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Was the dropping of the atomic bombs on Japan morally justified according to the natural law as explained by Aquinas? Explain why or why not.

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Philosophy 333, Natural Law, Fall 2015: The Atomic Bomb


I need this paper to be a great grade, I scored a B on the last paper you wrote for me. Please follow the requirements noted on the file attached. For the end of the paper please take the stance that I believe the bombing was justified.

Philosophy 333: Natural Law                                                                                                                    Fall 2015

Third Paper Assignment

In August of 1945, in an effort to end the Second World War in the Pacific, the United States dropped two atomic bombs on Japan, one in Hiroshima and the other in Nagasaki.  The first bomb killed about 140,000 people, the vast majority civilians; the second bomb killed about 74,000 people.  The following excerpt is from a review by Andrew Roberts, a historian, of a recent book about the decision to drop the atomic bombs by Wilson Miscamble, also a historian, called The Most Controversial Decision, published in the Wall Street Journal (July 13, 2011).  It summarizes a number of common arguments in defense of the decision to drop the bombs:

“Most tellingly, the author reminds us of the hundreds of thousands of Japanese who had died in the conventional bombings of places like Tokyo and Kyoto while Roosevelt was president, but with relatively little opprobrium attaching to FDR. Father Miscamble cites as well the horrific massacre of innocents for which the Japanese were responsible [in China], a savagery still being unleashed in the summer of 1945, and the awful cost of battle in the Pacific, including 6,000 American dead and 20,000 wounded at Iwo Jima and 70,000 casualties suffered while capturing Okinawa. With these precedents, Herbert Hoover warned Truman that an invasion of the Japanese home islands could result in the loss of between half a million and a million American lives. Marshall, Leahy and Gen. Douglas MacArthur each had his own projected figures, none of them wildly different from Hoover`s.

Under these circumstances, it was inconceivable that Truman would not have ordered the use of a potentially war-winning weapon the moment it could be deployed. It is impossible to imagine the depth of the public`s fury if after the war Americans had discovered that their president, out of concern for his own conscience, had not used the weapons but instead condemned hundreds of thousands of American soldiers to certain death on the beaches and in the cities of mainland Japan.”


1)      Was the dropping of the atomic bombs on Japan morally justified according to the natural law as explained by Aquinas?  Explain why or why not.

2)      How would Aquinas evaluate the specific reasons for the bombing given above?  What information about the bombing is most important for making a moral evaluation?

3)      Do you think the bombing was justified? (Note: this part of your paper should take up no more than one page out of a total of five to six pages.)

Cite passage from Aquinas according to their places in the Summa theologiae by part, question, and article, etc., e.g., 1-2, 5.3c = Prima secundae, question five, article 3, corpus; 1-2, 5.3 ad2 = the same, but the reply to objection two.  You needn’t cite any other sources, but if you do you must give full bibliographic data.    


Name Tutor Course Date Natural Law and the Atomic Bomb The dropping of the atomic bomb in Japan was not morally justifiable according the natural law as explained by Aquinas. Aquinas natural law explains that human beings have the right to free will but do not have the right to use the freewill to satisfy their own needs. Aquinas explains that God gave human beings the human nature for them to have the abilities to discern between what is good and what is bad (Aquinas , QQ34). The nature of human beings does not otherwise allow them to commit sins against fellow humans. Aquinas bases his argument on the theological commandment set in the days of Moses that “thou shalt not kill’ (Butler, 232). It is natural for humans to feel that they have power over all other people that surround them, explaining the reason behind the bombings. There are certain things done that may seem fine in the eyes of human. Aquinas would not morally justify the situation since he feels that all human beings must be treated with respect and that would apply t


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