Was the dropping of two NUCLEAR bombs on Japan the moral choice?

Asked by: SecularSociety
  • Why is this a question?

    The atomic bombs were dropped, killing tens of thousands of people, so that we (as the Allies) could avoid a full-scale invasion, with projected loses in the many hundreds of thousands. Of course it was a good idea logically, and morally. It ended the war far faster than it probably would have otherwise.

  • Prevention is key

    I really don't need 50 words to justify this, but I'll try.

    How many more Pearl Harbor attacks did we suffer after we dropped the bomb?

    Yep...That's right....None.

    Also, why is there a moral outrage because our retaliation was absolute? If you didn't want to lose horribly, why did you chance it?

  • All war is hell.

    I hate the idea of war, but as a human, I'm stuck with it. It's in our nature.

    That said, if we find ourselves in the predicament where war is necessary, our goal should always be to end it as quickly and decisively as possible. That is precisely what the Bombs did for us.

    So, yes, it was the proper moral decision at the time. The first bomb stunned them. The second bomb convinced them it was over. As a result, more of the Japanese people were spared months of extended and bloody conflict, and more of our troops came home alive.

    Absolutely it was a moral decision.

  • Of Course; We Were At War!

    Had we let the Japanese further prepare they would have attacked the US again. Had the US not dropped the bombs on Japan they wouldn't have surrendered. It was a harsh price to pay, but we were at war. War means life or death, and frankly I think the US did what they thought was for the greater good of their country and their allies.

  • Yes, and he US made the immoral choice.

    There was no need to drop those bombs and most of the scientist working on he Manhattan project signed protest against using it. It was the desire of the military industrial complex to use Japan as their experiment for a killing field. It should be listed as one of the most inhumane, grotesque acts ever initiated, but being the US, it's just a blip on the history screen

  • Read all about it!

    Source : Richardrhodes.Com "RICHARD RHODES is the author or editor of twenty-four books including The Making of the Atomic Bomb, which won a Pulitzer Prize in Nonfiction, a National Book Award and a National Book Critics Circle Award" In this book Mr. Rhodes documents interviews taken after the war. One of the interviews was with Japan's leading physicist who also headed up Japan's atomic bomb research program ( yes, Japan was working on the atomic bomb as were several other countries in the 1930's). He was called to Hiroshima to advise Japan on what to do. Seeing that the USA had used a uranium based bomb, this physicist advised his government to CONTINUE THE WAR, as it would take months to prep another uranium bomb. After Nagasaki, however, he found evidence of a plutonium based bomb and advised his government to SURRENDER or face total destruction. So you see, even the first bomb was not enough to end the war. And the rest, as they say, is history.

  • I am swithering about this

    In my opinion dropping bombs on japan was a moral idea, as more of the Japanese could have died if the war had gone on. Their government at the time was encouraging their own people to kill themselves instead of being occupied by the Americans! Things had to change quickly. Moreover, they couldn't let there be any chances of a resurgence of the conflict of the second world war and so, rightly put a stop to it. However, I disagree with dropping it on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, as they were both relatively peaceful places that were concentrated with civilians. If a bomb had to be dropped anywhere it should have been either a display of power over a barren part of Japan, or a place that was more highly populated with Japanese soldiers, as opposed to civilians. At least then, they could say that the people who put their life on the line for Japan were taken instead of those who wanted to live peacefully without the prospect of war.

  • Most already said

    Well, most of this was said already. Not only the fact that the obvious situation (US will win) could have been shown other ways, most of the reasons "Yes" side states are entirely wrong.
    First of all, it likely did not save the Japanese, unlike someone said so. Even more: it was entirely inhumane, and torturing. Even less reasonable are the arguments about Pearl Harbour: one immoral event does not justify the other one.
    The US was not only immoral, but hypocrite as well.

  • It was highly unnecessary.

    Yes we were at war. Yes the japanese had said they would not stop until every last man was dead. Yes they were attempting to take over most of the world, and yes they were a threat. Does that mean that the Japanese citizens had ANYTHING to do with it? Of course not. Millions of innocent lives killed in a flash, and not to mention the millions who would be born misshapen or born in such a way as to have had to be 'Put down' like a dog. Children, millions of them, dying before even childbirth due to the radiation the atomic bombs caused on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The U.S could have come up with a more humane option.

