Edward Teller Dead

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2014
Edward Teller, who probably did more than anyone else to advance work on the H-Bomb has died. Was the creation of the H-Bomb a moral act? One defence I that I have heard of the work on the bomb is that if the U.S. had not done it, the Soviets would have beat them to it. Another is the "peacekeeper" argument. I find both arguments to be weak on pure moral grounds - given the fundamentally evil nature of what was created - even if the arguments are true from the point of view of realpolitik. And will we be ever be able to put the genie back in the bottle?

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 15
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Chinney

    Edward Teller, who probably did more than anyone else to advance work on the H-Bomb has died. Was the creation of the H-Bomb a moral act? One defence I that I have heard of the work on the bomb is that if the U.S. had not done it, the Soviets would have beat them to it. Another is the "peacekeeper" argument. I find both arguments to be weak on pure moral grounds - given the fundamentally evil nature of what was created - even if the arguments are true from the point of view of realpolitik. And will we be ever be able to put the genie back in the bottle?



    well, dont forget the germans were also working on it, so if the US had not done it, and the germans had.....

    while war is not something that is good, it is many times necessary, and so is a strong weapon, even if you never use it, just having it to back you up can be good.
  • Reply 2 of 15
    This argument could be used about any assault weapon, and unfortunately the genie can't be put back in the bottle.



    Fear the day when govt decides nuclear weapons are child's play to the Next Big Thing.
  • Reply 3 of 15
    pfflampfflam Posts: 5,053member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Chinney

    Edward Teller, who probably did more than anyone else to advance work on the H-Bomb has died. Was the creation of the H-Bomb a moral act? One defence I that I have heard of the work on the bomb is that if the U.S. had not done it, the Soviets would have beat them to it. Another is the "peacekeeper" argument. I find both arguments to be weak on pure moral grounds - given the fundamentally evil nature of what was created - even if the arguments are true from the point of view of realpolitik. And will we be ever be able to put the genie back in the bottle?



    hey, bombs don't kill people, people kill people . . . .



    no, but seriously folks . . . .

    no thing is 'fundamentally evil' . . . humans do 'evil' things and have ideas which can be described as having evil effects . . . but no thing is evil in-itself



    Though as far as Teller is concerned . . . well. I sure won't miss him . . .
  • Reply 4 of 15
    defiantdefiant Posts: 4,876member
    *guns don't kill people - people kill people*



    /singing?
  • Reply 5 of 15
    ringoringo Posts: 328member
    I have a few thoughts on this subject.



    First, I do believe that the fusion bomb is many times more humanitary than the fission bomb. The reason for this is that the lasting effects of that type of reaction are much smaller, despite the larger immediate destruction it causes. Instead of people being in suffering from radiation sickness for their entire lives (many who weren't even born yet when the bomb was dropped), there are people with severe burns as a result of the explosion's flash (which you have anyway with fission weapons, but to a smaller degree). If I had to chose, I'd take the lesser of two evils, thank you.



    I don't think that the next "big" thing in weapons will make nuclear weapons look insignifigant at all. The next major step "forward" in this area is likely to be with the use of antimatter reactions. The devistation they would create would be the same scale that we saw when the hydrogen bomb was created. But when that happened the world superpowers didn't start lobbing their old fission bombs at each other, right? I don't know if any governments are working on this, and frankly I don't see why they would. There is a very serious safety problem with antimatter containment that will likely take an extremely long time to solve. You don't have to worry about a hydrogen bomb accidentally going off because it takes a very specific series of events for this to happen. The chances of this occuring are so miniscule that you don't have to worry about it happening, despite the destruction that would occur. All you would need for an antimatter bomb to go off by accident is a leak.



    Ah, but I should shut up now...
  • Reply 6 of 15
    chinneychinney Posts: 1,019member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by pfflam

    hey, bombs don't kill people, people kill people . . . .



    no, but seriously folks . . . .

    no thing is 'fundamentally evil' . . . humans do 'evil' things and have ideas which can be described as having evil effects . . . but no thing is evil in-itself



    Though as far as Teller is concerned . . . well. I sure won't miss him . . .




