SE Asia & Japan :: April - June, 1995

Subject: Einstein
Date: June 20, 1995 13:17

17:01 Jim & Gayla's; Vancouver, BC -- Canada :: 19 JUN 95

> From: "Charles Eliot"
> To: "'Patrick Jennings'"
> Subject: Einstein
> Date: Mon, 19 Jun 1995 10:07:27 -0700
> Encoding: 27 TEXT
> "The unleashed power of the atom has changed everything save our modes of
> thinking and we thus drift toward unparalleled catastrophe"
> Albert Einstein (1946)
> Actually, I never rated Einstein much as a philosopher and/or political
> thinker.  But in this sentiment his aim was true,
> All but a few of those great physicists who became involved, directly or
> indirectly, with the atom bomb were changed by the experience.  Some, like
> Philip Morrison, moved to different fields to expiate their guilt (he
> became an astrophysicist).  Some, like Oppenheimer, tried to work from the
> inside to repair the damage they had done (in his case until he was
> destroyed by more ruthless and skillful insiders).  The story of the men
> and women who built the atomic bomb is a colossal example of human folly,
> of blinkered vision, of selective intelligence.
> Ultimately, the same sense of culpability felt so closely by Oppenheimer,
> Morrison, Fermi, Bethe, Feynman, etc is shared by each of us whenever we
> accept, for whatever reason and however fleetingly, that inflicting human
> suffering might be a justifiable means to an end.
> Charles

Patrick. -- Responses Sought --

On the same day that the Japanese government announced its determination to use bamboo spears, if necessary, against the enemy, Dr. Albert Einstein affixed his name to the memorandum prepared by Professor Leo Szilard recommending that the atomic bomb should not be used against Japan. In this he joined a growing list of scientists who had been instrumental in the development of the bomb who, now that they knew Germany did not possess it, were opposed to its use. Shortly after that, Neils Bohr expressed the same opinion. Among the scientists who were responsible for the bomb there was an increasing number, then, who believed that Japan was, to all intents and purposes, already defeated and that to drop the bomb was unjustifiable.
  graphical element The Day Man Lost: Hiroshima, 6 August 1945