Persecution is certainly a physical evil and a spiritual danger, but Christ has said that those who suffer persecution in His Name are blessed. At the same time, one of the most disturbing things about the Western world of our time is that it is beginning to have much more in common with the Communist world than it has with the professedly Christian society of several centuries ago.
On both sides of the Iron Curtain we find two profoundly disturbing varieties of the same moral sickness: both of them rooted in the same fundamentally materialist view of life.
Both are basically opportunistic and pragmatic in their own way. And both have the following characteristics in common. On the level of morality they are blindly passive in their submission to a determinism which, in effect, leaves men completely irresponsible. Therefore moral obligations and decisions have become practically meaningless. At best they are only forms of words, rationalizations of pragmatic decisions that have already been dictated by the needs of the moment.
Naturally, since not everyone is an unprincipled materialist even in Russia, there is bound to be some moral sense at work, even if only as a guilt-feeling that produces uneasiness and hesitation, blocking the smooth efficiency of machine-like obedience to immoral commands.
The Effects of Nuclear Weapons
On the level of political, economic and military activity, this moral passivity is balanced, or overbalanced, by a demonic activism, a frenzy of the most varied, versatile, complex and even utterly brilliant technological improvisations, following one upon the other with an ever more bewildering and uncontrollable proliferation. Politics pretends to use this force as its servant, to harness it for social purposes, for the "good of man.
The technological development of power in our time is certainly a risk and challenge, but that does not make it intrinsically evil. On the contrary, it can and should be a very great good. In actual fact, however, the furious speed with which our technological world is plunging toward disaster is evidence that no one is any longer fully in control—and this includes the political leaders.
A simple study of the steps which led to the dropping of the first A-bomb on Hiroshima is devastating evidence of the way well-meaning men, the scientists and leaders of a victorious nation, were guided step by step, without realizing it, by the inscrutable yet simple logic of events" to fire the shot that was to make the cold war inevitable and prepare the way perhaps inexorably for World War III. This they did purely and simply because they thought in all sincerity that the bomb was the simplest and most merciful way of ending World War II and perhaps all wars, forever.
The tragedy of our time is then not so much the malice of the wicked as the helpless futility even of the best intentions of "the good. They are present and active on both sides. But all of us, in our very best efforts for peace, find ourselves maneuvered unconsciously into positions where we too can act as war criminals. For there can be no doubt that Hiroshima and Nagasaki were, though not fully deliberate crimes, nevertheless crimes.
And who was responsible? No one. Or "history. We are the ones responsible. History does not make us, we make it—or end it.
While we have you...
In plain words, in order to save ourselves from destruction we have to try to regain control of a world that is speeding downhill without brakes, because of the combination of factors I have just mentioned: almost total passivity and irresponsibility on the moral level, plus demonic activism in social, military and political life.
This may be of great help, but still only a palliative, not a solution. Yet at least this is perhaps feasible, and should at all costs be attempted, even at the cost of great sacrifice and greater risk. It is not morally licit for us as a nation to refuse the risk merely because our whole economy now depends on this war-effort. On the contrary, our national reliance on this substantial source of income and profit hardly qualifies as Christian. Equally important, and perhaps even more difficult than disarmament, is the restoration of some moral sense and the resumption of genuine responsibility.
Without this it is illusory for us to speak of freedom and "control. Moralists tend to discuss the problems of atomic war as if men still fought with bows and arrows. Modem warfare is fought as much by machines as by men. Even a great deal of the planning depends on the work of mechanical computers.
Browse By Tag
An entirely new dimension is opened up by the fantastic processes and techniques involved. Science-fiction and the comic strips have all suddenly come true. When a missile armed with an H-bomb warhead is fired by the pressing of a button and its target is a whole city, the number of its victims is estimated in "mega-corpses"—millions of dead human beings. A thousand or ten thousand more here and there are not even matter for comment. Under such conditions can there be serious meaning left in the fine decisions that were elaborated by scholastic theologians in the day of hand-to-hand combat?
Can we assume that in atomic war the conditions which make double effect legitimate will be realized?
Obviously not. And to make this perfectly clear, the explicit and formal declarations of governments leave no doubt that indiscriminate destruction is intended.
In atomic war, there is no longer question of simply permitting an evil, the destruction of a few civilian dwellings, in order to attain a legitimate end: the destruction of a military target. It is well understood on both sides that atomic war is purely and simply massive and indiscriminate destruction of targets chosen not for their military significance alone, but for their importance in a calculated project of terror and annihilation.
Often the selection of the target is determined by some quite secondary and accidental circumstance that has not the remotest reference to morality. Hiroshima was selected for atomic attack, among other reasons, because it had never undergone any noticeable air bombing and was suitable, as an intact target, to give a good idea of the effectiveness of the bomb. It must be frankly admitted that some of the military commanders of both sides in World War II simply disregarded all traditional standards that were still effective.
The Germans threw those standards overboard with the bombs they unloaded on Warsaw, Rotterdam, Coventry and London. The allies replied in kind with the saturation bombing of Hamburg, Cologne, Dresden and Berlin.
- The increasingly direct road to ruin.
- Atomic fears and the arms race (article) | Khan Academy.
- Most Popular.
Spokesmen were not wanting on either side, to justify these crimes against humanity. The only sane course that remains is to work frankly and without compromise for the total abolition of war. The pronouncements of the Holy See all point to this as the only ultimate solution. The first duty of the Christian is to help clarify thought on this point by taking the stand that all-out nuclear, bacterial or chemical warfare is unacceptable as a practical solution to international problems because it would mean the destruction of the world.
There is simply no "good end" that renders such a risk permissible or even thinkable on the level of ordinary common sense. At this point someone will say "The Church has not condemned nuclear war. Total war is murder. The fact that the Church tolerates limited war and even theoretically tolerates the limited use of "tactical" nuclear weapons for defensive purposes does not mean that she either advocates or tolerates indiscriminate killing of civilians and military.
Pope Pius XII, in , made this perfectly clear. One doubts this was the mind of Pius XII. It might be possible to get people to admit this in theory, but it is going to be very difficult in practice. They will admit the theory because they will say that they "certainly do not want a war" in which nuclear agents will be used on an all-out scale. Obviously no one wants the destruction of the human race or of his own nation, although he will not admit it in practice because foreign policy entirely depends on wielding the threat of nuclear destruction.
Flagrant acts will always be a part of society. There will always be some group of people that have so much anger inside them they feel the need to blame it on the innocent. However due to what we have learned form the Holocaust we will hopefully never allow the world to experience that agonizing degree of hatred again.
Overall the Holocaust was a heinous and agonizing time in history. The stories and pictures prove that to us, but through the darkness of pain there shines a light. It is the golden light of hope that has lifted us out of this period of sorrow, and allowed us to learn from the mistakes made by our peers, so that we may become overall better human beings. The memories of these people will haunt us for eternity. It is these memories that we will all hold close, so as to keep the hurt from repeating itself.
Nuclear Weapons & Nuclear Warfare Essay - Words | Bartleby
Over the past few weeks, we have studied the Holocaust. The subject is now exhausted. I know more than I have ever wanted to know about the rise of Hitler, concentration camps, the ghettos, and The Diary of Anne Frank. Nothing but nauseating pictures, sad stories, and lessons about evil could convince us to never let something like this happen again.
During the time when Hitler was in power, he killed many people, scarred others for life, both physically and psychologically.