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P1-Homework has little educational worth, and therefore is a waste of students'
Homework has little educational worth and adds nothing to the time spent in
school. Some schools and some countries don't bother with homework at all, and
their results do not seem to suffer from it. Studies show that homework adds
nothing to standardized test scores for primary/ elementary pupils. As Alfie Kohn
notes, no study has ever found a link between homework and better tests results
in elementary school, and there is no reason to believe it is necessary in high
school. International comparisons of older students have found no positive
relationship between the amount of homework set and average test scores -
students in Japan and Denmark get little homework but score very well on tests. If
anything, countries with more homework get worse results!
R- Professor Cooper of Duke University has shown that by the high schools years,
there is a strong and positive relationship between homework and how well
students do at school. There are two main reasons why this relationship does not
appear in elementary school: 1) Elementary school teachers assign homework not
so much to enhance learning, but in order to encourage the development of good
study skills and time management;
2) young children have less developed
cognitive skills to focus and concentrate on their work.
P2-Marking homework reduces the amount of time teachers have to prepare
good lessons
Irrespective of homework's educational value, marking it takes up much of
teachers' time. Australian teachers have complained that 'homework marking can
result in four extra hours of work a day and they are rarely rewarded for their
effort'. This leaves teachers tired and with little time to prepare effective,
inspiring lessons. If the lessons aren't to the standard they should be, the point of
homework is lost as the students have little to practice in the first place. The
heavy workload also puts young graduates off becoming teachers, and so reduces
the talent pool from which schools can recruit.
R- Teachers accept that marking student work is an important part of their job.
Well planned homework should not take so long to mark that the rest of their job
suffers, and it can inform their understanding of their students, helping them
design new activities to engage and stretch them. As for recruitment, although
teachers do often work in the evenings, they are not alone in this and they get
long holidays to compensate.
P3-Homework reduces the amount of time for students to do other activities
Homework takes a lot of time up. In America, they encourage the '10 minute
rule', 10 minutes homework for every grade, meaning that high-school students
are all doing more than an hour's worth of homework each night.
Being young is
not just about doing school work every night. It should also about being physically
active, exploring the environment through play, doing creative things like music
and art, and playing a part in the community. It is also important for young people
to build bonds with others, especially family and friends, but homework often
squeezes the time available for all these things.
R- Homework has not prevented students doing other activities; it takes very little
time to complete. Recent American surveys found that most students in the USA
spent no more than an hour a night on homework. That suggests there does not
seem to be a terrible problem with the amount being set. Furthermore, British
studies have shown that 'more children are engaging in sport or cultural activities'
than ever before.
As such, there is no clear evidence to suggest that students are
stuck at home doing their homework instead of doing other activities. In addition,
concerns over how busy children are suggest that parents need to help their
children set priorities so that homework does not take a back seat to school work.

P1- Homework encourages students to work more independently (by themselves)
Homework encourages students to work more independently, as they will have to
at college and in their jobs. Everyone needs to develop responsibility and skills in
personal organization, working to deadlines, being able to research, etc. If
students are always spoon-fed topics at school they will never develop study
skills and self-discipline for the future. A gradual increase in homework
responsibilities over the years allows these skills to develop
. For instance, to
read a novel or complete a research project, there is simply no time at school to
do it properly. Students have to act independently and be willing to read or write,
knowing that if they struggle, they will have to work through the problem or the
difficult words themselves. Diane Ravish points out that a novel like Jane Eyre
cannot be completed if it is not read at home students have to work through it
R- Setting homework does little to develop good study skills. It is hard to check
whether the homework students produce is really their own. Some students have
always copied off others or got their parents to help them. But today there is so
much material available on the internet that teachers can never be sure. It would
be better to have a mixture of activities in the classroom which help students to
develop a whole range of skills, including independent learning. Furthermore, if
teachers want to develop independence in their students, students should be
given a choice in the matter of homework. Otherwise, theyre not using their
judgement and therefore they arent being independent at all
P2-Homework ensures that students practise what they are taught at school
Having homework also allows students to really fix in their heads work they have
done in school. Doing tasks linked to recent lessons helps students strengthen
their understanding and become more confident in using new knowledge and
skills. For younger children this could be practising reading or multiplication
tables. For older ones it might be writing up an experiment, revising for a test and
reading in preparation for the next topic. Professor Cooper of Duke University has
found that there is evidence that in elementary school students do better on tests
when they do short homework assignments related to the test
. Students gain
confidence from such practise, and that shows when they sit the tests.
R- Homework does not ensure that students practise what they are taught at
school. To practise what a student has been taught requires the presence of a
teacher or tutor who can guide the student if they get something wrong.
Homework, done by the student on their own offers little support and is only a
source of stress. If confused, the student may only come to dislike the topic or
subject, which will only further reduce their ability to remember what they were
P3- Homework provides a link between child, school and the home
Education is a partnership between the child, the school and the home 1.
Homework is one of the main ways in which the students family can be involved
with their learning. Many parents value the chance to see what their child is
studying and to support them in it. It has been described as the window into the
school for parents, the area in which schools, parents and students interacts
. And schools need parents support in encouraging students to read at
home, to help with the practising of tables, and to give them opportunities to
research new topics.
R- Homework is a class issue. In school everyone is equal, but at home some
people have advantages because of their family background. Middle-class families
with books and computers will be able to help their children much more than
poorer ones can. This can mean poorer children end up with worse grades and
more punishments for undone or badly done homework. David Baker, a
researcher, believes too much homework causes parents and children to get
angry with each other and argue, destroying the childs confidence
. On the other
hand pushy parents may even end up doing their kids homework for them
cheating and not helping the student learn at all.

