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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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  #916  
Old Feb 15, '12, 2:55 pm
vz71 vz71 is offline
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Default Re: As a Catholic, What do you think about Hiroshima?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ghosty View Post
Have you read the article yet?
Indeed most of us have.

One of the things common to Catholic thought is acceptance of the whole to understand the meaning, not just a single phrase or word.

In this case, it would be wise to read the previous few sentences as well.

Here is the link again...
http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/15546c.htm

It also may be a good thing to look into the Catechism as well to note the lack of real definition to the term 'non-combatant'
http://www.scborromeo.org/ccc/p3s2c2a5.htm

People wish to label the bombings as evil, but to do so they must assume what is not actually written down.
The best that can be said is that there is not enough information to determine.
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Z
  #917  
Old Feb 16, '12, 9:08 am
Ghosty Ghosty is offline
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Default Re: As a Catholic, What do you think about Hiroshima?

Quote:
Originally Posted by vz71 View Post
So you claim.
Unfortunately there is not enough information to say if you are correct or not.
We have enough information to know that these people had not entered combat.

Quote:
Indeed most of us have.

One of the things common to Catholic thought is acceptance of the whole to understand the meaning, not just a single phrase or word.

In this case, it would be wise to read the previous few sentences as well.
Good that you have read it. I'm not seeing anything in the context that would justify your argument, however. On the contrary here is what it says so others can see it easily:

Quote:
This will cover what may be done by the warring power in exercise of its right. It embraces the infliction of all manner of damage to property and life of the other state and its contending subjects, up to the measure requisite to enforce submission, implying the acceptance of a final readjustment and proportionate penalty; it includes in general all acts that are necessary means to such damage, but is checked by the proviso that neither the damage inflicted nor the means taken involve actions that are intrinsically immoral. In the prosecution of the war the killing or injuring of non-combatants (women, children, the aged and feeble, or even those capable of bearing arms but as a matter of fact not in any way participating in the war) is consequently barred, except where their simultaneous destruction is an unavoidable accident attending the attack upon the contending force. The wanton destruction of the property of such non-combatants, where it does not or will not minister maintenance or help to the state or its army, is likewise devoid of the requisite condition of necessity. In fact the wanton destruction of the property of the state or of combatants — i.e. where such destruction cannot make for their submission, reparation, or proportionate punishment — is beyond the pale of the just subject-matter of war.
Destruction and killing is permissible to bring about submission, but this is checked by the proviso that the damage and actions can't be immoral. It then goes on to describe what is immoral, including the intentional killing of non-combatants and the destruction of their property. The bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki did both.

Now you say that "non-combatant" is not defined in the Catechism, but it hardly needs to be. It is certainly well defined in the Catholic Encyclopedia, but realistically the term "non-combatant" is self-explanatory: someone who is not engaged in combat is a non-combatant. Being capable of combat does not mean that one has or will engage in combat; that the Japanese government had a program to train civilians and prepare them to repel an invasion does not make the civilians combatants until they actually engage in combat.

Once people do take up arms and fight they are no longer non-combatants, even if they are women, children, and the elderly. Killing them would be killing enemy combatants.

Quote:

People wish to label the bombings as evil, but to do so they must assume what is not actually written down.
The best that can be said is that there is not enough information to determine.
You have yet to show anything that is assumed in the judgement that the bombings are evil. I'd be happy to change my judgement if you can show some unfounded assumptions.

Peace and God bless!
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  #918  
Old Feb 16, '12, 9:23 am
Ghosty Ghosty is offline
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Default Re: As a Catholic, What do you think about Hiroshima?

jonbhorton:
Quote:
Means, intent, and continued action in that regard does make someone a combatant.
I agree. Now show me where the people of Hiroshima and Nagasaki had taken any combative action against the U.S. and I'll be convinced that they were legitimate targets.

