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Why are chemical weapons worse than conventional weapons?

radcen

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Why are chemical weapons worse than conventional weapons?

I know, I know, on the surface it seems like a ridiculous question. I heard it asked on a radio talk show a few days ago. It was asked in an interesting way.

If you had to articulate and answer, how would you explain why chemical weapons are worse than conventional weapons.

FWIW: The answer given was something along the lines of, "Well, because everybody agrees they are." I don't believe that even begins to address the question.
 

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Why are chemical weapons worse than conventional weapons?

I know, I know, on the surface it seems like a ridiculous question. I heard it asked on a radio talk show a few days ago. It was asked in an interesting way.

If you had to articulate and answer, how would you explain why chemical weapons are worse than conventional weapons.

FWIW: The answer given was something along the lines of, "Well, because everybody agrees they are." I don't believe that even begins to address the question.
Currently talking about this in another thread about Chris Matthews. They aren't, and the degree or scale has nothing to do with morality in the grand scheme. Whether you kill a 100,000 people with one bomb or 1 gazillion tons of bombs makes no difference if you're one of the 100,000 dead.


Tim-
 

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Why are chemical weapons worse than conventional weapons?

I know, I know, on the surface it seems like a ridiculous question. I heard it asked on a radio talk show a few days ago. It was asked in an interesting way.

If you had to articulate and answer, how would you explain why chemical weapons are worse than conventional weapons.

FWIW: The answer given was something along the lines of, "Well, because everybody agrees they are." I don't believe that even begins to address the question.
Well, they're indiscriminate, for one thing. I know, cluster bombs and white phosphorus and land mines and a bunch of other evil inventions used by amoral psychopaths on populated areas are indiscriminate, too, so maybe it's a question of who's committing the atrocity.
 

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Yeah, they're indiscriminate. As time goes on they become more and more so compared to conventional weaponry. They're dependent on wind changes and their effects are long term. It's like asking why atom bombs are worse. The immediate effect may not be, the expanse of effect beyond the target and that the effects linger beyond intended use are what makes them worse.
 

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I think a lot of why chemical/ biological weapons are considered worse comes from how they affect the human body.

A conventional weapon generally relies upon immediate and blunt trauma. CBR weapons often leave the victims with long standing after effects, many of which constitute long-term pain and suffering.
 

Jerry

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Why are chemical weapons worse than conventional weapons?

I know, I know, on the surface it seems like a ridiculous question. I heard it asked on a radio talk show a few days ago. It was asked in an interesting way.

If you had to articulate and answer, how would you explain why chemical weapons are worse than conventional weapons.

FWIW: The answer given was something along the lines of, "Well, because everybody agrees they are." I don't believe that even begins to address the question.
Chemical weapons target non-combatants, ie people who are not fighting you. This is unethical and highly illegal just about everywhere in the world.
 

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Why are chemical weapons worse than conventional weapons?

I know, I know, on the surface it seems like a ridiculous question. I heard it asked on a radio talk show a few days ago. It was asked in an interesting way.

If you had to articulate and answer, how would you explain why chemical weapons are worse than conventional weapons.

FWIW: The answer given was something along the lines of, "Well, because everybody agrees they are." I don't believe that even begins to address the question.
I would say conventional weapons to chemical weapons is the equivalent of being killed with a shot behind the ear to being tortured to death.
 

Starbuck

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Chemical weapons target non-combatants, ie people who are not fighting you. This is unethical and highly illegal just about everywhere in the world.
Any weapon, with the possible exception of a sword, can target non-combatants.

Chemical weapons are worse because of how they target people, both the combatants and non-combatants.
 

Starbuck

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I would say conventional weapons to chemical weapons is the equivalent of being killed with a shot behind the ear to being tortured to death.
Exactly!
 

Jerry

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I think a lot of why chemical/ biological weapons are considered worse comes from how they affect the human body.

A conventional weapon generally relies upon immediate and blunt trauma. CBR weapons often leave the victims with long standing after effects, many of which constitute long-term pain and suffering.
The M4 and M16 rifle are designed to injure but not necessarily kill. The bullet is intended to rip apart muscle and organs while leaving the target alive. Is that not torture?

The difference is who is targeted, not if they suffer.
 

Jerry

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Any weapon, with the possible exception of a sword, can target non-combatants.

Chemical weapons are worse because of how they target people, both the combatants and non-combatants.
That's what I just said.

Conventional weapons can be aimed, WMDs cannot be aimed.
 

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Yes - everything above.

They're indiscriminate.
Easy to produce and conceal.
The effects are not immediate. Sure, impact weapons can be considered slow, too, but they're not MEANT to be. . . and some are regulated/not used because they're unreliable and inefficient for their intended purpose. . . in essence: chem weapons are torture tactics, and for the same reason, we don't use certain projectile weapons, either.
They're also toxic to the environment - seems like an unimportant thing, but the chemicals can leech into the water and have had disastrous effects on ecology and food crops after the war is long over.
 

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I think a lot of why chemical/ biological weapons are considered worse comes from how they affect the human body.