THB University
Should Be Free
P1- Individuals have a right to the experience of higher education
It is a fundamental right of individuals to experience university and to have access
to the knowledge it affords. University offers a huge opportunity. It is a treasure
trove of knowledge to be gained and experiences to be had. University provides
an opportunity that exists at no other time in an individuals life. It is a time of
personal, intellectual, and often spiritual, exploration. In secondary school and in
professional life, no such opportunities exist, as they are about instruction and
following orders, not about questioning norms and conventions in the same way
university so often is. University serves as an extremely valuable forum for
different views, which everyone has a right to experience should they wish. A life
without the critical thinking tools provided by university is less full because those
without it lack the facility by which to unlock all the doors of perception and
knowledge laid before them. University experience serves also, in its giving of
these opportunities, to shape individuals views of themselves and society,
helping to give form to the relationship between citizen and state on a deepened
level. The state has a duty to facilitate this development, as its responsibility
includes providing citizens with the wherewithal to take meaningful part in the
democratic process. A state can only truly be considered legitimate when an
educated electorate approves it. Without a proper education, individuals cannot
be effective citizens. A university education in the modern world is essential to
the development of such informed citizens. For this reason, free university is a
great benefit to a citizen as an exploration for his own development on a personal
level, and with his relation to society as a whole.
R- There is no right to the university experience. University life is a piss-up.
Students rarely take their time in university as seriously as some would suggest.
Rather, university life is about alcohol first, education second. Such education can
provide valuable knowledge, but it is not the responsibility of the taxpayer to fund
it. Self-knowledge and genuine wisdom come from study and reflection. This can
be done anywhere, not just in a university. There is no fundamental right of
individuals to be allowed to take four years free of charge to learn new skills that
will benefit them or how to be better citizens. The states duty is to provide a
baseline of care, which in the case of education secondary school more than
provides. If individuals want more they should pay for it themselves.
P2- Individuals have a right to equal opportunity in order to maximize their
personal utility, and to break free from the social strata in which they are born
In order to guarantee equality of opportunity for all citizens the state must
acknowledge the right to university education and to the opportunities such
education provides. University education gives individuals many opportunities
that will serve them enormously in later life. It does so by providing opportunities
to people while they are in university and opens doors for them once they leave.
When people are attending college they have the ability to gain exceedingly
useful information that they can employ in a future career. Likewise, the people
an individual meets while in university can be very advantageous in later life; as a
networking opportunity, university has no equal. The advantages of attending
university likewise extend to life after university, particularly in terms of career
opportunities. The employment prospects created by a university degree are
substantial, and many lines of work are only available to university graduates.
People are even hired with degrees not specific to the job they will do, because
the degree itself, not the subject studied, is viewed as a signal of an individuals
intellectual and professional quality. Without a university degree many paths are
permanently denied. Access to the careers and beneficial connections furnished
by university education should not be the province of the wealthy and privileged
alone. True merit should define the ability to attend university, not the accident
of birth. With the institution of fees, access becomes more difficult, and will
certainly lead to lower attendance by poorer groups, as the opportunity cost of
attendance is increased by higher prices of education. This serves to lock people
into the economic strata whence they were born and raised, as getting out is
much more difficult when denied access to most high-income jobs. With free
higher education, people have the ability to improve their own future utility,
irrespective of their present economic standing.
R- There is no fundamental right to a university education; it is a service, and
people should pay for it, not freeload on the taxpayer. Rights exist to provide
people with the necessities of life. Some people may never have the
opportunity, i.e. wealth, to visit Hawaii, yet that is not unfair and the state
should not be expected to fund every citizens tropical vacation. Yet even in the
presence of fees, access to scholarships and loans make it possible for people
from disadvantaged economic backgrounds to find their way into university. In
this way there is a degree of equality of opportunity in so far as those who are
able are afforded the opportunities financial incapacity would deny them. If
people want to take advantage of the networking opportunities available in
university and the employment benefits available to graduates, then they may
pay for it.

P3- The burden of fees and loans are too great to expect young people to
shoulder, particularly for more financially disadvantaged individuals
University fees, in countries where they are implemented, are usually quite high.
When fees are put in place in countries, many people find it extremely difficult to
find the funds to pay for it, leading many people, and even most in some
countries, to seek school loans. In the United States, for example, obtaining loans
for university is the norm. These loans can weigh heavily on the minds of
university students, and put inordinate amounts of pressure to perform well. This
pressure can lead to students dropping out. This is quite understandable when
one considers the degree of pressure a young person would feel if his school loan
was collateralized against his family home. The pressure does not end when an
individual graduates, since he must then begin to pay off the debts accrued while
in university. This can lead to individuals taking jobs to which they are not
necessarily best suited in order to get started on debt repayment immediately.
Even still, repayment of loans can take many years, even decades, leaving
individuals under the thumb of creditors for much of their working lives. With free
university education, everyone can go to college without crushing debt burden,
can study what they wish, and can leave with a qualification and no onerous debt
obligations. Such a situation is certainly desirable, for it is better for citizens to be
able to gain the career opportunities of a university education without being
subjected to the torments of crushing debt.
R- Every action has an opportunity cost. If people are willing to take loans to pay
for the education that will likely allow them to earn far more than they would
without one, then they should be willing to pay for the privilege. Furthermore, it
can actually be quite beneficial to society at large that university graduates seek
swift employment due to debt, since it forces them to become productive
members of society more rapidly than they might have done. For example, in
Ireland where higher education is free graduates often take a year or two to
travel and find themselves while giving little or nothing back to the state that
has financed their degrees. It is good that people begin contributing to the
economic life of society after graduating from university, rather than frittering
away their youths in unproductive pursuits.