Quote:
The Church's position, as you explain it, makes no sense to me, though I see the moral idea. It's like the Church is ignorant of what war actually means. Further, I again see no difference in the way the bomb drops were conducted versus how the entirety of the aerial campaigns of the war were conducted.
I think the Church is fully aware of what war means, and it seeks to mitigate the evils of war. This is like saying that the Church is ignorant of what sex means, and that's why it stands against pre-marital flings and contraception. The age of chivalry is long dead, and men can no longer be expected to treat women with dignity and respect, and women can't be expected to maintain their virtue and resist temptation. How can we expect people to guard their chastity in the real world?

In teaching on morality in war the Church isn't offering tactics for winning the battle, it's teaching about how to preserve the soul through the battle. If morality can't be preserved through the war then perhaps the war shouldn't be fought; it is better to lose your life but save your soul. I don't believe that morality is impossible to preserve through war, but some have argued that in light of modern weaponry the whole concept of "Just War" must be rethought and called into question. They have said this not to argue that immorality is permitted, but rather that war might not be permitted.

I'm not convinced that it's impossible to wage a moral war, but I'm open to the argument.

Peace and God bless!
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But I will look for some means of going to heaven by a little way which is very short and very straight, a little way that is quite new.
  #919  
Old Feb 16, '12, 10:44 am
vz71 vz71 is offline
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Default Re: As a Catholic, What do you think about Hiroshima?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ghosty View Post
Now you say that "non-combatant" is not defined in the Catechism, but it hardly needs to be.
Sure it does. first, the CCC nor the Encyclopedia defines it.
Second, the definition you provided: "someone who is not engaged in combat is a non-combatant" is inadequate.
This definition actually makes non-combatants out of everyone not engaged in battle at the time. Including the front line soldier that happens to be asleep.

The claim that these poeple are non-combatants cannot be known for certain.
The definition as given is inadequate. But to push it further into the gray, we know that they were trained by their government to use whatever was available to fight.
Of course, training and equipment does not a combatant make. Thereis also an intent to kill the enemy.

And we are not in a position to judge that.
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  #920  
Old Feb 16, '12, 10:46 am
vz71 vz71 is offline
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Default Re: As a Catholic, What do you think about Hiroshima?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ghosty View Post
I agree. Now show me where the people of Hiroshima and Nagasaki had taken any combative action against the U.S. and I'll be convinced that they were legitimate targets.
Training drills.
And the example provided by other Japanese in other islands of what exactly this training provided for.
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  #921  
Old Feb 16, '12, 2:09 pm
tqualey tqualey is offline
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Default Re: As a Catholic, What do you think about Hiroshima?

Hi Ghosty,

As you know, both cities had military assets.

It would seem that your entire argument is based on on the the statements of the committee that selected the target. Had these individuals said something quite different - "...the intent of this single bomb is to destroy the enemy's military capability and while there will be civilian casualties, this is not the intent of the bombing."

If such a hypothetical statement had been released, what would your position be?

I believe that this bombing was necessary. Japan demonstrated a desire to continue fighting and to kill as many people as possible. It was only because of Japan's intense desire to continue the fight was the second bomb dropped.

God bless President Harry Truman.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Ghosty View Post
Removal of a damaged fallopian tube is morally neutral. The child is not targeted by the the surgery, but is indeed killed by the surgery. That is an evil effect, but not an evil act, because the action is the targeting of the compromised tube.

In the atomic bombings the non-combatants were among the targets of the attacks. They were not merely unintended but unavoidable victims of an otherwise neutral act. If a factory was the target but non-combatants were likely to die in the attack.

Back to the pregnancy example, the bombings are more like a direct abortion of an ectopic pregnancy, rather than the surgical removal of a compromised tube.

Peace and God bless!
  #922  
Old Feb 17, '12, 1:13 am
oldbrit2009 oldbrit2009 is offline
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Default Re: As a Catholic, What do you think about Hiroshima?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ghosty View Post
jonbhorton: I agree. Now show me where the people of Hiroshima and Nagasaki had taken any combative action against the U.S. and I'll be convinced that they were legitimate targets.



