Based on Truman's Press Release regarding the Atomic Bomb, what does he indicate are its moral implications?

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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I think that President Truman is fairly skilled at not really exploring the huge and intense moral implications of nuclear weapons.  President Truman recognizes that there are probably more questions than answers present in such a debate.  His press release speaks to how the Japanese are aggressive in their initiation of the war effort in Pearl Harbor.  Truman skillfully argues that "they have been repaid many fold," which indicates a moral implication of whether or not that nuclear technology is proportionate in its massively destructive nature.  In this one statement, President Truman alludes to the idea that it might not be proportional to fight a nation using conventional weaponry with nuclear technology.  I think that the next area where President Truman addresses the moral implications of the use of the atomic bomb would be towards the end of the press release.  The President speaks to the idea of how the dropping of the atomic bomb, "ushers in a new era of man's understanding of nature's forces."  This is significant because President Truman seems to be willingly conceding that there is a new reality that brings with it moral implications.  Such an idea is enhanced in the closing, where he speaks of the "danger of sudden destruction" that comes out of nuclear technology.  It is for this reason that the President concludes with a statement that he will solicit advice from Congress on the applications of nuclear technology, essentially conceding that this technology triggered by the dropping of the atomic bomb does bring with it moral implications that are new, representing unchartered territory in both a political and a moral frame of reference.

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