Elizabeth Anscombe on the Immorality of the A-Bomb
"If not for the cloud cover that shielded Kokura 65 years ago today, Nagasaki would still be known first and foremost as a capital of Asian Christendom and a cosmopolitan gateway to the West," begins Jerry Salyer — Civilization & The Sacred. An excerpt:
- Like Hiroshima, Nagasaki has become central to a debate between proletarianized, post-civilizational Tweedledees and Tweedledums, a debate which misses not only the significance of the city’s heritage but that of the bombing to boot. On one hand the use of atomic weaponry is noisily condemned by leftists possessing all the moral credibility of Stalinist poet Pablo Neruda. On the other, it is celebrated by GOP lickspittles who explain breezily that deliberate massacre of civilians is only terrorism when the bad guys do it. Look left or look right, the American mentality resembles ground zero: Sterilized, featureless, and devoid of activity.
Certainly one could never deduce from the modern excuse for intellectual life that the most scathing criticism of nuclear weapons once came from conservative Catholics such as Elizabeth Anscombe. An Oxford professor and accomplished philosopher, Anscombe founded her critique of the atom bomb upon the proposition Choosing to kill the innocent as a means to your ends is always murder.