Moral, Ethical, Practical, and Spiritual Global Responsibility in the Nuclear Age

Presentation by Jonathan Granoff, President Global Security Institute

delivered to the Halki Summit on “Global Responsibility and Environmental Sustainability: A Conversation on Environment, Ethics, and Innovation”

June 18-20, 2012
Istanbul, Turkey 

The reigns of law and morality are necessary to control the horses of technology and science and guide them from destruction into the greener pastures of creativity and service for life. This is an existential and spiritual necessity in the nuclear age.

The nuclear weapons age began at 5:29:45 a.m. Mountain War Time, July 16, 1945, when the first atom bomb was tested in a portion of the bleak barren Alamogordo bombing range in the New Mexico desert chillingly named Jornado de Muerto (Journey of Death). After the thunderous roar of the shock wave, a huge pillar of smoke rose 30,000 feet, creating the first icon of the nuclear age—the fearsome mushroom cloud. A blast of energy of unprecedented destructive magnitude bathed the surrounding mountain in a brilliant light that could be seen 150 miles away. J. Robert Oppenheimer, Director of the Los Alamos Laboratory, the organization responsible for the design of the first atomic bomb as part of the Manhattan Engineer District of the War Department, uttered a sober description from the Hindu scripture, the Bhagavad-Gita: “‘Now I am become Death, destroyer of worlds.’”


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