Vox Nova Thursday, July 19, 2007 Pope John Paul II and the use of the atomic bomb By Michael Joseph
At Coalition for Fog, a few commentators have actually defended the U.S. use of atomic weapons on Hiroshima and Nagasaki during World War II. Despite the fact that the use of these weapons is perhaps the greatest sin committed by the United States and that Catholic support or defense of their use is a self-refuting idea, we still find Catholics claiming that these weapons of mass destruction saved lives purchased at the cost of a lesser evil. This is perhaps one of the most irrational and logically unsound arguments that can be devised by anyone who claims to begin from Catholic moral standards as first principles. It never ceases to amaze me that Catholics, despite the unequivocal condemnation of utilitarian ethics by pope after pope, continue to suspend their faith and reason and appeal to such consequentialist assertion, that is, arguing that the end (end of war with Japan) justifies the means (the use of weapons of mass destruction killing almost 200,000 people, mostly civilians, and the poisoning of thousands more). When we defend acts of war before we defend the right to life of innocent civilians, then we have closed our eyes to Christ.
I post here in full one of many statements of John Paul II, who characterized the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki as "crimes committed against civilian populations," on this specific issue. His judgment, based on undeniable Catholc moral principles, is irrefutable from the Catholic standpoint. There is no room for disagreement here: no Catholic can justify on moral grounds the use of atomic weapons on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Posted by Michael Joseph at 9:49 PM Labels: Consequentialism, Michael Joseph, Pope John Paul II, War and Peace Comments (3) Trackback