Saturday, May 24, 2008

The Intrinsic Evil of Nuclear Weapons

By: Stephen Hand, original HERE...

I am often shocked at how many will defend the dropping of the atomic bomb on Japan on the grounds that it saved the lives of so many American soldiers towards the end of the Second World War. The argument, which I heard again not long ago, is as neat and simple as it is horrific.

But surely using the same logic we could prevent all of our losses in every war by simply preemptively nuking any nation that is deemed an enemy presenting a clear and immanent danger.

The elderly, the sick, women, children...kill them win and cut losses.

But does human life mean so little that the end here justifies the means? What then becomes of Just War teaching? It is replaced by the easy logic of nihilism. Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen wrote,

"When, I wonder, did we in America ever get into this idea that freedom means having no boundaries and no limits? I think it began on the 6th of August 1945 at 8:15 am when we dropped the bomb on Hiroshima. Somehow or other, from that day on in our American life, we say we want no limits and no boundaries."

Cardinal Alfredo Ottaviani, the late head of the Holy Office(1) under Pius XII and John XXIII, likewise in 1947:

"The extent of the damage done to national assets by aerial warfare, and the dreadful weapons that have been introduced of late, is so great that it leaves both vanquished and victor the poorer for years after. Innocent people, too, are liable to great injury from the weapons in current use: hatred is on that account excited above measure; extremely harsh reprisals are provoked; wars result which flaunt every provision of the jus gentium, and are marked by a savagery greater than ever. And what of the period immediately after a war? Does not it also provide an obvious pointer to the enormous and irreparable damage which war, the breeding place of hate and hurt, must do to the morals and manners of nations? These considerations, and many others which might be adduced besides, show that modern wars can never fulfil those conditions which (as we stated earlier on in this essay) govern - theoretically - a just and lawful war. Moreover, no conceivable cause could ever be sufficient justification for the evils, the slaughter, the destruction, the moral and religious upheavals which war today entails".

God is love. Creation belongs to Him, not us. There are always too many "reasons" and pretexts to think the unthinkable, commit genocide, kill the innocent... Evidently there is a something of a Stalin and Hitler in all of us that must be exorcised.

If we have any humanity left inside of us, we must work now with all of our hearts and wills to eliminate nuclear weapons from the earth, just as we want an end to all death camps and other genocidal ends--- otherwise those nations which refuse become as evil as the weapons themselves.

The world is not safer since 1945 but immeasurably more dangerous.

(1) Today called the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.