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PostPosted: Tue Aug 23, 2005 9:03 pm 
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The sections in colored text are the words of other people, and to which he is responding.

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 23, 2005 9:46 pm 
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MoreistCarmelite wrote:
The justifications regarding civilian casualties goes thusly:

If the US had not used nuclear bombs at Hiroshima and Nagasaki, then far more Japanese civilians would have died in the long term, regardless of the scenario. Conditional surrender is no kind of option, it would allow a moral evil to perpetuate itself. It's like offering Hitler a conditional surrender.

So let the blame fall upon our shoulders, in the knowledge that we saved lives via our guilt.


It is estimated that more than 1,000,000 would have died if we had to go in the Japanese Islands and fight hand to hand combat. Thousands more Americans would have died leaving many of you void as you would not have been born!

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 23, 2005 10:42 pm 
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Well, it's official... I now know what my least favorite topic is...

Listen... The Church has declared such actions as immoral. The fact that this occured AFTER the event does not change the fact that it is part of Natural Law. Thus, it was immoral.

Now, what the Church DID NOT nor CANNOT do is lay moral responsibility on the shoulders of those who did it because that would require a knowlege that no one has. We would have to know how much they KNEW about the ethical decision they made. To the extent that they were aware of the evil, they are responsible and will be judged accordingly. To the extent that they were trying to act ethically and apply Natural Law, they will be given less moral responsibility.

But, it stands. What happened was immoral. Unethical. Evil. Whatever you want to call it. War sucks. Evil people suck. They make life difficult for us. But, the only way they can win is if they take our souls away from us by turning us into them. And that is what happened on those days.

You cannot unjustly kill to save lives. You cannot cause such massive civilian casualties even in a just war. Period.

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 23, 2005 10:48 pm 
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Just war theory as proposed by Aquinas has had a hard time dealing with modern warfare and the use of bombing and modern economics. The Church has tryed to modify the theory for modern times but has basicly come up with the idea that war is only justifiable if repelling injury and aggression and only if cities and population areas are not targeted, even as a last resort. That is essentually a pacifist position that pretty much rules out any war even a defensive one unless the warfare (rather unrealisticly) takes place outside of cities.

Modern Warfare

As we move into the modern age warfare of massive destruction capabilities Pacifists see Christian thought returning full circle to the absolute pacifism of the primitive Church. We begin with World War I and Pope Benedict XV. This Pope made very strong statements against war. "Benedict opposed war in any form and rejected the theory of the just war as historically outmoded and theologically inadequate."(37) Further he rejected the distinction made between public and private morality. "'The Gospel has not one law of charity for individuals and another for states and nations, for these are but collections of individuals.'"(38) Pope Benedict first statement could be placed under the argument against the Just War Theory on grounds of insufficiency in modern warfare.

World War II with its atomic capabilities changed the perspective on the just war. Pope Pius XII modified the traditional teaching of warfare by saying that, "the enormous violence of modern warfare means that it can no longer be regarded as a reasonable, proportionate means for settling conflicts."(39) Regarding a question posed to him about a self-defensive use of ABC (Atomic-Bacteriological-Chemical) warfare this Pope answered by referring to "the same principles which are today decisive for permitting war in general."(40) Notice that the Pope is here making a reference to the Just War Theory. Pope John XXIII's encyclical "Pacem in Terris" seems to have condemned aggressive or offensive war when he stated, "'Therefore in this age of ours, which prides itself on its atomic power, it is irrational to think that war is a proper way to obtain justice for violated rights.'"(41) This Pope says that a proportional injury does not exist anymore to justify war. If the Just War historical account is true, the Pope in condemning the offensive or aggressive war at the same time eliminated the Just War Theory, as it applies only to that type of war (not a defensive one), as set forth by Vitoria and Suarez!