P1- The cost to the state is far too great to sustain universal free university
The social-democratic model, most prevalent in Europe, is a failure. The system of
paying for universal healthcare, education, pensions, etc. threatens to bankrupt
the countries maintaining them; it is simply unsustainable. The cost of paying for
free university education is ruinously high. The government money needed to be
channelled into universities to provide for free education, as well as into various
other generous social welfare benefits, has been a case of borrowing from future
generations to finance current consumption. For these countries to survive, and
lest other countries attempt to follow suit with similar models, they must rethink
what they can afford to provide freely to citizens. In the case of education, it
seems fair to say that all states should offer access to their citizens to primary and
secondary education opportunities, since the skills acquired during such
education are absolutely necessary for citizens to function effectively within
society; reading, writing, basic civics, etc. are essential knowledge which the state
is well-served in providing. University, on the other hand, is not essential to life in
the same way. People can be functional and responsible citizens without it; it can
be nice to attend, but one can live effectively without it. For this reason, the state
must consider university in the same way it does any non-essential service;
people may pay for it if they wish to partake, but they cannot view it as an
entitlement owed by the state that will simply provide it to everyone. The cost is
just too high, and the state must act from a utilitarian perspective in this case.
Instituting fees will place the cost of education upon those wishing to reap the
benefits of education, and not on the taxpayer.
R- It is far from impossible to pay for free university education. States waste
money in many activities, and if they were to cut back on other discretionary
spending then the cost of free higher education would be entirely feasible. Cuts to
defence spending in countries with overinflated militaries, or ending farm
subsidies in many European states, are just some of things states can do.
Furthermore, the benefits of higher education are to everyone, not just those
who receive it directly. It is beneficial to all of society when there are educated
professionals within it. It is thus absolutely essential for states to fund higher
education, and to maximize the numbers who attend so as to reap the rewards of
an educated populace.
P2- Maintaining a system of free university education leads to an inefficient
allocation of state resources
When the state offers a universal service, inefficiencies inevitably arise with its
provision. There are four principal economic problems that arise from free
university education. First, there is a major problem of resources being lost to
bureaucracy. In a state-funded university system, tax money is wasted on paying
civil servants to deal with procurement questions with regard to funding for
universities, as well as in misallocation of funds due to bureaucrats lack of
expertise and specialist knowledge necessary to know the correct funding
decisions, which independent universities would be able to make on their own
more efficiently. Second, when the state funds all university education for free,
funding will be allocated to unprofitable courses. As there is no profit motive or
price mechanism driving these decisions, there is no way of reaching an efficient
decision except by guesswork. The funding of students who are not really
interested in attending university or who are apathetic toward higher education
creates the third problem. Such students only attend because it is free to do so,
and it would be much better to enact a system whereby such students cannot
claim a trip to university as an entitlement. A moral hazard problem emerges
among such students. They are allowed to reap all the benefits of education,
while needing to incur none of the costs. The student who goes to university to
waste three or four years and study an easy arts course imposes an unjust cost on
society, who has to pay for these students who are not in university to gain from
it, but merely to waste time and not work hard. The fourth problem of free
university education is saturation of degree-holders in the market. In order to
have value, a degree must be a signal of quality. When everyone has a degree, the
value of such a qualification plummets. The ability for employers to ascertain high
quality potential employees is thus presented with greater difficulty in making a
selection. The flipside of this is that graduates end up serving in jobs that do not
require a degree-holding individual to do them. Thus, a system of fees is superior
to free education because it allows for more efficient allocation of resources to
universities and to individuals.
R- While there will of course be people who do not try to get the most out of their
university educations, what matters is that everyone has access to it. It is a fair
trade between inefficiencies created by inattentive students and diligent students
who would have lacked the facility to attend without it being free. As to signalling
value, there will be other indicators of value, such as performance in university to
show an individuals worth. More degree-holders thus do not automatically
diminish the value of having degrees.
P3- The quality of education suffers when university education is free
Without university fees, universities become dependent on the state for funding.
The problem with this is that the states aim is to increase university attendance
levels for the sake of political gain, while at the same time striving not to increase
spending on the universities. The result is an increase in attendance, without
commensurate increase in funding from the state. This leads to larger class-sizes
and less spending per student. Furthermore, these problems result in
disconnected lecturers who, due to increased class sizes, cannot connect to their
students or offer more than cursory assistance to struggling pupils. The decline in
teaching quality is further exacerbated by their need to focus less on teaching and
more on research, which is more profitable and thus encouraged by cash-
strapped universities. With fees, on the other hand, the quality of universities
increases for three reasons. First, funding improves; as university may charge in
accordance with need rather than with making do with whatever the state gives
them to fund teaching. The result is a consistent quality in education resources
rather than it being dependent upon what the state happens to give universities,
and on how many students it pushes to be accepted. Second, quality of teaching
is improved. Because a university wants people to attend and to pay fees, the
programs and degrees they offer have to be good signals of quality. Universities
thus stay in business only so long as they remain purveyors of high quality
educational goods. They must thus let in smart people, irrespective of their
financial background, which will in part serve to admit and finance capable people
from disadvantaged backgrounds through targeted financial aid programs. Third,
the average quality of students attending university will improve. This is because
students feel they need to get the most from their investment in education, which
can be quite substantial. They will thus be more attentive and more interested in
doing well. An example of higher quality education stemming from fee-paying
higher education systems is that of the United States, which has twenty of the top
fifty ranked universities in the world. Quality is clearly improved when university
is not free.
R- State funding of higher education is actually beneficial to universities. It allows
universities to get on with their research and teaching without worrying about
competing and spending money on getting students to attend. The money wasted
in pursuit of high numbers of students is thus saved, as the state can tend to the
needs of universities. The idea that the state will simply neglect its universities is
silly, because society relies on having capable professionals whose qualifications
have value. It is always in the interest of the state to promote the success of its
institutions of higher learning.
THB All Nations Have Right To Nuclear Weapon
P1-All countries have a right to defend themselves with nuclear weapons, even
when they lack the capacity in conventional weapons
The nation-state is the fundamental building block of the international system,
and is recognized as such in all international treaties and organizations. States are
recognized as having the right to defend them, and this right must extend to the
possession of nuclear deterrence. Often states lack the capacity to defend
themselves with conventional weapons. This is particularly true of poor and small
states. Even wealthy, small states are susceptible to foreign attack, since their
wealth cannot make up for their lack of manpower. With a nuclear deterrent, all
states become equal in terms of ability to do harm to one another. If a large state
attempts to intimidate, or even invade a smaller neighbour, it will be unable to
effectively cow it, since the small state will have the power to grievously wound,
or even destroy, the would-be invader with a few well-placed nuclear missiles. For
example, the Russian invasion of Georgia in 2008 would likely never have
occurred, as Russia would have thought twice when considering the potential loss
of several of its cities it would need to exchange for a small piece of Georgian
territory. Clearly, nuclear weapons serve in many ways to equalize states
irrespective of size, allowing them to more effectively defend themselves.
