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Offline don-o

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« on: July 11, 2016, 10:55:03 AM »

Offline don-o

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« Reply #1 on: July 11, 2016, 10:59:14 AM »

Offline don-o

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« Reply #2 on: July 13, 2016, 07:54:57 AM »

Offline HoustonSam

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« Reply #3 on: July 14, 2016, 03:59:16 PM »
James 1:20

Offline RoosGirl

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« Reply #4 on: July 14, 2016, 11:04:35 PM »
Quote
He remained poor, but he was not unmanned; he had enough character to say No. With the advance of industrialism this type of individual is exploited and then, because he is exploited, contemned. Native dignity becomes an old fashion, and character is often an obstruction to the wheels of economic progress.

My immediate thought on this was to the conversations many here have had regarding Trump's many campaign contributions to both democrats and republicans.

Offline don-o

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« Reply #5 on: July 15, 2016, 10:24:20 AM »

Offline don-o

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« Reply #6 on: July 15, 2016, 10:52:49 AM »

Offline HoustonSam

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« Reply #7 on: July 15, 2016, 11:34:34 PM »
I think it is more accurate to say, most if not all, were unaware. You make good points on the overall question (war of worldviews is an intriguing concept) , but Weaver's actual emphasis is on the inability of the workers to make a moral judgement on the work they had volunteered to do.

And what were those moral principles on which judgement would have been made? I don't know that Catholic just war doctrine was central to many people's moral formation in that time and place.

You've done better justice than I to the facts, and to Weaver's case.  No doubt virtually everyone who worked on the Manhattan project was unaware of what it would produce, and Weaver's emphasis is on moral ignorance, not technical ignorance.  In a later chapter entitled "The Great Stereopticon" Weaver will indict mass media; perhaps the unquestioning-though-ignorant support for the Manhattan project was a further product of the degraded western worldview, with that degradation in this case exaggerated by government propaganda delivered through mass media.

But even that argument assumes that a morally-integrated worldview would have rejected the Manhattan project.  It's not clear to me that it would.  Those Medieval Philosophic Doctors, guardians of the transcendental-based worldview which provided a surer comprehension of reality, lived in times of incredible cruelty.

The Oak Ridge workers simply assumed that someone, somewhere, somehow had figured it out. In this chapter, Weaver speaks of the "gentleman " class, which he describes as the secularized version of the "philosopher-king".

Did Americans in the 1940's assume that the President was, ipso facto, a gentleman.?

What about Americans today?

I suspect that many Americans did assume that Roosevelt had it all figured out, just as many assumed of Obama 8 years ago or of Trump today.  But isn't it the case that in any worldview some will rely on the understanding of others?  We certainly need more of those well-rounded Vermont farmers, but even in medieval or Georgian times *everyone* wasn't a Philosophic Doctor or a Gentleman.

@don-o I really appreciate your responses.  You're forcing me to think a lot harder about Weaver than I ever have in the past; it's taken me a long time, and a lot of editing, to compose even these few thoughts.  More tomorrow.
James 1:20

Offline don-o

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« Reply #8 on: July 16, 2016, 07:43:03 AM »
@don-o I really appreciate your responses.  You're forcing me to think a lot harder about Weaver than I ever have in the past; it's taken me a long time, and a lot of editing, to compose even these few thoughts.  More tomorrow.

Thank you. When we began these discussions, I recall a comment of yours  to the effect that Weaver's thought presented challenges to one of the most basic sort. I am finding that true as well. But, if I were just arguing with myself, I would get frustrated and/or bored and probably give up.

All the comments posted help me - yours have been vital in maintaining my motivation to press ahead. I wish we had more participation; but these threads will endure. I am looking at a lot of what I see now through a "Weaver lens." Recently found a piece about "nominalism" that I added to the Intro Part One thread.

btw, my special interest in Oak Ridge has a personal angle. My mother worked there one summer between terms of college. This was unknown to her family until just a few years ago. We knew of two uncles, both degreed, who worked there after the bombs were dropped. One was was in the financial side; the other in the technical.

Offline RoosGirl

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« Reply #9 on: July 20, 2016, 03:31:40 PM »

Offline Idaho_Cowboy

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« Reply #10 on: July 21, 2016, 01:36:30 PM »
I'll leave the whole atom bomb argument to my betters. We won and I'm glad we won. I'm too much a barbarian to get too deep there.

