This week we had a double feature, watching the movie Fat Man and Little Boy and the original, Japanese Godzilla. The commentary was very evident, and both sides of the story were shown, questions were raised, and moral questions left unanswered.
In Fat Man and Little Boy, the scientists near the end of the movie slowly face a realization of the magnitude of the project they are working on- a device that could easily kill thousands of people with basically the flip of a switch. As they realize how dangerous and deadly this device is, they start to dig their heels in, try to back out or provide reasons for why there was no need to use it. Eventually however, as we know, they do use it, the world finds out about it, and an arms race begins that plunges the world into the First Cold War. Men such as Oppenheimer created the tool that would shape much of war for the next millennium and beyond.
In Gojira, the scientist Serizawa creates a devastating object, called the oxygen destroyer, that removes all oxygen from water, ruining the ecosystem and eradicating all life inside that patch of water. When the monster Godzilla shows up, he at first refuses to use his weapon, for fear that others would discover it and use it for terrible things. Eventually, he agrees to use it, but he burns all his notes, removes all evidence to how it was built, and even sacrifices his own life to make sure no one can learn the secret to how it was built.
In both, the scientists worry about the consequence of the usage of their weapon, however in the end they decide that the benefits of using it out outweigh the risks, and that there is no other option.
I have often thought about creating weapons for the military to use. I am a strong supporter of the military, and feel that they are our bastion of defense against those that would threaten our way of life. Knowing that my tools could be use to protect the lives of American soldiers and civilians would give me pride in my work, and make me feel good knowing I was able to help others and my country. We live in a world where our enemies are many, unwavering, and ruthless. We have to be the same to stand up to them. As long as we keep our humanity in the process so we can separate ourselves from those we are fighting.