Thursday, February 12, 2009


The WW2 bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki were immoral; the US government is guilty of genocide and mass murder. Regardles of whether or not the war was ended early, thousands of innocents were killed. If more had been killed in a longer war, it would be the fault of the individuals who killed them, not those who did not murder innocent men, women, and children.


Commenty McCommenterton said...

Not that I really want to go to bat for the idea of nuking innocent people, but I'm not sure I can buy your blanket statement here-- doesn't making a choice that would indirectly result in the loss of life leave one with moral responsibility as well?

Mind you, I agree that dropping an atomic bomb on a civilian target rather than, say, dropping one a few miles out in the ocean near Tokyo Bay as a demonstration totally wasn't the way to go, ethically.

And maybe I'm splitting hairs here, but as horrific as the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki were, I'm not sure you're using the word "genocide" correctly. Just saying.

Nulono said...

My point was that, if Robert McDroperton drops a bomb and kill innocents, he is responsible for their deaths. If Jimmy McSoldierton shoots innocent people, he is responsible for their deaths.

I debated using the term "genocide", but decided it was close enough, as most of the victims were Japanese, and their only crime was being in Japan. Hitler by no way killed all the Jews, but he was still genocidal.

ockraz said...

Commenty McCommenterton is right about genocide. The Japanese were targeted in order to get the Japanese state to surrender- not because of their race. That makes all the difference.

Also, your more general point about the immorality of the use of the atomic bomb only obtains if you subscribe to a theory which explicitly differentiates between the killing of noncombatants and soldiers.

While today this is accepted generally as a principle of international law, there is no inherent reason why this must be considered a binding moral principle. Furthermore, the principle of international law was not established until after WWII.

Nulono said...

Soldiers generally sign up.

ockraz said...

not in WWII

Nulono said...

And killing said soldiers was immoral.


I fail to see your point.

ockraz said...

the point was that your argument was predicated on giving a different moral status to the killing of civilians-

I think (although one of my prof's who was participated in court martial defenses in the military strongly disagrees) that this standard makes sense with volunteer armies, BUT in WWII we still used conscription. We didn't have volunteer armies.

If you throw out the moral distinction, then the basis for your argument is gone.

Also - regarding Commenty McCommenterton - given that the 1st bomb didn't procure surrnder, it doesn't make sense to say that we should have used a bomb on an unihabited area of Japan.

Nulono said...

My point was founded on assigning a different moral status to the killing of anyone who did not sign up to a position with full knowledge of the risk involved. These are mostly civilians.

ockraz said...

When there's a draft (and there was during WWII) the only people who weren't would be career military. The draftees (who were the vast majority of the military) were in the same boat as the civilians.

If saving thousands of them on your side can be accomplished by killing thousands of civilians on the other side- then if they have the same moral status, it is justifiable.

I'm not advocating that position. I'm just pointing out that the position is defendable. If we had an all volunteer military then (as we do now) then your argument would be unassailable.