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Resolved: States ought not possess nuclear weapons

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 4/15/2016 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 594 times Debate No: 89704
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If the Third World War is fought with nuclear weapons, the fourth will be fought with bows and arrows." Sir Louis Mountbatten, a British naval officer who oversaw the defeat of the Japanese in WWII

What this quote is saying is that Nuclear weapons have the power to destroy everything. That they can cause human civilization back 400 years. It is because I agree with the words of Sir Louis Mountbatten that I stand on the affirmative side of today"s resolution which states
Resolved:States ought not possess Nuclear Weapons

In order to better understand the resolution I offer the following definitions From the Oxford English Dictionary.

States:A nation or territory considered as an organized political community under one government
Ought: used to indicate duty or correctness, typically when criticizing someone"s actions.
Possess:Have possession of as distinct from ownership

In order to better understand my position in today"s debate. I offer the value of Morality, and the value criterion of reduction of human suffering- we should do that which minimizes the pain and suffering of other people because of their worth as human beings and because we value the well being of all people

In order to better understand the resolution I offer the following contentions.

CONTENTION 1: Nuclear weapons pose a major threat to our safety.

According to the Red Cross, in 2010
"Nuclear weapons are unique in their destructive power, in the unspeakable human suffering they cause, in the impossibility of controlling their effects in space and time, and in the threat they pose to the environment, to future generations, and indeed to the survival of humanity." " International Committee of the Red Cross, 2010
Nuclear weapons cause a major threat to our safety, because of their destructive power. Nuclear weapons KILL PEOPLE. We cannot just go around killing people. So I believe that nuclear weapons should be abolished, because they KILL INNOCENT PEOPLE.
So this ties into my value of morality, because it is immoral to go around killing innocent people, it is immoral to cause people to suffer for your own benefit. Therefore connecting it to my value criterion of reducing human suffering, because if states are allowed to possess nuclear weapons, and they use them, many human lives are at stake. And people will die if nuclear weapons are used.

So For this reason I believe that states should not be allowed to possess nuclear weapons

CONTENTION 2: Nuclear weapons are one of the world"s most dangerous threats.

According to Brown University

"Today, nuclear weapons are the world"s greatest threat. We have lived with the danger of nuclear weapons hanging over our heads for more than sixty years. Though they have only been used during wartime twice, we have come too close to nuclear war too often. Today, tens of thousands of nuclear weapons stand at the ready, many on hair trigger alert, threatening the lives of hundreds of millions of people and quite possibly the future of civilization itself. As long as imperfect human beings are in charge of nuclear weapons, the continued existence of these weapons offers too many possibilities for accident or miscalculation. These weapons make us less, not more, secure."

Nuclear weapons are a HUGE threat. They can destroy civilization itself.
There are thousands of Nuclear weapons, that are standing in waiting, ready to be used. And when the wrong person or group gets a hold of these weapons, a whole city, or country can be at risk.

In order to tie my second contention into my value of morality: I believe that you shouldn't just go around killing innocent people for no reason, because it is immoral, and they are innocent. And if countries are allowed nuclear weapons, then we are giving them this opportunity. The opportunity to kill innocent humans, and causing Human suffering, tying this into my value criterion.

CONTENTION 3: There are Thousands of nuclear weapons out there.
According to the international campaign to abolish nuclear weapons.

Nine countries together possess more than 15,000 nuclear weapons. The United States and Russia maintain roughly 1,800 of their nuclear weapons on high-alert status " ready to be launched within minutes of a warning. Most are many times more powerful than the atomic bombs dropped on Japan in 1945. A single nuclear warhead, is detonated on a large city, could kill millions of people, with the effects persisting for decades.
According to evidence taken from a chart from the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute. Made June 16, 2014.

The U.S. has- 7300
Russia has- 8000
The U.K. has- 225
France has- 300
China has- 250
India has- 90-110
Pakistan has- 100-120
Israel has- 80
North Korea has- 6-8

That means that there is a total of 16300 Nuclear weapons in the world. Most of these are many times more powerful than, those that were detonated of Japan in world war two. The bombs detonated on Japan killed 192,020 in Hiroshima, and over 70,000 in Nagasaki.( according to CNN) Many of those people were innocent. So if just one of these nuclear weapons were used, thousands of people would die.

Many of the people killed by the atomic bombs dropped on Nagasaki and Hiroshima were innocent people, just on their way to work, or a kid on their way to school and they got killed. I believe that it is immoral to kill an innocent person. Nuclear weapons don"t target one person. They kill many. They cause human suffering. They cause people to die. So I believe that we should abolish nuclear weapons for good. Because who wants to kill an innocent human being?

So it is for these reasons and many more, that I ask for an Affirmative vote on your ballot today.


