February 15, 2011

Evan's Opinion About the Dropping of the Atomic Bomb

In my opinion, I believe that Truman's decision of dropping the Atomic Bomb on the Japanese cities Hiroshima and Nagasaki was the right thing to do. I think this way because of what could have happened if the dropping of the bomb didn't occur. Japan was a very powerful nation during WWII, but as we all know, the United States was an extremely strong nation as well, because of their discovering of atomic energy. The United States wasn't directly involved with fighting Japan, because all of Japan's threats at the time weren't aimed towards the US. The date in which Japan became a direct threat to the US was December 7, of 1941, otherwise known as the date of the Pearl Harbor attack. The reason that we hadn't attacked them prior to the bombing at Pearl Harbor was because they reassured us that no attack was to come. After they lied, America knew not to trust them and then joined the war. And when Germany surrendered and the Holocaust was more or less over along with the battles of the European countries, the war winded down and was nearing a close. But Japan wasn't done yet. They refused to surrender and President Truman made the biggest decision in all of history, that he would force Japan to surrender by dropping the Atomic Bomb on them. He sent out a warning to instruct the civilians who lived there to evacuate preceding the attack. After the first bomb was dropped on Hiroshima, Japan still refused to surrender, despite all of the damage to one of their biggest cities. President Truman then sent out a second warning, to warn that a second bomb was to come. After the bomb then exploded on Nagasaki, Japan finally surrendered and the second World War was officially over.

But going back to what I said before, what would have happened if we didn't drop the bomb? This is the biggest reason why having this attack was a good thing. The United States, after the attack of Pearl Harbor, was always a Japanese target, and if the bomb hadn't been dropped to cease Japan's threat, the US could have very well been in for another attack. It is important to remember that Japan was still at war even when Hitler and Germany surrendered. This was very important to Truman because he stated, "We shall completely destroy Japan's power to make war." He knew that at any point, anybody could be attacked again by Japan (particularly the United States), and to end this potential threat and save many American lives, bombing Japan would be a good option. I agree with Truman's thinking, which is why I think using the Atomic Bomb to end Japan's violence was a good idea.

When I read the firsthand accounts, my opinion did not change. I learned a lot about the various effects such a bomb can have on people, and it is indeed very sad. But, even if it sounds bad, most of them continued to live lives after the bombing. Yes, they were unable to do things and were required to make lots of extra doctor visits, but they were still living. If Japan hadn't been "taken care of," lots of Americans and other people could easily have been killed from their wrongdoing.   

Whether Truman and the United States did the right thing is a very difficult question to reach consensus on, but it brings up another question that sparks long debates: "Is it okay to kill someone if it will save someone else." Most people I heard jump right to the conclusion of yes it is okay if you are saving multiple people. In this instance, I would semi-agree that it is okay if you are saving several people and only killing one. I am on the fence with this statement because it is ethically wrong to kill someone. However, on the flip side of that, if that one person is causing danger and possibly death in the future to that other group of people, that must be ethically wrong as well. That is why, for me, this is a very difficult question to answer because it appears that at least one person will die either way.

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