I think the Church is fully aware of what war means, and it seeks to mitigate the evils of war. This is like saying that the Church is ignorant of what sex means, and that's why it stands against pre-marital flings and contraception. The age of chivalry is long dead, and men can no longer be expected to treat women with dignity and respect, and women can't be expected to maintain their virtue and resist temptation. How can we expect people to guard their chastity in the real world?

In teaching on morality in war the Church isn't offering tactics for winning the battle, it's teaching about how to preserve the soul through the battle. If morality can't be preserved through the war then perhaps the war shouldn't be fought; it is better to lose your life but save your soul. I don't believe that morality is impossible to preserve through war, but some have argued that in light of modern weaponry the whole concept of "Just War" must be rethought and called into question. They have said this not to argue that immorality is permitted, but rather that war might not be permitted.

I'm not convinced that it's impossible to wage a moral war, but I'm open to the argument.

Peace and God bless!
Ghosty,


Quote:
Now show me where the people of Hiroshima and Nagasaki had taken any combative action against the U.S. and I'll be convinced that they were legitimate targets.
Had a land invasion taken place the inhabitants of both those cities would have fought to the death, as you well know, because of the fanaticism of the Japanese.

Quote:
If morality can't be preserved through the war then perhaps the war shouldn't be fought;
You obviously think morality wasn't preserved by Truman and Churchill and have thus condemned them, yes?

Quote:
it is better to lose your life but save your soul.
I take it you apply that reasoning to Roosevelt Truman and Churchill. That both should have allowed the Japanese and Germans to have succeeded in their respective military aggression. Therefore by your reasoning, because the Allied leaders didn't take the course of action approved by you they have now lost their souls?

Quote:
They have said this not to argue that immorality is permitted, but rather that war might not be permitted.
So, are you now saying that we must have peace at any price?

No doubt you would despise what Dolores Ibarruri,a Spanish politician,said in 1936 during the Spanish civil war,

“Better to die on your feet than live on your knees.”

I imagine you don't approve of the policy of M.A.D., Mutually Assured Destruction. Whether you like it or not, you cannot escape from the fact that for the past 60 years it has worked. No nuclear weapons have been used since H/N.

I wonder how the world would have developed without MAD; both our countries speaking Russian, perhaps?
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The truth is still the truth, even if no one believes it. Error is still error, even if everyone believes it.
(Archbishop Fulton Sheen)

Last edited by oldbrit2009; Feb 17, '12 at 1:24 am.
  #923  
Old Feb 17, '12, 9:01 am
Ghosty Ghosty is offline
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Default Re: As a Catholic, What do you think about Hiroshima?

oldbrit2009: You're post is so far off base from what I have written, even confusing my account of what others have said as my own words despite the fact that I said I disagreed with them in the very same sentence, that I'm not going to bother to make a full response. I enjoy being challenged, but this is at least the second post you've directed towards me where you're challenging me on things I've not said. What's more, you're continuing to challenge me on mistaken ideas that I've already answered before. I won't respond to such posts in the future.

tqualey:
Quote:

It would seem that your entire argument is based on on the the statements of the committee that selected the target. Had these individuals said something quite different - "...the intent of this single bomb is to destroy the enemy's military capability and while there will be civilian casualties, this is not the intent of the bombing."

If such a hypothetical statement had been released, what would your position be?
If that was truly the intent then the issue would definitely change, but the answer might still be the same if all other things remained equal. The targeting would no longer be the issue, but the proportionality and the mitigation of destruction would then be the issues. Honestly I've not given much thought or study to the targeting capabilities of the time period to say what would be appropriate mitigation of damage, so I'm not capable of judging that hypothetical at this point.

I will point out, however, that I said earlier in this thread that I don't believe the use of nuclear weapons is inherently evil. I even went as far as saying that the use of nuclear weapons in a densely populated area is not inherently evil. It was post #80 if you want to go back and see what I said eight months ago on the matter.

vz71: Go look in any dictionary for the definition of non-combatant. It is not a theological terms and needn't be defined by the Church in order for it to be used. The term

All that needs to be known is that these folks had not entered combat, and were not on "the battlefield". Had the invasion begun and the civilian population mobilized in Ketsugo then it would be a different matter; they would be combatants even if they were women, children, and the elderly. That did not happen, however, so it's a moot point.

