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Can the Use of Weapons of Mass DEstruction be justified?

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John Chambers

on 3 December 2013

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Transcript of Can the Use of Weapons of Mass DEstruction be justified?

Can the Use of Weapons of Mass Destruction Ever be Justified?
Moral Issues
Perceived Benefits
Moral Issues
- Enormous Civilian/Noncombatant Death
Weapons of Mass Destruction
- Overwhelmingly huge destruction capabilities
- Is it moral to allow some nations and states possess them while preventing others from having them?
- Unnecessary and Dehumanizing
Were the bombings on Hiroshima and Nagasaki justified?
Perceived Benefits
- Quicker and stronger way to end a war
Weapons of Mass Destruction
- Can be used as threat to deter other nations from waging war
- Minimal losses on the side of the attackers
Perceived Benefits
- Quicker and stronger way to end a war
Weapons of Mass Destruction
- Can be used as threat to deter other nations from waging war
- Minimal losses on the side of the attackers
Common reasons for Supporting the bombings
Reasons to justify/not justify the nuclear attack on Hiroshima and Nagasaki
- Unnecessary and Dehumanizing
- Preferable over an Invasion
- Quicker end to war meant less losses
- Japan's leaders refused to surrender
- Continuation of previous attacks
- The bombings were labeled as war crimes
- Second bomb dropped on Nagasaki was too much. Hiroshima was enough to persuade Japan.
Were the bombings on Hiroshima and Nagasaki justified?
- Saved thousands of innocent lives that would've been killed in the invasion
- Was the last resort to end World War II
Common reasons for Opposing the bombings
Bombing of Nagasaki
On July 26th 1945, the Allies issued the Potsdam Declaration that stated if Japan didn't surrender it would suffer "prompt and utter destruction"
The Japanese government ignored the ultimatum. So at the approval of President Harry S. Truman, two atomic bombs were dropped on the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
Approximately 130,000 people died in Hiroshima and 70,000 in Nagasaki. Most were civilians.
But was it the right thing to do?
Most experts say yes.
An estimated 1 million US soldiers would have been killed had we invaded Japan.
Japan wouldn't have surrendered as early as it did, and they would have continued killing thousands of Ally soldiers
Although atomic bombs have the capacity to destroy human life in massive quantities, it was considered the lesser of two evils.
My Opinion:
Were the bombings on Hiroshima and Nagasaki the right thing to do?
Strategically: Yes
Morally: No
But In General:
Yes
But it still depends on your definition of morality in war, of whether it can be justified
morally
or not.
Full transcript