The Instigator
BennyW
Pro (for)
Winning
10 Points
The Contender
Valkyrie
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points

The bombings of Japan by the US were not necessary

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 2 votes the winner is...
BennyW
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 7/18/2012 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 4 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,074 times Debate No: 24768
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (2)
Votes (2)

 

BennyW

Pro

The bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki where not necessary and also immoral. The opponent must show how they could be justified and why it was absolutely necessary.
First round is for acceptance
I look forward to a good debate.
Valkyrie

Con

I like the idea of this debate but as my grandfather who served in world war 2 explained to me the bombings were vital and necessary however I will refrain from arguing until the next round because the first round is merely for acceptance.
Debate Round No. 1
BennyW

Pro

First I would like to point out that the Japanese did indeed commit atrocious acts which make Pearl Harbor look mild in comparison however that does not give us the right to respond in kind. I also realize that we dropped pamphlets warning them, but the citizens of Japan had no reason to believe such a bomb existed and even if they did it would not excuse the moral ramifications.

Secondly, The Japanese were willing to conditionally the surrender but the United States wanted an unconditional surrender. Japan's one condition; that they be able to keep their Emperor. After we bombed them however we did let them keep their emperor albeit with reduced power.
Some of Truman's top military advisers including Eisenhower and MacArthur were opposed to it, but he ignored their advice. Einstein was also appalled at the idea of the bomb. This is what Eisenhower said "the Japanese were ready to surrender and it wasn't necessary to hit them with that awful thing." [1]
Robert Oppenheimer, the man largely responsible for the project, felt extreme guilt after the successful test launch. [2]

Furthermore it should be the goal of war to keep civilian casualties to a minimum which the bombing did not accomplish. Bombs, especially atomic bombs, destroy large areas with no regard for weather there are innocent civilians or military personnel there. Both Hiroshima and Nagasaki were large cities, many of the residents being civilians. [3] [4]
Not only did it cause immediate destruction but the effects were felt for years to come due to ionized radiation poisoning. Those that didn't die in the blast were slowly dying for years. [5] On top of this there were psychological damages as well. [6]
Causing this level of suffering on anyone is inhumane even if they caused it to others.
Thank you and I await the counter arguments.

1 http://www.doug-long.com...
2 (see video)
3 http://www.johnstonsarchive.net...
4 http://www.johnstonsarchive.net...
5 http://www.atomicarchive.com...
6 http://www.nytimes.com...
Valkyrie

Con

First yes you have pointed out that while a nuclear bomb is not with the ethics of warfare all of these laws were thrown out of the window when Japan completely went against all of the ethics of warfare most notably executing their own citizens and telling their soldiers to target first aid regiments which is one of the most basic laws. Also I do believe that they new that we had the ability to drop the bomb. In the war they were best allies with Germany who were trying to create it first. We also warned them and told them that they needed to surrender or we would be forced to drop it.

While Japan was willing to give in to a "conditional surrender" the costs were to much including keeping the island in the pacific which we could not allow to remain enslaved by the Japanese forces. This could not be allowed and we made sure that they realized we were not going to quit. However by using the nuclear bomb we were able to save all of the American lives that would have been spent because it would have required an invasion of Japan most likely costing over 1 Million American lives.

Japan would not have surrendered as imminently without the bomb. The only way to progress farther would have been to invade into Japans mainland. While they may have been weary of war. You and me both are not serving in the Iraq war. However I know for a fact that if the Iraq government directly attacked us as in invade our fifty states not just man but every woman child and citizen would fight to the death to defend their homeland. As for the idea that Einstein opposed the bomb it should be noted that he was one of the figures figures in its actual design.

If you will remember the USSR was also on edge with America a war with Russia with have enacted a World War 3 killing millions and millions more than the previous war. Something had to be done to make sure the USSR would not consider coming after us and so while the atomic bomb killed many civilians it saved all of those that would have died in another war.

On the subject of the emperor the reason we could not accept his surrender is because of the military coup that occurred the day before he could officially register a surrender. Also the idea was not just to keep down Japan but to avoid and delay the ability of a war with the USSR

While I agree a bomb is not pretty the alternative is much more horrible. One million people were killed in the drop. However if we had invaded Japan we would have certainly had to have killed civilians in order to get to the necessary strategic posts. By most estimates it would have cost 3 million lives just to get to a position where they would likely surrender. To understand the situation you need Common sense and experience with the Japanese military. Look at the battle of Okinawa and Luzon. Nearly half a million died in fighting for just these two islands. That's beyond even the highest death tolls from both nuclear bombs combined. Taking and holding the 4 main islands of Japan estimates reached over ten million civilian and military casualties. Operation Downfall would have been carnage on a scale only surpassed by the eastern front.

http://www.nytimes.com...
http://www.nytimes.com... .
Debate Round No. 2
BennyW

Pro

“These laws were thrown out of the window when Japan completely went against all of the ethics of warfare most notably executing their own citizens and telling their soldiers to target first aid regiments which is one of the most basic laws.”
You can’t abandon the rules of combat just because your enemy does. Japan did horrible things in China (Nanjing massacre) and in the Philippines (Bataan Death March) but that does not mean we can now justify something because it wasn’t as bad as that. Ever heard the saying two wrongs don’t make a right?

