The Moral Debate: Dropping the Atomic Bomb On the morning of August 6, 1945, the Enola Gay, flew over the city of Hiroshima, Japan and dropped the first atomic bomb ever known to this world. The second bomb was dropped shortly afterwards in Nagasaki, Japan. For the United States government the project was a complete success. But for Japan, there were some devastating effects, such as the death of many people, atomic radiation, and the destruction of two cities. But the Atomic Bomb did end World War II, but it still instigated serious controversies concerning its power and destructive potential.
On August 5, 1945, the United States dropped the first atomic bomb in military history on Hiroshima. Three days later, they dropped a second atomic bomb on Nagasaki before Japan could respond to the extent of the devastation. This played a key role in ending World War II, but resulted in the killings of over 200,000 Japanese civilians (eHistory). This historical event is still a decision that is often debated on moral grounds today. However, there are some philosophies and schools of thought which, when applied to the issue, are more likely to lead one to gain a more thorough understanding of why the action was unethical and should not have been committed.
On August 6-9, 1945 Little Boy and Fat Man wreaked havoc on the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, respectively, decimating and turning them into ashes. This historic event had helped to end the war between the United States of America and Japan during World War II and secure an American victory not only against Japan but also the Soviet. These two bombs have changed the course set for this world, making the United States of America a world power and the world’s police officer, at least to our belief. Although the morality of this tragic yet serendipitous bombing has been questioned and interrogated thoroughly, the bigger question is why Truman dropped the bomb, not the morality of the incident. While Truman claimed that he dropped the bomb to “save lives” and create a quick end to the war, many people, known as revisionists, question the truth behind his acclaimed cause and believe there were ulterior motives behind his actions such as getting back at Japan for the Pearl Harbor Bombing, justify the expense of the bombs, and above all gain an edge in the upcoming Cold War.
This was morally acceptable to the Japanese; though the United States saw this as inhumane. The United States goes on to drop the atomic bomb which kills thousands of civilians.It is widely accepted, with some discrepancy, that Truman made this decision to save Japanese and American lives that would be lost in a land invasion. This also was considered morally wrong by other nations. This is where Blackburn’s argument of relativism threatens ethics. What may be seen as ethically acceptable to one region may be seen as a monstrosity to ethics in another.
John Hersey wrote the book Hiroshima after the dropping of the nuclear bombs on Japan in 1945. His book surveys the effects of this action by the United States. Hersey’s use of rhetoric in Hiroshima and it’s ability to evoke appropriate reactions to this event was an effective design to his writing. John Hersey’s purpose in writing Hiroshima was to force the reader to weigh the ethical justification in dropping the A-Bomb on Hiroshima, rather than rely on their original, close-minded perceptions. Hersey uses many writing strategies, and targets a specific audience in order to evoke in the American people feelings of remorse, sympathy, and anger, and a personal connection with the victims of the atomic bombing.
The dropping of the atomic bombs on World War II on the city of Hiroshima and Nagasaki was a very important part of World War II. The atomic bomb ended the war between America and Japan. This was just one of the important events during the battle in World War II. The Battle at Pearl Harbor, where the Japanese attacked U.S. soil was also why the americans bombed Nagasaki and Hiroshima. Some believe that the United States was correct in dropping these bombs on Japan because of the attack on Pearl Harbor while others believe that it was very wrong to dropped the bomb.
Sometimes, great people, great things, indulge in horrible deeds that stain their reputation forever and I believe the poor Nuclear Bomb is one in such a scenario. To be frank, the invention has done more good for us than bad: it brought a finish to the second world war, it's prevented further nuclear wars and it has given us technology to produce and harness nuclear power as a fuel source. And yes, for you master debaters out there, I have just signposted the three main points of my speech, just in case you didn’t notice. So sit back, relax, and prepare yourselves, to be persuaded. The Nuclear Bomb was part of the Manhattan Project and was conceived as the love child of Dr. Oppenheimer in July, 1945, only months before it would end the most devastating war in modern history.
The Americans had grown to a similar willingness as the battles progress. What could possibly cause this willingness to die before surrender? The Japanese soldiers had been given a propaganda pamphlet called Read this and The War is Won, which was written in a way that was meant to instill a hatred for Americans and Western society. Similarly the Americans were showed a series of films, one of which is titled Know your Enemy- Japan. The film shown to the Americans is also meant to instill hatred for the Japanese, and to fan the fire that was sparked when they Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor.
They stated that the United States only used the atomic bomb to show its power to the USSR. It was not a question of saving lives; it was about showing our power to the world. The affirmative side also argued that although the Japanese population was extremely loyal to their emperor and would have sacrificed themselves to protect him, the United States could have used a conditional surrender by allowing them to keep their emperor as a symbolic leader. The Japanese population would have been satisfied because they would get to keep their emperor, and the war would have ended without any lives being lost. However, if violence was absolutely necessary, the United States should have continued bombing Japan with conventional bombs and proceeded to invade Japan.
Ideally, any public history that addresses the dropping of the bombs should take these factors into consideration, and as a result, most should come to a similar yes-and-no conclusion to Walker’s. Unfortunately, many public portrayals of the event have political motives. In America, this is demonstrated by the Smithsonian Institution’s Enola Gay exhibit; in Japan, it is shown by the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum/Park. In both cases, the bias mostly manifests itself through lack of context. In Hiroshima Memorial in particular, precious little attention is devoted to context, which results in lack of accountability on behalf of the Japanese.