Were the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki a 'necessary evil'?

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  1. #1
    Gamma Justice For All is offline
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    Were the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki a 'necessary evil'?


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    First we must look at the definition of a 'necessary evil' A necessary evil is defined as something that is undesirable, or unwanted but must be accepted. Take oxygen for example. Oxygen is what keeps us alive, yet it is also contributes to the natural aging process. (Bit of a paradox eh?)

    Now let's take a look at the statistics of World War II and the 2 bombings.

    Total Deaths of World War II
    (Over 60 million people)

    Total Deaths of Hiroshima and Nagasaki
    (Around 200,000 people)

    As you can see, the total number of casualties caused by the entire War far outweighs the amount of casualties caused by the bombings. So I must then ask the question, had the bombings not taken place, would there have been even more casualties, because, presumably, the war would've continued?

    Rather than millions and millions of more people being killed, 'only' hundreds of thousands were killed, which is where the question comes in, were the bombings a necessary evil? Yes, they in-fact were very evil, but were they necessary to prevent even more deaths?

    In a Forbes article titled, "Why did we make the atomic bomb" a lecture by Richard Rhodes (a pulitzer prize winner and author of many books, biographies and documentaries) is excerpted in which he explains, obviously, why we made the atomic bomb. He explains that it resulted in the allied victory, and the end of World War II.


  2. #2
    Mod and Dev - C9, 4Story fallenfate is offline
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    Re: Were the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki a 'necessary evil'?

    Yes, I think they were.

    My moral compass doesn't include strict definitions of 'good' or 'evil', as such I don't view the bombings as evil, it was just what had to be done to prevent greater losses on a worldly front. It's a definite sadness it had to be done and take the lives of so many innocents, but war is never clean. As the phrase goes, sometimes the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few. People could argue 'but it's the few that we fight to protect!', but I would disagree. The purposes of war are many, to either bolster economy, distract from political issues, and obviously also to eliminate threats to countries that feel threatened by decimation of their people. We don't fight wars to protect the few, we fight wars to try and restore balance to either our countries or the world.

    We could sit on our hands overanalysing the situation and in the meantime, the death count keeps rising beyond 60 MILLION, or we find that crucial tipping point and hit it as hard as we can to stem the tide.

    If 200,000 need to be sacrificed to stop tens of millions dying, it's not a nice choice, but it needs to be done.
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  3. #3
    Watching from above Negata is offline
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    Re: Were the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki a 'necessary evil'?

    In the context of the question that may be so. I just can't help but to entertain the thought that strictly speaking the bombs weren't necessary; people could've simply stopped killing each other instead. Both ways to end the war were decisions but obviously the shortcut was chosen because nonviolence is difficult and people are always ready to accept the easiest choice even if better ones are available. Besides, it's doubly easier when it's someone else who pays the price.

    I don't regard the bombings as evil either though. (Mostly) everyone believes they're the good guys and doing the right thing. Sugar coat an action with a hint of sweet lies to oneself and it's all good.
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  4. #4
    Gamma Justice For All is offline
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    Re: Were the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki a 'necessary evil'?

    I want to revive this thread to bring up a point about the matter of the development of the bomb itself - not just Hiroshima and Nagasaki - and specifically, the nuclear bomb. One thing about the nuclear bomb itself, is that it was developed as a countermeasure to what could have been even worse, and that is the technology of the nuclear bomb getting into the hands of the wrong people.

    You may say that it's already in the hands of the wrong people (the United States, Russia, etc.) but the main reason for the development of the nuclear bomb in 1945 and 'why' nuclear weapons (specifically bombs) were created, was part of the Manhattan Project - a deterrent to what Nazi associated refugee's were developing, which were nuclear bombs.

    During Adolf Hitler's rule of power Nazi-fascist scientists were working for him, trying to develop devastating weapons for an offensive use, for evil intentions. These devastating weapons just so happened to be bombs. So as a defense, a deterrent to these efforts, the United States with the help of American born theoretical physicist Robert J. Oppenheimer, developed the nuclear bomb before Nazi Germany could develop it. Our (the United States) intentions were not offensive, our intentions with the development of the nuclear bomb were defensive. Nazi Germany was already going to develop a bomb, and use it for the 'wrong' purpose. Our development of the nuclear bomb before Nazi Germany, was a 'good' purpose, to deter them from developing it.

