One of the most controversial issues of World War II that is still debated today is whether or not America should have dropped the atomic bombs on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. There are many aspects of this situation that demand close scrutiny. Thousands of lives were affected by this seemingly groundbreaking yet dastardly act. Dealing simply with the morality of the issue, one should wonder if America was morally just or unjust in dropping the atomic bombs. By examining the event and the reasons behind it, I have decided that America was morally unjust in dropping the atomic bombs.
On August 6, 1945, the United States dropped the first atomic bomb on Hiroshima. Around 200,000 people were left dead or injured. Many more would be subject to the ill effects of the radiation for the rest of their lives. The effects of the radiation were also manifest in the offspring of the original victims. Just two days later, on August 8, America dropped the second atomic bomb on Nagasaki (Schirokauer 293). The dropping of the atomic bombs followed in the wake of lesser atrocities that had been committed on the population. In March 1945, around 100,000 people were killed in a firebomb raid on Tokyo. Another raid occurred in May, decimating a huge chunk of Tokyo's population. Tokyo and many other cities had been basically flattened by bombings, yet America still used the atomic bombs (293). At least 95% of those who died as a result of the atomic bombings were Japanese civilians, including women and children. Causes of death ranged from immediate death, to flash burns or burns from fires, even to radiation which led to cancer (Kauffman). There are many eyewitness accounts of the attacks, and the survivor stories are truly shocking.
[...] America's decision to drop the atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki has been much debated over the years, and will continue to be debated for many years to come. There are countless reasons that both sides of the story can give for the decision being justified or unjustified. The biggest question is the loss of innocent civilian lives. This can never be justified, in a time of war, or any time, because the idea goes completely against what is truly moral. [...]
[...] The emperor was really nothing more than a figurehead, but the Japanese people would not allow themselves to participate in the “unconditional surrender” that America demanded of them. This could possibly cause the death of their emperor (Wainstock 124). After looking at what each side of this story believes, I personally have decided that the decision to drop the atomic bombs was morally unjustified. The decision was unjustified in every way, but especially on the moral question of killing civilians to save American military lives. [...]
[...] I do not believe that America would ever be okay with other countries killing American civilians, no matter what, so why should America have been allowed to destroy thousands of Japanese civilians? The decision to drop the atomic bombs is a decision that could never have been morally justified. Furthermore, America dropped not just one, but two atomic bombs. I believe if they even had to go so far as dropping the first one, the second one was completely unnecessary. [...]
[...] Truman ordered the dropping of the atomic bombs to justify the cost and resources used to build them. The bombs cost billion, and required the work of scores of top scientists, tens of thousands of workers, and numerous industrial firms. After all this time and expenditure, could Truman have not used (Wainstock 123) Another argument was that the Japanese would not surrender, and a land invasion would take out more lives than dropping the bombs. It is hard to believe, however, that a land invasion would cost more lives than the atomic bombs did (Wainstock 124). [...]
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