Furthermore, countries will only use nuclear weapons in the vent of existential
threat. This is why, for example, North Korea has not used nuclear weapons; for
it, like all other states, survival is the order of the day, and using nuclear weapons
aggressively would spell its certain destruction. Countries will behave rationally
with regard to the use of nuclear weapons, as they have done since their
invention and initial proliferation. Weapons in the hands of more people will thus
not result in the greater risk of their use.
R- While states do of course have the right to defend themselves; this does not
extend to the possession and use of nuclear weapons. The destructive power of
nuclear weapons cannot be contained in either space or time. They have the
potential to destroy all civilization and the entire ecosystem of the planet.
International humanitarian law prohibits the use of weapons that are incapable of
distinguishing between civilian objects and military targets. Indeed, the use of
nuclear weapons could well constitute a war crime or a crime against
humanity. Just as biological and chemical weapons are banned by international
treaty, so too the international community generally acknowledges the dangers of
nuclear proliferation, which is why so many treaties are dedicated to non-
proliferation. It is unfortunate that nuclear weapons exist, even more so that a
few countries are still seeking to develop them. It is better to fight this movement
and to prevent their use or acquisition by terrorists and the like. It is also essential
for States to fulfil their obligation under Article VI of the NPT to pursue in good
faith and bring to a conclusion negotiations leading to nuclear disarmament in all
aspects under strict and effective international control. Nuclear weapons cannot
lawfully be employed or deployed and there is a legal obligation to negotiate in
good faith for, and ensure, their elimination.
P2-Nuclear weapons give states valuable agenda-setting power on the
international stage
The issues discussed in international forums are largely set by nuclear powers.
The permanent membership of the United Nations Security Council, for example,
is composed only of nuclear powers, the same states that had nuclear weapons at
the end of World War II. If all countries possess nuclear weapons, they redress the
imbalance with regard to international clout, at least to the extent to which
military capacity shapes states interactions with each other. Furthermore, the
current world order is grossly unfair, based on the historical anachronism of the
post-World War II era. The nuclear powers, wanting to retain their position of
dominance in the wake of the post-war chaos, sought to entrench their position,
convincing smaller nations to sign up to non-proliferation agreements and trying
to keep the nuclear club exclusive. It is only right, in terms of fairness that states
not allow themselves the ability to possess certain arms while denying that right
to others. Likewise, it is unfair in that it denies states, particularly those incapable
of building large conventional militaries, the ability to defend them, relegating
them to an inferior status on the world stage. To finally level the international
playing field and allow equal treatment to all members of the congress of nations,
states must have the right to develop nuclear weapons.
R-Possessing nuclear weapons will do little to help small and poor nations set the
agendas on the international stage. In the present age, economic power is far
more significant in international and diplomatic discourse than is military power,
particularly nuclear weapon power. States will not be able to have their
grievances more rapidly addressed in the United Nations or elsewhere, since they
will be unable to use nuclear weapons in an aggressive context as that would
seriously threaten their own survival. Possessing nuclear weapons may at best
provide some security against neighbouring states, but it creates the greater
threat of accidental or unintended use or of nuclear weapons falling into the
hands of terrorists and rogue states.
P3-Nuclear weapons serve to defuse international conflicts and force compromise
Nuclear weapons create stability, described in the doctrine of Mutually Assured
Destruction (MAD). Countries with nuclear weapons have no incentive to engage
in open military conflict with one another; all recognize that they will suffer
destruction if they choose the path of war. If countries have nuclear weapons,
fighting simply becomes too costly. This serves to defuse conflicts, and reduce the
likelihood of the outbreak of war. For example, the conflict between India and
Pakistan was defused by the acquisition of nuclear weapons by both sides. Before
they obtained nuclear weapons, they fought three wars that claimed millions of
lives. Relations between the two states, while still far from cordial, have never
descended into open war. The defusing of the immediate tension of war, has
given the chance for potential dialogue. A similar dynamic has been played out a
number of times in the past, and as of yet there has never been a war between
two nuclear powers. When states have nuclear weapons they cannot fight,
making the world a more peaceful place.
R- The nuclear peace theory only holds when all nuclear-armed states behave
rationally. This cannot be guaranteed, as rogue states exist whose leaders may
not be so rational, and whose governments may not be capable of checking the
power of individual, erratic tyrants. Also, international conflicts might well be
exacerbated in the event that terrorists or other dissidents acquire nuclear
weapons or dirty bombs, leading to greater fear that nuclear weapons will be
used. A better situation is one in which nuclear weapons are reduced and
ultimately eliminated, rather than increased in number. Furthermore, MAD can
break down in some cases, when weapon delivery systems are improved. For
example, Pakistans military has developed miniaturized nuclear warheads for use
against tanks and other hard targets on the Indian border, that will leave little
nuclear fallout and thus be more likely to be employed in the event of a border
skirmish. This development could well cause escalation in future conflict. In
addition to the risk of such smaller weapons is the risk of pre-emptive nuclear
strikes, as some countries with nuclear weapons might lack second-strike
capability. Clearly, possession of nuclear weapons will not guarantee peace, and if
war does occur, it will be far more ghastly than any conventional war.
