what teh fuck?
we must maintain the option to use nuclear weapons against people who have not used them so that we can prevent the spread of nuclear weapons?
that's arse. if i want to prevent the spread of malaria, i don't give people malaria. if i think that Friday nights in town are too violent, i don't suggest to the coppers that they start whacking random people over the head.
does it not occur to these rabid fools that the biggest nuclear danger to the world is them?
we must not use nuclear weapons first. or second. or ever. we should not use them ever. we should die first.
the western moral world went badly wrong in the second world war. we know that, but we have convinced ourselves that only the nazis did wrong, because they were evil and we were good. but "evil", if it's anything, is what you do, not something you are.
the second world war was industrial, and i think that because it was a contest of industrial power, you could argue that bombing of industrial targets was justifiable. of course, that would involve some civilian deaths, but if you believe that war can be justified, you can argue that these deaths are also acceptable.
but there is a huge step between saying that destroying industrial capaciy is acceptable, and collateral damage must be expected, and extending that capacity to include the people who support the industry in the broadest sense, so that finally you believe that to destroy a society's industrial capacity, it is acceptable to destroy that society and all its members.
how, if you are at that point, can you consider yourself any different from the nazis? you have identified Germany and Japan as your enemies without discrimination between one person and the next, and are willing to destroy them. they have identified Jews as their enemy without discrimination between one person and the next, and are willing to destroy them.
we are left with arguing that their motives were bad and ours were good, so it's all okay. i think this allows for a moral ambivalence that is dangerous and rarely productive. it is not part of my moral code. for instance, people argue that striking other human beings is not in itself wrong. if a parent strikes a child, that is not a bad act. if the same parent strikes their nextdoor neighbour, that is a bad act.
i say there is no difference. the bad is in the act, not why you commit it, and i believe that when it comes to the widescale murder of people, it's the same story. i don't care whether you are murdering thousands (or millions) of people because you have declared war on them or because you have declared them your racial enemy. either way, you are committing mass murder.
we should not use nuclear weapons, whatever the alternative is. and i mean whatever it is.
ultimately, if you are moral, you must have a line you won't cross, or will not support the crossing of. if mass murder is not on the other side of the line, what the hell is?
on the minor issue of using "tactical nukes" for more limited purposes, i note that nuclear doctrine was for many years based on the principle that both sides clearly understood that there was an escalation ladder. if the Soviets invaded Germany and attacked the American troops stationed there, the US would use nukes. the Soviets would respond with a strategic strike and the Americans would respond to that with a second strike.
the point is that the American troops were stationed in Germany so that the Americans had an excuse to escalate the conflict up the nuclear ladder.
if you use nuclear weapons, you are saying to your enemy, we are now going nuclear. this was clearly understood. you are saying, nuclear weapons are now in play. and once you have taken that step, you no longer have the moral authority to say that others should not step up the ladder. you created the rules of the game, and now you have to suffer as it plays out.
Tuesday, January 22, 2008
There is nothing worse in this life than for someone to stop giving you love. I could bear torture more easily.Dr Zen welcomes your correspondence at firstname.lastname@example.org
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