The Instigator
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The Contender
Con (against)
4 Points

The Dropping of the Atomic Bomb of Japan

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 5/6/2015 Category: Miscellaneous
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 928 times Debate No: 74858
Debate Rounds (4)
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Round one will be devoted to stating your position. Round two is supporting your stated opinion with cited resources, no refuting will occur. Rounds three and four will be devoted to refuting points.

My position: As the "pro", I will, in essence, use real, cited resources to prove that the United States was justified in destroying the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945. I will not be allowed to use emotional arguments. Only logic and real cited sources shall be used.

The "con" will be arguing against the bombing of Japan by the United States with non-emotional arguments and cite specific resources.


I accept my opponent's criteria, and oppose the notion that the bombs were a justified action. I await his/her opening arguments.
Debate Round No. 1


Huffder forfeited this round.



I stand in firm negation of the notion that the atomic bombing of Japan was justified. Instead, I believe that it was unjustified, immoral, and far from a pragmatic solution to terminate the deadliest war in global history.

C1) Historically, the atomic bomb was intended to be used as a defense.

When the team of scientists, including famous men such as Albert Einstein, began working on the bomb, they made it clear that it was intended to be used only as a deterrent. Because the bomb was made without intentions of being used with aggression, it is unjustified in nature. Considering its infancy, the men were wary of using it as anything other than a defensive tool. Its effects were unknown. Considering that massive unwarranted damage it caused, we can conclude that it was still unjustified, as it had not been tested as a deterrent prior to using it with aggression.

An essay titled “The Decision to Use the Atomic Bomb” by scholar Louis Morton explains this in further regard. Besides being intended only for defense, there was no way to counter such an attack. Morton notes, “During the first meeting the scientific members reviewed for their colleagues the development of the Manhattan Project and described vividly the destructive power of the atomic bomb. They made it clear also that there was no known defense against this kind of attack.” [1] Knowing there was NO defense to such an attack further shows the unfair and cruel nature of launching the devastating bomb. This is sufficive unjustification alone.

C2) International law deemed the bombing illegal.

Besides being used for the wrong reason, it was deemed illegal by international law. The “Laws and Customs of War on Land,” ratified by the US in 1902, explains “The attack or bombardment of towns, villages, habitations or buildings which are not defended, is prohibited.” [2] Besides this, the League of Nations further explained how this was despised by international law. “I. Recognizes the following principles as a necessary basis for any subsequent regulations:

1) “The international bombing of civilian populations is illegal;
2) Objectives aimed at from the air must be legitimate military objectives and must be identifiable;
3) Any attack on legitimate military objectives must be carried out in such a way that civilian populations in the neighborhood are not bombed through negligence.” [3] These laws are in direct opposition of the atomic bomb being used in Japan. As it was illegal on an international level, it was not pragmatic or within the boundaries of rules.

C3) There were legitimate and perhaps effective alternatives.

Everyone knows that hundreds of thousands of people were killed through the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, but don’t realize that these collective deaths of innocent people could have been easily avoided.

In fact, conventional styles of attacking had been successful in the past. Matthew Pickin explains, “Before the atomic bombs had been dropped, many of the Japanese cities had been heavily damaged by conventional weapons.” [4] I would like to pose a rhetorical question. If conventional attacks had worked in the past, why use a more devastating and harmful weapon? The obvious answer is that there is no logical or pragmatic reason to deviate from a successful option.

Moreover, causing unwarranted and unnecessary havoc when alternative methods are more direct is both illogical and immoral. This inexplicably shows that conventional bombing would have a) gotten the job done, subsequently b) ending the war, and as a result c) done so without unnecessary civilian death. This would both avoid illegality and keep the atomic bomb in use only for its intent, as defense.

C4) The bomb was unnecessary to end the war.

Though many supporters claim that the bomb ended the war and caused the turmoil to end, the converse is true, as critics show. In terms of diplomacy, the Japanese were actually ready to surrender. The Washington Examiner documents, “The stark fact is that the Japanese leaders, both military and civilian, including the Emperor, were willing to surrender in May of 1945 if the Emperor could remain in place and not be subjected to a war crimes trial after the war. This fact became known to President Truman as early as May of 1945.” [5] The bombs were not dropped until August.

In reality, the war was already won for the Allies. Former President of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Karl T. Compton explains that the Japanese were already beaten. “It is easy now, after the event, to look back and say that Japan was already a beaten nation, and to ask what therefore was the justification for the use of the atomic bomb to kill so many thousands of helpless Japanese in this inhuman way?” [6] He continues to explain that Japan was already beaten, as the tides of the war had turned against the nation.

Admiral William D. Leahy of the Navy notes, “The use of this barbarous weapon at Hiroshima and Nagasaki was of no material assistance in our war against Japan. The Japanese were already defeated and ready to surrender.” [7] Other military leaders from the Navy, Air Force, and Army agree with this notion and assert that the bombs were not needed.

Moreover, James Byrnes, an American politician, was the one who persuaded the US to drop the bombs, and not simply to end the war or attack Japan. Ulterior motives were present, including an attempt to scare Russia and prove their global dominance.

The Mises Institute of Austrian Economics supports this notion by quoting, “The conclusion drawn unmistakably from the evidence presented, is that Byrnes is the man who convinced Truman to keep the unconditional surrender policy and not accept Japan's surrender so that the bombs could actually be dropped thereby demonstrating to the Russians that America had a new forceful leader in place, a "new sheriff in Dodge" who, unlike Roosevelt, was going to be tough with the Russians on foreign policy and that the Russians needed to "back off" during what would become known as the "Cold War." [It was also used to] make the Russians back off and enable America to become the most powerful military force in the world.” [8]

So all things considered, the bombs weren’t dropped to end the war. They weren’t meant to scare the Russians and establish the threshold of global superpower. With the intent in the wrong place, being used in the wrong way, it being illegal, there being alternatives to the actions, we can easily conclude that the dropping of the bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki were unjustified.

C5) The bombings were inhumane.

As my opponent has requested that we not use emotional arguments, I will try to keep my arguments concise, logical, and pragmatic in nature rather than appealing to emotions about thousands of people dying. This will not be my intent. Instead, I plan to only argue the logistics of the bombings and how they were inhumane.

Survivor Akihiro Takahashi explains, “This was a special type of attack, with a weapon that used radiation. One bomb alone destroyed a large city, in one moment. By 1950, about 200,000 people had died in Hiroshima, and in total in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, more than 300,000 people died. So maybe the number of people who died is small in the overall total of World War II deaths, but there were special features of this attack.” By this token, such attacks are inhumane.


When noting the problems with the situation in its entirety, we find logical and pragmatic rationale for a case against the justification of the Japan bombings. When an attack is used in the wrong manner, illegal, unnecessary, inhumane, and has better alternatives, it is certainly obvious apparent that it is also unjustified. Thank you.










Debate Round No. 2


Huffder forfeited this round.


My opponent has forfeited. Extend arguments.
Debate Round No. 3


Huffder forfeited this round.


My opponent has forfeited each round. Extend all arguments.

Vote Con!
Debate Round No. 4
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1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by Varrack 3 years ago
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Total points awarded:04 
Reasons for voting decision: Ff