The Instigator
Pro (for)
5 Points
The Contender
Con (against)
9 Points

resolved states ougth not posses nuclear weapons

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 10/13/2010 Category: Politics
Updated: 7 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,501 times Debate No: 13368
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Votes (2)




Intro: States ought not posse's nuclear weapons.
I'd like to thank my opponent for getting involved with my debate. Here are the definitions that I used to define my resolve. "Ought" is used to indicate duty or correctness, typically when criticizing someone's actions. An example is "they ought to respect the law". Ought is also used to indicate a desirable or expected state. The example of this is "he ought to be able to take the initiative". "Ought not" (without "to") is used to advise against doing something. "Ought not" is the same as should not. I am defining "Nuclear Weapons" as an explosive device whose destructive potential derives from the release of energy that accompanies the splitting or combining of atomic nuclei.
My value is Security

My judging criterion is deters conflict

Contention 1: The risk of using them.
My first contention is that possession of Nuclear weapons can lead to the risk of using these weapons. At this moment, thousands of warheads remain on high alert. Once they are launched, they cannot be recalled. The US and Russia, who have the biggest arsenal, pose the greatest risk. Even greater risks are India and Pakistan, who have a long history of conflict. With their close proximity it makes it more likely for a false alarm to go off and lead to an accident. Space based missile defense interceptors, such as those purposed by the US, can increase the risk of accidental detonation by eliminating pace-based early warning satellites, used by the US and Russia.

Contention 2: High cost:
My second contention is that the high cost of Nuclear weapons is putting our economy further in debt. Obama is going to be giving 8 billion dollars in loan guarantees to break ground in Georgia on the first two new nuclear reactors in nearly 30 years. The cost for military artillery is a big reason why the US is in debt. The current US debt is 13.3 trillion dollars. The United States spent a minimum of 5.5 trillion dollars on its nuclear weapons programs. When the dismantling of toxic waste is factored in, the money spent is 5.8 trillion dollars.

Contention 3: The damage when used:
My third contention is that Nuclear weapons cause irreparable damage When used, radiation can cause a lot of damage. In 1945 in Hiroshima, the atomic bomb led to the death of over two hundred thousand people. Nuclear weapons have the potential to kill hundreds of thousands of people. They have enough to destroy the world over and over again. These truly are weapons of mass destruction.

Nuclear weapons are Costly, risky, and deadly. Not having nuclear weapons provides security and deters conflict. Because of this, I confirm the resolution Resolved: States Ought Not Posses Nuclear Weapons.


=Value Structure=

I agree to the value of SECURITY and the criterion of DETERRING CONFLICT

--> This value structure is one of consequentialism, since it is the weighing of ends states and consequences as opposed to weighing intrinsic characteristics. Thus, weighing between the Pro and the Con must be done strictly on an empirical and numerical basis. Whoever deters more conflict is who you should vote for.

=Con Case=

C1) Nuclear Proliferation Deters Conventional Warfare

A. Historical Warrant

Delvoie, 2002 [Louis, Former Assistant Deputy Minister – National Defense Headquarters (Canada) and Senior Fellow – Center for International Relations]

"major conventional wars had become progressively more destructive and more murderous between the mid-19th and mid-20th centuries. The idea of millions of people being killed in war is not solely the spectre of the nuclear age; it was the reality of the pre-nuclear age. that the world was spared another war engaging the major powers throughout the second half of the 20th century. This was not because of a shortage of conflicts or events, which in an era of purely conventional weapons (regardless of their lethality) might well have precipitated a third world war. That no new world war resulted from any of these events is largely due to the existence of nuclear weapons, and to the deterrent effect which their possession and deployment had on the actions of the major powers throughout the Cold War. the deterrent value of nuclear weapons served to avoid the far worse carnage which would have attended a third world war among the major powers."

B. Mathematical Warrant

DeMesguita and Riker [Bruce and William. Profs of Poli Sci @ U of Rochester. "An Assessment of the Merits of Selective Nuclear Proliferation" The Journal of Conflict Resolution, Vol 26 No 2, 2002. JSTOR//JVOSS]

