The Instigator
linate
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
distraff
Con (against)
Winning
16 Points

the atomic bombings of japan were morally justifiable

Do you like this debate?NoYes+0
Add this debate to Google Add this debate to Delicious Add this debate to FaceBook Add this debate to Digg  
Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 3 votes the winner is...
distraff
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 7/26/2014 Category: Politics
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 497 times Debate No: 59591
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (4)
Votes (3)

 

linate

Pro

proportionality.
-the battle of okinawa alone caused over 75000 american soldier deaths. that's one battle alone. that is close to one of the atomic bombs. that's pretty proportional.
-the bombing could have caused overall deaths to go down... if we had more battles like okinawa, they might have still been figthing as they would have had a chance to win and overall deaths would have gone up.
-we could have just waited it out, probably, sure, and not bombed. but at what cost? they weren't surrendering any time soon. and as said, even after the first one, they still weren't ready to surrender. how many americans are you willing to let die while we wait it out? that isn't so much rhetorical. i might value one american lost to 500 to a thousand japanese. it's hard to put limits on an american life. but, as said, okinawa had only seventy thousand ameicans dead.

some say we should have just dropped a bomb or two 'close' to japan, or somewhere much less populated, to prove our capacity. however, we only had two bombs ready to be used, and that might not have been sufficient. in fact, when we did drop the first bomb, they still weren't ready to surrender. so that shows dropping them elsewhere would have been a waste of time. they were talking about surrendering with conditions, but weren't willing to do it, even after the first drop. so, the second drop was necessary.
even then, when they did surrender, the leader said they wouldnt ever surrender if their social and political systems weren't respected. this shows they were willing to go all the way, which is what was necessary, that we do likewise, if they kept killing our people.
we had to do it fiercely to stop them from killing our people. that we gave them a grace period shows that we were humane about it to the most extent we could.

the following shows the things i said.
http://en.wikipedia.org...

it's not like we weren't unaware of the gravity of the situation.

"I realize the tragic significance of the atomic bomb ... It is an awful responsibility which has come to us ... We thank God that it has come to us, instead of to our enemies; and we pray that He may guide us to use it in His ways and for His purposes."
"President Harry S. Truman, August 9, 1945
distraff

Con

It is correct that an invasion of Japan would have saved the lives of many soldiers and the most convenient thing to do was to destroy city after city until Japan was forced to surrender. In fact around that time destroying cities was a normal practice at the time and the British and Germans had done it to each other.

So when it is very difficult to win a war by purely military means is it acceptable to start slaughtering civilians? It can be argued that such action can save military lives and win wars. However this is exactly the reasoning of Al Quaeda. They justify the killing of innocent civilians by claiming that it will help them win.

I agree with the critics of Al Quaeda when I say that attacking innocent civilians is pure cowardice and it is wrong for people with guns to start slaughtering men women and children without them.

The same goes for our actions in the Pacific. Yes, killing hundreds of thousands of civilians helped us win but no such action is not morally acceptable. Killing innocents never is. The only possible justification for this is that their government did not have the same high ideals and could conquer us.

However, at the time we had their island surrounded and cut off from all resources. They had only a few subs and ships left and were producing practically nothing. They had no chance against us.
Debate Round No. 1
linate

Pro

war isn't pretty. sometimes bad things need to happen to get it finished. the following illustrates that while talking about alteantive methods proposed.

con says they had only a few ships left and were producting practically nothing. do you have a source for that?

do you at least concede another Okinawa was possible? if so, the bombs were justifiable because even after we dropped one they were still not ready to surrender. we could have fought smaller battles and let our death toll rise, yet they would not have gave in if they wouldn't even give in with an atomic bomb to one of their cities. we could have did another okinawa and let our fatalities majorly rise, and they may have just kept fighting cause they would have thought they had a chance, even if small, at least fighting more on principle.
that we dropped one and they didn't give in shows it was necessary. it took two to seal the deal.
distraff

Con

Sources for claims about Japan's bad military situation

America had beaten Germany and could concentrate our entire military strength on Japan. Russia also won and was attacking the Japanese holdings in China. The US surrounded Japan with Submarines, mines, and ships. Japan had few natural resources and depended on other nations for their metals and oil. Their merchant fleet was destroyed and their major cities were fire bombed with hundreds of millions of casualties(1).

The Japanese Imperial Fleet was no longer an effective fighting force. They had 6 aircraft carriers, 24 war ships, and 38 submarines but their use was limited because of lack of fuel (1). Their forces in China and the islands were running out of supplies. The US had plenty of oil, 99 aircraft carriers, 471 war ships, and over 232 submarines. We had Japan under a military blockade for some years using these vessels (3).

Pro: do you at least concede another Okinawa was possible?

Yes, perhaps much worse.

Pro: they may have just kept fighting cause they would have thought they had a chance, even if small, at least fighting more on principle.

