The Hiroshima and Nagasaki Debate

Weekly Debates

The Philodemic Society met to discuss the somber topic “Resolved: The bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki were justified”. Mr. Andrew Marsh (COL ’13) of California opened the debate by laying out the details of the American decision to drop the bomb and the costs of not doing so. In response,  Miss Jessica Stephens (SFS ’11) of Washington argued that the repulsiveness of radiation poisoning outweighed any possible benefits in ending the war. For his induction, Mr. Sean Rosenthal (COL ’11) of Pennsylvania posited a theory of foreign policy which seeks the quickest resolution to war through whatever means necessary. Inductee Mr. Richard Rinaldi (MSB ’12) of New Jersey questioned the motivations of the administration, positing that the bomb was used for its psychological effects and not for its military value. Floor speeches were eloquent and serious in nature. Mr. Gore argued that the negation could not ignore the implications of plausible counterfactuals. In a twist of Mr. Gore’s argument, Mr. Medina demonstrated that the justice of President Truman’s decision would have to lie in the moment of its inception, not in a retrospective analysis.  Mr. Lim introduced the question of uncertainty and postulated that Pres. Truman made the best decision available to him. Vice President Cantirino pointed out the novelty of The Bomb and its potential to destroy humanity itself; Truman’s decision, he said, opened the Pandora’s box of atomic destruction. In conclusion, Mr. Rinaldi urged members to affirm justice by negating the topic, while Mr. Rosenthal pointed to the very un-hypothetical facts surrounding Truman’s decision. After Miss Stephens and Mr. Marsh surmised the positions of their respective sides, the society voted to affirm the resolution 28-1-20.

Please join us next week for “Resolved: Whether the Republicans or the Democrats should control the 112th Congress.”



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