It is interesting to follow Vatican II's teachings on this issue. In "Gaudium et Spes" the document stresses that modern weapons lead to atrocities in war far exceeding any known before. Also, the complexity of international relations can make an incipient war develop into full-scale war. Modern weapons "can inflict immense and indiscriminate havoc which goes far beyond the bounds of legitimate defense."(42) Because of this reality total warfare is most definitely condemned following Pope John XXIII's and Pope Paul VI's statements on this matter. Also, modern weapons are seen by the Council as not even justified in a defensive war with their indiscriminate destruction.

On the other hand, not all warfare is condemned. The Council justified "the right of a nation to defend itself by a discriminate and proportionate use of force as a last resort."(43) The Council does not mention the Just War Theory but uses some themes recognizable from it such as: 1. War is to be used only after all efforts for peace have failed. 2. Government leaders have the duty to protect their people's interests - the common good. 3. A right intention rules out force being used for political or military objectives. 4. Not all is fair during war. 5. Indiscriminate killing of the innocent is prohibited.

So after the Council the idea of war comes down to this: "war is not morally justifiable . . .to punish an offense or. . .to recover a thing, but is justifiable only. . .to repel injury and aggression."(44) Any strategy with the intention of attacking cities or large areas along with their populations cannot be morally tolerated, even as a last resort.

Further developments among Bishops and Popes to the present involve a Catholic policy where nuclear deterrence can only be a temporary solution. The Catholic goal is to de-nuclearize the world. Arms control, even as an important contribution to present day problems, is not enough. Only a strategy that tends toward disarmament is an acceptable strategy for the Church.

Two principles from the Just War Theory stand out in all of this modern day analysis. War is limited by the immunity of noncombatants and the general principle of proportionality. The former limits the widespread destruction of ABC warfare. The latter even limits legitimate self-defense.

The relatively recent Gulf War provided moralists with a modern day war example to analyze. Francis Winters claimed that "on balance the theory failed the test of providing wise judgment."(45) Another author thought the theory could be applied to it with some adaptations. Although at the same time he recognized a "serious problem in how we understand and apply the notion of noncombatant immunity. . .(and that) the principle of proportionality is all too likely to raise large questions that require political judgments and do not yield definite answers."(46) These problems of applying the theory would seem to point to the argument already mentioned that the Just War Theory cannot yield a determinate result.

37. Musto, 171.

38. Ibid.

39. New Catholic Encyclopedia, 803.

40. Ibid, 804.

41. Flannery, Austin, O.P., ed., Gaudium et Spes, in Vatican Council II: The Conciliar and Post Conciliar Documents (Collegeville, Minnesota: The Liturgical Press, 1975), 989.

42. Ibid.

43. Wicker, Brian, War and the Nuclear Dilemma, in Modern Catholicism: Vatican II and After, ed. by Adrian Hastings (New York: Oxford University Press, 1991), 303.

44. New Catholic Encyclopedia, 804.

45. Langan, 99.

46. Ibid, 109-110.

Musto, Ronald G. The Catholic Peace Tradition. Maryknoll, New York: Orbis Books, 1986
Langan, John, S.J. "The Just War Theory After the Gulf War." Theological Studies Vol. 53, No. 1 (March 1992): 95-112.



Oh and don't forget the latest requirement coming out of the Vatican: All wars have to be approved by the UN.

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 24, 2005 4:54 am 
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Signum Crucis wrote:
The sections in colored text are the words of other people, and to which he is responding.


I know why he does it. But it still is very distracting (at least to me) and hard to read (at least to me).

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 24, 2005 5:06 am 
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Given a choice between evil nationalism and the teaching of the magisterium I am of the view that a true catholic should follow the magisterium.

By the way Nagasaki was the centre of japanese catholicism and this war crime murdered out brothers & sisters in the faith.

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 24, 2005 9:25 am 
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Obi-Wan Kenobi wrote:
Signum Crucis wrote:
The sections in colored text are the words of other people, and to which he is responding.


