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View Poll Results: As a Catholic, What do you think about the bombing of Hiroshima?
Morally Wrong 180 61.43%
We had to it 113 38.57%
Voters: 293. You may not vote on this poll

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  #961  
Old Feb 23, '12, 12:00 pm
oldbrit2009 oldbrit2009 is offline
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Default Re: As a Catholic, What do you think about Hiroshima?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Armyvet007 View Post
"...intention of maximizing indiscriminate destruction..." assumes that the purpose of said bombings was "just for the hell of it" or because "we don't have to, but we want to IOT punish them." That is not the case. All 3 fall under the accepted and legal policy of total war as defined and practiced during that time period. All 3 have political/military strategic aims [destroy infrastructure, destroy the populace's will to fight, disrupt/reduce/destroy the ability to fight].

Let's look at why Hiroshima was selected-

-it was one of the few untouched/mainly untouched urban areas in Japan [maximizing the political/military impact of the bomb (here it being atomic does play a role]

-it would have been bombed anyway in preparation for an invasion of Japan [not just Hiroshima, but all of Japan]; and/or bombed during the fight for Japan after the invasion

-a bombing of an already bombed urban area would have been of little military value (already destroyed), only served to increase non-combatant casulaties/suffering, and have greatly reduced the impact on the Japanese populace/govt in regards to the bomb

-a bombing of a non-populated/little populated area would have been of no military/political strategic value (the Japanese govt [which like Hitler wanted to fight to the death] would have covered it up (and yes, the Japanese govt would have been able to cover it up, review Japanese propaganda and its impact on the Japanese populace if you don't believe me)

-not bombing it would (atomic or otherwise) would have prolonged the war and resulted in the additional deaths of hundreds of thousands of Allied and Japanese lives

-the use of and full picture of the destruction caused by an atomic weapon would send a clear politically strategic message to the USSR (which was already predicted to be the next threat to what would become known as the "free world")

From a martial and political stand point, the bombing of Hiroshima was fully justified and within the legal framework of war for that time period. Claiming it was intended to maximize indiscriminate destruction is a form of historical revisionism; and ignores the real and valid reasons for the bombing.
Good to read an excellent and reasoned assessment surrounding the use of the atomic bombs.
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Last edited by oldbrit2009; Feb 23, '12 at 12:16 pm.
  #962  
Old Feb 23, '12, 2:00 pm
JimG JimG is offline
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Default Re: As a Catholic, What do you think about Hiroshima?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ghosty View Post
Armyvet007: Thank you for your service!



The atomic aspect doesn't affect the morality of the bombing, I agree, but the targeting does. Not all bombings in WWII were with the intention of maximizing indiscriminate destruction, though the bombing of London, Dresden, Hiroshima and Nagasaki certainly were. The nuclear aspect really doesn't enter into the equation, IMO.

Peace and God bless!
I have to agree: the nuclear aspect doesn't really enter into the equation.

And yet it is precisely the nuclear aspect that leads to threads like these.
  #963  
Old Feb 23, '12, 8:54 pm
DennisTate DennisTate is offline
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Default Re: As a Catholic, What do you think about Hiroshima?

Quote:
Originally Posted by GKC View Post
The estimates for the butcher's bill for the invasion of the Home Islands (Operation Downfall) varied, from source to source and from time to time, in the summer of 1945. A million American casualties was certainly among the upper estimates. This was not so much because of the excellence of the Japanese military at that time, but the fanaticism of the planned resistance, under the Ketsu-Go plan. Japanese casualties were anticipated to be in the multi-millions. And this not considering the continuing casualties in the rest of the PTO, which was running between 100,000-200,000 a month at that time, and was going to increase, with the British Operation Zipper, in Sep.

Threads on this subject tend to be long, and repetitive. I've been in 4 of them, in the past 8 months.

GKC

GKC, I certainly am glad that you added these statistics to this thread!

