The Instigator
Pro (for)
8 Points
The Contender
Con (against)
0 Points

Resolved: States ought not possess nuclear weapons.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 8/17/2010 Category: Politics
Updated: 8 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 6,568 times Debate No: 12773
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (14)
Votes (2)




SOR: I affirm the resolution, States ought not possess nuclear weapons.

VP: Morality

VC: Humanitarianism. Nuclear weapons have the potential to commit irreversable damage. The unnecessary loss of life and damage to natural resources caused by detonation of nuclear weapons is catastrophic.

DEFINITIONS: LD Type 4, ought implies that one outweighs the other.

States will be defined as the legitimate governments of recognized nations.

Nuclear weapons shall be defined as unconventional weapons of mass destruction capable of emitting a blast wave, heat wave, EMP, alpha, beta, and gamma radiation.

C-1: Conventional weapons are sufficient
A. There really is no need of nuclear weapons when adequate conventional weapons are readily available. When diplomacy fails, and conflict is inevitable, objectives can generally be achieved with out the use of devestating nuclear weapons.

B. The accuracy and effects of conventional weapons are much more predictable. There is unspeakable potential for collateral damage when nuclear weapons are used. I concede that there is and has been great collateral damage caused by conventional weapons due to a number of factors.

Given that, imagine magnifying that damage exponentially due to circumstances that cannot be controlled such as wind blowing and scattering beta particles!

C-2: Humanity
Human beings exposed to gamma radiation are forced to endure a cruel and painful demise. Human beings close to ground zero will not suffer as much, if that is any consolation, because the intense heat will consume them. The heat and blast waves flatten or consume manmade objects. Individuals with pacemakers and other medical hardware will be affected by the EMP. Animals, which share biologically similarities to human beings, will also suffer. Plant life, and natural resources will be contaminated for years to come, making the area unihabitable. All of this can be avoided by simply not using nuclear weapons.

C-3: Security and accidents
A. Growing up, I recall 3 incidents of varying degrees, not from nuclear weapons, but from nuclear energy. Three Mile Island, Kiev, and Chernobyl all had nuclear incidents that were unintentional. Imagine the suffering multiplied by nuclear weapons that are used intentionally! It is inhumane and immoral, especially since it can be avoided! Further, radiation can leak from accidental damage to the weapon itself.

B. Can a nation that possesses nuclear weapons maintain them in such a way that they cannot be stolen or tampered with? Generally I would say yes, but there is always the possibility, especially if an inside theft job occurred.

C. Can a nation be trusted to not sell such a weapon to a terrorist organization? Legally, they have every right to do just that. If a radical had possession of even a low yield nuclear weapon, it would put people's lives in danger.

CONCLUSION: Judges, given the above, it does not pass the common sense test for nations to possess nuclear weapons. I concur that nations have a responsibility to protect their people. I submit to you that they can accomplish this requirement with diplomacy and conventional weapons. If no one has them, no one can use them.

I have demonstrated that nuclear weapons are inhumane, and immoral to that end.
Nuclear weapons:
1. are not necessary because a suitable alternative exists
2. cause unnecessary suffering
3. are inherently dangerous, and create accountability challenges

For these reasons I request a PRO ballot.

Thank you.


As Con, I will argue that not only should states be allowed to own nuclear weapons, but also that the United States and Russia should give some countries some of their nuclear weapons. I provide 3 reasons that support my opinion: 1. In a world where every country has a weapon of mass destruction, war is not an option. 2. The uranium in nuclear weapons can be used in nuclear power plants, producing clean electricity. 3. Owners of nuclear weapons are perfectly capable of not using them.

Contention 1: In a world where every country has a weapon of mass destruction, war is not an option
Be it biological, ballistic, or chemical, any weapon of mass destruction wards off assault from other countries. The reason is simple. No invader wants to run the risk of getting 3 quarters of his army destroyed in a very short moment. In a world where everyone owns weapons of mass destruction, no one would even consider war. The world would be more peaceful, and everyone could stop spending billions each year on military. The global economy would be much better.