P1-The right of self-defence must be exercised in accordance with international
There can be no right to such terribly destructive weapons; their invention is one
of the great tragedies of history, giving humanity the power to destroy itself. Even
during the Cold War, most people viewed nuclear weapons at best as a necessary
defence during that great ideological struggle, and at worst the scourge that
would end all life on Earth. Nuclear war has never taken place, though it very
nearly has on several occasions, such as during the Cuban Missile Crisis. And in
1983 a NATO war game, the Able Archer exercise simulating the full release of
NATO nuclear forces, was interpreted by the Soviet Union as a prelude to a
massive nuclear first-strike. Oleg Gordievsky, the KGB colonel who defected to the
West, has stated that during Able Archer, without realising it, the world came
frighteningly close to the edge of the nuclear abyss, certainly closer than at any
time since the Cuban missile crisis of 1962. Soviet forces were put on immediate
alert and an escalation was only avoided when NATO staff realised what was
happening and scaled down the exercise. Cooler heads might not prevail in future
conflicts between nuclear powers; when there are more nuclear-armed states,
the risk of someone doing something foolish increases. After all, it would take
only one such incident to result in the loss of millions of lives. Furthermore, in
recent years positive steps have finally begun between the two states with the
largest nuclear arsenals, the United States and Russia, in the strategic reduction of
nuclear stockpiles. These countries, until recently the greatest perpetrators of
nuclear proliferation, have now made commitments toward gradual reduction of
weapon numbers until a tiny fraction of the warheads currently active will be
usable. All countries, both with and without nuclear weapons, should adopt this
lesson. They should contribute toward non-proliferation, thus making the world
safer from the threat of nuclear conflict and destruction. Clearly, the focus should
be on the reduction of nuclear weapons, not their increase.
R- All parties recognize the risk of their total destruction as a result of starting a
nuclear conflict. This is exactly why no full scale war has broken out between
nuclear powers. Supposing that states will be unable to handle the responsibility
of nuclear weapons does not change the fact that many states have them, and
also that many other states are incapable of defending themselves from
aggressive neighbours without a nuclear deterrent.
P2-The threat of nuclear weapons falling into the hands of rogue states and
terrorists increases as more countries possess them
There are many dangerous dictators and tyrants, many of who covet the
possession of nuclear weapons not just for the purpose of defence, but also for
that of intimidating their neighbours. Such leaders should not possess nuclear
weapons, nor should they ever be facilitated in their acquisition. For example,
Iran has endeavoured for years on a clandestine nuclear weapons program that,
were it recognized as a legitimate pursuit, could be increased in scale and
completed with greater speed. The result of such an achievement could well
destabilize the Middle East and would represent a major threat to the existence
of a number of states within the region, particularly Israel. Furthermore, the risk
of nuclear weapons, or at least weapons-grade material, falling into the hands of
dissidents and terrorists increases substantially when there are more of them and
larger numbers of countries possess them. Additionally, many countries in the
developing world lack the capacity to safely secure weapons if they owned them,
due to lack of technology, national instability, and government
corruption. Recognizing the rights of these countries to hold nuclear weapons
vastly increases the risk of their loss or misuse.
R- Government legitimacy is defined in its most limited form as the ability to
provide security and stability within its jurisdiction. It seems fair to say that
international institutions and states with a stake in international order, as most
do, will have an interest in keeping nuclear weapons out of the hands of failing
and failed states, which do not retain the same legitimacy of states that can
provide the baseline of security to their people. Furthermore, the openness
created by the public recognition of the right to nuclear weapons will allow
advanced countries to offer assistance in security and protection of nuclear
stockpiles, making it less likely that nuclear weapons will fall into the hands of
P3-The threat of state developing nuclear weapons could instigate pre-emptive
strikes from its neighbours and rivals to prevent the acquisition of such weapons
The threat represented by potential nuclear powers will instigate pre-emptive
strikes by countries fearing the future behaviour of the budding nuclear powers.
Until a state develops a nuclear capacity that its rivals believe they cannot destroy
in a first strike, nuclear weapons increase the risk of war. For example, Israel will
have a very real incentive to attack Iran before it can complete its development of
nuclear weapons, lest it become an existential threat to Israels survival. The
United States military even considered attempting to destroy the USSRs
capability before they had second strike capability General Orville Anderson
publicly declared: Give me the order to do it and I can break up Russias five A-
bomb nests in a weekAnd when I went up to ChristI think I could explain to
Him that I had saved civilization. The development of nuclear weapons can thus
destabilize regions before they are ever operational, as it is in no countrys
interest that its rivals become capable of using nuclear force against it. Clearly, it
is best that such states do not develop nuclear weapons in the first place so as to
prevent such instability and conflict.
R- If a country is surrounded by hostile neighbours that are likely to attempt a
pre-emptive strike upon it, then nuclear weapons are all the more desirable. With
nuclear weapons a country cannot be pushed around by regional bullies. It seems
perfectly fair that Iran would covet the ability to resist Israel might in the Middle
East and defend itself from aggression by it or the United States.

THW Abolished
A nuclear weapon is an explosive device that derives its destructive force
from nuclear reactions, either fission or a combination of fission and fusion. Both
reactions release vast quantities of energy from relatively small amounts of
matter. The first fission ("atomic") bomb test released the same amount of energy
as approximately 20,000 tons of TNT. The first thermonuclear ("hydrogen")
bomb test released the same amount of energy as approximately 10,000,000 tons
of TNT.
P1-States should not possess such destructive, cataclysmic weapons
Nuclear weapons are, by their very nature, indiscriminate and disproportional;
any weapon which could not possibly be used in a responsible manner should not
be permitted. Over the past fifty years, we have seen a general tendency towards
limited warfare and precision weapons, allowing military objectives to be
achieved with minimal loss of civilian life. The entire point of nuclear weapons,
however, is their massive, indiscriminate destructive power. Their use could kill
tens of thousands of civilians directly, and their catastrophic environmental after-
effects would harm many more all around the world. These effects could never be
morally acceptable, particularly as the basis of ones national security strategy.
