The Instigator
GriffinGonzales
Pro (for)
Losing
7 Points
The Contender
larztheloser
Con (against)
Winning
21 Points

States ought not possess nuclear weapons.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 8/21/2010 Category: Politics
Updated: 7 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 12,519 times Debate No: 12797
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (17)
Votes (5)

 

GriffinGonzales

Pro

I am new to debate and this will be the topic I will be arguing in my first tournament. I want to do a little mock up here so that I can better understand the topic and get some experience. Thanks!

To start of this debate I am going to define the word "state" as "A people with one common culture or organized government".

My first contention for why states ought not possess nuclear weapons is because of humanitarian reasons. Any detonation of one of these devises would result in huge loss of human life and that is just unacceptable. To be specific, the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima in 1946 killed est. 78,000 within an hour of detonation not to mention future deaths as the cause of radiation and starvation. The current nuclear weapons we have around these days are around 180 times more powerful than that. So we could say that the loss of human life in a populated area would be 78,000 x 180 = 14,000,000. This obviously isn't completely accurate but it gives you a good field of thought for how utterly devastating this would be.

My second contention is for global security reasons. As we've already seen these weapons are devastating. But one could argue that through the impact of mutual assured destruction; nuclear weapons like these would never come into use. But mutual assured destruction only works of there are two or more established governments that could risk losing everything. If a faction such as Al Qaida could get it's hands on a unprotected nuclear devise, say in Pakistan, they would have nothing preventing them from using it. Could you imagine the terror a person that is willing to die could inflict if they had any sort of nuclear weapon?

In conclusion, isn't it just best if these weapons weren't around at all? I mean you could argue all you want that things such as mutual assured destruction would prevent their use. But wouldn't them not being here in the first place prevent their use too?

Thank you---
larztheloser

Con

Hey, I'm new here too. This is an interesting topic so I'll begin by rebutting some of your major points. My overall argument is that removing nuclear missiles is unnecessary.

First, I think that most states are neither founded on ideals of pacifism nor presently pacifist. Those that ARE either of these two conditions are generally small in nature and therefore do not have the sort of resources required for another country to bother to launch a missile at them. By having aggressive aims, weapons or capabilities of your own, you forfeit your right to safety. Most countries today are democratic in nature. This means that every taxpayer of these countries supports these militaristic aims, for if they did not those in power would be voted out. Secondly, your humanitarian argument is not an argument against nuclear bombs but against weapons in general. More people have died in vehicles than by nukes, so should we abandon cars, boats and aircraft too?

Second, as to your global security point, that's not how it works in reality. When two states have nuclear weapons, the result is not confrontation but cold war. Sounds familiar, right? Indeed, this lack of confrontation is MORE humanitarian than actual confrontation, because nobody dies. If Osama built a nuclear warhead in his cave, he would not fire it at the United States for fear the USA would bomb him back. Similarly, the USA might ease their attacks on Al Quaeda as public opinion in the USA would give way to fear of being struck by Osama's missile.

But your case really fails because it is totally unfeasible. First, you won't be able to prevent another state from just making a new weapon after abolishing them. Second, what about covert nuclear weapons - each nation has an incentive to hold them. Third, you cannot destroy a nuclear weapon without deploying it - which has huge environmental and economic costs. You can't give me a clear model for how you intend to enact your plan. The motion falls.
Debate Round No. 1
GriffinGonzales

Pro

First off I want to say thank you. Admittedly you have some fantastic points here that will help me when I debate this for real. But since I am arguing against you here, I must say that you are completely wrong.

First I will cover your rebuttal to my argument that Nuclear Weapons ought not be possessed because of Global Security. You stated that if a terrorist such as Osama bin Ladin gained possession of a nuclear weapon, he would not use it because the USA would just shoot one right back at him. I do not believe this is the case because extremist like Bin Laden do not care about their own life, or the lives of their comrades, as much as they do about killing millions of Americans. This is most apparent in the many suicide bombings that have taken place over the years. Plus, you make the point that the USA would just shoot him right back, but that would be completely unfeasible because he is in hiding right now so we would basically have to just guess where to aim, press the big red button and hope it turns out for the best.

You argue against my humanitarian case stating that basically people die in other ways, thus it should be okay to keep nuclear weapons around. But I don't think it matters if more people have died in other ways. If a single of these weapons was set off in a populated area, then deaths by nuclear weapons would far exceed deaths by car crashes. Not having nukes would completely get rid of this threat right away. You say that since car crashes are deadly, so why don't we get rid of cars? Be cause cars are good for something, transportation. Nukes are good for nothing except destruction.