Contention 2: The uranium in nuclear weapons can be used in nuclear power plants, producing clean electricity
In a world where coal and natural gas are disappearing rapidly, alternative energy sources are ardently needed. Nuclear energy is one of those alternatives. It's available everywhere, unlike solar power and wind power. The main problem with nuclear energy is how to deal with nuclear waste. To solve this problem, 3 things can be done. The first is to build breeder reactors. These reactors can run on fuel that normal reactors can't. They are also more efficient. The second is nuclear reprocessing. This reduces the amount of nuclear waste and puts the useful materials back into the reactor. The third is burial of nuclear waste near the site of the reactor. This removes the difficulty of finding a burial spot for the waste.

Contention 3: Owners of nuclear weapons are perfectly capable of not using them
This was obvious in the Cold War Era. The United States and Soviet Union didn't dare use nuclear weapons on each other, or each others' allies. This type of self restraint can be employed by all owners of nuclear weapons. After all, if everyone had nuclear weapons, who would dare use them? This completely solves the problem of certain countries using them to destroy large amounts of people and property.

my world history textbook from school
Debate Round No. 1


My opponent has stated that both the USA and Russia should give nuclear weapons to other countries. I disagree. the fewer available, the less likely they are to be used. Assume a fanatic acquired a nuke. The results would be catastrophic.

My opponent did not state a value nor a criterion, therefore there is none to challenge.

Opponent's C-1: Nonconcur. Only a small percentage of nations possess nuclear weapons, and the only incident in history is the USA bombing Japan with them. Further, other nations which have nuclear weapons in their arsenal have not used them in conflicts, even when they were defending. As far as the global economy, if nations spent less on defense, they would have more to spend in other areas. The monies would till be spent regardless so I'm not sure that the global economy would be greatly affected.

Opponent's C-2: While I agree that nuclear energy is a possibility, there are still kinks to be worked out. Nuclear waste is not as easily disposed of as burying at near the reactor. Unfortunately, this contention, while a valid concern, does not directly relate to the stated resolution.

Opponent's C-3: Nonconcur. For every administration, there is an opposite. Therein lies the possibility of a radical personality obtaining power and using nuclear assets. Thus far, to everyone's relief, North Korea has shown restraint. BUT, is it better to risk many nations having nuclear weapons over fewer?

Unfortunately, my opponent has dropped ALL of my arguments. Therefore I extend all of my arguments to this round as undisputed facts. I respectfully request a PRO ballot. Thank you.


My opponent states that all countries should dispose of their nuclear weapons. I disagree. The more countries that have them, the less likely a war will happen, and thus the less likely that tens of thousands of lives will be lost. Also, how does a country like the United States dispose of all its nukes? It has enough to blow up the world multiple times. There are simply not enough nuclear reactors to get rid of all the weapons in the US.

Opponent's C-1:
A. My opponent proposes to leave the option of war open. Tens of thousands of soldiers can die on the battlefields. Weak countries can suffer under the oppression of strong countries. Justice and peace will never be maintained for long if the possibility of war exists. As my opponent stated, conventional weapons have killed more people and have done more collateral damage than nuclear weapons ever have. Objectives can generally be achieved without the declaration of a devastating war.

B. The accuracy and effects of nuclear weapons is also very predictable. When a pilot drops an atomic bomb, or when a president launches a ballistic missile, he knows where it's going to land. He knows that anything near the site will be destroyed and the land near the site will be rendered unusable for decades. There is not an unspeakable potential for collateral damage when nukes are used. Nukes were invented as a quick way to destroy the enemy. Truman knew that, we all know that. If a nuke is used, the only thing unspeakable is the cruelty of the person that ordered the launch.

Opponent's C-2: That is very true.

Opponent's C-3:
A. Accidents do happen, but they are the exception, not the norm.

B. Exactly what is the probability of an inside theft job occurring? How would you transport a 20 ft nuke to your house? Any completed nuclear weapon would be in the hands of the leader of the country. His possessions are under the best security in the country. What is the probability of getting through that?

My opponent's rebuttals defeat each other. For my C-1, my opponent states that the only incident in history when nuclear weapon were used is the US bombing Japan. This effectively shows that countries that possess nuclear weapons are perfectly capable of not using them. Pakistan has not nuked India. The US and the Soviet Union did not start nuking each other during the Cold War.
My opponent then states that there is an opposite administration called North Korea. Based on my opponent's first rebuttal, North Korea is perfectly capable of not using nuclear weapons. His rebuttals are therefore controversial and should be ignored.
Debate Round No. 2


I don't recall stating that all countries should dispose of the nuclear weapons they currently possess. Perhaps my opponent is paraphrasing?