They place humanity and most forms of life in jeopardy of annihilation (Krieger,
2003). No state or leader can be entrusted, morally, with that power and
R- States have the right to possess any weapon that will materially support their
ambitions of survival, regardless of their destructive power. There is no greater
principle than that of self-defence, and a state is entitled to develop any means by
which it improves its position vis--vis an enemy and subsequently promotes
peace in the region and internationally. Furthermore, the damage done by a
nuclear weapon is no more indiscriminate or disproportional than the damage
potentially caused by a prolonged aerial bombardment. In World War II for
instance, far more damage was wrought by fire-bombing Tokyo than either of the
nuclear attacks. The issue is therefore not whether nuclear weapons should be
held, but under which circumstances they are used, or threatened. Either way,
they should not be abolished. As of 2014, only two nuclear weapons have been
used in the course of warfare, both times by the United States near the end
of World War II. On 6 August 1945, a uranium gun-type fission bomb code-named
"Little Boy" was detonated over the Japanese city of Hiroshima. Three days later,
on 9 August, a plutonium implosion-type fission bomb code-named "Fat Man"
was exploded over the Japanese city of Nagasaki. These two bombings resulted in
the deaths of approximately 200,000 civilians and military personnel from acute
injuries sustained from the explosions.
P2- Risk of nuclear weapons falling into the wrong hands
While nuclear weapons exist, they can fall into the wrong hands. This is
particularly prevalent in an environment whereby there are extremist groups
actively seeking to cause instant, egregious harm to their ideological and political
enemies. Such groups do not lack for funding; therefore the fear of weapons
falling into the wrong hands has never been higher. This is particularly true in
Russia, which now has control of all of the nuclear weapons which were
distributed around the former Soviet Union. In particular during the 1990s the
military was disastrously underfunded; technicians and officers who were used to
a high standard of living found themselves without pay, sometimes for years. At
the same time, other states and extremist groups are willing to pay substantial
sums for their services, and to gain access to nuclear weapons. This same danger
is now as much, if not more, of a problem in Pakistan (Abider, 2011). The danger
of a weapon being stolen, or a nuclear base being taken over by disgruntled
members of the military or other extremists, can only be ended by destroying the
weapons (Allison, 1997).
R- The abolishment of nuclear weapons does not reduce the risk of them falling
into the wrong hands. While nuclear weapons can be dismantled, the weapons-
grade plutonium which forms their warheads cannot simply be destroyed.
Instead, they must be stored in special facilities; in Russia, there are some three
hundred sites were military nuclear material is stored (National Intelligence
Council, 2002). It is producing this plutonium which is in fact the most difficult
stage in building a weapon - by dismantling missiles, you are therefore not
destroying their most dangerous part, and hence the risk of theft does not
decrease. In fact, it may increase: missile silos in Russia are still the most heavily
funded part of the military, whereas in recent years it has become clear that
security at storage facilities is often inadequate. Moreover, it is far easier to steal
a relatively small quantity of plutonium than an entire Intercontinental Ballistic
Missile; there were three such incidents in Russia in the 1990s of weapons-grade
uranium theft (National Intelligence Council, 2002). Ironically, the safest place for
plutonium in present-day Russia may be on top of such a missile.
P3-Both the use and threat of nuclear weapons are illegal
The disproportionate and indiscriminate nature of nuclear weapons use renders
their possession illegal under international humanitarian law. The International
Court of Justice in 1996, asked to provide an advisory opinion, declared
unanimously that any use or threat of nuclear weapons had to be compatible with
existing international law relating to armed conflict (International Court of Justice,
1996). The principles of discrimination and proportionality inherent in the laws of
wars are codified in the Geneva Conventions of 1949, and are quite clearly
violated by nuclear weapons. As such, a majority of the judges present felt that
any such use or threat would generally be contrary to those rules of
international law and therefore, unanimously, there exists an obligation to
pursue in good faith and bring to a conclusion negotiations leading to nuclear
disarmament in all its aspects under strict and effective international control
(International Court of Justice, 1996). And, nuclear weapons can be abolished
through the co-operation of nuclear powers and the establishment of an
independent verification system
R- The count was only asked to provide an advisory opinion; their adjudication
had no subsequent basis in law. Anyhow, the very same jury voted unanimously
that there is in neither customary nor conventional international law any
comprehensive and universal prohibition of the threat or use of nuclear weapons
as such (International Court of Justice, 1996). Unlike biological and chemical
weapons, for which specific treaties have been developed to regulate and prevent
their use, the absence of regulation for nuclear weapons implicitly recognizes
wide-held appreciation for their deterrent effects.
P1-Nuclear weapons are required for deterrence
The use of nuclear weapons would indeed be a great tragedy; but so, to a greater
or lesser extent, is any war. The reason for maintaining an effective nuclear
arsenal is in fact to prevent war. By making the results of conflict catastrophic, a
strategic deterrent discourages conflict. The Cold War was in fact one of the most
peaceful times in history, particularly in Europe, largely because of the two
superpowers' nuclear deterrents: the principal function of nuclear weapons was
to deter nuclear attack (Record, 2004). During the Gulf War, for example, one of
the factors which prevented Iraq from launching missiles tipped with chemical
weapon warheads against Israel was the threat the USA would retaliate with a
nuclear strike. Although there is no longer as formal a threat of retaliation as
there was during the Cold War, the very possibility that the use of nuclear
weapons by a rogue state could be met a retaliatory strike is too great a threat to
ignore. Moreover, although the citizens of the current nuclear powers may be
against the use of force against civilians, their opinions would rapidly change if
they found weapons of mass destruction being used against them.
R- The idea of a so-called 'nuclear deterrent' no longer applies the United States
would not be deterred from attacking a newly nuclear Iran because the U.S.
would have a first strike capability so would be able to wipe our Iranian nuclear
weapons before they could be used. While it is true that political leaders on both
sides during the Cold War were terrified of a nuclear conflict it was as much the
balance of power that maintained the peace. Neither superpower had an
advantage large enough to be confident of victory. However, there is no longer
nuclear deterrence. With the proliferation of nuclear weapons, some rogue states
may develop the ability to strike at enemies who have no nuclear weapons of
their own. Unless the country under attack is allied to another nuclear power it is
not clear that any of the major nuclear powers would then strike back at the
aggressor. This is further complicated by the fact that most of the emerging
nuclear threats would not be from legitimate governments but from dictators and
terrorist groups. Would it ever be acceptable to kill thousands of civilians for the
actions of extremists?
