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On Hiroshima, Nagasaki, and....
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Author:  Obi-Wan Kenobi [ Sun Aug 28, 2005 11:28 am ]
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matteo d'basio wrote:
we exterminated two cities in Japan


Far more than that with the firebombing raids. One of the difficulties in choosing targets for the A-bombs was finding cities sufficient undestroyed to make it worthwhile.

Author:  Quo Vadis [ Sun Aug 28, 2005 1:11 pm ]
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kirkjunkie wrote:
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.

FJ


And we would have targetted civillians in an invasion of the islands as well. We had already indiscrimantly firebombed tokyo killing more civillians than the atomic bombs did. Ditto for cities such as Dresdin in Europe. Also, more civillians died in the taking of Okinawa, a tiny island, than did in both atomic bombings.

In the only Japanese land invaded in WWII (Okinawa) Japanese civillian deaths were 49% of the population, about 147k dead out of 300k total. 90% of the soldiers died for a total of 109K out of 120K. With US loses at 12,000 dead (20%, which is quite high) and 37,000 wounded (60%, extraordinarly high) out of 60,000. Thats a casualty rate of 80%. Let all this sink in for a moment.

Sure, by the original just war theory create in ancient times, the atomic bombings are immoral but so would have been an invasion or any other method of ending the war. The statements out of the Vatican last century only serve to confirm that virtually no war, not even a defensive one can be morally fought in the modern age using just war theory as its base for morality. The question is one of which of the lesser of two evils (evil as defined by just war theory) does one pick? You pick the one that is going to save the most lives and the atomic bombing option was that option.

Author:  Obi-Wan Kenobi [ Sun Aug 28, 2005 1:18 pm ]
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Quo Vadis wrote:
We had already indiscrimantly firebombed tokyo killing more civillians than the atomic bombs did. Ditto for cities such as Dresdin in Europe.


Those acts were also wrong.

Author:  Quo Vadis [ Sun Aug 28, 2005 4:23 pm ]
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Quote:
Those acts were also wrong.


Yes as I pointed out. But that was not going to stop the Allies from doing so again. At this point the principle of toleration comes into play. In this case you can make the case that one could tolorate the atomic bombings in order to avoid a greater evil. Even without continued firebombings the civillians would have been killed at much higher rates and they would have been pressed into picking up guns to kill Allied soldiers too. Air warfare has completely changed the way the world does warfare. No longer do the two sides meet out in a field or storm a fortified structure built for military purposes. Bombing factories, considered immoral under just war theory, was necessary in order to win the war as things like tanks and planes and war economies play an important part of warfare that did not exist when just war theory was developed. Can you find a war fought in the last century that meets the criteria for a just war?

Author:  MoreistCarmelite [ Sun Aug 28, 2005 5:19 pm ]
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And QV scores the touchdown.

As for the Albigensian Crusade...dude, you just said absolutely nothing. Civilian extermination and torture was authorized by the Church. Not on the basis of the Inquisition, which also had inhumane methods but had a direct "magic" enemy as its opponent; but on the basis of a difference of belief, a belief of a fairly benevolent group of cultists.

Author:  Obi-Wan Kenobi [ Sun Aug 28, 2005 5:28 pm ]
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Quo Vadis wrote:
In this case you can make the case that one could tolorate the atomic bombings in order to avoid a greater evil.


No, you can't. That's proportionalism, which is a condemned theory of moral theology.

I don't think there's ever been a war anywhere ever in which ius in bello was strictly observed. That's not an excuse for any failure to do so.

Author:  Quo Vadis [ Mon Aug 29, 2005 12:05 am ]
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If the choice is between a moral choice and a non moral choice then proportionalism is not appropriate. But the choice here is between two choices deemed immoral under just war theory. That is: invasion where massive civillian loss of life by bombing, artillery, and conscription as well as Soviet participation leading to the enslavement of half the nation after the war vs atomic bombing with significantly fewer deaths. In this case where both methods are deemed evil then one would choose the lesser of two evils.

No one is going to try to take Japan without bombing, artillery or without significant civillian casualties. And when you do invade many of those civillians will be converted to combatants. The unfortunate fact is that if one side is using immoral weapons and tactics which cause great loss of life, the other side has to do the same or parish. While accepting defeat and the death and misery that follows it maybe the moral highroad, it is not something your going to convince the populace to do. In this case, after a war fought immorally on both sides according to just war theory your asking hundreds of thousands of your men to die for a moral principle. It is simply not going to happen in the real world. Nor could you even do so under just war theory because the amount of death on your side make the choice invalid under the just war principle of proportionality.

You could suddenly have a change of heart (conviently after you have turned the tide of war) and do nothing but then Russia would have invaded and in typical Soviet fashion the casualties on both sides would be high with the remaining populace folded into the Soviet slave state system where more misery would be heaped on them for another 40 years. But our leader's hands would be clean so we could have tolerated that and still be OK under Thomasian ethics.

Author:  Csquared [ Mon Aug 29, 2005 10:12 am ]
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False dichotomy. Invasion or bomb were not the only choices.

Author:  MoreistCarmelite [ Mon Aug 29, 2005 11:43 am ]
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Accepting conditional surrender was a completely unacceptable option; a blockade would still have left blood on our hands, whatever you try to argue.

The false proposition is that we had any moral wartime options except the bomb.

Author:  Max Majestic [ Mon Aug 29, 2005 11:48 am ]
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Including language referring to the royal house in the Potsdam declaration might have achieved a Japanese conditional surrender without need of the bombs (we eventually agreed to a conditional surrender anyway).....that would have been more moral, imho.

Author:  Quo Vadis [ Mon Aug 29, 2005 2:23 pm ]
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Catholic Cadet wrote:
False dichotomy. Invasion or bomb were not the only choices.


Yeah that why I wrote:
Quote:
You could suddenly have a change of heart (conviently after you have turned the tide of war) and do nothing but then Russia would have invaded and in typical Soviet fashion the casualties on both sides would be high with the remaining populace folded into the Soviet slave state system where more misery would be heaped on them for another 40 years. But our leader's hands would be clean so we could have tolerated that and still be OK under Thomasian ethics.


That would have been the morally correct outcome following Just War Theory.

To which I would also add that all of Korea would have fallen to the North Koreans/Chinese since we would not have had our bases in Japan to work out of.

Author:  Obi-Wan Kenobi [ Mon Aug 29, 2005 2:39 pm ]
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Quo Vadis wrote:
That would have been the morally correct outcome following Just War Theory.


Incorrect. Just war theory does not deal with outcomes. Nor do you have a crystal ball to predict the future, so there's no telling what would have happened.

I might also add that Stalin knew full well we had the bomb, since his agents had stolen the plans.

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