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shrubbery's avatar

What are your opinions on Nuclear Weapons?

Asked by shrubbery (9832 points ) September 25th, 2011

So I’m sort of watching a debate go down on Facebook, basically about if the world would be a better place without nuclear weapons. However the people discussing are young school kids and I must say I’d never really thought too hard about the topic before so would really like to get some of you wiser jelly’s inputs who will probably discuss it in a much better way.

So I’m cutting/pasting out of order and paraphrasing here but basically the first person said that nuclear weapons are evil and unnecessary and no one should have the kind of power that the threat of nuclear weapons hold against everyone and they should never be possessed let alone used by any country ever. He says that they give a country the right to invade whoever without being invaded themselves, and create a fundamentally unfair distribution of power.

The counter argument is that they actually have a pacifying effect because nobody wants to invade a country with nukes, and there hasn’t been any wars since WWII when they were invented and it was potentially the existence of mutually assured destruction that prevented a war that would have inflicted considerable suffering on many people. Nuclear weapons may increase the potential destructiveness of war should it break out, but it may also create almost insurmountable constraints upon such war occurring, effectively making the world a safer place than without nuclear weapons.

Someone did say that “if there weren’t nuclear weapons there’d just be something else” but I personally think that’s a bit of a fallacy. Do you expect people to stop fighting against racism/sexism/discrimination just because if it isn’t some kind of oppression it’s going to be another kind? We cannot possibly know if there would have been something just as bad as nukes if there hadn’t been nukes themselves, right?

Anyway, that’s about the long and short of it so far, what I’m wondering, dear jellies, is how you feel about the matter, presented with the argument so far? Do you side with either of these people, or neither? Do you have anything to add to the debate? I’m up in the air on this, can you convince me to take a side?

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12 Answers

fizzbanger's avatar

My opinion is that nukes are a gigantic, expensive game of chicken played between powerful nations.

digitalimpression's avatar

Sadly, the technology exists. We will never be rid of it. It doesn’t matter how many laws are passed, the technology is out there and it will continue to exist. The easy answer is to accept that such weapons of mass destruction are now a part of our world. The important thing now, then, is to ensure that the proper people are in charge of this weaponry. Would you rather President Obama had the nukes, or say.. Kim Jong-il?

In a hypothetical world (where we could actually remove the threat of nuclear weapons from the earth entirely), we would run into different problems, but I don’t see them being any more of a problem than they are nowadays. We are still fighting conventional wars in Iraq and Afghanistan despite the fact that nukes exist. Nuclear weapons are simply far too destructive to be used.

Jaxk's avatar

Unfortunately, you can’t put the genies back in the bottle. There are chemical and biological weapons that have the potential of wiping us out as well. It would be nice if you had to wipe out the human race one bullet at a time but technology brings both good and bad. We can try to control the problem but i fear we’ll never eliminate it.

tranquilsea's avatar

You can’t un-ring a bell as large as nuclear weapons. The only way, perhaps, there can be peace is if they were all divvied up between every nation then we wouldn’t have what is happening currently where the nations with nukes are warmongers and the ones that don’t have them are….conquered if they get in the way.

zenvelo's avatar

Yes, the world would be a better place without them. But we’re stuck with them, so working to reduce the threat is a necessity.

But there has really not been a pacifying effect, has there? There have been lots of wars since 1945, and even serious thoughts of using nuclear weapons in some circumstances.

flutherother's avatar

Things happened in the twentieth century that should never be forgotten and should never be repeated. The dropping of nuclear weapons on cities is one of these things. Nuclear weapons should be scrapped. They are not necessary and it can be done.

filmfann's avatar

Minority opinion here. Nuclear weapons saved probably 100,000 American soldiers lives in WWII, might have prevented the USSR from attacking us, and is certainly protecting Israel now.
It’s America’s Luca Brasi.

Hibernate's avatar

Nuclear weapons are something to be feared with. But not only them. When someone wants to do something bad to another country there are other ways [not necessary biological/.chemical weapons]. But even so human kind likes to experiment with anything and we won’t stop “amusing” ourselves with them, not even after we’ll go through a nuclear winter.
We say the damage in the second world war .. okay that was a long time ago and maybe not all of you want to think about it… how about what happened in Japan [much newer].

Such a bitter pill to think of nuclear weapons.

CaptainHarley's avatar

It would be more accurate to say that we have had little BUT war since WWII.

Yes, Nuclear weapons are terrible and should be banned. But who’s going to ban them? How do we get the Genie back in the bottle? And there are ( in my opinon ) worse weapons than nuclear ones. Many biological weapons do the most horrific things to human beings, and there are new weapons which almost literally strip flesh from bone.

If there’s a weapon which will give one group greater power over another, someone will find it, and the only thing I know to do is to create a balance of terror with our own versions of terror-weapons.

28lorelei's avatar

They just shouldn’t exist. Have you read Kurt Vonnegut’s The Barnhouse effect (a short story from Welcome to the Monkey House)? it’s about a guy who uses the power of his mind to destroy the weapons of the world. A novel relating to nuclear weapons is On The Beach by Nevil Shute, which tells of the world dying because of a nuclear war.

CaptainHarley's avatar

I have read On The Beach and seen the movie. Disturbing.

I have also read Vonnegut, but not The Barnhouse Effect.

mattbrowne's avatar

Should be a thing of the past. We have no right to pollute the land of our descendants.

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