks, but our nation will recover. We could have an energy shortage or our children will get shortened school hours or less learning material. But worst case scenario with a nuclear weapon means destruction and havoc. Because the worst case scenario with a supervised weapon is more disastrous than too little money, power, or education, my opponent's argument falls.

Due to the immorality and inefficacy of nuclear weapons, I kindly ask for an affirmative vote for this debate.
Amontillado

Con

As our debate comes to an end I will present my case one last time. I would like to thank my opponent for an energetic and ebullient debate;-)

Benjamin Franklin said, "There has never been a good war, or a bad peace." However, most everyone in the U.S. would argue that The Revolutionary War and the Civil War are exceptions to this generally true statement. The reason is that these two Wars are examples of Just War. These were wars where peace meant persecution, where peace was demeaning to human rights, where human beings intrinsic right to defend themselves and their liberty justified something we seldom refer to as "good." These were Just Wars, and if they were not fought the peace that would have supplanted them would have been "bad." Peace is "attainable and sustainable," but it is not always desirable. Antebellum peace wasn't desirable for the slaves because it meant the continuation of slavery.

Peace is not always in the interest of the Common Good. In order for it to be a desirable peace it must meet the Common Good, imagine if nations had had a peace on the Axis powers' terms? Therefore I must disagree with my opponent that peace always trumps war even if often Peace is a universal goal. Because the principal of peace does not always take the common good, "general well being, and happiness into mind." There is a considerable difference between the abhorrent peace before the Civil War and the peace that brought the dawn of the 14th amendment. Therefore I remain a defender of humans' right to engage in Just War to defend their Human Rights, and use justifiable force in these conflicts which may include Nuclear Weapons. These weapons have been deterrents to large scale wars, have been used justifiably (also their potential justifiable use is what makes deterrence work), and are well supervised by the global community . It is because of this that I stand in firm negation to the proposed resolution "nations ought not possess nuclear weapons"

Contentions 1: Nuclear Weapons are a deterrent for large scale wars

My opponent admits that MAD works but argues that threatening to do something immoral is immoral. I must argue that, the only threat being issued is from the potential victim. The threat is that if attacked, they will retaliate. "If you hit me, I'll certainly hit you back." I see no immorality in exercising a right to defend your life, especially since as my opponent pointed out with Russia and the U.S, it deters the attack from taking place. Deterrence defends human rights without anyone dying, and is compelling reason enough to keep at the very least a modest arsenal. My opponent has failed to refute my contention that nuclear weapons act as deterrents, and even endorsed it with her own example; therefore this contention stands.

Contention 2: Nuclear Weapons may be used justifiably

I argue that as there are just wars, weapons may be used justifiably in these wars. The examples of the Civil War and the American Revolution were relevant to my case because they demonstrated the justifiable use of force. The force of that time period was the canon, whereas the force of this century is the nuclear warhead. They are both used for the same purpose, devastation to the enemy, be it the Confederates or the Japanese Empire. A Just War is fought with justifiable force; my opponent has failed to prove that the use of Nuclear Weapons is never justifiable, or at least so often unjustifiable to merit a ban. She has mentioned that devastation was wrecked on Japan; this is true, but in a War to defend China, the South Pacific, and the U.S. from Japanese Imperialism. Nations have a right to defend themselves and the U.S. warned Japan to end the War. Japan threw the first punch, and the U.S. delivered the last blow. Since then not one warhead has been used unjustifiably, they have merely sat in silos, providing deterrence. My opponent has failed to disprove this contention and so it stands.

Contention 3: Supervision of Nuclear Arms

My opponent has not been able to address the key point of this contention. Nations have been responsible. Since supervision began there has not been one nuclear "worst case scenario." There have been inspections, non nuclear proliferation treaties, reductions agreements, and transparency among the nuclear powers. There has not been any unethical use of these weapons since their supervision began. These nations understand "with great power comes great responsibility." They have proven themselves capable. If these nations desire to have these weapons, they have proven with their responsibility that there is no reason not to trust them or those that hold them accountable. My contention that nations have successfully supervised and regulated the World's arsenal of nuclear weapons stands.

