Ethical Dilemma Case Study
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Published: Thu, 27 Apr 2017
In our day to day lives there are issues that affect our lifestyles in relation to the decisions we make. At some point we are obliged to make tough choices to uphold a given code or to keep to some set rule. Many are the times we find ourselves in a position of making choices that are either practically acceptable or otherwise. This can be defined as Ethical dilemmas, or in other words moral dilemmas.
There has been raging debate on moral or ethical dilemmas since time in memorial. Renowned theorists such as Plato and others elaborated ethical dilemmas in ways that depicted conflicts between ethical requirements and inhumane or intolerable actions. It therefore becomes quite hard to determine an action that is right or wrong. Examples of ethical dilemmas may vary from work related to family or war situations; they tend to arise mainly from some kind of indecisiveness that catches up on individuals thus affecting the out come of our decisions. At times people impose two or more obligations that are totally not compatible hence choosing between the options becomes daunting. All in all what is required is making ultimate choices in whether to keep to the rules regardless to the moral outcome.
The Second World War ( WW2), occurred from 1939 to 1945,it was a military conflict which involved most of the biggest or superpowers of the world; it required participants of the war to mobilize their economic ,industrial and even scientific capabilities to conquer in the war , it was the most vast war in history of the world with millions of military personnel in the battle field. The Second World War claimed more than 70million deaths; the event was characterized by war crimes that were most crude and inhuman in the history of humanity. Hirohito was the Japanese Emperor on at the time of the war. Before then it was as if the Japanese soldiers were ruling their nation since there was war and fighting in Japan, Hirohito supported the fights and even helped them invade parts of china. At this time He allowed his soldiers to use Poison gas which had already been banned at the end of WW1 (Henkes, 2003).
During World War II with Hirohito’s patronage, the Japanese were surrounded by a lot of controversies on the deaths that occurred to the victims of war. These were executed in varied ways that were all crimes against human race. For instance mass killings; where Prisoners of war (POW) would be massacred to death. Hirohito had a great interest in marine biology hence he prioritized experiments whenever he wanted to learn something that would benefit his soldiers during the time of war, with the help of Japanese soldiers he would conduct experiments on POW without their consent or even without putting them on Anaesthesia.He would even amputate a prisoner to test a biological weapon. Study shows that Hirohito allowed the use of chemical weapons during war despite an earlier treaty signed by League of Nations refuting the use of poisonous gas (Breuer, 2001).
There were other remarkable events that signified the crimes of war caused by Hirohitoâ€™s Empire this included forced labor, cannibalism and forcing women into sex slavery to service his soldiers in the frontline during the war (Breuer, 2001). After the war there was so much debate whether the Emperor would be charged for war crimes, while his lineage urged him to step down, although he surrendered to the American following the two famous Bomb attacks. Hirohito continued to rule Japan until his death from cancer in 1989.
It is evident that Hirohito was guilty of crimes of humanity even after the invasion of the Pacific Ocean by the Americans, he still could not surrender and thousands of Japanese died of disease and hunger along the beaches trying to defend their territories even without superior weapons. At the end of the World War II the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki were not as necessary since the need for peace negotiations since a cease fire was already in place. In as much as the Americans wanted to protect their reputation and lead role in the Post war era. They had really pushed towards a peace deal. The Japanese showed the need for peace feelers through channels such as Moscow, Switzerland, Sweden for quite some time. Emperor Hirohito had wanted to see the war come to an end as soon.
Other alternate plans than releasing the atomic bomb could have been reached using a more Diplomatic approach to the end the war. If Japan had given up to the US and let them keep the emperor who was considered a god in Japan. The war would have persisted to salvage their god. Russiaâ€™s probability of joining Americans in the invasion to the land could mean more power to overcome the Japanese in less time, thus the casualties of war would have been fewer than what the bombs caused. Somehow Americaâ€™s pressure to use atomic bomb persisted and they released it.
The decision made by the United States government in the disposition and treatment of the Japanese Emperor evokes much debate on whether it was morally correct or not. Based on Japanese survivors of both civilians and military, their testimonies depict that there was willingness of Japanese to surrender even if the atomic bombs had not been dropped .It is still uncertain if that would really happen. Joycelyne,(2010) suggested that most of the Cabinet in the US has objected the heinous act of bombing Japan since the signs of defeat for Japan were evident thus it was unnecessary in dropping the bomb. Although the Japanese had started sending feelers for peace giving them the chance to surrender was the only way to uphold morality. Altogether it never worked owing to Japans history of Human crimes in war.
According to Robert James Maddox the Japanese persisted on transmitting terms to the United States on Peace terms even after the Russians had joined the Americans in War and the two bombs had been dropped. Hirohito would still encourage hardliners to leave their conditions. That showed that if the bombs were not dropped first Japan would not have surrendered (Joycelyne, 2010).
If the Americans chose to invade the Japanese there could be more fatalities than the bomb could do, since the Japanese had trained millions of civilians to attack using bamboo sticks and explosive strappingâ€™s to conquer the Americans. Hirohito mobilized civilians of all ages to counter attack he Americans along the disputed beaches; they had all manner of archery although they could not match the US, kind of weapons.
A faster way of ending the WWII was quite tricky since it would not come without a price, a close look at Japan-China war history, hundreds of people perished the peace negotiations were still in progress, hence waiting for Japan to bow down would have cost more lives. Most Americans wished the bombs could have been dropped earlier. Moreover the decision by United States may deem unethical to many critics terming them as crimes against humanity; The US had to take the decision they took to end the war that almost crumbled the whole world. The dilemma was immense at this time owing to the perceived repercussions of the bombs to people of Japan, regardless of the age, cadre, or even opinion. Effects of the Bombs are evident up today.
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