The Atomic Bomb Human Beings and Nature
With the surrender of Germany on May 1, 1945, the United States and its allies were well on their way to winning World War II and resuming peace in Europe. Japan was the only country still in their path. American forces soon began capturing islands off the coast of Japan including Iwo Jima and Okinawa. Since the Japanese refused to surrender, the United States began planning a ground attack on Japan's mainland. Many casualties for both sides were predicted; therefore, the United States constructed an alternate plan to end the war. Enricho Fermi and Leo Szilard worked on creating an atomic bomb for the United States in the 1930s. This manipulation of nature changed the relationship between human beings and nature forever. Humans were now capable of ending the world if they so desired. Nature was quickly fading into the background of life. The creation and employment of the atomic bomb affected many aspects of human existence.
On August 6, 1945, President Harry S. Truman announced to the United States and to the world, sixteen hours ago an American airplane dropped one bomb on Hiroshima, Japan and destroyed its usefulness to the enemy.(1) After bombing Nagasaki on August 8, Japan surrendered to the United States, ending World War II. The debate about the morality of dropping the bomb is still an issue today. Although the employment of these bombs caused about 200,000 casualties and destroyed over 5.5 square acres of land, the atomic bomb was needed to terminate the war.(2) Despite the major loss of human lives in Japan, using the atomic bomb was the ethically correct decision for the United States. It ultimately saved many American lives through the swift ending of the war.
President Truman made the final decision to drop the bomb. He regarded the bomb as a military weapon and never had any doubt that it should be used.(3) The welfare of the citizens of the United States was in inevitable danger. The utilization of atomic warfare had not only military, but also political benefits for the country. American soldiers were fighting against Japanese Kamikaze pilots who volunteered to sacrifice their lives for their country. How could the United States fight against this insane warfare? The only solution at the time was to use the newly invented atomic bomb. After being tested only once, the atomic bomb was put into use, creating massive and unforeseen damage. One of the pilots of Engola Gay, the plane that dropped the bomb, described the effects: "It looked like it had landed on a forest. I didn't see any sign of the city.î(4)
Many people believe that this damage is strict evidence that the bomb should not have been dropped. The bomb demolished anything less than one mile away from the target area. Only 12% of the citiesí residences remained undamaged.(5) The explosion affected over 42.9 square miles of Nagasaki including trees, concrete buildings,...