Having thought about it more I am almost certain that President Truman as he eventually passed on to the higher dimensions of space time would regret not having had more faith at the time that he gave the order for the nuclear strike. From what I have read by people who had a brush with death are shown that human life has astonishing value and I am sure he would have loved to have some other good option......What would the prophet Elisha have done if he had been President of the USA at that time??????!!!!
  #964  
Old Feb 23, '12, 9:35 pm
Ghosty Ghosty is offline
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Default Re: As a Catholic, What do you think about Hiroshima?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Armyvet007 View Post
"...intention of maximizing indiscriminate destruction..." assumes that the purpose of said bombings was "just for the hell of it" or because "we don't have to, but we want to IOT punish them." That is not the case. All 3 fall under the accepted and legal policy of total war as defined and practiced during that time period. All 3 have political/military strategic aims [destroy infrastructure, destroy the populace's will to fight, disrupt/reduce/destroy the ability to fight].
First of all I've never claimed that it was "just for the Hell of it" or that the U.S. wanted to punish the Japanese. I've said that whole cities were targeted, with no discrimination between combatant and non-combatant, for the purpose of shocking the Japanese government into surrender. As for the accepted legal practice of war, that's irrelevant to the discussion because we're talking about Catholic moral teaching, not war crimes.

Quote:
-a bombing of an already bombed urban area would have been of little military value (already destroyed), only served to increase non-combatant casulaties/suffering, and have greatly reduced the impact on the Japanese populace/govt in regards to the bomb.
It wouldn't have increased the suffering of the non-combatants as they wouldn't have been as many. The idea was to hit a location that was fully populated, precisely for the purpose you cite here.

Quote:
-not bombing it would (atomic or otherwise) would have prolonged the war and resulted in the additional deaths of hundreds of thousands of Allied and Japanese lives

-the use of and full picture of the destruction caused by an atomic weapon would send a clear politically strategic message to the USSR (which was already predicted to be the next threat to what would become known as the "free world")
Both of these reasons are forbidden in Catholic moral teaching. You can't do evil (targeting non-combatants) for a good purpose.

Quote:
From a martial and political stand point, the bombing of Hiroshima was fully justified and within the legal framework of war for that time period. Claiming it was intended to maximize indiscriminate destruction is a form of historical revisionism; and ignores the real and valid reasons for the bombing.
It is not revisionism to say that the targets were chosen in order to maximize indiscriminate destruction, it is from the documents of the Targeting Committee itself. To wit:

Quote:
2) Hiroshima - This is an important army depot and port of embarkation in the middle of an urban industrial area. It is a good radar target and it is such a size that a large part of the city could be extensively damaged. There are adjacent hills which are likely to produce a focussing effect which would considerably increase the blast damage. Due to rivers it is not a good incendiary target. (Classified as an AA Target)
There are reasons that the targets were selected, and they weren't to punish the Japanese, but they don't amount to "good reasons" in a moral sense. The Catholic teaching against targeting non-combatants and their property was very clear before the war, and the bombings have been explicitly condemned by the Church afterwards. That Catholics take a dissenting opinion on this matter is really no different than them dissenting on contraception and abortion; there may be reasons for these actions, but none of them are "good" from a Catholic perspective, and it is the Catholic perspective that is the subject of this thread.

Peace and God bless!
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  #965  
Old Feb 23, '12, 9:59 pm
GKC GKC is offline
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Default Re: As a Catholic, What do you think about Hiroshima?

Quote:
Originally Posted by DennisTate View Post
GKC, I certainly am glad that you added these statistics to this thread!

Having thought about it more I am almost certain that President Truman as he eventually passed on to the higher dimensions of space time would regret not having had more faith at the time that he gave the order for the nuclear strike. From what I have read by people who had a brush with death are shown that human life has astonishing value and I am sure he would have loved to have some other good option......What would the prophet Elisha have done if he had been President of the USA at that time??????!!!!

Beats me.

As to the statistics, you're welcome. Of all the possible methods of ending the Pacific war, the use of the bombs was the least costly, in terms of lives lost. Unless we had decided to surrender to the Japanese.

GKC
  #966  
Old Feb 23, '12, 11:35 pm
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Peter57 Peter57 is offline
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Default Re: As a Catholic, What do you think about Hiroshima?

Morally wrong
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  #967  
Old Feb 24, '12, 12:39 am
Eric Hyom Eric Hyom is offline
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Default Re: As a Catholic, What do you think about Hiroshima?

I agree that the bombing goes against Catholic teaching, and I can also see the perception that the bombs might have saved lives. If saving lives is at the top of the agenda, then mankind should search for other ways to save lives, bombs kill people.