Personally, I'm not a big fan of nuclear weapons on a conceptual basis. The idea of a weapon that could potential end human civilization as we know it is a scary prospect to face, but one we've been facing for sixty some years. I doubt that many people in the world would list nuclear annihilation as a daily worry that they have, because it's really not anymore. They've not really been a serious threat to our existence since, say, the Cold War, which brings me to my contention:

Nuclear Weapons Stop Wars

There's a reason a nuclear weapon hasn't been used since the end of World War 2, and it isn't because we haven't had the opportunity to use them. The Cold War wasn't really all that cold, once you factor in the proxy wars, but it had the potential to be a hell of a lot hotter. There were a number of scares here and there during the face off, but zero escalated into a nuclear holocaust due to a theory called MAD, or mutually assured destruction. We might have hated the Russians, and they might have hated us in turn, but no nation or world leader would hate another country to the point where they'd ensure their own death. Yeah, there are a lot of nuclear arm heads, but they're not being used. We still hate Russia. India and Pakistan still hates each other. Israel hates Iran. But none of those relations has led to nuclear war, and it is easy to see why.

If Russia were to launch a strike on us, in less than 15 minutes we could counter-strike. The UK would join us, as, too, would France. Even if they thoroughly crushed the United States, no country would continue relations with them after. It's even more of a death sentence for some of the smaller countries like North Korea or Israel. You and your enemy both having a world-ending device ready to fire at the word go sounds horrifying, but its quite the reason to maintain peace.

Response 1:
In response to the Red Cross Quote: Yes, nuclear weapons are perhaps uniquely destructive, but as I argued in my contention, that lethality is why it is more used a diplomatic tool than a military one.

You go on to say that "Nuclear weapons KILL PEOPLE," but that's not entirely true. Nuclear weapons have killED people. Past tense. They've not been used in war since 1945. You are right to say that we cannot go around killing innocent people, but nuclear weapons aren't being used to kill innocent people, and even if they were, they'd sadly not be unique in that. As of right now, nuclear weapons sit in silos and on ships, in the extremely unlikely chance that they're used.

How many people, innocent people too, mind you, would have died if the United States had open war with the USSR? How many innocents would have died if there had been an invasion of Japan, which it has been argued would have been necessary without the dropping of the nukes? People will die if nuclear weapons are used, but can you prove that that is even remotely likely of happening?

Response 2: Is that a quote from Brown University as an organization or just like, a faculty member of Brown University? They state that nuclear weapons have been used twice in sixty years, but the wording is kind of misleading. Two nuclear warheads were used seventy years ago, during one war and used on one nation. Other than that, they've not been used as anything other than a deterrent from war.

Depending on the size of a nuclear war, they might destroy civilization. Will they? Probably not. You talk of the wrong person or group getting control over these weapons, as if there was a precedence for terrorists attempting to seize silos.

You say that allowing nuclear weapons is giving nations the chance to kill innocent people, but it wasn't nuclear weapons that did that. Wars have caused a considerable amount of human suffering to non-combatants long before Hiroshima.


I won't be responding at length to your third contention because my response is basically, "Yes there are a lot of bombs, but what's the chance they're going to be used?" I wish that we could live in a utopia where nations would voluntarily settle their differences without resorting to war, but that's just not likely to happen. I don't like the idea of nukes. They're haunting things, reminding us just how much power we have over nature, and just how we choose to use it. But in a pragmatic sense, the existence of nuclear weapons stop would-be wars from happening.

And if you want to see just how serious one world leader takes the prospect of a nuclear war:
Debate Round No. 1


First I would like to attack my opponents argument and then defend my own.
You cannot keep putting off wars. It is going to happen.

In your first response you stated that nuclear weapons killed people- but People are still dying from the effects on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. ( So yes nuclear weapons Killed people, but they are still killing people. You also asked the question- how many people would have died if there had been an invasion of Japan- But I like to point out how many people were killed in the bombings of Nagasaki and Hiroshima- almost 200,000 innocent lives were taken that day.

In your 2nd response- You said that Nukes probably won't destroy civilization. Nuclear weapons cause fear. We have lived with this threat of Nuclear weapons for 60 years. The fear has caused many people to wonder weather they are safe. Imagine if any terrorist organization got possession of even a few nuclear weapons- how much fear would that cause around the world? Lots.

You also stated that nuclear weapons are almost never used. Maybe not directly but they are used to cause fear. Used to cause people to stop and think every once in a while What would happen? Causing fear.

Also I have a few questions that I whould like answered in your next argument.
1. Nuclear weapons killed and are still killing people. What is benificial that innocent lives should suffer?
2.Nuclear weapons cause fear. And if you want nukes you want that fear- is that true?


crepuscularkid forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 2


experiment626 forfeited this round.


crepuscularkid forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
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