You said that how would we stop somebody from getting nukes after they are all gone. This comment, however true, is not relevant in this debate because the debate is, "states ought not possess nuclear weapons". If the resolution was, "The United Nations should get rid of all nuclear weapons." it would be relevant, but this is a value, not policy debate.
larztheloser

Con

In every debate, one must consider policy implications AND value implications, for no good value supports the impossible. Explain to me how it's actually possible to do what you support, answering all the concerns I raised earlier, or else tell me by what "value" you support that which you impliedly agree cannot be done.

You rebutted two very nuanced sub-points of my overall rebuttal. First, yes, Osama does not care for America, but he DOES care for his own life. He cannot risk being nuked, dying as a martyr, because Al Qaeda would collapse without his figurehead. The US does know where he is, within a radius of a few thousand miles, which some of their larger bombs cover. I also contend that no world leader is presently willing to give Osama nuclear materials. Look up the military doctrine of "Mutually Assured Destruction" for more info. Second, you have claimed that nukes are not "good" and thus distinguishable from other, more deadly items. No wonder you commented you wanted to drop this! Go on - distinguish between a good and a bad death. Also please address some of my other points - ie nukes cause standoffs and the people support them.

Meanwhile, two new issues. First, if aliens come from outer space and try to take us over, what do we do? The only missiles we have that we can launch into space cheaply are nuclear missiles. Second, what about expansionist countries like Russia under Putin? We can never know just how big a role the serious American nuclear threat deters these nations from committing grave injustices. We can never know whether the power of the nuclear bomb has deterred alien invasion.

One more issue. Some states are only non-nuclear as they are protected by other, nuclear states (esp. in Europe). By telling some states they ought not to have weapons, you tell these other smaller states they ought to have weapons instead.

Because I stand for a more peaceful world, which does not support ridiculous impossible pipe-dreams, I oppose!
Debate Round No. 2
GriffinGonzales

Pro

I agree that this debate needs a value. And the value that I would put forth is the value of the human life. Wouldn't you agree that a human life is more important than anything else? So going with this value of human life, how could it possibly be good to keep around nuclear weapons that could end millions of them in an instant?

Secondly, you said terrorists could never get nuclear weapons because nobody is willing to give nukes to them.... The obvious responce is that they would just steal them. Pakistan is an extremely unstable country that possess nuclear weapons. Coincidentaly it borders the afgan mountains that Al Quada opporates out of. Actually it is suprising to me that they have not yet tried to steal a nuke from Pakistan. Also as a sub point, you claim that one of the US's nukes could hit a 1000 mile radius. That is simply not true.

It was also said that without nukes we would be unable to fight of aliens. I think it is safe to say that we do not know enough about aliens yet to make that assumption.

You then say that mutually assured destruction would stop any nation from using these nukes on another. I agree that it has prevented it in the past, but what about the future? Plus wouldn't it stop people from using nukes equally as much if we just didn't have nukes in the first place? And this brings us back to the value, and center of this debate, human lives. As I stated in the beggining, Nuclear Weapons these days are 180 times more powerfull than the ones used on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. So how could it possibly be a good thing to have them around? The debate is titled, "states ought not possess nuclear weapons". And just because of the devistating power of them alone, I think that, no, states shouldn't possess nukes PERIOD.

To finish, I would like to thank my opponent for this great debate. It had been a lot of help to me. I would also like to urge a strong vote in the proposition of this resolution.
larztheloser

Con

My opponent thinks he can win this debate by ignoring half of my points, ignoring the global realities that underpin even his own argument, and by committing the logical fallacy of appeal to uncertainty over the future. My opponent concedes nuclear weapons have been helpful in the past, and that they are a powerful deterrent. He has strategically ignored my point that nuclear weapons have saved more lives than they have killed, that nuclear weapons are less dangerous than many other items, and that people have forfeited their right to safety. He never told us why the value of a human life is so relevant, given that there is no reason to suppose the nukes of today will ever be deployed – indeed, I have given clear analysis as to why they never will. He claims nukes the sizes of small spacecraft are as easy to steal as a diamond ring, for an uncoordinated small group of rebel fighters. He thinks that although the US has the capability to bomb every square inch of this Earth, they cannot bomb a small portion of the Pakistan-Afghanistan border.

This has been an excellent debate, in its portrayal of the many inconsistencies and fallacious arguments that permeate the affirmative's case. A vote for my opponent is a vote based on fear – a fear which I have shown to be unfounded. My opponent has been unable to give any reasons to back up his fear of a powerful "weapon" (if it can be called that, for really it is only a deterrent, as I have shown).