The destruction of the twin towers was a total injustice, and many innocent people died, but that was not the greatest tragedy that happened on 9/11. Something far worse happened on 9/11, and it went unnoticed, 25,000 children died that day from grinding poverty, starvation, and easily preventable diseases. Around one hundred million children have starved to death since 9/11.

If the billions and trillions of dollars spent on war was diverted to saving the lives of these disadvantaged children, the world would be a safer and more just place to live in.

Another couple of hundred children have starved to death, in the time it has taken me to write this response. Lent has started, what can we do as individuals, Christ has no hands on this Earth, apart from our hands.

Blessings and peace with justice for the poor.

Eric
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  #968  
Old Feb 24, '12, 7:43 am
JimG JimG is offline
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Default Re: As a Catholic, What do you think about Hiroshima?

Much of the discussion on these types of threads seems to center on alternative historiesówhat might have happened. Itís interesting to consider what the effects might have been had HST decided not to use the atomic bombs.

While itís risky to engage in alternative history analysis, itís likely the war in the Pacific would have continued until such time as Japan surrendered. The death toll in the Pacific Theater of Operations was already in the hundreds of thousands per month. The war would ultimately have ended, most likely by an Allied invasion of Japan.

For whatever period of time the war continued, the death toll would have increased dramatically each day.

Suppose that after the war, after hundreds of thousands of lives were lost on both sides after August 15th, 1945, it came to light that the atomic bombs had been available but never used. At that point I can imagine a huge public outcry against Truman for having forgone the use of a weapon that could have ended the war sooner.

We might now be having a thread discussing whether Truman was wrong not to have used the bombs which had been available: was he wrong to prolong the war rather than using the means available to end it quickly?

Of course, that sort of thinking leads, from a moral standpoint, into consequentialism. And consequentialism is not from a Catholic standpoint, a valid way to judge actions. The ends do not justify the means. But Iím pretty sure that few people involved in the Pacific war toward the end of WW-II had consequentialism on their mind. They were thinking of how to end the war quickly. Thatís not a moral justification for the use of the bombs. But it is rather difficult to go back and make retroactive judgments against those who did have that one thing on their mindsóend the war quickly.
  #969  
Old Feb 24, '12, 7:56 am
GKC GKC is offline
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Default Re: As a Catholic, What do you think about Hiroshima?

Quote:
Originally Posted by JimG View Post
Much of the discussion on these types of threads seems to center on alternative historiesówhat might have happened. Itís interesting to consider what the effects might have been had HST decided not to use the atomic bombs.

While itís risky to engage in alternative history analysis, itís likely the war in the Pacific would have continued until such time as Japan surrendered. The death toll in the Pacific Theater of Operations was already in the hundreds of thousands per month. The war would ultimately have ended, most likely by an Allied invasion of Japan.

For whatever period of time the war continued, the death toll would have increased dramatically each day.

Suppose that after the war, after hundreds of thousands of lives were lost on both sides after August 15th, 1945, it came to light that the atomic bombs had been available but never used. At that point I can imagine a huge public outcry against Truman for having forgone the use of a weapon that could have ended the war sooner.

We might now be having a thread discussing whether Truman was wrong not to have used the bombs which had been available: was he wrong to prolong the war rather than using the means available to end it quickly?

Of course, that sort of thinking leads, from a moral standpoint, into consequentialism. And consequentialism is not from a Catholic standpoint, a valid way to judge actions. The ends do not justify the means. But Iím pretty sure that few people involved in the Pacific war toward the end of WW-II had consequentialism on their mind. They were thinking of how to end the war quickly. Thatís not a moral justification for the use of the bombs. But it is rather difficult to go back and make retroactive judgments against those who did have that one thing on their mindsóend the war quickly.

While I do not share your moral judgement of the bombs, the essential points in your post are accurate.

GKC
  #970  
Old Feb 24, '12, 8:18 am
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Armyvet007 Armyvet007 is offline
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Default Re: As a Catholic, What do you think about Hiroshima?

Ghostly-

"First of all I've never claimed that it was "just for the Hell of it" or that the U.S. wanted to punish the Japanese. I've said that whole cities were targeted, with no discrimination between combatant and non-combatant, for the purpose of shocking the Japanese government into surrender. As for the accepted legal practice of war, that's irrelevant to the discussion because we're talking about Catholic moral teaching, not war crimes."

