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headphonegut
Posts: 4,122
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12/15/2015 11:59:05 AM
Posted: 11 months ago
Was it morally permissible for Truman to drop the second bomb?
crying to soldiers coming home to their dogs why do I torment myself with these videos?
Idealist
Posts: 2,520
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12/15/2015 11:43:31 PM
Posted: 11 months ago
At 12/15/2015 11:59:05 AM, headphonegut wrote:
Was it morally permissible for Truman to drop the second bomb?

I don't think it had as much to do with morality as it had to do with tactical doctrine. If the US had only dropped the one bomb and left at that then it would have been very tempting for the Japanese high-command to believe the US couldn't repeat the act, at least not in any short period of time. Dropping the second bomb created the impression (even though it wasn't accurate) that the US could continue to drop these powerful new weapons at will. There was some hope that the Japanese would capitulate immediately after Hiroshima, making the second bomb unnecessary, but for many American leaders there was a second objective: displaying this new power to the Soviet Union. I'm not saying that this was a major driving force for them, but it seems likely that they considered it important.
headphonegut
Posts: 4,122
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12/16/2015 12:03:19 AM
Posted: 11 months ago
At 12/15/2015 11:43:31 PM, Idealist wrote:
At 12/15/2015 11:59:05 AM, headphonegut wrote:
Was it morally permissible for Truman to drop the second bomb?

I don't think it had as much to do with morality as it had to do with tactical doctrine. If the US had only dropped the one bomb and left at that then it would have been very tempting for the Japanese high-command to believe the US couldn't repeat the act, at least not in any short period of time. Dropping the second bomb created the impression (even though it wasn't accurate) that the US could continue to drop these powerful new weapons at will. There was some hope that the Japanese would capitulate immediately after Hiroshima, making the second bomb unnecessary, but for many American leaders there was a second objective: displaying this new power to the Soviet Union. I'm not saying that this was a major driving force for them, but it seems likely that they considered it important.

Hmmmm your argument are sound, I think; they essentially miss the point. A presidents' action that impact another society by killing people can certainly be looked at to determine whether or not it was a moral one. Even if we are at war with that state.
crying to soldiers coming home to their dogs why do I torment myself with these videos?
Idealist
Posts: 2,520
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12/16/2015 5:31:50 AM
Posted: 11 months ago
At 12/16/2015 12:03:19 AM, headphonegut wrote:
At 12/15/2015 11:43:31 PM, Idealist wrote:
At 12/15/2015 11:59:05 AM, headphonegut wrote:
Was it morally permissible for Truman to drop the second bomb?

I don't think it had as much to do with morality as it had to do with tactical doctrine. If the US had only dropped the one bomb and left at that then it would have been very tempting for the Japanese high-command to believe the US couldn't repeat the act, at least not in any short period of time. Dropping the second bomb created the impression (even though it wasn't accurate) that the US could continue to drop these powerful new weapons at will. There was some hope that the Japanese would capitulate immediately after Hiroshima, making the second bomb unnecessary, but for many American leaders there was a second objective: displaying this new power to the Soviet Union. I'm not saying that this was a major driving force for them, but it seems likely that they considered it important.

Hmmmm your argument are sound, I think; they essentially miss the point. A presidents' action that impact another society by killing people can certainly be looked at to determine whether or not it was a moral one. Even if we are at war with that state.

Ouch...lol. I think war itself is an immoral act, although sometimes we are forced into it. Once we are engaged in war then all the other singular actions we take in furtherance of war are immoral. Of course one can look at it another way: was it even moral to drop the first bomb? Did it save lives by making the Japanese surrender, or did it cause more death and damage than if we didn't drop it? If we didn't drop the second bomb and the Japanese didn't surrender, forcing an invasion, then would that cause the first bomb to have been dropped in vain, meaning that all the suffering in Hiroshima was meaningless? When the US fire-bombed other Japanese cities it was just as deadly and destructive as the A-bomb, just not as shocking. It's a complex issue.
headphonegut
Posts: 4,122
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12/16/2015 5:39:10 AM
Posted: 11 months ago
At 12/16/2015 5:31:50 AM, Idealist wrote:
At 12/16/2015 12:03:19 AM, headphonegut wrote:
At 12/15/2015 11:43:31 PM, Idealist wrote:
At 12/15/2015 11:59:05 AM, headphonegut wrote:
Was it morally permissible for Truman to drop the second bomb?

I don't think it had as much to do with morality as it had to do with tactical doctrine. If the US had only dropped the one bomb and left at that then it would have been very tempting for the Japanese high-command to believe the US couldn't repeat the act, at least not in any short period of time. Dropping the second bomb created the impression (even though it wasn't accurate) that the US could continue to drop these powerful new weapons at will. There was some hope that the Japanese would capitulate immediately after Hiroshima, making the second bomb unnecessary, but for many American leaders there was a second objective: displaying this new power to the Soviet Union. I'm not saying that this was a major driving force for them, but it seems likely that they considered it important.