    Now, in relation more specifically to this thread, and the subject of Nagasaki and Hiroshima being a 'necessary evil' it just so happens that the development of the bomb brought to human hands the use and power of devastating weapons, and this is where the debate of whether or not we 'needed' to drop the bombs on Hiroshima and Nagaski to prevent even more casualties comes into play.

  5. #5
    Rogu3 Wreckless is offline
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    Re: Were the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki a 'necessary evil'?

    Quote Originally Posted by Justice For All View Post
    First we must look at the definition of a 'necessary evil' A necessary evil is defined as something that is undesirable, or unwanted but must be accepted. Take oxygen for example. Oxygen is what keeps us alive, yet it is also contributes to the natural aging process. (Bit of a paradox eh?)

    Now let's take a look at the statistics of World War II and the 2 bombings.

    Total Deaths of World War II
    (Over 60 million people)

    Total Deaths of Hiroshima and Nagasaki
    (Around 200,000 people)

    As you can see, the total number of casualties caused by the entire War far outweighs the amount of casualties caused by the bombings. So I must then ask the question, had the bombings not taken place, would there have been even more casualties, because, presumably, the war would've continued?

    Rather than millions and millions of more people being killed, 'only' hundreds of thousands were killed, which is where the question comes in, were the bombings a necessary evil? Yes, they in-fact were very evil, but were they necessary to prevent even more deaths?

    In a Forbes article titled, "Why did we make the atomic bomb" a lecture by Richard Rhodes (a pulitzer prize winner and author of many books, biographies and documentaries) is excerpted in which he explains, obviously, why we made the atomic bomb. He explains that it resulted in the allied victory, and the end of World War II.
    I could have sworn I posted a similar question a while back, but it's cool. Freshen the conversation up.

    There is no such thing as a necessary evil. If it's evil, it isn't necessary, that's what makes it evil. The war needed to be ended, but it didn't have to end that way. The real reason the United States dropped the bomb was to scare the USSR and start the Cold War.

    Anyone who argues that it was "NECESSARY" to do this really needs to re-evaluate the situation. YES, the Allies would have lost countless more troops finishing the war in Japan, however such a strong joint effort by the US and UK alone would have been enough to end it very quickly. The loss of about 225,000 civilian lives is UNACCEPTABLE, and, with all due respect to all troops in any country, it can't be compared to the loss of any amount of troops who more than likely went into war knowing they might not make it back. Where were the war crime trials for Harry S. Truman and the administration who agreed to it? Just like the 1,600 Nazi Scientists who committed heinous war crimes and were given amnesty in Operation Paperclip.

    The FACT is, the purpose of dropping the bomb was not to end war, it was to start another war because THEY knew that the war was coming to an end. As always, the people in power had all their money in the defense industry, especially at this point in time when business was BOOMING (no pun intended). It only made sense that they would start another war. Although the cold war wasn't a bloody one, it still made a lot of people a lot of money, and when they decided to drop those bombs they were probably projecting even more profit for the future.

    At the end of the day, this was not necessary it was just evil.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by Negata View Post
    In the context of the question that may be so. I just can't help but to entertain the thought that strictly speaking the bombs weren't necessary; people could've simply stopped killing each other instead. Both ways to end the war were decisions but obviously the shortcut was chosen because nonviolence is difficult and people are always ready to accept the easiest choice even if better ones are available. Besides, it's doubly easier when it's someone else who pays the price.

    I don't regard the bombings as evil either though. (Mostly) everyone believes they're the good guys and doing the right thing. Sugar coat an action with a hint of sweet lies to oneself and it's all good.
    Agreed to the point that at some point, they probably could have just agreed to stop fighting. I'm sure that they could have easily threatened Japan with the videos of them testing these weapons instead of actually dropping them.
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