What I am picking up on here is that Weaver presents a splendid counter argument to the idea that progess, in and of itself, is a virtue. There's a lot of talk of the future and progess and moving forward. The unspoken premise of the mindset seems to be: as as long as we are moving, we truly advancing. When in reality if we are as Weaver is pointing out losing our compas and map then 'progress' can easily lead to being barbarians with laser guns.

 

Offline Idaho_Cowboy

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« Reply #11 on: July 21, 2016, 01:37:24 PM »
I do not have an in depth knowledge of WWII history.  Do we know that dropping the bombs on unpopulated areas was not discussed and dismissed for some reason?  I have a hard time believing that no one had that idea until afterwards.
I've heard that we worried about the production time to have a 3rd bomb ready if our bluff was seen as weakness instead of a show power.

Offline JustPassinThru

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« Reply #12 on: July 21, 2016, 02:34:52 PM »
I do not have an in depth knowledge of WWII history.  Do we know that dropping the bombs on unpopulated areas was not discussed and dismissed for some reason?  I have a hard time believing that no one had that idea until afterwards.

It was never considered.

This was WAR.  War is won by killing the enemy's soldiers and breaking his infrastructure.

The Atomic Bomb was supposed to eliminate the need to slaughter a million Allied soldiers in the assault on mainland Japan.

There were FOUR of them.  That was all.  It was by no means certain they would work.

They weren't putting on a science exhibit.  And when the military leadership is FRIGHTENED to kill enemy soldiers and civilians, and instead puts on a display to frighten the enemy...what does that prove?  THAT THE NATION WITH THE WEAPON IS ITSELF AFRAID TO USE IT.

Offline don-o

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« Reply #13 on: July 21, 2016, 03:33:24 PM »
They weren't putting on a science exhibit.  And when the military leadership is FRIGHTENED to kill enemy soldiers and civilians, and instead puts on a display to frighten the enemy...what does that prove?  THAT THE NATION WITH THE WEAPON IS ITSELF AFRAID TO USE IT.

The deliberate targeting of civilians is pretty much a given when you drop a nuclear bomb on population centers. Is the shedding of innocent blood justified based on the evil of their government? Can the people living under an evil government be considered innocent?




Offline JustPassinThru

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« Reply #14 on: July 21, 2016, 07:00:04 PM »
The deliberate targeting of civilians is pretty much a given when you drop a nuclear bomb on population centers. Is the shedding of innocent blood justified based on the evil of their government? Can the people living under an evil government be considered innocent?

Yes it is justified.

Wars are won by breaking the enemy's will to resist.  By convincing them that continuing to fight on their side will be worse than surrender.

Now, individual acts of atrocities are forbidden...by civilized nations and the Geneva Protocols (which are only binding when BETWEEN signatories).  No war is won by raping teenage girls.  No war is won by looting silver table service.  No war is won by pouring gasoline on old men and setting them alight.

But the costs already incurred in the Pacific war, and the promise of a million more casualties in the mainland invasion, AND the BARBARIC behavior of the Japanese troops in China and Indochina...made the morality of ending the war with Japanese civilian casualties, instead of exponentially more Allied troops and Chinese and other civilian executions...it made the collateral damage in Hiroshima and Nagasaki the more moral choice.

I find it interesting how some people like to reopen the morality of past acts using TODAY's sensibilities.  It was our young troops, or the Japanese going to defense industrial jobs.  Who would have been participating in the slaughter of invading American troops, had that come to be before surrender.

Offline RoosGirl

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« Reply #15 on: July 21, 2016, 07:26:07 PM »
The deliberate targeting of civilians is pretty much a given when you drop a nuclear bomb on population centers. Is the shedding of innocent blood justified based on the evil of their government? Can the people living under an evil government be considered innocent?

I suppose I am too much of a barbarian also.  I don't look at it as justifying the shedding of innocent blood.  In this instance everything that had to happen, and it did have to happen, is on their government.  The blood of innocents is not on Americans' hands; ours and their innocents are all on the Japanese.  I don't think it even matters whether their were innocent civilians or not.

Offline don-o

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« Reply #16 on: July 27, 2016, 11:23:48 AM »
I hope to post Chapter Four tonight. It is "Egotism in Work and Art"

Even at this early point in our discussions, I am finding new challenges and trying out new thinking paths based on Weaver's thought.

When I come across something on the boards that turn my thought to Weaver, I am posting links to these discussions.


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