“In the war they were best allies with Germany who were trying to create it first.” Part of the reason we dropped the bomb when we did was because we were in a race with Germany and wanted to prove we had beaten them to it (ironically using some scientists who had defected from them). Germany getting the bomb could indeed have been catastrophic however we could have proved we had it in another way ie, dropping it in a deserted but visible area. At which point mutually assured destruction would prevent them from attacking us. The United States is the only country to drop an atomic weapon on another country.
As for the Philippines, we could have gotten them back as part of the negotiation of conditional surrender.

“ if the Iraq government directly attacked us as in invade our fifty states not just man but every woman child and citizen would fight to the death to defend their homeland.”
Of course we would and yes if we had invaded the Japanese mainland they likely wood have too but as I pointed out that most likely would not have been necessary.
As I mentioned earlier Japan’s conditions for surrender were eventually met after the bomb.
The Japanese would not have been likely to invade the American mainland, as they wanted to concentrate on securing the Pacific. [1] As well as it being implacable for a number of other reasons [2]

“As for the idea that Einstein opposed the bomb it should be noted that he was one of the figures figures in its actual design.”
Einstein was actually not a part of the Manhattan project but did develop the technology that would eventually. He did in fact make comments of regret for the bomb as mentioned in the previous round.
The USSR was an ally of convenience; as soon as the war ended they became our biggest enemy. Nuclear weapons did play a big role in the next 40 years between the US and USSR but never during that period did either side drop a bomb. Again this due to Mutually Assured Destruction. If Atomic weapons have a legitimate se that would be it, as a bargaining tool rather than an actual weapon.

I will now refer to the video my opponent used as a source. Mr. Van Kirk in the video as a member of the Enola Gay crew is a relevant source as he was right there when it happened, however it is his word against some of the greatest military leaders of the 20th Century (Eisenhower, MacArthur and others). As someone directly responsible for dropping the bomb it would make sense that he would try to justify his actions. He says that day wasn’t important and it ended really quickly. “It was easy, everything went exactly according to plan”. (video ~ 3:10) It was important to the Japanese and it wasn’t just like he dropped the bomb and no more problems, many people had just died, the fact that he didn’t give it a second thought at the time is disturbing. However as the video goes on it sounds as if he is trying to justify to both himself and the reporter why he did it.

My opponent’s New York Times Reference (which he double posted for some reason) talks about how for 20 years after the bomb dropped the official story was universally accepted. There are a number of factors that can describe that. First of all Americans were still emotionally charged after the war and so would accept it as necessary. Secondly, it is very likely that not all the facts were known to the America public. Any discussion of numbers of deaths that could have happened if the bomb wasn’t dropped are purely conjectural and even his source admits that as the more orthodox critique. While Byrnes may have been the driving force behind convincing Truman to drop the bomb, he was not out in the field like Eisenhower who would therefore have had a better understanding of the situation and as I mentioned earlier he opposed the drop. Eve my opponents source admits that his Army adviser George C. Marshall wanted it dropped on a less urban area.

The American people were not allowed to see pictures of the destruction for years, had they been able to, they might have felt differently. The victims suffered discrimination for years afterward de to a lack of understanding of radiation poisoning. [3]

I thank my opponent and look forward to hearing his rebuttals.

1 http://www.researcheratlarge.com...
2 http://www.dalecozort.com...
3 http://www.fogonazos.es...
Valkyrie

Con

Valkyrie forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
BennyW

Pro

As my opponent has forfeited the last round, I extend my arguments.
In conclusion, my opponent failed to prove the overall benefits of the bombings. I would however like to thank him for debating the topic with me.
Vote Pro.
Valkyrie

Con

Valkyrie forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4
2 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Posted by happy-bread 4 years ago
happy-bread
Bad debate...
Posted by socialpinko 4 years ago
socialpinko
Lol @Con's case. This should be fun to watch.
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by socialpinko 4 years ago
socialpinko
BennyWValkyrieTied
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Total points awarded:40 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro's style of attack (simple quoting) was a bit off putting but Con forfeited and thus dropped Pro's arguments and rebuttals.
Vote Placed by Ron-Paul 4 years ago
Ron-Paul
BennyWValkyrieTied
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Total points awarded:60 
Reasons for voting decision: FFs.