Tuesday, June 17, 2014

The Atom Bomb & Just War Theory (Bill Potter)

"On August 6 and 9, 1945, the United States dropped the atomic bomb on Japan, causing an explosion of re-evaluation on the principles of just war for decades into the future. Respected Christian teachers since at least Augustine of Hippo have advocated from the Scriptures that non-combatants such as women and children should not be targeted in a military campaign, but is it excusable to do so if it will bring a quicker end to a long and destructive war?

"Also, what are some of the forgotten curious providences surrounding the invention of the atom bomb? Hear this and more in Bill Potter's talk on the atom bomb."


Drew said...

I don't think the Bible says you can't kill civilians. Deuteronomy just says who should be killed once a city is conquered. It's adding to the text of Deuteronomy to say that you can't kill civilians prior to the conquest of the city.

Judges 16:27-30
Now the house was full of men and women; and all the lords of the Philistines were there; and there were upon the roof about three thousand men and women, that beheld while Samson made sport. And Samson called unto the Lord, and said, O Lord God, remember me, I pray thee, and strengthen me, I pray thee, only this once, O God, that I may be at once avenged of the Philistines for my two eyes. And Samson took hold of the two middle pillars upon which the house stood, and on which it was borne up, of the one with his right hand, and of the other with his left. And Samson said, Let me die with the Philistines. And he bowed himself with all his might; and the house fell upon the lords, and upon all the people that were therein. So the dead which he slew at his death were more than they which he slew in his life.

Steve C. Halbrook said...

I would side with Potter on this; Samson is in a unique historical situation, acting as a Judge of God, in a unique context. We should always refrain from taking innocent life when possible.

This doesn't rule out the possibility of taking innocent life in war, however; there will often be collateral damage, but the accidental killing of a couple civilians in a siege is very different from bombing entire cities.