I know why he does it. But it still is very distracting (at least to me) and hard to read (at least to me).


Oh. :oops:

It would be better to just put the person's name or other designation with a colon and then the text of their response. I can never remember which color goes with which speaker.

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 25, 2005 3:08 pm 
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The Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings break my heart; the scenes from them, the massive casualties, the era it ushered in.

But a weapon - the US Armed Forces - would have been used not to destroy two cities, but an entire nation, and innumerable lives would have been lost. Indeed, the Cold War may have been lost in such an action, by breaking the strongest of the Western powers.

And for all I occasionally fantasize about being able to sacrifice myself for my faith, doing so under Communist rule, perpetual and apparently unending, except by the grace of God, would have been unjust punishment for the Christian world.

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 25, 2005 5:24 pm 
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 26, 2005 1:45 pm 
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 26, 2005 3:26 pm 
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The latter article is irrelevant, CC; the former is an interesting response, but not always to the points we're making. Rather than responding to my point about context, you responded to a response that referred to it, and indeed agreed with it; but you did not answer the point! Rather, you tried to say that SC had to reject the whole of V2, when it fact it is clear he did not, indeed, not even the particular citation we're discussing.

St Dominic helped lead a Crusade against the Albigensians; he then helped found a form of the Inquisition, under Papal orders. At the time, IN THAT CONTEXT, and in the original form the organization took, it was understandable and justified. If it were to happen nowadays, under modern moral understanding, it would not be justified.

Retrograde moral judgement is a fallacy; indeed, our own church stands witness to that. They do not judge St Dominic, despite the great popes of our age - notably Pius XII, John XXIII, John Paul II - making clear the value of human life and that this value extends, in our society, to even the worst heretics.

P.S. For any of your apologetics responsees, it should be noted I am, in fact, something of a liberal Catholic, though not in a particularly permissive way, merely in a fairly left wing way.

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We are the tenders of Peter's grave, we are "the budding faith Nero first made bloody in Rome. There Peter was girded by another, since he was bound to the cross."

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PostPosted: Sat Aug 27, 2005 10:21 pm 
As an 18 year old Infantry Replacement in 1945 I was thankful that we had used the Atomic Bomb. I believe that I was saved from the invasion of Japan where they would have been entrenched and fought to the last man, woman and child! Before WWII ended in Europe my older brother had been wounded, and two cousins killed, Bill a tank Sgt. with Gen Patton and George on the Russian front with the German Army. (They might have shot at each other)
If it is morally wrong to use the Atomic Bomb since Our Lord taught us to love our enimies and to do good to those that harm you would it be morally wrong to go to war against Japan in the first place after the attack on Pearl Harbor?
When we bomb war production factories must we wait until the civilian workers evacuate?
For perhaps my own selfish reasons President Truman made the right decision to use the A-Bomb to end the war.
And a big thank you to Gen. Douglas MacArthur for keeping the Soviets out of Japan.


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PostPosted: Sat Aug 27, 2005 10:57 pm 
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TeeRex74 wrote:
As an 18 year old Infantry Replacement in 1945 I was thankful that we had used the Atomic Bomb. I believe that I was saved from the invasion of Japan where they would have been entrenched and fought to the last man, woman and child! Before WWII ended in Europe my older brother had been wounded, and two cousins killed, Bill a tank Sgt. with Gen Patton and George on the Russian front with the German Army. (They might have shot at each other)
If it is morally wrong to use the Atomic Bomb since Our Lord taught us to love our enimies and to do good to those that harm you would it be morally wrong to go to war against Japan in the first place after the attack on Pearl Harbor?
When we bomb war production factories must we wait until the civilian workers evacuate?
For perhaps my own selfish reasons President Truman made the right decision to use the A-Bomb to end the war.
And a big thank you to Gen. Douglas MacArthur for keeping the Soviets out of Japan.


When we bomb war production factories must we wait until the civilian workers evacuate?