    This is just semantics. That is, unless you are raising the silly anti-gun control argument here and applying it to nuclear weapons. But I assume that you are not doing this (you make fun of it yourself).



    Therefore, moving on to your semantic point: of course the weapons themselves are not evil in a literal sense. I do not plan to condemn a hunk of metal. It is the creation, the possession, and, of course, the use, which are evil - all of which are human activities. My orginal reference was just common shorthand.
  • Reply 7 of 15
    aquafireaquafire Posts: 2,758member
    The next weapon will be a relativistic time bomb..which causes all the people who are your enemies to revert to childhood..with the bonus that they'll all be happy giggly kids, ready to be re-educated into the american dream...while the rest of us totter into olde age..with no teeth and a poor pension plan...
  • Reply 8 of 15
    pfflampfflam Posts: 5,053member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Chinney

    This is just semantics. That is, unless you are raising the silly anti-gun control argument here and applying it to nuclear weapons. But I assume that you are not doing this (you make fun of it yourself).



    Therefore, moving on to your semantic point: of course the weapons themselves are not evil in a literal sense. I do not plan to condemn a hunk of metal. It is the creation, the possession, and, of course, the use, which are evil - all of which are human activities. My orginal reference was just common shorthand.




    No its not just semantics its onological: one person believes in something called 'evil' and attributes a substantive existence to it

    I don't

    though I do think that there are modes of thought that merit the term as descriptive of how the thoughts destroys or imprison the people holding them or others through those people:

    like the Dalai Lama said . . 'we don't believe evil is an mysterious thing rather we believe that anger is evil and evil is anger'



    now maybe anger is mysterious?!?!? hmm?
  • Reply 9 of 15
    scottscott Posts: 7,431member
    The Cold War and MAD came to a peaceful end, no?
  • Reply 10 of 15
    Quote:

    no thing is 'fundamentally evil'







    EVIL
  • Reply 11 of 15
    aquafireaquafire Posts: 2,758member
    Originally posted by Longhorn



    " No thing is fundamentally evil "



    You obviously haven't met Dinsdale !



  • Reply 12 of 15
    smirclesmircle Posts: 1,035member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by The General

    well, dont forget the germans were also working on it, so if the US had not done it, and the germans had.....



    Uhmmm, nope

    Germany was more or less researching a fission bomb, not a fusion bomb. The first H bomb was tested in '52 (WW II ended in '45).



    Ironically, it seems that large parts of the german military leadership were against developing the A bomb and the project never halfway took off (not sure if they arrived at running a critical reactor, but afaik no). It seems the only reason there was any funding at all was some intelligence pointing at the US developing atomic weapons - so it seems that both side got scared into developing them.



    Btw Ringo: a H bomb is detonated using an A bomb and has a fissible encasement - so you get long lasting fallout as well, nothing more humanitarian there.
  • Reply 13 of 15
    ringoringo Posts: 328member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Smircle

    Btw Ringo: a H bomb is detonated using an A bomb and has a fissible encasement - so you get long lasting fallout as well, nothing more humanitarian there.



    You make a very good point which I neglected to mention. However, I remember hearing that the energy from the fusion reaction destroys most of the remaining material from the fission detonator. This was back in high school so I could very easily be wrong. Now that I think about it... I remember learning that Bikini Atoll was uninhabitable until just recently because of the US doing nuclear tests there. Can anyone clear all of this up?



    Maybe we should encourage our governments to do research into antimatter weapons! j/k
  • Reply 14 of 15
    aquafireaquafire Posts: 2,758member
    [QUOTE][i]Originally posted by Ringo [/b]





    " Maybe we should encourage our governments to do research into antimatter weapons! "






    Why stop there ?.



    Why not go for the ultimate Black Hole bomb...



    There is plenty of speculation about naturally occuring "quantum black holes " smaller than a quark..They pop into and out of existence all the time..



    Some are allegedly clustered, shifting & smeared out across quantum space time..



    Evidence is mounting that there is a perfectly usable one in President Bushs' head...If only we could harness it...

  • Reply 15 of 15
    ringoringo Posts: 328member
    Dubya wishes he had one, but only I posses such a weapon of global destruction (I keep it in a shoe box).



    *maniacal laughter*
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