Let your vote send a strong message to my opponent that we will not give in to this fear – that we are reasonable human beings. I hope this is not the argument my opponent runs when he does this for real, because as it stands, my opponent has failed to counter my claim that the removal of nuclear weapons is unnecessary. That's why the moot falls. That's why I am proud to be opposing the motion.
Debate Round No. 3
17 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by larztheloser 6 years ago
larztheloser
sunny_girl : I was new here and had never done an LD debate before. Hope that explains it.
Posted by sunny_girl 6 years ago
sunny_girl
What are your values and criterion? And your sources?
Posted by larztheloser 7 years ago
larztheloser
Well, I'm not. I'm from New Zealand, we don't do LD.
Posted by logan_debate 7 years ago
logan_debate
are u guys gonna be debating at the tournament in long beach or at debate 1?
Posted by LD_Freak 7 years ago
LD_Freak
Oh, and you guys need to cite your sources and your definitions. If you don't you'll be roasted by anyone who knows what they're doing.
Posted by LD_Freak 7 years ago
LD_Freak
A few things in general. I'm assuming both of you ill be debating Lincoln-Douglass style? If you are, you both need more connections to ethics. Not only does using ethical theories strengthen your case, it just plain makes you look smarter. larztheloser, your conception of democracy is seriously flawed. Sure, democratic principles suggest that a State's actions have the absolute approval of the populace. However, most of the countries in the world are not democratic, and the ones who are are nearly all Republics. Therefore, democratic principles oppress the minority who voted against the measures that allowed their state to have nuclear weapons. So, democracy is jipped, and doesn't work. That's why Republics exist.
Also, Al Qaida would NOT be deterred by MAD. It's their reason for being. If they nuked us, they'd ill hundreds of thousands if they were smart. They wouldn't care if they all died. It would be a sort of martyrdom for them. Jihadists only care about killing 'infidels.' By definition, they are noble extremists, but their nobility is seriously misguided.
Aff, you need more contentions. In LD you have ix minutes to say as much as you want. I've had as many as four, large, strong contentions.
Oh, and if you guys expect to debate this in LD, you both need a value and a criterion. If you don't know what those are, ask your coach or older debaters.
Well, turned out to be longer than I expected. Good luck in the upcoming season, both of you.
In response to sieben, I would say it's fairly even. The neg doesn't prove that States should HAVE nukes, but that there's no reason they SHOULDN'T have them. There's a big difference between advocating an affirmative and advocating a negative.
Posted by Sieben 7 years ago
Sieben
hehehe yeah.... the only condition of japanese surrender was that their emperor would remain a figurehead. NOT GOOD ANUFFF RAAAAAAR
Posted by LaissezFaire 7 years ago
LaissezFaire
Another alternative to dropping the bombs would have been to accept Japan's surrender in January of 1945. We refused because it wasn't an "unconditional surrender," which, of course, we didn't get in the end anyway.
Posted by Sieben 7 years ago
Sieben
RoyLatham, I would be careful to use the Hiroshima bombings as evidence. The "saved millions" statistic is derived by comparing hiroshima to "operation downfall", a ground invasion plan that intentionally made many tactical mistakes, driving up the prospective death count. Alternative ground invasion plans put total casualties at around 70,000.

Anyway, I'm not an expert on the subject, so i can't say definitively. I just wouldn't use it in case you run against someone who really did do the research. Its a moot point anyway because it is in theory possible to use nukes to save more lives.
Posted by RoyLatham 7 years ago
RoyLatham
I thought both sides did well for an early debate on the site.

The nuclear attacks on Japan brought about a quick surrender that ended the war. The alterntive was an invasion of Japan, which would probably have cost ten million lives. I think thre is a very strong case that it saved millions of lives. There is an argument that the nukes should have been used in remote areas as demonstrations, but that wouldn't have been possible without having the weapons in the first place.

The mutually assured destruction argument is, I think, valid for nations that are somewhat rational and responsible. It worked for the Cold War. It is doubtful for al Qaeda, Iran, and North Korea. Al Qaeda depends on hiding. There is no nuclear bomb with a destructive area even close a thousand miles. 180 times more powerful probably increases the destructive range by a factor of 15 at most. Caves are very good protection, so it would have to be a hit within a few miles. Iran and North Korea would probably work through terrorists so they could deny responsibility.

The main problem with the resolution, I think, is that it is a fantasy resolution along the lines of "truth and justice ought to prevail." Fantasy resolutions ought to fail, because they are impractical. Pro did not respond to Con's argument that it was a fantasy.

The resolution can be debated by assuming it means something like "The world would be a place if all nuclear weapons disappeared." If that happened, then the large conventional armies, like China, would increase in importance. That doesn't seem helpful. Israel would probably be swallowed by Arab attacks since the Israelis are outnumbered about 100:1.
5 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 5 records.
Vote Placed by lilshaunzy 6 years ago
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Vote Placed by marvinlibra44 7 years ago
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Vote Placed by RoyLatham 7 years ago
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Vote Placed by Sieben 7 years ago
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