My Position on the Use of the Atomic Bombs

Originally posted 08-22-2009; updated 08-09-2015.

This month is the 70th anniversary of the first use of atomic weapons in warfare.

You can do the research and read up on your own, but I believe that the use of the atomic bombs on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki was justified, and that Japan, not the United States, is culpable for the necessity of their use, by starting the war through aggression, fighting a brutal, immoral war themselves, and by refusing to surrender when it was obvious that the end was at hand.

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4 Comments

  1. It’s a tragedy, yes, but Japan was culpable. The United States never wanted things to come to that. I’ll never understand why guilt is put on the United States for doing that. We were at war. We were trying to end a war that the Japanese bombed us into, four years earlier.

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  2. There is a certainly a body of evidence to suggest that while war is full of immoralities, some wars are moral by their necessity. Example: the Imperial Japanese Army killed as many as 300,000 Chinese civilians in the Rape of Nanking (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nanking_Massacre), which was unambiguously immoral. The allied invasion of Normandy killed about 9000 Germans, and was unambiguously moral because of its necessity.

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  3. The position stated above is basically what I have espoused all my life. If there were options available to the U.S. that were *more* moral at that time, I haven’t been made aware of them.

    I’ll admit that over the past week, I’ve had some doubts on this position. I’ve decided I won’t be as dogmatic about it as I have in the past.

    As to whether any war can be moral, strong arguments can be made that war is not always the worst option. From the perspective of the West, World War II is probably the best example of this.

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