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Arts & Culture

Philosophy Talk: The Doomsday Doctrine

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How do we justify keeping so many nuclear weapons – and continually threatening to use them?

The doctrine of mutually assured destruction is supposed to deter both sides in a war from launching the first nuclear strike. However, the strategy of the US, NATO, and other super powers has been to plan the destruction of nearly all life on Earth. If near total annihilation would be monstrous, ethically speaking, then what should we say about preparing for and planning it? Can there be any moral justification for plausibly threatening a nuclear holocaust? And now that we’ve gotten ourselves in this situation, is there any realistic and ethical way out? John and Ken avoid going nuclear with writer, activist, former defense analyst and whistleblower, Daniel Ellsberg, author of The Doomsday Machine: Confessions of a Nuclear War Planner. Sunday 8/04 at 11 am and Tuesday 8/06 at 12 noon.