AUTHORBulletin of the Atomic Scientists
TITLEWould You Have Dropped the Bomb?
PERIODICAL TITLEBulletin of the Atomic Scientists
DATE PUBLISHEDJuly/August 2005
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Available online from Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists   (subscription required)

This 2005 article assembles a number of brief responses from experts in a variety of fields to the question of whether the atomic bombs should have been used against Japan in 1945. A Pakistani nuclear scientist, a religious scholar, historians, defense policy experts, and the mayor of Hiroshima are among those whose voices are heard in the article, which is part of a special issue of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists commemorating the sixtieth anniversary of the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The individual replies reflect varying viewpoints, not only in answering "yes" or "no," but also in the reasons given and implications drawn from the decision to drop the atomic bombs. Issues discussed include the moral and religious implications of the fateful decision, the effect of the decision on nuclear programs outside the U.S., the role that the atomic bombs played in ending World War II, the ethics of nuclear deterrence, the legacy left by the short-sighted pursuit of a nuclear weapons advantage, and personal reactions to the bombs’ use. Several photographs accompany the article as well as a list of related articles from the Bulletin Archive.

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