Thursday, August 5, 2010

The Consequences of Consequentialist Justifications for Bombing Civilians

"The Allied bombings in Europe, then, and the firebombing and atomic bombing in Japan, seem to have been deliberate targeting of civilian populations," and therefore "constituted murder on a vast scale, running to hundreds of thousands of lives," concludes Christopher O. Tollefsen — The Abiding Significance of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. "The Allied bombings were, therefore, by the standards of traditional, non-consequentialist morality, utterly wrong and intrinsically unjustifiable."

He notes that "the actions have not been repudiated; nor has the consequentialism, which is nakedly on display in the West’s willingness to countenance the killing of unborn children for the sake of avoiding negative consequences, to countenance the killing of in vitro human beings for the sake of the positive health consequences, and, for many decades, to countenance the conditional elimination of entire populations in the event that their leaders should strike us with atomic weapons."

[link via The New Beginning]

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Blogger The Sanity Inspector said...

Related: The priests who survived the atomic bomb.

12:55 AM  
Blogger kushibo said...

John Hersey's iconic book about real stories of those who lived through the attack, Hiroshima, focused on one of the German priests and his relations with native Japanese survivors.

12:33 AM  
Blogger The Western Confucian said...

An iconic book indeed, a masterpiece.

12:42 AM  

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