"One might object that symmetry in nuclear confrontations heightens the likelihood of one side miscalculating its expected costs and benefits, leading to the escalation of conflict to include the use of nuclear weapons. One cannot say that such a scenario is totally impossible, yet there are reasons both in logic and in the historical record of conflict to suggest that such a scenario is highly unlikely. As Table 2 indicates, when both parties in a conflict possess a nuclear capability sufficient to inflict unacceptable losses, then only three terms-a,Ug and UZ4 -need to be estimated in determining the expected value of war. One always knows one's own utility for various outcomes and strategies. Miscalculation is most likely when one must estimate probabilities of success or failure or when one must estimate someone else's utility values. There is but one probability that requires estimation when both sides possess nuclear capabilities sufficient to impose unacceptable damage. Two probability values must be estimated when a conflict involves a nuclear initiator and a nonnuclear opponent (a and Q2 in situation B). Four probability values must be estimated when the initiator is nonnuclear and the target is a nuclear power (/, Qi, Q2, and R), and three such terms must be estimated (/, Qi, and Q2) when neither party is nuclear. In other words, the opportunity for miscalculation is greatest when there is a nuclear asymmetry favoring the opponent and is smallest when there is nuclear symmetry, so that, when proliferation is prevented, the opportunity for miscalculation is larger, not smaller. Yet even when both parties are nonnuclear, miscalculation seems relatively rare, with more than 85% of war initiators apparently having had positive expected utility and with about 90% of conflicts having turned out as one would have expected, given estimates of the expected utilities of the relevant parties (Bueno de Mesquita, 1981b). One might object further. Conceding that the likelihood of miscalculation does diminish as proliferation occurs, one might still contend that the costs of such a miscalculation are so large that they cannot conceivably justify even the diminished risk of war. If the expected costs from nuclear wars arising out of miscalculation or irrational acts exceed the expected costs from wars that could be prevented by proliferation, then, indeed, proliferation is a very dangerous thing. There is, of course, no precise way to measure these expected costs, but we do have some basis for estimating them. Using expected utility calculations similar to the one suggested here, one of us (Bueno de Mesquita 1981b) found that 65 of approximately 70,000 opportunities to initiate war rationally were seized in the period 1816 to 1974, with hundreds of other opportunities being used to threaten war. In that same study it was also found that only 11 of nearly 500,000 opportunities to initiate war were seized in violation of the expectations arising from the expected utility framework. In other words, the ratio of seemingly rational and correct calculations to either irrational calculations or miscalculations that have led to war is over 40 to 1. This implies that through symmetry-producing nuclear prolifera-tion, we may expect to prevent approximately 40 conventional or one-sided nuclear wars for every one miscalculated or irrational bilateral nuclear exchange. Using the 40 most recent wars as a crude indicator, this analysis implies that a single miscalculated or irrational nuclear exchange in the third world would have to kill several tens of millions of people before some proliferation would be unjustified by yielding a higher expected loss of life. It seems to us unlikely that one such miscalculated or irrational act among third world countries, each with a very few warheads, could produce this level of loss. Still, we do not rule it out, but rather note that it is exactly such estimates that must be made in calculating the trade-offs between gains and losses from nuclear proliferation. One might expect, for instance, that selection of candidates for proliferation might be based partially on the calculation of the marginal effect on expected costs in life and property from not standing in the way of the candidate in question. Thus, proliferation would be resisted where the expected marginal effect would be an increase in loss of life and property over nonproliferation, but would be encouraged where the marginal effect was otherwise."

=Pro Case=

1. Risk

--> Proliferation stops miscalculation – risks of nuclear war are too clear

Roth, 2007 [Ariel Ilan, Associate Dir. National Security Studies – Johns Hopkins U. and Visiting Assistant Prof. IR – Goucher College, International Studies Review, "REFLECTION, EVALUATION, INTEGRATION Nuclear Weapons in Neo-Realist Theory", 9, p. 369-384]

"No such potential for miscalculation exists in a nuclear conflict. Nuclear weapons eliminate (or at least severely reduce) the likelihood of miscalculation of the degree to which a war will be costly. Because, according to Waltz, one of the main engines for war is uncertainty regarding outcomes and because the immense destruction that can come as the result of a nuclear exchange can be fully anticipated, it is never rational to engage in a war where the possibility of a nuclear exchange exists. The probability of major war among states having nuclear weapons approaches zero."

2. Cost

--> All war mechanisms cost considerable amounts of capital. Argument is non-unique. However, benefits of deterring conventional warfare outweighs.

--> This argument does not link back to the criterion of DETERRING CONFLICT. Even if you by this argument it cant be voted off of.

3. Damage

--> Nuclear miscalc or war isn't going to occur. Refer to argument against C1. Can't access this impact.
Debate Round No. 1


Mr.alwaysright forfeited this round.


Extend all my arguments.
Debate Round No. 2


Mr.alwaysright forfeited this round.


Alright, extend all arguments.
Debate Round No. 3
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Vote Placed by jf1995 7 years ago
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Vote Placed by CiRrK 7 years ago
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