I disagree, based on your use of ""...intention of maximizing indiscriminate destruction...". Rephrased, you are saying the primary purpose [the intent] of the bombing of Hiroshima, London, and Dresdan was to kill as many people and material as possible without regard to their status (combatant/non-combatant) [indiscriminate], without regard to their status as valid targets (of military/political strategic/tactical value)and without regard [indiscriminate] to said bombings effects on the war. This was not the case for any of them.

As for targeting the whole cities, I suggest you review the military bombing technology of the day. We're talking of the days when bombs were hunks of iron dropping from the sky, bombing calculations were done by hand, bomb sights were extremely primative [human hairs were used to create the crosshairs in them], and military bombing strategies and tactics were less then 20 years old [i.e. still being developed, long term effects not known]. A large amount of collateral damage [military for unintended death and destruction caused/a result of military operations] is already in the bombing of targets by these limitations. Then add the fact said bombings aren't done in a vacuum [the enemy is trying to kill you therefore bombs will be dropped early/off target/etc].

Additionally, you aren't talking about Catholic morality in regards to bombings. You are trying to apply a higher/different moral standard to 3 cases that are really no different then a vast number of bombings that took place during the war. If you wish to discuss Catholic morality, talk of it as a whole or select actual cases that are "special"/outside the norm [such as Coventry (British handling of it), Dolittle's Raid, or the use of terror weapons (rockets) by the Germans].


"It wouldn't have increased the suffering of the non-combatants as they wouldn't have been as many. The idea was to hit a location that was fully populated, precisely for the purpose you cite here"

Which is less moral
-the bombing of a city that is a valid military target, would be bombed anyway if the invasion took place, could be used to end the war
or
-the bombing of a city that isn't a valid military target, the bombing of which would only serve to cause needless destruction, would have no impact on the war, whose civil infrastructure is already destroyed/collapsing/overloaded by previous bombings, and whose populace is already suffering from the unintended consequences [collateral damage] of war

You are in effect arguing it is more moral to kill the robber you have already wounded [those already suffering] and neutralized then to shot the robber that is unwounded [those not suffering] and still coming after you.


"It is not revisionism to say that the targets were chosen in order to maximize indiscriminate destruction, it is from the documents of the Targeting Committee itself. To wit:

Quote:
2) Hiroshima - This is an important army depot and port of embarkation in the middle of an urban industrial area. It is a good radar target and it is such a size that a large part of the city could be extensively damaged. There are adjacent hills which are likely to produce a focussing effect which would considerably increase the blast damage. Due to rivers it is not a good incendiary target. (Classified as an AA Target)"

It is revisionism. Why? Because you took a military evaluation concerning the selection of a valid target and decided it shows the intent of maximizing indiscriminate destruction. A review of the document you cited [http://www.dannen.com/decision/targets.html] would show that the selection for what cities to bomb was very discriminate. It, in fact, shows that Tokyo [the Emperor's Palace] was considered, but not on the target list due to lack of strategic value. And a more in-depth search concerning the selection of what city to bomb would show that the Sec. of War got Kyoto taken off the list because of its cultural importance (for Japan and the world).

[continued]
  #971  
Old Feb 24, '12, 8:18 am
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Armyvet007 Armyvet007 is offline
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Default Re: As a Catholic, What do you think about Hiroshima?

Speaking morally [here limited to Catholic morality], you're wrong and the Holy Father [Pope Pius XII] was wrong because the argument is faulty. It wasn't intentional indiscriminate destruction. It was intentional discriminate destruction.

The death/suffering of non-combatants [and for the sake of argument we will limit this to those who in no way could contribute to the war effort; my personal understanding of non-combatants is anyone not actively engaging in a combat function (i.e. factory workers at a munitions factory aren't combatants, soldiers/insurgents/resitiance movements are)] was a discriminate factor in bombing Hiroshima.

The bombing of Hiroshima, like a lot of bombings that took place during the war, was immoral because it intentionally caused the death/suffering of non-combatants as a war aim [i.e. total war], not because it was indiscriminate.