Peace and God bless!
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But I will look for some means of going to heaven by a little way which is very short and very straight, a little way that is quite new.
  #924  
Old Feb 17, '12, 10:40 am
vz71 vz71 is offline
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Default Re: As a Catholic, What do you think about Hiroshima?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ghosty View Post
vz71: Go look in any dictionary for the definition of non-combatant. It is not a theological terms and needn't be defined by the Church in order for it to be used.
Done.
One that does not engage in combat.
The specific examples cited were a surgeon and a chaplain.

Since these people were trained in combat, the definition leaves them firmly in a gray area.
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Z
  #925  
Old Feb 17, '12, 10:54 am
vz71 vz71 is offline
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Default Re: As a Catholic, What do you think about Hiroshima?

And here is another definition:
Quote:
someone who is not involved in fighting during a war
And again, the Japanese people in both cities are placed squarely in the gray area of unknown.
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  #926  
Old Feb 17, '12, 11:02 am
Ghosty Ghosty is offline
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Default Re: As a Catholic, What do you think about Hiroshima?

Quote:
Originally Posted by vz71 View Post
Done.
One that does not engage in combat.
The specific examples cited were a surgeon and a chaplain.

Since these people were trained in combat, the definition leaves them firmly in a gray area.
And the people of Hiroshima and Nagasaki had not been activated to engage in combat. Training does not equal mobilization, and it certainly doesn't make one a combatant.

Of course the Church has already condemned the bombings on the grounds that they targeted non-combatants, so we know how such people are viewed in Catholic moral teaching. Your semantic arguments are ultimately baseless from a Catholic perspective.

Peace and God bless!
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But I will look for some means of going to heaven by a little way which is very short and very straight, a little way that is quite new.
  #927  
Old Feb 17, '12, 11:04 am
Ghosty Ghosty is offline
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Default Re: As a Catholic, What do you think about Hiroshima?

Quote:
Originally Posted by vz71 View Post
And here is another definition:


And again, the Japanese people in both cities are placed squarely in the gray area of unknown.
It is not unknown. What combat had the people of Hiroshima and Nagasaki engaged in?
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But I will look for some means of going to heaven by a little way which is very short and very straight, a little way that is quite new.
  #928  
Old Feb 17, '12, 11:19 am
jonbhorton jonbhorton is offline
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Default Re: As a Catholic, What do you think about Hiroshima?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ghosty View Post
It is not unknown. What combat had the people of Hiroshima and Nagasaki engaged in?
What is your definition of a combatant and non-combatant?

It's becoming another game of run-around because of dancing around definitions.
  #929  
Old Feb 17, '12, 11:26 am
Ghosty Ghosty is offline
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Default Re: As a Catholic, What do you think about Hiroshima?

Quote:
Originally Posted by jonbhorton View Post
What is your definition of a combatant and non-combatant?

It's becoming another game of run-around because of dancing around definitions.
I go by the definition found in dictionaries and international law. It's easy to find online, and it's the one used by the Church in its teaching.

Peace and God bless!
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But I will look for some means of going to heaven by a little way which is very short and very straight, a little way that is quite new.
  #930  
Old Feb 17, '12, 2:08 pm
jonbhorton jonbhorton is offline
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Default Re: As a Catholic, What do you think about Hiroshima?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ghosty View Post
I go by the definition found in dictionaries and international law. It's easy to find online, and it's the one used by the Church in its teaching.

Peace and God bless!
Right, I get that, but the definitions VZ has found indicate obscure notions. What do you fill the obscurity with? I'm genuinely wondering as saying non-combatant or combatant is like saying water and ice are the same thing. Substantially similar, but totally different in actuality.

What's your 'freeze' factor? What's the actual definition you're using? If it's international law it will be different than a mere entry of a few words according to Mr. Webster.

Also, please indicate the definition which is only found before the bomb drop, so, nothing after 1945. We simply cannot retroactively define things, as that becomes revisionism outright.
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