Theoretical Justification for Nuclear Non-proliferation

I can understand why having nuclear weapons become more and more widespread is a Bad Thing for the world as a whole. That’s not the question. And I can also understand why a given country might find it in their interests to forgo nuclear weapons, as this might encourage potential rival countries to similarly forgo them.

But let’s suppose you have some country out there that decides that it’s in their interest to have them. What’s the basis for the major world powers - all with massive nuclear arsenals of their own - to get all outraged at this country for daring to have an arsenal that’s a small scaled down version of theirs?

Understood that might makes right, and if the major world powers are outraged about something - rightly or wrongly - that might have an impact, which is something to consider. But if I’m a leader or citizen of that aspiring nuclear power, I would find the outrage very hypocritical.

[This would not apply to countries who are violating treaties that they’ve signed.]

I agree that it’s hypocritical, but that doesn’t make it wrong, I don’t think. The basis is “more nuclear weapons = bad”, I believe.

Not working out so well for Ukraine at the moment. I wonder if they would like a re-think on that issue.

You think some nuclear bombs rusting away in a warehouse would give them comfort?

The short version of the justification for opposing proliferation of nuclear weapons is: “Just because you look like a hypocrite doesn’t mean you are wrong.”

Who cares if the United States, France and the UK are the ones saying that Iran shouldn’t get a nuclear weapon? Is their criticism of the danger of nuclear weapons not valid; but if Canada and Germany say exactly the same thing, their criticism of nuclear weapons is valid?

Well, it’s a little self-serving.

I think that’s a misunderstanding of what nuclear non proliferation is about. Nuclear technology is not easy to develop. The idea behind non proliferation wasn’t that the nuclear powers were going to run around telling everyone they can’t develop their own nuclear technology. There really wasn’t much danger of that happening in small backward countries.

The actual issue was the peaceful sharing of nuclear technology, which was expected to be far more awesome when the NPT was signed than it actually turned out to be. But the risk of sharing nuclear technology is that it makes it easier for other nations that are not already advanced scientifically to develop nukes, and that’s exactly what’s happened. Give a country a reactor and they’ll eventually get nukes if that’s what they want. But the idea was to give countries that couldn’t develop the science nuclear technology, and in exchange, they agree not to make nukes. It’s hard to claim that countries have a right to something they never discovered on their own.

In hindsight, the issue isn’t hypocrisy, it’s excessive optimism. Nuclear technology should never have been shared. That sharing led directly to proliferation.

Ukraine is the only country, i believe, that has actually given them up. I was just asking a general question if they now have 2nd thoughts on it.

As for rusting away, I make the assumption if you had them you would maintain them.

Well, that was one of the reasons they gave them up. They couldn’t afford to maintain them. Country is shit poor.

Yeah. the United States, for instance, is the only nation to ever have used nuclear weapons in warfare ( Hiroshima and Nagasaki ), and has one of the largest nuclear arsenals in the world and engages in military action all the time, and invaded Iraq and Afghanistan…yet insists that Iran cannot be allowed a single nuclear weapon.

The US used nukes in the context of ending a war and almost certainly saved lives by the use of such nukes. Iran has no such intentions. If they use nukes, it will be to commit genocide. And I also feel that their technology is unearned. These guys probably couldn’t even exploit their oil resources without Western technical help, much less make nukes. They should never have had access to the tech.

But if they merely HAVE nukes, it could be reasonable to assume they are to prevent an invasion.

It would make sense if non-proliferation were tied to a realistic disarming of the existing nuclear nations. Even if that intention is stated I doubt anyone would believe it right now. I don’t think it’s totally hypocritical either, we are saying no new countries should develop nuclear weapons, not that no country should have them, so that’s just condescending.

So if Germany says that Iran should not have a single nuclear weapon, do you accept that line of reasoning?

I think that’s it too, but mainly because they want to escalate their militant activity and believe that a nuclear deterrent would shield them from retaliation. It wouldn’t.

Sure it would.

Apart from the fact scientific knowledge is fungible and eventually belongs to humankind — it would have been difficult to restrict automobiles to Germany and Western Europe after the 1890s — presumably other countries could eventually figure out any scientific discovery for themselves, whether or not any other country already has it. Providing they had entered the Scientific Revolution.
Just as 17th/18th century Germans made porcelain, with oriental porcelain as a model but not through copying of the invention or industrial technologies – which they were utterly ignorant of; and had to replace with their own discoveries.
Extensive Gun Control may be beneficial to America domestically, but the proponents’ theory doesn’t translate to the world of International Law.

You can make a car by getting access to a car. How were technologically less advanced countries going to get nuclear technology to reverse engineer? Sure, eventually everyone will be capable of making nukes, but as of 2016 very few countries have been able to do it without first gaining access to technology on the condition that they not make nuclear weapons.

If we knew back then that a few countries would just outright lie, we probably would have not shared nuclear technology. Not to mention if we knew that it’s not all its cracked up to be anyway. Even peaceful nuclear sharing isn’t exactly a great idea anymore.

Well, I think ultimately this controversy has nothing to do with intellectual property and everything to do with the risk of war and death.

Oh, definitely, but my point is that knowing what we know now, there was never a good reason to share this technology.