Whether or not you are a Christian, this author’s view makes ethical sense to me. I’ve become upset many times by the views of people parroting the old propaganda about how killing those in Hiroshima and Nagasaki “saved more American lives”, “shortened the war” etc. We don’t know that. We can’t know that. Some believe it to be true. Some don’t.
Killing innocent people is not justified, and can’t be (in my view) by unprovable hypotheses about the positive effect the killers ASSUME the killings will have (or did have) upon future events. There were tens of thousands of children under age five killed in the two atomic bombings. There were hospitals in both cities that were obliterated. Even if you subscribe to the idea that Japan had ordered “every man, woman and child to fight to the death”, it seems insane to assume infants, toddlers and hospital patients could ever have been a threat.
Historians are on both sides of this issue. Some say the documentary evidence makes it crystal clear that once Russia declared war on Japan between the two bombings, Japanese high command sued for peace, believing they would get better terms from the Americans – thus making the bombing of Nagasaki completely unnecessary (i.e. mass murder). Other historians downplay the influence of Russia’s military actions on the outcome of the war with Japan.
I’m not a historical expert. I’m examining the question from a philosophical position of pacifism, one that rejects the theory of “just wars”.
I have admit, I haven’t followed American news much at all since being here. It’s pretty much what shows up on my MSN homepage and Facebook feed. But something, other than the horror that is the presidential campaigns for both parties, caught my eye the last few days. Not from a lot of people, not the headline by far, but just enough to sadden me once again at the state of the American Church.
A few of my friends have posted at how appalled they are that President Obama dared to apologize to the people of Japan for dropping the atomic bomb on them in WWII. They point to how it saved hundreds if not thousands of lives which would have been lost in battle. They argue that Japan deserved it after attacking Pearl Harbor. They shout that in war, you do what you have to do and make no…
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