This might sound like nitpicking, but it is a very important distinction.
-A soldier fires at a combatant [discriminate, intentional, implied morally acceptable], but also injuries/kills a non-combatant he did not/could not know of/reasonably infer was present [unintentional, no intent]; and would not have fired if he knew was there [intent to be moral] is morally correct.
-A soldier firing into a crowd and killing combatants [discrimante, intentional] and non-combatants [indiscriminate, unintentional, avoidable] is morally wrong.
-A soldier firing into a crowd killing combatants [discriminate, intentional] and non-combatants [discriminate, intentional] is more morally wrong then the above.
  #972  
Old Feb 24, '12, 8:33 am
GKC GKC is offline
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Default Re: As a Catholic, What do you think about Hiroshima?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Armyvet007 View Post
Ghostly-

"First of all I've never claimed that it was "just for the Hell of it" or that the U.S. wanted to punish the Japanese. I've said that whole cities were targeted, with no discrimination between combatant and non-combatant, for the purpose of shocking the Japanese government into surrender. As for the accepted legal practice of war, that's irrelevant to the discussion because we're talking about Catholic moral teaching, not war crimes."

I disagree, based on your use of ""...intention of maximizing indiscriminate destruction...". Rephrased, you are saying the primary purpose [the intent] of the bombing of Hiroshima, London, and Dresdan was to kill as many people and material as possible without regard to their status (combatant/non-combatant) [indiscriminate], without regard to their status as valid targets (of military/political strategic/tactical value)and without regard [indiscriminate] to said bombings effects on the war. This was not the case for any of them.

As for targeting the whole cities, I suggest you review the military bombing technology of the day. We're talking of the days when bombs were hunks of iron dropping from the sky, bombing calculations were done by hand, bomb sights were extremely primative [human hairs were used to create the crosshairs in them], and military bombing strategies and tactics were less then 20 years old [i.e. still being developed, long term effects not known]. A large amount of collateral damage [military for unintended death and destruction caused/a result of military operations] is already in the bombing of targets by these limitations. Then add the fact said bombings aren't done in a vacuum [the enemy is trying to kill you therefore bombs will be dropped early/off target/etc].

Additionally, you aren't talking about Catholic morality in regards to bombings. You are trying to apply a higher/different moral standard to 3 cases that are really no different then a vast number of bombings that took place during the war. If you wish to discuss Catholic morality, talk of it as a whole or select actual cases that are "special"/outside the norm [such as Coventry (British handling of it), Dolittle's Raid, or the use of terror weapons (rockets) by the Germans].


"It wouldn't have increased the suffering of the non-combatants as they wouldn't have been as many. The idea was to hit a location that was fully populated, precisely for the purpose you cite here"

Which is less moral
-the bombing of a city that is a valid military target, would be bombed anyway if the invasion took place, could be used to end the war
or
-the bombing of a city that isn't a valid military target, the bombing of which would only serve to cause needless destruction, would have no impact on the war, whose civil infrastructure is already destroyed/collapsing/overloaded by previous bombings, and whose populace is already suffering from the unintended consequences [collateral damage] of war

You are in effect arguing it is more moral to kill the robber you have already wounded [those already suffering] and neutralized then to shot the robber that is unwounded [those not suffering] and still coming after you.


"It is not revisionism to say that the targets were chosen in order to maximize indiscriminate destruction, it is from the documents of the Targeting Committee itself. To wit:

Quote:
2) Hiroshima - This is an important army depot and port of embarkation in the middle of an urban industrial area. It is a good radar target and it is such a size that a large part of the city could be extensively damaged. There are adjacent hills which are likely to produce a focussing effect which would considerably increase the blast damage. Due to rivers it is not a good incendiary target. (Classified as an AA Target)"

It is revisionism. Why? Because you took a military evaluation concerning the selection of a valid target and decided it shows the intent of maximizing indiscriminate destruction. A review of the document you cited [http://www.dannen.com/decision/targets.html] would show that the selection for what cities to bomb was very discriminate. It, in fact, shows that Tokyo [the Emperor's Palace] was considered, but not on the target list due to lack of strategic value. And a more in-depth search concerning the selection of what city to bomb would show that the Sec. of War got Kyoto taken off the list because of its cultural importance (for Japan and the world).

[continued]
Stimson took it off, Groves had it put back on, Stimson took it off again. Determined man, Stimson.

