Narrativized Ethics, Hiroshima, Harry Truman, Homer, Aeschylus


Discussions of the atomic bomb and Hiroshima have to be deeply troubling for anyone. The natural inclination is to turn one’s eyes away or to remain silent. Avoidance and silence, however, were not valid options immediately after the Second World War and are not valid options today. The decision – or decisions, for there were many – to drop the atomic bomb on Hiroshima and later Nagasaki raises issues of profound importance for the human community. It compels us to ask who we are as individuals and as members of a society engaged in actions with such devastating consequences. We must ask ourselves as well how otherwise ordinary people come to such decisions and how they justify them – consciously or unconsciously – before or after the fact.