We cracked their military codes (4) and knew that their military leaders were not blind fanatics and they knew their difficult situation and held out for strategic reasons. They hoped to hold out long enough to talk Stalin into talking the Americans into a settlement. When we dropped the bomb they were highly concerned by did not want to surrender (2).

It was only when Stalin declared war that they lost all hope. When the communists started invading, they realized that it was better to surrender to the US than Stalin. The bombs were not as special as you think because our fire bombings killed similar numbers of people (2).

Since they cared about Japan's fate, I think they did not see Japan fighting itself to complete ruin as a good way to go and was complete disaster for Japan and its greatness would never return. If it surrendered, or got a deal with the US at least they had a chance of getting their national greatness back.

Pro: that we dropped one and they didn't give in shows it was necessary.

That was before the Russians declared war. Russia declaring war was a major motivator for surrender.

Pro: war isn't pretty. sometimes bad things need to happen to get it finished. the following illustrates that while talking about alteantive methods proposed.

I follow moral rules and our wonderful way of life is what makes us so great. The fact that we have all these freedoms and respect human life and dignity, even for non-Americans is what I am proud of. We have not been perfect in the past with Slavery, racism, Indian abuse, and city bombings during war, but the world in general had a lot of problems at those times too. Over time we have gotten better at being an example for the world.

If you have a gun and you kill a civilian who is begging for his life, you are a coward no matter how horrible his government, and you are doing something deeply horrific. The same goes if you drop a bomb on a city with the intent to murder families with men, women, and children. Killing someone who is unarmed and is not attacking your soldiers and civilians is an act of murder.

To determine the morality of killing terrorists, what would you think in the Mexican-American War if hypothetically the Mexicans had targeted and slaughtered hundreds of thousands of American men, women, and children, and were exterminating our cities full of civilians? Would we be justified in condemning them if we were doing the exact same thing?

Killing civilians is wrong and that is why the terrorist attacks on 9/11 wasn't simply a military maneuver by an enemy, it was an atrocity, a violation of human rights. That is why Bin Laden deserved to die and Al Qaeda wiped from the face of the Earth.

The fact that fighting ethically would be militarily inconvenient for Al Qaeda because they would lose is no excuse. If you slaughter civilians, you don't deserve to win any war. The military inconvenience to the US for being ethical was much less since we were going to win anyway without civilian killing and Al Qaeda did not have a chance.

In truth everyone in WWII was bombing cities and it was a vicious and desperate war in a much less civilized time. We have gotten past this behavior. When we bombed Baghdad, we focused on military targets and we did not slaughter civilians. Even during the bloodly Iraqi resistance which very possibly could have resulted in a military defeat for us we did not slaughter civilians. I am proud my country has gotten past such behavior.

1: http://en.wikipedia.org...
2: http://www.boston.com...
3: http://en.wikipedia.org...
4:http://www.slate.com...
Debate Round No. 2
linate

Pro

linate forfeited this round.
distraff

Con

My opponent has forfeited this round. I hope this has been a fun debate and hope to hear back from voters.
Debate Round No. 3
4 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Posted by distraff 2 years ago
distraff
That is an interesting theory. I will look into it.
Posted by thehappy 2 years ago
thehappy
Also the whole reason the atom bombs were dropped was because of a translation error. When the Japanese were negotiating for peace they used the word Mokusatsu which has two meanings. either to ignore or no comment at this time. When the US commanders found out that it had two meanings I can only imagine their confusion. As a result they took it as though the Japanese had ignored it and the bombs were dropped. Here is the link to the unclassified document regarding this incident. http://www.nsa.gov...
Posted by distraff 2 years ago
distraff
Thanks for the research. Definitely shows that Japanese would have been really hurt by an invasion.
Posted by thehappy 2 years ago
thehappy
I would do a little more research into the battle of Okinawa before using it as an example to justify the atomic bomb. The US suffered 49,151 casualties of which 12,520 were killed. The Japanese on the other hand lost 117,472 men of which over 110,000 were killed. Its hardly justifiable to slaughter them in one place and then say we had the right to drop the bomb not one but two.
3 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Vote Placed by lannan13 2 years ago
lannan13
linatedistraffTied
Agreed with before the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Agreed with after the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Who had better conduct:-Vote Checkmark-1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:-Vote Checkmark-2 points
Total points awarded:06 
Reasons for voting decision: Forfeiture
Vote Placed by Seeginomikata 2 years ago
Seeginomikata
linatedistraffTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:-Vote Checkmark-1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:-Vote Checkmark-2 points
Total points awarded:06 
Reasons for voting decision: Con forfeited and had no way of countering the reasoning that the primary cause of the end of the war was Soviet involvement, not any American action.
Vote Placed by TheRussian 2 years ago
TheRussian
linatedistraffTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:-Vote Checkmark-1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:04 
Reasons for voting decision: Conduct goes to Con because of Pro's forfeit. While Pro tried to argue that there was no other option and that much more bloody fighting was going to come if US didn't drop the bombs, Con successfully argues the opposite. He proves that Japan had little military capacity at that point and that dropping the bombs was unnecessary.