The Instigator
Imagination
Con (against)
Tied
0 Points
The Contender
AAAVoice
Pro (for)
Tied
0 Points

Should the US Have Dropped Atom Bombs on Japan?

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 1/4/2013 Category: Politics
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,309 times Debate No: 28890
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (8)
Votes (0)

 

Imagination

Con


TOPIC
: Should the US Have Dropped Atom Bombs on Japan?


CON: I will be arguing that America should not have dropped atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan, during WWII.

PRO: My opponent will be expected to prove that there was sufficient justification for the US nuclear attack on Japan for it to have been an acceptable action.

_____________________________________

These are the terms of conduct expected in this debate. If you do not wish to and/or do not intend to follow them please refrain from participating. Thank you.

EVIDENCE: Opinions based on faith ("It's true because I think/believe it is") will not be accepted. Both sides are expected to provide valid evidence supporting their hypotheses while legitimately responding to the other party's evidence, and furthermore, if they disagree, to produce evidence supporting their counter-argument as well. "Valid" evidence in this context is any evidence that has not or cannot be scientifically, legally, logically or empirically disproven.

SCOPE: War, racism and nuclear weaponry are huge topics. By participating in this debate both parties agree to make an effort not to extend arguments outside of the debate topic. Arguments that do so need not be responded to in order to save time and space and keep the debate relevant. In the same vein, please let's not resort to semantics.

SOURCES: Unless you want your source ridiculed, and in an effort to keep the debate fair, please choose valid sources of information/evidence that both parties have access to. Sites such as Wikipedia that anyone can edit, and personal, subjective remarks made by bloggers / YouTube celebrities, etc., do not meet these criteria unless they draw evidence from sources that do.

COURTEOUS: Avoid swearing/name-calling please. Let's keep this mature.

_____________________________________

The debate is designed to follow this structure~

| ROUND I |
- State POV (Pro/Con)
- Agree to terms of conduct specified in this post
- DO NOT yet make arguments beyond opinion summary

| ROUND II |
- Provide summary of general arguments
- Provide evidence for general arguments
- DO NOT yet respond to opponent's arguments


| ROUND III |
- Respond to general arguments of opposing party
- Provide evidence for counter-arguments
- Free to provide fresh arguments

| ROUND IV |
- Respond to & make arguments
- Provide evidence
- Free to provide fresh arguments
- After this round, no new arguments accepted, so start wrapping it up...

| ROUND V |
- NO NEW arguments accepted
- Respond to any argument that has not previously been mutually recognized as proven to be true/false
- Don't bring back a counter-argument that both sides agree has been previously disproven
- Make closing argument / final statement
- Provide evidence for counter-arguments
- This is the structure of the final round should a previous round be designated as such due to an unforeseen brevity in the debate.

Should wrichcirw accept the debate, Rounds III-IV will become freestyle.

_____________________________________

{ POINT OF VIEW }

As Con/No to the topic: "Should the US Have Dropped Atom Bombs on Japan?" I will be arguing that the valid reasons for NOT dropping the bombs outnumber the valid reasons FOR dropping the bombs; thus, the bombs should not have been dropped.

Not only do I question the motives behind America's decision to bomb Japan, I believe it was totally unnecessary in the political climate and purely intended to impress the Soviet Union. As such I see it as one of the most immoral crimes against humanity, one that broke countless international laws and showed no respect for human rights.

Doubtless my opponent will attempt to persuade the audience that the US's actions were justified given the political climate, and/or that American politicians had to choose between bad and worse and chose bad. This is not purely a moral debate. This is politics, so obviously other elements must be taken into consideration. As such I welcome such arguments as it seems quite clear that dropping an atomic bomb on people would never be morally excusable.


Besides the moral guidelines upheld by international agreements and US law at the time, I will not use moral arguments to make my case; rather, I will prove that dropping the nuclear bombs was UNNECESSARY, thus breaching said moral guidelines with no sufficiently justifiable cause.

