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Can a Christian justify the use of Nuclear Weapons? Essay

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When answering the title of this essay, you have to first look at why countries retain and develop nuclear weapons. The first reason and most obvious of all is to use the nuclear device to destroy an enemy. A good Christian however can never justify this, because no matter how accurate your weapons are you will undoubtedly kill innocent civilians. If you look at the Ten Commandments laid down by God you will see that God was opposed to war, violence and any form of mistreatment. We are told, “To love thy neighbour” and “To treat our enemies, as we would want to be treated.

” If you were to look at these commandments you would see that nuclear warfare could never be justified and if you do provoke a nuclear war you should be punished. That brings me into the second reason of why countries retain nuclear weapons and that is as a threat. It is a way of protecting your country, but you will protect yourself and retaliate if provoked. Any Christian would feel that this was unjust, after all God did say in the Ten Commandments, “Forgive your enemy”. Retaliating in any way, shape or form would be breaking the Ten Commandments and therefore you could not call yourself a good Christian.

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That leads me onto the third reason of why countries retain nuclear bombs that is to use it as a deterrent to anyone who may consider attacking the country. Many Christians believe that retain nuclear bombs just for the use, as a deterrent, is ridiculous. They feel that there is no point in spending millions of pounds on producing nuclear weapons just for the use as a threat. It is difficult to imagine that people find it acceptable that 75,000 to 100,000 die unnecessarily every day from lack of food, water, shelter, sanitation etc (not from war) while the world’s most privileged governments pour even more billions into ‘security.

‘ I agree with them, and I feel that there are far more important things throughout the world that need our help like those listed above. Spending huge amounts on developing nuclear weapons is very unnecessary and the money should be aimed at ending death and pain rather than creating it. However, it is not only Christians that believe retaining nuclear bombs, as a deterrent, is wrong and that dropping nuclear bombs is unjust.

I asked Canon Michael Evans (A priest at my local Roman Catholic Parish) and he said the following, “Nuclear deterrence as a national policy must be condemned as morally abhorrent because it is the excuse and justification for the continued possession and further development of these horrendous weapons. We urge all to join in taking up the challenge to begin the effort to eliminate nuclear weapons now, rather than relying on them indefinitely. ” You can see that even in other religions the retention of nuclear weapons, as a deterrent is believed to be unjust, even though it may have a slim chance of preventing war.

Then there is the saying from a 4th Century Roman Christian who said, “Let him who desires peace, prepare for war. ” He was saying that if anyone wants peace, must protect themselves as a deterrent from potential attackers. But who is to say that nuclear weapons that are being used as a deterrent will never be used to destroy an enemy causing pain and death to a population. The most obvious approach a Christian would take to nuclear warfare would be the unilateral approach. That is never to retain nuclear weapons and certainly never to use them.

This would be the most just way, because you can spend money on things that are important like health, education and transport. By not retaining nuclear arms, no one would try to attack you, because they would not find you as a threat. But of course you can never rid everyone of knowledge. Therefore any one person could have the know how to design and manufacture nuclear bombs for use of a destructive nature. I feel that the forth approach is the best and most just way of using nuclear weapons- not to use them at all. You are not threatening anyone, you follow all of the Ten Commandments and you follow the Just War Theory.

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