There are a number of competing paradigms on nonproliferation issues, each with their own self-consistent set of axioms that have to be dealt with on their own terms. If these different approaches are not appropriately acknowledged during discussions, they can become a permanent barrier to the resolution of underlying issues. This article identifies some of the key interest groups that are involved in discussions of nuclear nonproliferation issues and seeks to delineate the paradigmatic differences between these groups. These differences in approach can give rise to the perception that one or more of the parties to any discussion are arguing in bad faith. While bad faith may be a cause of at least some of the disputes that arise on nonproliferation issues, assuming bad faith as an explanation for these differences is counter-productive; it prevents any serious discussion of the issues underlying such disputes and obstructs attempts to reach a common understanding.