P2-Abolishment is an unrealistic goal
The nuclear genie is out of the bottle, and there is no way to go back. Nuclear
technology exists, and there is no way to UN-invent it (Robinson, 2001). Much as
the ideal of global disarmament is fine, the reality is that it is impossible: it takes
only one rogue state to maintain a secret nuclear capability to make the abolition
of the major powers' deterrents unworkable. Without the threat of a retaliatory
strike, this state could attack others at will.

Similarly, the process by which nuclear weapons are produced cannot easily be
differentiated from the nuclear power process; without constant oversight it
would be possible for any state with nuclear power to regain nuclear capability if
they felt threatened. This is the same as the nuclear breakout capability that
many states such as Japan have whereby they can create a nuclear bomb in a
matter of weeks or days if a country has nuclear power and the technology they
have this capability even when they have disarmed their nuclear weapons.
R- In 1996, the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty was adopted by the
United Nations General Assembly. The treaty, which calls for an end to all nuclear
testing, includes provisions for extensive and independent mechanisms for the
monitoring of nuclear activities. Such mechanisms could easily be co-opted for
use in implementing, monitoring and verifying any future nuclear disarmament

"The de facto global nuclear test moratorium and CTBTs entry into force are
crucial barriers to help prevent the spread of nuclear weapons to additional states
and are essential to the future viability of the nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty
(NPT). They are the first two of the 13 practical steps for systematic and
progressive nuclear disarmament that were unanimously adopted in the Final
Document of the 2000 NPT Review Conference (Kimball, 2005). Even if countries
could rapidly produce a bomb without any testing they would not be able to see if
it works and any state engaged in breakout would take time to make their bomb
deployable on delivery vehicles.
P3-Abolishment would be counter-productive and only lead to greater barbarity
in warfare
Nuclear weapons have a restraining effect on warfare, preventing escalation
through fear of their destruction. To abolish them is therefore to act counter-
productively: it will not advance substantive progress on non-proliferation; and it
risks compromising the value that nuclear weapons continue to contribute,
through deterrence, to U.S. security and international stability (Robinson, 2001)
Nuclear weapons are a necessary evil; the doctrine of mutually assured
destruction prevented the outbreak of nuclear war during the Cold War because
in the neither side was willing to risk the response and neither side could risk even
a small scale war due to the threat of escalation. Nuclear weapons therefore act
as a check upon the very institution of war between those states that have
nuclear weapons, restraining aggressors through fear of escalation and certain
R- Nuclear weapons provide the source of the greatest possible barbarity in
warfare; therefore it is disingenuous to suggest that their abolishment would only
exacerbate conflicts. States do not start wars with major powers
contemporaneously merely because those major powers happen to have nuclear
weapons; traditional deterrence will still be as effective as it is currently.
Furthermore, the abolishment of nuclear weapons would allow thereafter mutual
co-operation on the issue of non-proliferation without the current fear that
others are only concerned with preventing proliferation in countries likely to be
opposed to their interests.
THB Reality
Television Does
More Harm
Than Good
P1- The sheer number of reality programs is now driving TV producers to create
filthier, more corrupt reality shows
Reality TV is actually getting worse as the audience becomes more and more used
to the genre. In a search for ratings and media coverage, shows are becoming
ever more vulgar and offensive, trying to find new ways to shock. When the
British Big Brother was struggling for viewers in 2003, its producers responded by
attempting to shock the audience that little bit more
. "Big Brother" programmes
have also shown men and women having sex on live TV, all in a desperate grab for
ratings to justify their continued existence. Others have involved fights and racist
bullying. Do we let things continue until someone has to die on TV to boost the
R- Reality shows are not becoming more corrupt or filthier. What has changed is
rather what the public defines as acceptable viewing. In other words, the gap
between what is actually real and what is presented as reality is closing thanks to
modern reality programs. And the gap is closing due to popular demand to see
reality on their TV screens. For example, the sex shown on Scandinavian episodes
of Big Brother is not shocking or unrealistic; it is only unusual in the context of
what we expect to see on television. The fact it was shown only illustrates that
the gap between what is actually real and what is presented as reality on
television is closing. If the proposition has an issue therefore with what modern
reality shows are presenting, they have an issue with society at large, not reality
Even if were the case that reality programmes are getting more corrupt and filthy,
viewers should take the advice of former U.S. President Bush Jr. and 'put the off
button on.'
P2- Reality TV encourages people to pursue celebrity status, and discourages the
value of hard work and an education
Reality shows send a bad message and help to create a cult of instant celebrity.
They are typically built about shameless self-promotion, based on humiliating
others and harming relationships for the entertainment of each other and the
viewers at home. These programmes suggest that anyone can become famous
just by getting on TV and "being themselves", without working hard or having any
particular talent. Kids who watch these shows will get the idea that they don't
need to study hard in school, or train hard for a regular job. As John Humphreys
points out, 'we tell a kid what matters is being a celebrity and we wonder why
some behave the way they do. As American lawyer Lisa Bloom fears, 'addiction to
celebrity culture is creating a generation of dumbed-down women. Reality shows
encourage such addictions and promote the generally misguided belief that they
should aspire to be the reality stars they watch on their televisions.
R- Reality TV does not discourage hard work or education; rather it creates a
society whereby we have shared experiences and a strong sense of community.
As such, reality TV provides important social glue. Once upon a time there were
only a few television channels, and everybody watched the same few programs.
The sense of a shared experience helped to bind people together, giving them
common things to talk about at work and school the next day water cooler
moments. Reality programs like Survivor play that role in contemporary society
with viewership being almost a cultural imperative, the experience shared
simultaneously with friends and family.

