Thematically, this week’s feature deals with the morality of having scientists design and build weapons of mass destruction. Many scientists who do this hide behind one of the moral shields presented in “Fat Man and Little Boy”: the scientists are only responsible for developing the weapons, not using them. Other scientists openly embrace their role. Edward Teller was one prominent Manhattan Project scientist who felt that the only way to keep the world safe was for the United States to have weapons of such terror that no other nation would dare step too far out of line. Even after WWII ended, Teller advocated further development of atomic and then nuclear weapons. In a very real sense, he was the architect of America’s modern nuclear arsenal. Still other scientists have felt that there is no way to divorce the results of such weapons’ use from their development, and therefore have refused to work on weapons-related research. (Sadly, that right to refuse to work on weapons research is not afforded to scientists of all countries.)
Assignment: Present a moral argument either for or against the development of weapons of mass destruction. Focus on the development of such weapons, and not their use.
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