I await with curiosity a potential debate.
AAAVoice

Pro

I would like to first identify which bombs in particular, Nagasaki or Hiroshima? Then, I would like to also ask my opponent, do we hold that the loss of more human lives vs the loss of less human lives that the loss of less lives is desirable? With these questions and parameters defined I am perfectly willing to begin the debate with Imagination.
Debate Round No. 1
Imagination

Con

Thank you Pro for accepting!

1. I would like to first identify which bombs in particular, Nagasaki or Hiroshima?

2. Do we hold that the loss of more human lives vs the loss of less human lives that the loss of less lives is desirable?


1. I'd like to argue that dropping BOTH was unnecessary. Pro would be expected to argue that dropping BOTH was necessary. However, in a debates some arguments are dropped. If we end up agreeing one of the bombs was justifiable but keep arguing about whether the other was, that's fine. Still, justifying or not justifying each bomb will count as an argument.

2. The loss of less human lives is preferable over the loss of more human lives. To my opponent I pose the question: Do we hold that the loss of no civilian lives is preferable over the loss of any civilian life in wartime?



{ BACKGROUND }

Debating this topic effectively requires a realistic and quality understanding of World War II (1939-1945). Some say it began two years earlier when China and Japan began competing for large Asian territories, but that in itself would not have created the same scale of conflict in Europe, so I will be sticking to the conventional dates.

To refresh the minds of some among our audience past high school, Fascist Germany under Hitler allied with Fascist Italy, led by Mussolini, Communist Russia, led by Stalin, and Imperialist Japan, led by Emperor Showa, in a coalition called the Axis Powers. Communism and Fascism do not really work well together as ideologies, and when Hitler tried to invade the Soviet Union, it join the Allied Powers, which were fighting against the Axis Powers. The Allied Powers then comprised the Soviet Union and the Capitalist nations of France led by Lebrun/de Gaulle, England led by Churchill and America led by Roosevelt/Truman.


America continued to invest a lot of money and diplomacy into the reconstruction of Germany post-WWII because, along with the rest of the Westerners among the Allied Powers, the US was fighting Communism as the competing political ideology was perceived to doom the globalization of Capitalism should it be allowed to spread westwards.

Thus, immediately after WWII, tensions between America and the Soviet Union ran high, causing a Cold War. The US also targeted Asia during this time and continued to intervene in Eastern affairs (for instance, the infamous Vietnam War) in order to prevent the spread of Communism, which China had already adopted.

Towards the end of WWII, long after the Soviet Union joined the Allied Powers and Italy fell, the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor, an American naval base on Hawaii. (Fortunately the US navy was not at the base at the time.) Thus, in the last year of WWII, America joined the Allied Powers, largely to retaliate against Japan. (If they had genuinely intended to intervene just because of Fascism, they would have done so long ago. The war had been going on for 5 years.)

German forces surrendered to the Allies on May 8, 1945. The Americans bombed Hiroshima, Japan, on August 6, 1945, and Nagasaki, Japan, on August 9 of the same year. Japan surrendered 6 days later. The war officially ended on September 2, 1945.

In this debate I will refer to the atom bomb dropped on Hiroshima as "Bomb H" and the atom bomb dropped on Nagasaki as "Bomb N" to avoid confusion between the two.

Now that the historical groundwork has been established I put forth my arguments towards the resolution: Bombing Japan was unnecessary.


{ I: THE WAR WAS LOST }

The Axis Powers originally consisted of the Soviet Union, Italy, Germany, and Japan. Then, the Soviet Union joined the Allied Powers and Italy fell to the Allies. Germany surrendered in May. The war had obviously been won by the Allies. Japan had lost the war.

Put yourself in Japan's place at this time. Either you surrender and you're all good, or you don't give up and get invaded by at least three nations, with no help of receiving support from your allies. Considering the comparative size of your country and the considerable war losses you have already suffered in WWI and WWII, as well as all the Asian wars you have fought in order to progress as an industrial power, which option would you take?

