Religion, Peace and Conflict – WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION

Weapons of Mass Destruction

The first atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima in 1945. 80000 people died instantly and the death toll rose to over 140000 due to radiation poisoning and burns. Three days later a second bomb was dropped on the city of Nagasaki. Japan surrendered and this marked the end of the Second World War.


Types of WMD

  • Nuclear
  • Chemical
  • Biological


Arguments for countries having WMDs:

  • Having WMDs acts as a deterrent. Countries are much less likely to attack if WMDs are present
  • Having WMDs actually keeps the peace
  • The use of a WMD on Hiroshima and Nagasaki brought the war to an end. More people would have died if the war had continued
  • The use of a WMD at the end of the Second World War gave an important message. No nuclear weapons have been used since. This is a good thing.
  • WMD manufacture provides jobs and wealth to a country eg many people in Scotland are employed by the UK’s nuclear deterrent system called Trident



Arguments against countries having WMDs:

  • There can never be an acceptable reason to have or potentially use WMDs. They kill huge numbers of innocent people
  • They are controlled from a distance or dropped from planes or drones. The people who use them never fully understand the damage they cause. Too easy to walk away fro this kind of destruction
  • WMD production and maintenance is expensive. Money would be better spent on education or healthcare
  • WMDs create inequality. Only the rich and powerful can afford them
  • WMDs can easily fall into the wrong hands or be used by poor leaders eg the threat posed by the unpredictable leadership in North Korea
  • Biological and chemical weapons are frequently used by dictators to keep people living in fear and preserve power eg chemical attacks by the government on Syrian people who want to change the government



Christian Views on WMDs
  • ‘Thou shall not kill’ (10 Commandments)
  • Sanctity of Life – God gives life only God has the right to take it away
  • ‘Love thy neighbour’ (Jesus)
  • Use of WMDs does not fit with the Just War Theory eg force used in not proportional and innocent civilians are attacked
  • Most Christians would push for the destruction of all WMDs


Muslim Views on WMDs
  • ‘Take not life that God has made sacred’ (Qur’an)
  • ‘Do not contribute to your own destruction with your own hands, but do good, for God loves those who do good’ (Qur’an)
  • ‘Fight in God’s cause against those who fight you, but do not overstep the limits’ (Qur’an)
  • Use of WMDs goes against the idea of proportionality and not attacking civilians found in the concept of Lesser Jihad

One thought on “Religion, Peace and Conflict – WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION

Comments are closed.