1) All of my arguments were dropped in the first round, therefore they stand and cannot be refuted in the 2nd or 3rd rounds.

2) My opponent did not present a value, nor a criterion.

3) By standards, given the above, my opponent lost this debate after the first round, no further debate is required.

For entertainment value, I will continue:

My opponent's sole argument seems to hinge upon deterrence by possession of nuclear weapons. No new evidence was allowed nor presented., therefore I have nothing to attack.

My C-1 a Rebuttal: Tens of thousands can die in either a conventional or nuclear battlefield. My opponent would have us believe that if every nation possessed nuclear weapons, there would be no more conflicts. If that is the case, there would not have been a need or desire to develop better weapons. Yet, here we are.

C-1-b: Accuracy is generally reliable so long as there are no electronic malfunctions. Fallout and weather are unpredictable. Having served in the military for over 20 years I can vouch for this from experience. To say there is no potential for collateral damage is insane. If it is unspeakable to order a launch, why have them in the first place?

C-2: Stipulated

C-3: My opponent is stating that it is not possible for theft of a nuclear weapon. Although highly irregular and improbable as it may be, no system is infallible. Further, regimes have and continue to be overthrown. If a radical were to overthrow a legitimate government that possessed nuclear weapons, they would then be in control. There are radicals that would use them without regard to their own safety. Thus the argument of deterrence is invalidated.

The facts of the case are these:
1) If no one possessed nuclear weapons, no one could use them.
2) Nuclear weapons serve no purpose for common good.
3) There is inherent danger in the manufacture, transportation, storage, and use of nuclear weapons.
4) If nuclear weapons were used, there would be unspeakable damage to people, animals, property, and the environment.

These are all facts, they are all dropped, and they are all undisputed. I thank my opponent and respectfully request a PRO ballot. Thank you.


merciless forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
14 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by LD_Freak 8 years ago
Aff, you should watch out for a few things.
First, wording is important.
"The UNNECESSARY loss of life and damage to natural resources caused by detonation of nuclear weapons is catastrophic."
A smart neg could say:" Well, the loss of life and damage to natural resources was necessary. Therefore, I win."
Watch out for the "Possession is not immoral in of itself. Possessing a nuclear bomb is not akin to the use of one" argument. It would destroy your Humanitarianism criterion.
Posted by merciless 8 years ago
I hate homework. It's made me forfeit 2 debate rounds already.
Posted by nhq 8 years ago
I notice that the aff assumes a utopian fiat. Do you guys think that most debates are going to be run like that, or just a single-nation fiat?

Personally, I'm running a utopian fiat, but after seeing some of the arguments on, I'm starting to worry that a lot of people will argue single-nation fiat which, imo, would make people argue about what framework the resolution specifies, instead of arguing the resolution itself.
Posted by I-am-a-panda 8 years ago
While that is a problem, abotu 10% of the waste from a Nuclear plant that is non renewable is highly toxic. However, it's only a matter of time until we can use fusion power.
Posted by twsurber 8 years ago
nhq, Roger that! I just threw some spaghetti against the wall, this is not what I would have my kids use in a tournament. It is nice to get feedback and test some ideas before a tournament though.

Panda, I think one of the bigger drawbacks of nuclear energy is safe disposal of nuclear rods/waste. I agree that we should be able to use more of it.
Posted by I-am-a-panda 8 years ago
No, I've read up on nuclear energy and I'm sick of Greenpeace citing Chernobyl as a reason for not having nuclear energy.

If you're gonna cite something in a debate, you're gonna wanna research it.
Posted by nhq 8 years ago
Just so you know, nuclear weapons don't have as much lasting effect as nuclear energy mishaps (like Chernobyl). Granted, they still can enhance the chance of getting cancers like leukemia and other problems like cataracts.

Also, I would suggest strengthening your terrorism argument for an actual tourney. There are several ways you could do this, which I'm sure you can easily come up with yourself, haha.
Posted by DebateJunkie 8 years ago
I look forward to seeing this debate. I posted mine a couple days ago and my opponent hasn't accepted just yet, but I'm debating this too. :)
Posted by RoyLatham 8 years ago
What's next. "Truth, justice, peace, and enlightenment should prevail"? Now that nuclear technology is available, the issue is not whether or not nuclear weapons should exist, but what ought to be done about proliferation. The resolution is moot.
Posted by wjmelements 8 years ago
Those events are relatively well-known.
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