It was against Japan's interests not to surrender beyond May of 1945. A bomb need not have been dropped in order to persuade them – let alone two atomic ones!


{ II: INTERNATIONAL LAW }

By dropping even one atomic bomb on Japan, the US broke numerous important international laws. The most important of this is the targeting of civilians. Because the Allied Powers and Axis Powers were deadlocked in military might, they attempted to weaken each other through almost constant bombing. Pre-WWI, battles for cities would typically be fought outside of the city. But in WWII, soldiers would shoot at each other through civilian homes, would take shelter in government buildings, would bomb museums and train stations, would kill and rape civilians. Nowhere was safe. Therefore it comes as no surprise when international laws were made to end the horror.

The bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki violated among many other things:

[ 1 ] - CONVENTION WITH RESPECT TO THE LAWS AND CUSTOMS OF WAR ON LAND
------- The Hague, Jul. 29, 1899, ratified by US Senate on Mar. 14, 1902
------- Articles XXIII, XXV, XXVI, XXVII

[ 2 ] - CONVENTION RESPECTING THE LAWS AND CUSTOMS OF WAR ON LAND
------- The Hague, Oct. 18, 1907, ratified by US Senate on Mar. 10, 1908
------- Articles XXIII, XXV, XXVI, XXVII

[ 3 ] - PROTECTION OF CIVILIAN POPULATIONS AGAINST BOMBING FROM THE AIR IN CASE OF WAR
------- Sep. 30, 1938, League of Nations resolution
------- Regulations I:1-3

Written on Sep. 1, 1939:

APPEAL OF PRESIDENT FRANKLIN D. ROOSEVELT ON AERIAL BOMBARDMENT OF CIVILIAN POPULATIONS

The ruthless bombing from the air of civilians in unfortified centers of population during the course of the [recent wars], which has resulted in the maiming and […] death of thousands of defenseless men, women, and children, has sickened the hearts of every civilized man and woman, and has profoundly shocked the conscience of humanity. If resort is had to this form of inhuman barbarism during [this] period of tragic conflagration […], hundreds of thousands of innocent human beings who have no responsibility for, and who are not even remotely participating in [the war] will lose their lives. I am therefore [appealing to] every government [at war] to affirm its determination that its armed forces shall in no event, and under no circumstances, undertake the bombardment from the air of civilian populations or unfortified cities […].

Specific laws violated TWICE IN A ROW:

1. The intentional bombing of civilian populations is illegal.

2.
Objectives aimed at from the air must be legitimate military objectives.


3.
Any attack […] must be carried out in such a way that civilian populations […] are not bombed through negligence.

4.
Aerial bombardment for the purpose of terrorizing the civilian population, of destroying or damaging private property not of military character, or of injuring non-combatants is prohibited.


From Truman's radio report to the American people on August 9, 1945, delivered from the White House at 10 PM:

The Japs will soon learn some more of the other military secrets agreed upon. They will learn them firsthand and they will not like them. The world will take note that the first atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima, a military base. That was because we wished in this first attack to avoid, insofar as possible, the killing of civilians.

From the minutes of the Los Alamos Target Committee, May 10, 1945:

Kyoto; urban industrial area; intellectual center for Japan; people there are more apt to appreciate the significance of weapon

Hiroshima; army depot & port of embarkation in middle of urban industrial area; large part of the city could be extensively damaged; adjacent hills likely to considerably increase blast damage


Yokohama; urban industrial area; untouched

ALL were either AA or A targets. NONE were military bases.

Sources in comments.
AAAVoice

Pro

AAAVoice forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 2
Imagination

Con

It appears that Pro is either inactive or has conceded the debate. As it never quite had the opportunity to get started through an exchange, I invite others to challenge me to this debate. Thank you Pro for the effort.

