Sunday, July 21, 2024

The moral dilemma of Oppenheimer

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The movie Oppenheimer, directed by Christopher Nolan has been a brilliant portrayal of the agenda of morality and the atomic bomb

Project Manhattan– the codename for the building of the atomic bomb in history was a moment whose depth can be fathomed by few.

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Directed by Christopher Nolan, Oppenheimer as a film is brilliant to say the least.

It shows not just a very important milestone in history but also the person’s life & his sentient side.

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The first Atomic explosion was carried out in Alamogordo, New Mexico.

However, the focus of this piece will be on the moral dilemma of the weapon possessing the power of the Sun.

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Nuclear Weapons-Power to Bring Cataclysm

At the time of its inception, the atomic bomb was a potential gamechanger.

Over the years the atomic bomb and its upgraded variants got transformed into more sophisticated tactical and strategic nuclear missiles.

Needless to say, these atomic weapons possess the power to bring about Nuclear holocaust in the blink of an eye.

It is like the doomsday kind of scenario.

Today, eight countries of the world possess Atomic weapons while a few others are in the process of acquiring it illegally, defying all international norms.

Moral Side of the Bomb

The film Oppenheimer brilliantly portrayed the moral aspect of the bomb. It is clearly about the issue of morality and the atomic bomb.

Robert Oppenheimer fervently believed that the bomb will used as a potential ‘deterrent’.

He, however, had never hoped that it would be used on flesh and blood human beings.

In the movie it is clearly shown that he generated signs of PTSD or Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Lakhs of people killed instantly, many thousands slowly dying of radiation poisoning.

You can imagine their faces, their voices haunting you, cursing you.

They curse you- what did we do to deserve such a treatment. But then in war what matters is victory, either complete surrender of no fighting.

In the recent God of War Ragnarok game the protagonist Kratos says “Wars are won by those who are willing to sacrifice everything”.

Perhaps this is true, but what cost?

When everything and everybody has to be destroyed?

That is exactly what masses, policymakers, scientists and intellectuals of all hues and shades are forced to think.

The Atomic bomb and its consequent sophistications have forced the planet to about this.

It, is therefore, very clear that Pax Atomica is built on the principle of balance of terror. In the blink of an eye, it can annihilate us and bring about the end of Earth as we know it.

Did Architects of Operations Smiling Buddha & Shakti had the Same Feelings?

While this is quite difficult to say with firm conviction, it can very well be insinuated.

Homi J Bhabha, Raja Ramanna & Rajagopala Chidambaram on one hand and APJ Abdul Kalam on the other hand were the most important people who built India’s nuclear base and arsenal.

The million dollar question is this-did these scientists have the same feeling that J Robert Oppenheimer had?

Probably yes, but they, perhaps they were driven more by their conviction that they are working in national interest just as Oppenheimer was convinced he did.

But one thing is certain- they were all convinced that these lethal weapons will never have to be used.

Conclusion

Scientists are humans, they too feel what others feel, they aren’t politicians and therefore the decision to drop the Atomic bombs was a political decision.

Let’s hope that no human has to see the use of nuclear weapons any more any time in the future.

It should not come down to the agenda of morality and the atomic bomb.

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