Just Wars are fought for human rights; it is the last recourse of the persecuted. In these wars justifiable force is used. Nuclear Weapons provide deterrence to large scale wars; they defend human rights without ever being fired. Nuclear weapons qualify as justifiable force in just wars, provided they are used in defense of a nation and not as a preemptive strike. The supervision of nuclear weapons has safeguarded against their misuse for decades; these nations have shown they are responsible and capable of maintaining these weapons. Due to their reliable deterrence, justifiable use, and their exceptional regulation by the global community, I must negate the resolution that nations ought not possess these weapons, and urge a vote in negation.
Debate Round No. 3
13 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by waterbird 7 years ago
waterbird
i meant to say me not he
Posted by waterbird 7 years ago
waterbird
i agree with lafayette_lion

this is the nfl-ld topic and it was interesting to read this and it helped he a lot thank you :)
Posted by Lafayette_Lion 7 years ago
Lafayette_Lion
Debate junkie:
you mentioned something in your case along the lines of "was it really worth winning the second world war at the cost of the Japanese casualties/

yes, frankly. THEY invaded OUR country and bombed US, so we had a right to retaliate.
I don't think that was the best way, HOWEVER the fact remains that if we had NOT won the war the lives of U.S. citizens and all around the world would be dramatically different. The Japanese provoked the Giant and we struck back.

The biggest thing however is that we HAD to win that war. At Any cost. I feel terrible that was the only way, but does the end justify the means, or should the end be compromised because the means are not "moral"?

OK if any of you are angry at that I'm sorry.
I'll give em' this though, we owe like 1/2 our debt to them so they made up for it.

just some food for thought

yours truly,
Lafayette_Lion
Posted by TheBear 7 years ago
TheBear
agreed with debate junkie. Handle yourself with more dignity, packerfan
Posted by DebateJunkie 7 years ago
DebateJunkie
packerfan910, do you mean to tell me that LDers aren't supposed to have evidence? Because according to every other debater and coach, facts are important to a case. I hope I'm somehow misreading your comment, since facts are a necessary piece in an LDer's case. If I just said, "These weapons are bad" would you believe me? Credibility is essential. And I did not appreciate that "screw you" you added.
Posted by packerfan910 7 years ago
packerfan910
pro youre using facts screw you thats not what lds about
Posted by darkkermit 7 years ago
darkkermit
I noticed a lot of these "States ought not to possess nuclear weapons" have been going around a lot lately. Noticed it is the September-October NFL LD.
Posted by DebateJunkie 7 years ago
DebateJunkie
Thanks for the feedback. It's really helpful for me and I'm sure it's helpful for Amontillado as well. I'm going to rework my case now, before the debate season starts up. I struggled with my CV and JC, so I'm going to somehow replace those.
Posted by darkkermit 7 years ago
darkkermit
If I could vote I would vote for CON (having trouble confirming my identity). At round 2, all of PRO's arguments were rebutted. CON showed the importance of "just war", how MAD ensures that wars will not escalate, how the use of nuclear weapons were necessary in WWII, and that a small arsenal of nuclear weapons is not expensive compared to other military expenses (resolution was that states ought not possess nuclear weapons, not states ought not to possess large amounts). CON also cites kant and just war as sources of forms of ethics, while PRO's ethics are not well backed up.
Posted by Grantarp 7 years ago
Grantarp
pro's moral argument doesn't really work here, because perhaps we shouldn't possess nuclear weapons... but let's not forget about human nature. actions that may be immoral must necessarily be taken sometimes.

with that said, though, i do not agree with all of con's arguments. for example, i think pro really has a point about nations using nukes as mere "gloating" tools. there is some truth to that, no doubt.
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