Historical Justification for the Nuking of Japan
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06-02-2014, 09:19 PM
RE: Historical Justification for the Nuking of Japan
(04-02-2014 04:41 PM)PoolBoyG Wrote:  A military and political elite of a country sought out an untouched, pristine, city and murdered every single man, women, child, and pet there. Every home, every school, every place of worship, razed.

All to document the effects of a new WMD. And rationalized because "war".

...TWICE.

These are war crimes. These are mass murders. These are holocausts in the fullest sense.

Then you also have to include Dresden, Tokyo, Coventry, London, ...

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06-02-2014, 09:22 PM
RE: Historical Justification for the Nuking of Japan
(04-02-2014 06:52 PM)PoolBoyG Wrote:  
(04-02-2014 04:44 PM)cjlr Wrote:  You don't appear to have read any of the preceding analysis.

But thanks for the emotive hysteria?

I'm not interested in excuses for mass murders and genocides. I am blind to those rationales. I didn''t accept it from the Nazis, I didn't accept it from the Soviets, and I certainly don't accept it from the Americans.

No wishy washy hypothetical's will ever - EVER - justify or excuse mass murder, genocide, holocausts - especially of men, women, children, and even their pets.

If you're an atheist that scoffs at biblical stories of similar mass genocide - destroying every man, women, child, their livestock, the destruction of every brick of every home, and scorching the very earth - but bend over backwards to rationalize real world examples... you're lost. You're no better than those fundamentalists.

The Japanese killed more civilians during that war than the U.S. by a mile - more than 5.4 million people. Some estimates are as high as 20,000,000.

Redirect your outrage.

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06-02-2014, 09:49 PM
RE: Historical Justification for the Nuking of Japan
Chas, at the risk of being in the sights of your terse and deadliness I would suggest you are making the wrong argument. PoolBoyG is in fact correct on the moral issue. Targeting of civilians should be considered immoral or at least amoral during a war. The fact that all participants did it is immaterial, it should be considered immoral or at least amoral.

The question as originally posed is, was the dropping of two atomic bombs on Japan a strategic necessity.

PoolBoyG has made a moral argument in which he is correct. Every agent in WWII was targeting civilians, and one can make the case that the Germans and Japanese were the worst. That is not the question.

The question is, was dropping the atomic bombs the correct strategic move.
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06-02-2014, 10:36 PM
RE: Historical Justification for the Nuking of Japan
In a time when the "good guys" fire bombed german civilians, boiling babies in their sleep before the fire reached their house.
Its hard to know how they viewed the atomic bomb, was it just a more efficient firestorm that would hasten the end of the war.
I'm sure there were some insidious groups who pushed for it as practical study of radiation victims.
In hindsight, I find it immoral, they should have dropped them in unpopulated areas with plenty of warning so the japs could see the threat.
But the USA had Casus Belli, a suicide cult to put down, beginning of a cold war and supposedly limited supply of nukes.
I give them benefit of the doubt justification.

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06-02-2014, 11:44 PM
RE: Historical Justification for the Nuking of Japan
(06-02-2014 05:22 PM)PoolBoyG Wrote:  Genocides are not war. You don't use genocide as a tactic. And just because you don't murder everyone, doesn't mean you get a free pass on it.

As stated previously: don't abuse the word genocide. It has a meaning: kill them all. Was that the goal, here?

Hmm. No. So there's that.

It cheapens any subsequent attempt to use the word properly. That is not a good thing.

(06-02-2014 05:22 PM)PoolBoyG Wrote:  You never target men, women, children, their damn pets, every home, every school, every hospital...

Murdering thousands of civilians as an excuse to lazily say it'll maybe save lives is a similar excuse that can be used to justify the annihilation of any American (or any) city to prevent their genocides. "We had to mass murder their civilians into submission or they'll do it to us." And around it goes.

I see here you are, indirectly, acknowledging the moral dilemma I posed to you earlier. It boils down to a trolley problem. Are you familiar with such thought experiments?

You are - perhaps so intuitively you don't realize it -taking the stance that harm caused by action bears down more heavily than harm caused by inaction (though, incidentally, displaying little inclination to discussion, and far more to condemn me for having presented an argument).

Is that what you are saying? Histrionics aside?

It is then a matter of deontological versus utilitarian ethics. To a large extent this is something innate in us (by which I mean human beings). Therefore it is perfectly reasonable that we differ. Although you'll note that while I recognize the possibility of disagreement I have not passed summary and dismissive judgement on your entire character.

Reasonable people may discuss differences in moral reasoning. When one of them is not jacked up on self-righteousness...

(06-02-2014 05:22 PM)PoolBoyG Wrote:  This isn't a point of view or opinion. We're not talking about favorite television shows or sports teams. We're talking the specific and direct and complete and utter annihilation of men, women, children and their possessions and homes.

Tell that to the Chinese civilians it saved.

(06-02-2014 05:22 PM)PoolBoyG Wrote:  I also reject the ludicrous claim that it "saved lives".

Then you are ignorant.

(06-02-2014 05:22 PM)PoolBoyG Wrote:  Japan was a fallen country, and used as a testing ground for WMDs - specifically choosing pristine untouched cities. As far as mass murders go, this might even be worse.

Worse than what, precisely?

I reiterate my fundamental observations: many thousands of people were suffering and dying every day while the Japanese occupied China, Korea, Indochina, Indonesia, and the Philippines. Do you deny this?

People within Japan itself were suffering profound deprivation. Many thousands of people were suffering and dying every day while the war continued. Do you deny this?

It follows, then, that the sooner the war were ended the lesser those peoples' suffering. Do you deny this?

Thus the keystone premise - the use of the atomic bombs made the war end sooner. Do you deny this?