It should also be noted that the 3rd bomb, the casings for which were on Tinian by 15 Aug, though the plutonium core was still held in San Francisco, would have theoretically been available for use before the end of the month. Several people in authority were, in frustration, advancing the idea that it should be used on Tokyo. Given Marshall's plan to use all available bombs produced between August and the start of "Olympic" as tactical weapons in support of the invasion of Kyushu, and for other reasons, I doubt the 3rd bomb would have actually been dropped on Tokyo.

GKC
  #973  
Old Feb 24, '12, 9:10 am
Ghosty Ghosty is offline
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Default Re: As a Catholic, What do you think about Hiroshima?

Armyvet007:
Quote:
I disagree, based on your use of ""...intention of maximizing indiscriminate destruction...". Rephrased, you are saying the primary purpose [the intent] of the bombing of Hiroshima, London, and Dresdan was to kill as many people and material as possible without regard to their status (combatant/non-combatant) [indiscriminate], without regard to their status as valid targets (of military/political strategic/tactical value)and without regard [indiscriminate] to said bombings effects on the war. This was not the case for any of them.
Indiscriminate in this discussion simply means that there was no discrimination between combatant and non-combatant. This is how the term is used in the relevant Catholic documents. It doesn't refer to any other element of decision making, especially with regard to the end of the war. I've said many times that the bombings were done with the intent of ending the war and preserving more lives in the long run.

Quote:
As for targeting the whole cities, I suggest you review the military bombing technology of the day. We're talking of the days when bombs were hunks of iron dropping from the sky, bombing calculations were done by hand, bomb sights were extremely primative [human hairs were used to create the crosshairs in them], and military bombing strategies and tactics were less then 20 years old [i.e. still being developed, long term effects not known]. A large amount of collateral damage [military for unintended death and destruction caused/a result of military operations] is already in the bombing of targets by these limitations. Then add the fact said bombings aren't done in a vacuum [the enemy is trying to kill you therefore bombs will be dropped early/off target/etc].
I'm well aware of the limitations of early bombing runs. That doesn't change the fact that the target of these bombings was entire cities, combatant and non-combatant alike (indiscriminate), with the intent of maximizing destruction (urban concentration, local geographic features that would enhance the destructive power of the bombs, ect). Collateral damage is not the same as intentionally targeting a whole city without discrimination between combatant and non-combatant; if you're just bombing the military base but bombs go off-target and hit civilian houses then that's collateral damage, but it you are trying to burn the whole city down then it's not collateral damage but intended damage. This is true regardless of bombing technology.

Quote:
Additionally, you aren't talking about Catholic morality in regards to bombings. You are trying to apply a higher/different moral standard to 3 cases that are really no different then a vast number of bombings that took place during the war. If you wish to discuss Catholic morality, talk of it as a whole or select actual cases that are "special"/outside the norm [such as Coventry (British handling of it), Dolittle's Raid, or the use of terror weapons (rockets) by the Germans].
I honestly don't understand what you're suggesting here. I'm talking about the Catholic morality of targeting non-combatants in the context of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. I'm not discussing other cases, nor all the various immoral actions that may have been taken during the war. I'm not a war-buff, but I am someone interested in moral theology.

Quote:
Which is less moral
-the bombing of a city that is a valid military target, would be bombed anyway if the invasion took place, could be used to end the war
or
-the bombing of a city that isn't a valid military target, the bombing of which would only serve to cause needless destruction, would have no impact on the war, whose civil infrastructure is already destroyed/collapsing/overloaded by previous bombings, and whose populace is already suffering from the unintended consequences [collateral damage] of war
This is a completely different issue from what I was addressing. I was taking "increased" as meaning the suffering would be greater than if Hiroshima and Nagasaki were bombed, but I see now that I misread what you wrote. Either way the morality wasn't what I was addressing in that point, but rather the numbers I mistakenly thought you were suggesting. My apologies.

Quote:
It is revisionism. Why? Because you took a military evaluation concerning the selection of a valid target and decided it shows the intent of maximizing indiscriminate destruction. A review of the document you cited [http://www.dannen.com/decision/targets.html] would show that the selection for what cities to bomb was very discriminate. It, in fact, shows that Tokyo [the Emperor's Palace] was considered, but not on the target list due to lack of strategic value. And a more in-depth search concerning the selection of what city to bomb would show that the Sec. of War got Kyoto taken off the list because of its cultural importance (for Japan and the world).
Again, you're apply "discriminate" to issues beyond the scope of its use in Catholic moral teaching. The point is that there was no discrimination between combatant and non-combatant, not that discernment wasn't used in selecting a target. Discriminate doesn't mean "intentionally target", it means to differentiate; "indiscriminate" simply means that no differentiation is made between two or more things, and the targeting of Hiroshima and Nagasaki made no differentiation between combatant and non-combatant.