Hmmmm your argument are sound, I think; they essentially miss the point. A presidents' action that impact another society by killing people can certainly be looked at to determine whether or not it was a moral one. Even if we are at war with that state.

Ouch...lol. I think war itself is an immoral act, although sometimes we are forced into it. Once we are engaged in war then all the other singular actions we take in furtherance of war are immoral. Of course one can look at it another way: was it even moral to drop the first bomb? Did it save lives by making the Japanese surrender, or did it cause more death and damage than if we didn't drop it? If we didn't drop the second bomb and the Japanese didn't surrender, forcing an invasion, then would that cause the first bomb to have been dropped in vain, meaning that all the suffering in Hiroshima was meaningless? When the US fire-bombed other Japanese cities it was just as deadly and destructive as the A-bomb, just not as shocking. It's a complex issue.

Eh. We can talk about the immorality of war which is highly debatable. Or the morality of a specific action with clear context and motivations during the war. I specifically asked about the second bomb because its destructive capabilities were know via the first bomb. Was it moral to drop the first bomb? Maybe, maybe not. But I'm most interested in the dropping of the second bomb. As that is the cause of the surrender by the emperor.
crying to soldiers coming home to their dogs why do I torment myself with these videos?
bballcrook21
Posts: 4,468
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12/17/2015 3:39:29 AM
Posted: 11 months ago
If we are to judge actions in war with moral permission, then we will achieve very little and cause great amounts of casualties in the future.

Truman dropped the atomic bombs with the intention and eventual result of a Japanese surrender, paired with the minimization of American losses. The standard of a leader when in times of war is to minimize losses on their front, and maximize losses to force a surrender or retreat on the enemy front.

Morally permissible, maybe. Right action, definitely.

Also, don't forget that some may view it to be permissible based upon some prerequisite belief, (i.e maybe they hate the Japanese).
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beng100
Posts: 1,055
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12/17/2015 10:51:04 PM
Posted: 11 months ago
At 12/15/2015 11:59:05 AM, headphonegut wrote:
Was it morally permissible for Truman to drop the second bomb?

Yes as horrific as it was for the many innocent civilians killed it was necessary to increase the chances of Japanese surrender and avoid the need for an invasion in which the Japanese death toll would have been even higher.
Idealist
Posts: 2,520
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12/18/2015 12:24:08 AM
Posted: 11 months ago
At 12/16/2015 5:39:10 AM, headphonegut wrote:
At 12/16/2015 5:31:50 AM, Idealist wrote:
At 12/16/2015 12:03:19 AM, headphonegut wrote:
At 12/15/2015 11:43:31 PM, Idealist wrote:
At 12/15/2015 11:59:05 AM, headphonegut wrote:
Was it morally permissible for Truman to drop the second bomb?

I don't think it had as much to do with morality as it had to do with tactical doctrine. If the US had only dropped the one bomb and left at that then it would have been very tempting for the Japanese high-command to believe the US couldn't repeat the act, at least not in any short period of time. Dropping the second bomb created the impression (even though it wasn't accurate) that the US could continue to drop these powerful new weapons at will. There was some hope that the Japanese would capitulate immediately after Hiroshima, making the second bomb unnecessary, but for many American leaders there was a second objective: displaying this new power to the Soviet Union. I'm not saying that this was a major driving force for them, but it seems likely that they considered it important.

Hmmmm your argument are sound, I think; they essentially miss the point. A presidents' action that impact another society by killing people can certainly be looked at to determine whether or not it was a moral one. Even if we are at war with that state.

Ouch...lol. I think war itself is an immoral act, although sometimes we are forced into it. Once we are engaged in war then all the other singular actions we take in furtherance of war are immoral. Of course one can look at it another way: was it even moral to drop the first bomb? Did it save lives by making the Japanese surrender, or did it cause more death and damage than if we didn't drop it? If we didn't drop the second bomb and the Japanese didn't surrender, forcing an invasion, then would that cause the first bomb to have been dropped in vain, meaning that all the suffering in Hiroshima was meaningless? When the US fire-bombed other Japanese cities it was just as deadly and destructive as the A-bomb, just not as shocking. It's a complex issue.

Eh. We can talk about the immorality of war which is highly debatable. Or the morality of a specific action with clear context and motivations during the war. I specifically asked about the second bomb because its destructive capabilities were know via the first bomb. Was it moral to drop the first bomb? Maybe, maybe not. But I'm most interested in the dropping of the second bomb. As that is the cause of the surrender by the emperor.

The bomb dropped on Hiroshima was not the first bomb to be detonated, so we already knew the power of the bomb. Considering that we were at war with Japan and only three days passed between the two bombings, I think it's a bit suggestive to infer that we understood the effects of a nuclear bomb in an urban environment after the one which was dropped at Hiroshima, so I don't see your point about it being immoral because we already "knew" the effects. Both bombs had already bee shipped and plans made to drop them even before the Hiroshima bomb. The only thing which was likely to change that was surrender by the Japanese.