  • Had it been a purely military decision, maybe.

    The fact of the matter is that there was no way Japan did not know that with the European front over, all the combined forces of the allies were going to concentrate in that one country. It had been steadily losing battles and its request for help from the Soviet Union was cold shouldered. They were ready to surrender. But we dropped the bomb not just to end the war but to flex our muscles to the soviets. That in itself makes it immoral. We killed an appalling number of civilians to send a message.

  • Once you let your moral guard go down...

    It never recovers, and that's the sad logic of war.

    I take that ALL human life is precious and there is NO justification to take it. I'm not religious, so this is not related to any holy mandate: it's the way I think.

    In war, a side, let's say our side -be it represented by an Army, a President, an entire nation or a mad prophet- violates this principle by killing some other people. There are always a million justifications. I don't care for any of them, under any circumstance. Then the other side retaliates. Again, they also find a million reasons why they have the right to kill our people and we don't. Then war escalates (does anyone remember when this word was front page news every day? Yep I'm a Vietnam child) and before you know it, we are destroying two cities in the name of peace.

    That's not my moral choice. By the way moral is a relative term, so what's moral to somebody may not be to somebody else. As I said, I hold every human life to be precious, so to me no murder -yes it is murder- is ever justified, no matter what the rationale is.

  • The use of the atomic bombs were completely unnecessary.

    "The use of this barbarous weapon at Hiroshima and Nagasaki was of no material assistance in our war against Japan. The Japanese were already defeated and ready to surrender." (Admiral William D. Leahy.)

    "The Japanese had, in fact, already sued for peace before the atomic age was announced to the world with the destruction of Hiroshima and before the Russian entry into the war."(Fleet Admiral Chester W. Nimitz)

    There was absolutely no reason for our use of Atomic Bombs against the Japanese, they had no form of defense against our Navy or Air-Force. The Japanese people were starving and the notion that they had any fight left in them doesn't seem plausible. The bombings more likely have less to do with saving lives and more to do with preventing the soviet union from gaining anymore ground in Asia.

  • Oppenheimer's Great Opposition.

    What is generally glossed over in History books is that upon completion of the atomic bomb, Oppenheimer approached President Truman and asked him to drop the bomb about fifty miles off the coast of Japan to give the Japanese a chance to surrender upon seeing the awesome power of the United States. Truman's reply was to have Oppenheimer ushered out of his office and the bomb was dropped on Japan thusly. It cannot, therefore, be a moral choice.

  • I'm of many thoughts.

    Here's all the thoughts that go through my head on this matter.

    At first, I say it's wrong. Because honestly, I don't care about soldiers, nor for how many of them die; my sympathy will always reside most to civilians. Then, I realize that the soldiers probably aren't dying willingly, and that they are probably conscripted against their will. Imagining how horrible and bloody that war must be, I can only imagine that a nuclear bomb at least being quick.

    And then my misanthropy kicks in. I try and consider how racist and backwards all these people must have been and I consider how many animals die in this war fought by humans. I have a lot of spite towards people, and believe me, I find it incredibly very hard to feel sympathetic for anyone. But, I guess no matter how many racist, stupid, and backwards people there are, it's never fair to look solely at the cliff notes and assume that everyone was like that. Though, by this point I return to my previous dilemma of soldiers dying on a battlefield against their will and people dying by a nuclear bomb instantaneously.

    I don't know why, but I just feel like no is the right answer. Though, it's quite undeniable that these two nuclear bombs brought Godzilla at least.

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themohawkninja says2013-10-28T14:29:50.357
I have been doing some research, and from what I can tell, only a minority of the Imperial Japanese war cabinet wanted peace. Furthermore, they did it in secrecy, so how much of the U.S. Government was aware of this is unknown.

To quote the War Journal of Imperial Headquarters: <em>"We can no longer direct the war with any hope of success. The only course left is for Japan's one hundred million people to sacrifice their lives by charging the enemy to make them lose the will to fight"</em>.