Peace and God bless!
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Old Feb 24, '12, 10:27 am
Daralharb Daralharb is offline
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Default Re: As a Catholic, What do you think about Hiroshima?

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Originally Posted by Ghosty View Post


Again, you're apply "discriminate" to issues beyond the scope of its use in Catholic moral teaching. The point is that there was no discrimination between combatant and non-combatant, not that discernment wasn't used in selecting a target. Discriminate doesn't mean "intentionally target", it means to differentiate; "indiscriminate" simply means that no differentiation is made between two or more things, and the targeting of Hiroshima and Nagasaki made no differentiation between combatant and non-combatant.

Peace and God bless!
(underlined bold)
And when did any other bombing run in the history of the war make such a distinction from either side? What's different about the nuke aside from its effectiveness? What is the Church's definition of indiscriminate (for the military definition is as Armyvet described and his assessment is correct in saying Pope Pius XII didn't have the necessary info).

65+ pages. heh. I wonder what sort of accomplishments could have taken place in a thread this long about cheap or free ways to help the poor and needy instead of arguing over this nonsense.

Shall we now debate the morality of the crucifixion and argue ourselves back into the damnation of the law? Why not? This thread seems to be all about arguing such concepts.
  #975  
Old Feb 24, '12, 10:30 am
Armyvet007's Avatar
Armyvet007 Armyvet007 is offline
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Default Re: As a Catholic, What do you think about Hiroshima?

"Indiscriminate in this discussion simply means that there was no discrimination between combatant and non-combatant. This is how the term is used in the relevant Catholic documents"

Please link me where the Church defined it as such [for my own education, not doubting your honesty]. Assuming that is the right definition [right used here to indicate how it is defined/used/implied by the Church] then I stand corrected and agree that it was a case of intentional indiscriminate destruction.

"I'm well aware of the limitations of early bombing runs...."

My point is invalid/wrong if the above definition of indiscriminate is the correct one.

"I honestly don't understand what you're suggesting here. I'm talking about the Catholic morality of targeting non-combatants in the context of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. I'm not discussing other cases, nor all the various immoral actions that may have been taken during the war. I'm not a war-buff, but I am someone interested in moral theology."

This goes back to my first post concerning the fact that Hiroshima isn't any different then numerous other bombings that took place during the war. It was morally no different then any number of bombings that took place during the war (which, regardless of how one defines indiscriminate, was morally wrong). I listed the Conventry, etc. because they are "special" cases:
-Coventry- war effort > protecting innocent lives
-Dolittle Raid- death/destruction > justifible [as defined by the Church] military action
-Terror bombings (rockets)- death/destruction > justifible military action

"Again, you're apply "discriminate" to issues beyond the scope of its use in Catholic moral teaching"

But, you can't take the Catholic definition of "indiscriminate" and apply it to a system/organization/culture/etc [the military] for which the Catholic definition is not the normal definition; and for which "indiscriminate" means something completely different. If you tell a soldier, like me, that allied planes indiscriminately bombed cities during WW2, he will take objection to it. He will object, like me, because "indiscriminate" in the military means "lack of care/concern for limiting/eliminating avoidable collateral damage/needless destruction."

This would be similar to me taking the modern commonly accepted definition of the word "gay" and using it to argue that the Flintstone cartoon promoted homosexuality; with the phrase "gay ole time" from the theme song being the basis for my arguement.

Hence my rather long winded disagreement with you over your use of "intentional indiscriminate," and my emphasizing that it was intentional and discriminate targeting.

To reduce the possibility of miscommunication [which I think is what is going on]-

The bombing of Hiroshima (and numerous other cities) was morally wrong because non-combatants [as defined by the Church] were a specific intentional target. The use of an atomic weapon is irrelivant [due to the nature in which bombings were conducted during the war] in the regards to the morality of the bombing.
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