Vote Con!
AAAVoice

Pro

AAAVoice forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
Imagination

Con

Imagination forfeited this round.
AAAVoice

Pro

AAAVoice forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4
Imagination

Con

Vote Con!
AAAVoice

Pro

AAAVoice forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 5
8 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 8 records.
Posted by Imagination 1 year ago
Imagination
Ran out of space :p Here are my sources.

[ 1 ] - Among the Dead Cities by A.C. Grayling
[ 2 ] - Hiroshima in America: Fifty Years of Denial by Robert Jay Lifton and Greg Mitchell

Also, I made sure, and everything I mentioned can be found in full online, just Google it. As I had to paraphrase towards the end " people do have a way of wording things strangely in official documents " if Pro so wishes I will be glad to provide the full excerpts without the removal of phrases for the next round when I will have the character space to do so :)
Posted by Imagination 1 year ago
Imagination
All right " someone's accepted it " I have too many debates going on right now but I am more than willing to debate this or a similar topic again with wrichcirw or lannan13 :)
Posted by wrichcirw 1 year ago
wrichcirw
"I know it's a lot of terms. I just can't stand debating someone with lousy conduct >< ..."

IMHO debates are vicious. "Conduct" to me is usually a measure of following the rules.

"I'm willing to make Rounds 3-4 free-style, as well as removing the providing of evidence in Round 5. I see no harm in asking for an opponent to meet terms that WILL PROBABLY never happen, but theoretically could, and in debates on other sites and in person with others I've had bad experiences with."

What I've see a lot happen on this site is that someone will call out an alleged rule violation. If that rule violation is substantiated, usually voters immediately deem the violator as someone who forfeited the debate.

People are very harsh on rule-breakers on this site, I've noticed.

"It's important to me to keep responding to arguments out of Round II if Round I is just for acceptance and an opinionated POV statement."

I'm not sure why PRO cannot respond in round #2 to your round #2 arguments...after all, to the extent that PRO does, it weakens his BoP, so I would think, but w/e, I'm cool with this part if you agree to the other parts.
Posted by lannan13 1 year ago
lannan13
I really want to accept this but it won't let me. Can you please change the criteria.
Posted by Imagination 1 year ago
Imagination
I know it's a lot of terms. I just can't stand debating someone with lousy conduct >< It just ruins the debate for me. So far in other debates I've done the terms did an excellent job of keeping both parties at equal standards.

I'm willing to make Rounds 3-4 free-style, as well as removing the providing of evidence in Round 5. I see no harm in asking for an opponent to meet terms that WILL PROBABLY never happen, but theoretically could, and in debates on other sites and in person with others I've had bad experiences with. It's important to me to keep responding to arguments out of Round II if Round I is just for acceptance and an opinionated POV statement.
Posted by wrichcirw 1 year ago
wrichcirw
I am winding down two debates and would like to accept this. CON looks intelligent and willing to engage in a substantive debate.

However, there are FAR TOO MANY RULES for rounds 2-4. It would be far too easy to mess up minute portions of those rules in the heat of a debate. I recommend that rounds 2-4 be more or less free-style, with round #1 for acceptance and round #5 for closing comments (i.e. no new arguments, no new sources).

Also, your round #5 provisions:

- "Don't bring back a counter-argument that both sides agree has been previously disproven"

...will almost never occur. No one that is decent at debating would waste space conceding a point to their opponent.

- I also object to providing evidence in round #5. Round #5 should be closing comments ONLY, otherwise, it is far too easy to abuse that and bring in all kinds of new points/material.

- Regarding semantics, the best way to prevent semantics is to not only carefully word your resolution, but to also define each word in your resolution. I don't think it will be a problem in this debate, the topic is pretty straightforward.
Posted by Imagination 1 year ago
Imagination
All right, I'll make it eligible to under 18. Looking forward to an interesting debate!
Posted by lannan13 1 year ago
lannan13
I would wish to accept this.
No votes have been placed for this debate.