(that "WMD" was not an extant meme in 1945 notwithstanding)

(06-02-2014 05:22 PM)PoolBoyG Wrote:  I'm speaking in circles. We have people saying that mass murder of civilians and complete annihilation of cities is okay. There's always a time and place for it. There's excuses for it. It's completely legitimate.

I can't change that view point. I just hope that as potential voters and financial contributors, you're not as asinine and dangerous in the real world as on here.

Does insulting me make you feel better?

It is fine to say "the only winning move is not to play". Sure. I agree. That does not and cannot apply after the game has started. If nobody every did anything wrong then nobody would ever have to respond to anybody having done anything wrong. Just so. And how trivial...

Read what I actually wrote. Have you? Have you considered the premises? Have you checked my numbers? So far as I can tell your analysis amounts to "he is justifying a BAD THING so he is a BAD MAN". That's extraordinarily fatuous.

Feel free to say it's a terrible fucking tragedy that such circumstances ever existed. I'd agree. Feel free to say that any outcome of such circumstances would bring about repugnant consequences. I'd agree.

But you know it's not my fault, right?

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06-02-2014, 11:47 PM (This post was last modified: 06-02-2014 11:51 PM by cjlr.)
RE: Historical Justification for the Nuking of Japan
(06-02-2014 05:04 PM)JAH Wrote:  cjlr, I am glad that you have admitted that the enumeration of actual deaths one way or another, dropping the bomb or not is opened to debate, very much so. I suggest you not use it in the form Y>X therefore the use of the bomb. I would suggest that you use it in a form along the lines of that as best as you can tell the decision makers of the time felt that more lives would be lost by letting the war play out as it was without the atomic bombs.

I was being reductive in order to frame the topic for PoolBoyG, because he didn't appear to have read it very carefully.

But that is an eminently fair point. It's history. We don't know. We can't.

But having done what I can to find out I certainly have an opinion.

(06-02-2014 09:49 PM)JAH Wrote:  Chas, at the risk of being in the sights of your terse and deadliness I would suggest you are making the wrong argument. PoolBoyG is in fact correct on the moral issue. Targeting of civilians should be considered immoral or at least amoral during a war. The fact that all participants did it is immaterial, it should be considered immoral or at least amoral.

Yes. And I would agree with that.

(06-02-2014 09:49 PM)JAH Wrote:  The question as originally posed is, was the dropping of two atomic bombs on Japan a strategic necessity.

PoolBoyG has made a moral argument in which he is correct. Every agent in WWII was targeting civilians, and one can make the case that the Germans and Japanese were the worst. That is not the question.

The question is, was dropping the atomic bombs the correct strategic move.

PoolBoyG is saying that bombing people is a wrong act.

The sun also rises.

The crux of a trolley problem is that all the options are shitty. That's what makes it worth discussing.

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06-02-2014, 11:47 PM
RE: Historical Justification for the Nuking of Japan
(06-02-2014 10:36 PM)sporehux Wrote:  I'm sure there were some insidious groups who pushed for it as practical study of radiation victims.

On the contrary - the effects of radiation were poorly understood and vastly underestimated. I can assure you that the physics to truly understand the consequences simply did not exist at the time and wouldn't for many years.

Our modern impression of "nuclear weapons" is irrevocably altered by subsequent experience. I stressed this a couple times earlier in the thread. It behooves us - after 40 years of the cold war and at 70 years remove - to try to keep in mind how people at the time would have understood things.

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06-02-2014, 11:55 PM
RE: Historical Justification for the Nuking of Japan
(06-02-2014 11:47 PM)cjlr Wrote:  
(06-02-2014 10:36 PM)sporehux Wrote:  I'm sure there were some insidious groups who pushed for it as practical study of radiation victims.

On the contrary - the effects of radiation were poorly understood and vastly underestimated. I can assure you that the physics to truly understand the consequences simply did not exist at the time and wouldn't for many years.

Not sure if your reply agreed with me or not: but I would not find it surprising if the USA had a medical team ready to scoop up victims for research well before the bombs were loaded.

http://nuclearhistory.wordpress.com/2013...tim-found/

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07-02-2014, 11:38 AM
RE: Historical Justification for the Nuking of Japan
(06-02-2014 09:49 PM)JAH Wrote:  Chas, at the risk of being in the sights of your terse and deadliness I would suggest you are making the wrong argument. PoolBoyG is in fact correct on the moral issue. Targeting of civilians should be considered immoral or at least amoral during a war. The fact that all participants did it is immaterial, it should be considered immoral or at least amoral.

The question as originally posed is, was the dropping of two atomic bombs on Japan a strategic necessity.

PoolBoyG has made a moral argument in which he is correct. Every agent in WWII was targeting civilians, and one can make the case that the Germans and Japanese were the worst. That is not the question.

The question is, was dropping the atomic bombs the correct strategic move.

My critique of PoolBoyG's position was that he was expressing outrage only at the U.S. and only for this action.

There is a reasonable argument that can be made that the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki were justified and did result in a net savings of life.

There is, and can be, absolutely no justification of any kind for the horrors the Japanese committed.

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07-02-2014, 11:42 AM
RE: Historical Justification for the Nuking of Japan
(06-02-2014 11:47 PM)cjlr Wrote:  
(06-02-2014 09:49 PM)JAH Wrote:  Chas, at the risk of being in the sights of your terse and deadliness I would suggest you are making the wrong argument. PoolBoyG is in fact correct on the moral issue. Targeting of civilians should be considered immoral or at least amoral during a war. The fact that all participants did it is immaterial, it should be considered immoral or at least amoral.

Yes. And I would agree with that.

And I do not.

The atrocities committed by the Japanese have no moral, ethical, or humanitarian justification. There is an ethical argument for using the atomic bomb, as you yourself pointed out.

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