We must wait as long as we can to make sure as few civilian casualties occur. Just War is common sense. We did not just bomb a military target. We leveled 2 cities. The civilian casualties were planned. Thus, it was wrong.

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PostPosted: Sat Aug 27, 2005 10:59 pm 
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A reference to a different, Papally-approved event:

"Let God know his own..."

But non-contextual moral dissection is a fallacy, so that was a justified action. In the context, so was this.

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We are the tenders of Peter's grave, we are "the budding faith Nero first made bloody in Rome. There Peter was girded by another, since he was bound to the cross."

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PostPosted: Sun Aug 28, 2005 12:22 am 
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MoreistCarmelite wrote:
A reference to a different, Papally-approved event:

"Let God know his own..."

But non-contextual moral dissection is a fallacy, so that was a justified action. In the context, so was this.


irrelevant... We targeted civilians... there is no context where that is morally correct.

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PostPosted: Sun Aug 28, 2005 1:35 am 
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Actions involved in the crushing of the Albigensian heresy, anyone? ST DOMINIC, ANYONE? Let's not be blind.

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We are the tenders of Peter's grave, we are "the budding faith Nero first made bloody in Rome. There Peter was girded by another, since he was bound to the cross."

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PostPosted: Sun Aug 28, 2005 2:51 am 
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aussie_mal wrote:
Another glaring example of cafeteria catholicism whereby the teaching of the magisterium (i.e. pope + council fathers) is rejected in favour of support of one of the most evil acts in history. Those who ordered this bombing ended up in Hell along with Stalin, Mao and others responsible for mass murder.


The Church has never made any declaration that any individual is in hell, although Scripture more than hints that Judas is there.


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 28, 2005 2:58 am 
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Whether the bombing "worked" to end the war earlier, or reduce the number of total war casualties, is irrelevant. One may not target civilians. Period. Whether those civilians are on a bus in the middle east, are office workers in the twin towers, or are residents of Japanese cities.

The bombs could have been used over military targets, or a demonstration explosion over an unpopulated area. The fact is that we exterminated two cities in Japan, and several in Germany, precisely to sow seeds of terror and defeatism among the enemy.


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 28, 2005 3:06 am 
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See above for a general response. And one may extend the argument in two directions: one, they were all potential combatants; or two, Japanese soldiers were brainwashed and thus not responsible. Or indeed, three, thou shalt no kill, under the new understanding Christ gives us.

Aye, or four. Christ comes as a sword, and we see ample examples (Joshua, Judges) of God's willingness to see genocide committed.

Don't bs, people (my apologies for the language). In many ways, I'm more of a pacifist than everyone in this thread combined, I bet, but in the name of what is holy (I do not mean that as blasphemy, rather as an actual appeal), can we stop proselytizing over something we CANNOT seek to condemn in the way we are?

People, the one Holy, Apostolic and Catholic Church authorized the utter elimination of entire cities and towns in the south of France during the Catharist heresy. We must learn that at the time, this was acceptable and justified...in the historical context. As the genocide of the Canaanites was acceptable and justified...in the historical context.

And thus, Hiroshima and Nagasaki were acceptable and justified...in the historical context.

In our current and future historical context, in the new direction we are led, such actions as these three examples would not be acceptable. But that is NOW.

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We are the Roman Church, "the greatest and most ancient church, known by all, founded and organized at Rome by the two most glorious Apostles, Peter and Paul", "to whom Peter and Paul have bequeathed the Gospel sealed with their blood..."

We are the tenders of Peter's grave, we are "the budding faith Nero first made bloody in Rome. There Peter was girded by another, since he was bound to the cross."

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PostPosted: Sun Aug 28, 2005 11:05 am 
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The Albigensian Crusade was out of the control of the Church when such actions were done. They were not authorized by the Church. And the genocide of the Canaanites was acceptable and justified because God Himself ordered it. He has the right to demand our lives any time, any way.


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