Short paper on the Manhatten Project college
topic: History of Science in the 20th Century
The scientists frantically worked on the Manhatten Project so that the world would not be overtaken by Germany's facist rulers. That was a moral decision on their part to keep something they valued - a more free world, one on which they wanted to live. That was their moral justification of the production of the bomb.
formats: Adobe PDF (26.4kB), PostScript (48.5kB), TeX (1.8kB) 1995-11-13 quality 3

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The scientists frantically worked on the Manhatten Project so
that the world would not be overtaken by Germany's facist
rulers.  That was a moral decision on their part to
keep something they valued --- a more free world, one 
on which they wanted to live.  That was their moral justification
of the production of the bomb.

The Government and Army was also justified in the Bomb Project
as long as their primary goal was the preservation of 
the Free World.  Self-preservation is {\it always} a moral
choice.

Once it was determined that Japan and Germany were for
practical purposes beaten, defeat being only a few weeks
away, it was no longer necessary to drop the bomb.

The destruction of Nagasaki and Hiroshima were not necessary
to win the war, and so not necessary for the self-preservation
of the United States.  Those two cities were destroyed because
those who made that decision wanted to show the US as an 
All-Powerful entity in the postwar years, just like the bully
who everyone is afraid of.

Alternatives could have been a demonstration on a 
uninhabited or purely military target.  The scientists knew
that destruction was unnecessary at this point, and they
made several pettitions to prevent the government from dropping
it.  

On the other hand, actually demonstrating the bomb on a target in
a war setting would make much more of an impression on other nations
that if it was just detonated in a desolate area --- they wouldn't take
as much notice of is as they would if it was used matter of factly
on a target.


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[Zak Smith] [zak@computer.org] [/~zak/documents/college/hsci-manhatten/tex]
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