The Bomb and Man’s Future
THE elusive search for security in the nuclear age has resulted in the stockpiling of thousands and thousands of weapons of mass destruction.
Informed people recognize that the nations have steeled themselves actually to use their weapons if provoked. Indeed, willingness to unleash them is at the very core of deterrence. General B. L. Davis, commander of the United States Strategic Air Command, wrote recently: “In the final analysis, our ability to maintain credible deterrence is a function of two interdependent factors. First, we must have—and potential adversaries must understand that we have—the capability to deny them their goals at any level of conflict. Second, we must have—and adversaries must perceive that we have—the will as a nation to exercise that capability in defense of our national interests.” (Italics ours.)—Air Force Magazine, July 1985.
Nuclear weapons haven’t been used in anger in 40 years, but past restraint gives no guarantees for the future. Recent national polls indicate that 68 percent of the American people believe that nuclear weapons will eventually be used if the arms race continues.
Such anxiety is felt throughout the world. Consider what an 18-year-old student in Sierra Leone wrote: “A nuclear war will affect each and every human being on this planet . . . Thus even people in Africa need to feel alarm although they are far away from the territory of the superpowers. . . . By and large, people deal with the threat of global holocaust by means of what researchers call ‘psychic shutdown,’ i.e., refusal to think about it at all. As world tensions increase, however, it becomes increasingly harder to perform this feat of emotional gymnastics and simply ignore the threat.”
Other Threats to Security
But apart from the obvious threat of deliberate war between the superpowers, mankind’s security is menaced in other ways. One danger is that ever more countries will obtain nuclear weapons. In addition to the five nations positively known to have them already, there are at least six other countries that either already have or are close to possessing atom bombs of their own. By the end of the century, experts believe, 20 or more nations will have the bomb.
Another danger is that a terrorist organization will obtain one of these weapons. Just think what a terrorist could do with an atom bomb! Why, an entire city could be held for ransom!
How could such a group acquire a nuclear bomb? In one of two ways. They could steal one—remember, there are 50,000 to choose from! They could also make one. The technology of atom-bomb building is no longer secret. And plutonium, the basic ingredient needed, is becoming increasingly plentiful. In fact, it is estimated that by the year 2000 there will be enough plutonium produced through civilian nuclear programs alone to make 750,000 Nagasaki-size bombs per year!
Added to these threats to security are the possibilities of accident, miscalculation, or systems failure.
Scientists, scholars, generals, and politicians have written extensively about this subject. Increasingly they view the nuclear arms race as costly, futile, and extremely dangerous. They propose various solutions. Some call for complete disarmament. Others want a freeze on weapons production. Still others suggest a ‘star wars’ defense. Last January the two heads of the superpowers offered encouraging statements. Mikhail Gorbachev proposed a step-by-step process to rid the earth of nuclear weapons by the year 2000. Ronald Reagan said he was grateful for the offer. A serious peace plan or a propaganda ploy? All these proposals have one thing in common—they all point to some human solution.
This raises a fundamental question: Is it realistic to put our confidence in humans to bring about freedom from the peril of nuclear war, since humans are the very ones who created the peril in the first place? Men have demonstrated awesome genius in the mastery of computerized weapons of death and destruction, but have they mastered their own nature? This generation has seen two brutal world wars, the scope and destruction of which dwarfed any previous war in the history of mankind. And in the 40 years since World War II, some 150 smaller wars have been fought; 30 million people have perished in them.
Little wonder the Bible says: “Do not put your trust in nobles, nor in the son of earthling man, to whom no salvation belongs.” Jehovah has purposed a solution of his own to the nuclear dilemma. Unlike those of man, his solution will result in the elimination of warfare completely and forever.—Psalm 46:9; 146:3.
That solution rests in God’s Kingdom, a world government that will bring lasting security to lovers of peace everywhere. Three million people in over 200 lands of the earth recognize that this Kingdom will soon assert its authority on the earth, ending forever the prospect of a nuclear holocaust. These people are Jehovah’s Witnesses.
In submission to the righteous laws of that Kingdom, they are fulfilling the prophecy at Micah 4:3, which says: “And they will have to beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning shears. They will not lift up sword, nation against nation, neither will they learn war anymore.” One fourth of the world’s scientists are engaged in defense-related pursuits. None of them are Jehovah’s Witnesses. Some 70 million people are directly engaged in military-related occupations. Not one is a witness of Jehovah.
But far from being merely passive observers of the nuclear predicament, the Witnesses lovingly teach people what God will do to remedy the situation. The facts are in your own copy of the Bible. To get help to understand these things, contact Jehovah’s Witnesses in your community. They will be glad to assist you.
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The core of the problem: The superpowers deeply distrust and fear each other
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Some 70 million people are directly engaged in military-related occupations. Not one is a witness of Jehovah