Was the US justified in bombing Hiroshima and Nagasaki

Opening Argument

One of the most controversial moves of WWII was the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

On the pro side, Henry I. Miller writes:

"During World War I, Europe lost most of an entire generation of young men. Combatant fatalities alone were approximately 13 million. Memories of that era were still fresh three decades later. In 1945, Allied military planners and political leaders were correct, both tactically and morally, in not wanting to repeat history. It was their duty to weigh carefully the costs and benefits for the American people, present and future. Had they been less wise or less courageous, the American post-war “baby boomer” generation would have been much smaller."

However, not all agree that it was necessary to achieve victory. Christopher Check, in his article for Catholic Answers writes:

"[T]he vast majority of the victims were civilians. Why were the city centers chosen as ground zero, where civilian populations were most dense, rather than the industrial suburbs or the ports? The bombings also violated the condition of proportionality. Necessarily tied to the question of proportionality is the insistence on “unconditional surrender,” which inevitably inspires both sides to resort to desperate means. Once an aggressor has been rendered neutral, to drive him to accept humiliating terms does not meet the Church’s requirement to seek peace by every possible means.

I personally am conflicted on this issue. Part of me says that it was necessary to end the war and to get Japan to surrender; however, some sources say that Japan was already ready to surrender - they just weren't willing to submit to US terms. On that side, the bombs would not be justified because it caused great civilian loss for little benefit.
  1. Was the US justified in bombing Hiroshima and Nagasaki

    8 votes
    1. Yes
    2. No

Status: Open Debate


  • I think there were justified. Japan wouldn't have surrendered; they didn't surrender even after the first bomb, so we had to drop a second. It was a sad state of affairs but it had to be done. Imagine being so ruthless and stubborn that after hundreds of thousands of your own people are killed, you still don't surrender, even with the threat of another bomb. Very sad that it had to happen.

    A similar debate was here if you wanna check it out:
  • dropoutdropout 37 Pts
    edited June 13
    This was a wrong doing, killing so many people. Although, US soldiers and others in the US could have been killed if that wouldn't have happened. I believe it was the wrong thing to do due to it being unnecessary and killing so many people possibly American and not.
  • A really tough ethical decision, but I think it was justified
    Live Long and Prosper
  • spandamspandam 43 Pts
    @melanielust , thank you for making your argument which Dema's reasonable, but I disagree with due to my own argument.

    The bombing had brought radiation to the area which is not a short term problem, but rather a much long term issue bringing the US possible costs in the future of the bombif or attack which also killed many. Although, the war could have killed many Americans and others as well, although it killed many japanese and others with the attack or also called bombing.
  • It's hard to say, but I'd have to say no.  Only because any loss of life is just terrible.  Maybe it was justified as it was the best course of action to stop Japan.  I like how Captain America thought though with Sokovia in Avengers 2.  He was the only one to deny the Avengers of blowing up the city to save Earth.  Doing that saved everyone (well except Quicksilver) but he was right.  Maybe the same would have happened with Japan.  
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