A conventional weapon generally relies upon immediate and blunt trauma. CBR weapons often leave the victims with long standing after effects, many of which constitute long-term pain and suffering.
I agree with this - it's also why most decent people abhor nuclear weapons because in addition to those immediately killed, there are potentially millions more who suffer for days, weeks, months, or years and those who survive often conceive children with horrible defects. It's also why decent people abhor beheadings and stoning and other forms of death penalties because it appears there is a need by those who administer the punishment to watch suffering. A chemical weapon's greatest power is the fear it brings to those exposed and those who may have been exposed.
 

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Why are chemical weapons worse than conventional weapons?

I know, I know, on the surface it seems like a ridiculous question. I heard it asked on a radio talk show a few days ago. It was asked in an interesting way.

If you had to articulate and answer, how would you explain why chemical weapons are worse than conventional weapons.

FWIW: The answer given was something along the lines of, "Well, because everybody agrees they are." I don't believe that even begins to address the question.
Because chemical weapons do not conform to the 19th century norms that frame almost all our "laws of war.":peace
 

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Yes - everything above.

They're indiscriminate.
Easy to produce and conceal.
The effects are not immediate. Sure, impact weapons can be considered slow, too, but they're not MEANT to be. . . and some are regulated/not used because they're unreliable and inefficient for their intended purpose. . . in essence: chem weapons are torture tactics, and for the same reason, we don't use certain projectile weapons, either.
They're also toxic to the environment - seems like an unimportant thing, but the chemicals can leech into the water and have had disastrous effects on ecology and food crops after the war is long over.
Kind of an off question here but are you bothered when you see someone carrying a gun on their belt openly?
 

polgara

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I would say conventional weapons to chemical weapons is the equivalent of being killed with a shot behind the ear to being tortured to death.
From what I've read, you die a slow agonizing death by asphyxiation with chemical weapons. A quick death with a shot behind the ear would be preferred, IMO. Not that either choice would be eagerly awaited by most people! :thumbdown:

Greetings, CJ. :2wave:
 

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From what I've read, you die a slow agonizing death by asphyxiation with chemical weapons. A quick death with a shot behind the ear would be preferred, IMO. Not that either choice would be eagerly awaited by most people! :thumbdown:

Greetings, CJ. :2wave:
Good evening Lady P - is it unbearably humid where you are the past week or so?
 

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That's what I just said.

Conventional weapons can be aimed, WMDs cannot be aimed.
Not all chemical/ biological weapons are of the "mass destruction" category, however many can be aimed with relative accuracy.

Honestly, it's more about how they impact the human body than who/ how many they impact.

Quality over quantity.
 

Starbuck

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The M4 and M16 rifle are designed to injure but not necessarily kill. The bullet is intended to rip apart muscle and organs while leaving the target alive. Is that not torture?
The particular rounds used in some assault riffles may be designed to injure, but not kill. . . however there isn't a conventional solider trained to injure when using an assault riffle, or any other firearm for that matter.
 

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A chemical weapon's greatest power is the fear it brings to those exposed and those who may have been exposed.
Essentially, that is the case. Growing up in a relatively conservative household, I always believed that the use of the atomic bombs during WWII was justified. It wasn't until I went through CBR training with the military that I changed my mind about that whole deal.

Although, I'd argue that the actual suffering incurred by the recipients of what CBR weapons have been used is quite great.
 
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Starbuck

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From what I've read, you die a slow agonizing death by asphyxiation with chemical weapons. A quick death with a shot behind the ear would be preferred, IMO. Not that either choice would be eagerly awaited by most people! :thumbdown:

Greetings, CJ. :2wave:
There are some chemical weapons that offer relatively quick deaths, generally nerve agents. However, all offer extreme suffering.
 

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Essentially, that is the case. Growing up in a relatively conservative household, I always believed that the use of the atomic bombs during WWII was justified. It wasn't until I went through CBR training with the military that I changed my mind about that whole deal.

Although, I'd argue that the actually suffering incurred by the recipients of what CBR weapons have been used is quite great.
Use of the atomic bomb was entirely justified. Without it an invasion would have been defeated.


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Use of the atomic bomb was entirely justified. Without it an invasion would have been defeated.
What good could possibly have come from invading Japan at that point during the war? As far as I'm concerned, by the time we had dropped the bombs victory was already ours. . . why go through the extra trouble of invading a whole country?

We could've easily saved hundreds of thousands of innocent lives by neither dropping the bombs nor invading.
 

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What good could possibly have come from invading Japan at that point during the war? As far as I'm concerned, by the time we had dropped the bombs victory was already ours. . . why go through the extra trouble of invading a whole country?

We could've easily saved hundreds of thousands of innocent lives by neither dropping the bombs nor invading.
The bombs were an alternative to invasion. Had we done neither we would not have won the war.:peace
 

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The M4 and M16 rifle are designed to injure but not necessarily kill. The bullet is intended to rip apart muscle and organs while leaving the target alive. Is that not torture?

The difference is who is targeted, not if they suffer.
The M-16 and M-4 are chambered for the 5.56 mm (Remington .223) cartridge that is based upon the Remington .222 which was designed for shooting ground hogs.

For 48 years U.S. Marines and even many soldiers have been bitching and complaining being sent into combat with a rifle chambered for a cartridge designed for shooting small varmints.
 
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