Furthermore, even if it were the case that the moral lessons of reality programs
are not always advisable, just as viewers can empathize with characters in the
Godfather without wanting to be them, the same applies to questionable
characters and actions in reality shows.

P3- Reality shows make for bad, lazy and corrupting television, encouraging such
behavior in society
Reality shows are bad, lazy and corrupting television. They mostly show ordinary
people with no special talents doing very little. If they have to sing or dance, then
they do it badly which doesnt make for good entertainment. They rely on
humiliation and conflict to create excitement. Joe Millionaire, where a group of
women competed for the affections of a construction worker who they were told
was a millionaire, was simply cruel. The emotions of the contestants were
considered expendable for the sake of making viewers laugh at their ignorance.
Furthermore, the programmes are full of swearing, crying and argument, and
often violence, drunkenness and sex. This sends a message to people that this is
normal behaviour and helps to create a crude, selfish society. One American
reality show, Are You Hot?, in which competitors submit to a panel of judges for
appearance-rating, was blamed by eating disorder experts as encouraging the
notion that appearance is the most important thing (Becker,
Furthermore, Paul Watson, a former reality TV show producer, believes
they are predictable and just creates more of the same and makes our film
makers lazy (Jury, 2007). Reality shows are not 'real'.
R- Reality TV programs are not corrupting. They do reflect our society, which isn't
always perfect, but we should face up to these issues rather than censor
television in order to hide them. When Adam Lambert, an openly gay contestant
on American Idol, lost in the final of the show despite being widely regarded as
the best singer, many rightfully pointed out what it demonstrated about the
homophobia of American society. To deride reality shows as 'corrupting'
therefore is misguided; it is society who is corrupt and reality shows that offer a
potential solution. To solve a problem first requires accepting one exists, and
reality shows provide a means to do that; they are a window into society,
permitting everyone to reflect on the issues that are most harmful to society. As
such, reality show producers should not be accused of a lack of creativity or
laziness for their programs, but congratulated for drawing attention to important
P1- Reality television is popular and TV producers should give audiences what
they want
Reality television programmes are very popular with audiences of all ages and
types. They may not be high culture but most people do not want that from
television. Most viewers want to be entertained and to escape for a while from
the worries and boredom of their everyday life. American Idol rejecters who
stubbornly insist that they have talent provide such escapism. Furthermore, and
importantly, such contestants are good natured in doing so; they are not
exploited but offer themselves to reality shows. Therefore, there is no harm in
giving the people what they want that is what the free market is all about.
Reality shows are also popular because they exploit new technology so that
millions of people can participate in the programme typically by voting. Britain is
believed to have had as many as 176 reality TV shows in a single year. Such supply
can only be driven by excessive demand.
R- Reality television is not what audiences want; it is watched simply because it is
there. It is what John Humphreys calls carbohydrate television, it probably
hasnt done you much harm and if it leaves you feeling a bit bloatedwell you can
search out of a bit of quality stuff. With tens of television channels and twenty-
four hours of programming to fill, reality is simply a cheap means to ensure there
is always something on TV to watch. In Italy, the evidence supports such claims,
with the state broadcaster Rai deciding to scrap reality programmes in 2008 due
to low demand. As Rais President stated, I dont believe they are the type of
shows the majority of our viewers expect or want from a public service
P2- Reality TV can be educational and have real effects in society in a way other
television programs do not
Reality TV can be very educational. They educate people by displaying disastrous
consequences of someone's behaviour, thus deterring others from doing
unplanned and silly actions. Programmes such as "The Apprentice" have made
people think about business. Jamie Oliver has raised issues of youth
unemployment and poor diet, and "Fit Club" has got people thinking about health
and fitness. Jamie Oliver's inaugural reality show, 'Jamie's Kitchen', offered jobless
youngsters the 'chance to train and lead a nationwide campaign to improve the
quality of school meals'
. Without the TV show's popularity funding the initiative,
the youngsters involved would not have had such an opportunity and school
meals would still reflect what kids want to eat, not what they should be eating.
Such effects on society are beneficial and should be encouraged, not restricted.
R- The few reality TV programmes that are educational and beneficial do not
balance the bad majority. The majority are not educational, either to the public or
the participants, and the insight they purport to offer into the human psyche are
misguided. As Vanessa Feltz, a contestant on the British Big Brother series,
describes, contestants and viewers alike 'subscribe to this utterly specious notion
that fame is entirely desirable' (BBC News, 2001), whilst Narinda Kaur, another
contestant on the show, admitted "I came away from this experience thinking 'oh
my God, did I really say that?" (BBC News, 2001). As Claudio Petruccioli, head of
the Italian state broadcaster Rai, notes, 'reality TV shows put people into
environments that are both unrealistic and coercive'
Any lessons learned are
therefore inapplicable to real-world situations.
P3- The public can always just turn reality programs off, or watch something else
Television provides a wide mixture of programmes, including reality television.
For those who want it, there is high quality drama such as "The Sopranos" or
"Pride and Prejudice" whilst the BBC, CNN, Al-Jazeera and other international
broadcasters also cover news and current affairs in great depth. Wildlife
programmes on the National Geographic or Discovery bring the wonders of the
natural world into our living rooms. More sports are covered in more detail than
ever before. So, ultimately, reality shows have not ruined television as a whole,
they have merely added another option for viewers. Indeed, because they make a
lot of money for broadcasters to spend on other types of programmes, they are
actually good for all viewers, regardless of personal taste for genres.
R- Reality shows are driving out other sorts of programmes, so that often there is
nothing else to watch. Reality TV is cheap and series can go on for months on end,
providing hundreds of hours of viewing to fill schedules. TV bosses like this and
are cutting back on comedy, music, drama and current affairs in favour of wall to
wall reality rubbish. This is even worse when reality shows crowd the schedules of
public service broadcasters. Stations such as the BBC in the UK, France
Televisions, or Rai in Italy have a duty to inform and educate the public. They
should be made to meet that responsibility as Rai has by saying it wont have
any more reality shows.