Argument: Nuclear weapons immorally threaten mass murder

Issue Report: Abolition of nuclear weapons


  • David Krieger. “Ten Reasons to Abolish Nuclear Weapons”. Nuclear Age Peace Foundation. Retrieved 2.11.08 – “5. Cease the Immorality of Threatening Mass Murder. It is highly immoral to base the security of a nation on the threat to destroy cities and potentially murder millions of people. This immoral policy is named nuclear deterrence, and it is relied upon by all nuclear weapons states. Nuclear deterrence is a dangerous policy. Its implementation places humanity and most forms of life in jeopardy of annihilation.”
  • “Six Arguments for Abolishing Nuclear Weapons”. Nuclear Age Peace Foundation. 1999 – “Nuclear weapons are morally reprehensible. The rightness of many issues is debatable, but nuclear weapons are morally insupportable. Even possessing something so deadly is wrong. These radiation-laden bombs can destroy most life on Earth and would be better described as national and global suicide devices rather than weapons. What could be more evil? As Joseph Rotblat, the 1995 Nobel Peace Laureate, urged when speaking against nuclear weapons, ‘Remember your humanity!’
Father Richard McSorley has written, ‘Can we go along with the intent to use nuclear weapons? What it is wrong to do, it is wrong to intend to do. If it is wrong for me to kill you, it is wrong for me to plan to do it. If I get my gun and go into your house to retaliate for a wrong done me, then find there are police guarding your house, I have already committed murder in my heart. I have intended it. Likewise, if I intend to use nuclear weapons in massive retaliation, I have already committed massive murder in my heart.’
Such intentions to harm violate the moral teachings of all religions. It is worth remembering that even in the middle of a war as bitterly fought as World War II, some generals and admirals opposed the use of the first nuclear weapons on the grounds that it was immoral to kill civilians. Their moral arguments are truer today than when first uttered, since a war with current, super-powerful H-bombs would poison entire continents. What kind of people do we become, if we accept the possibility of committing mass murder and suicide as part of our everyday government policy?”