Ethical Issue On Nuclear And Bio-Chemical Weapons

Nuclear and bio chemical weapons are classified as weapons of mass destruction by the international committee of Red Cross. However under international law the use of nuclear weapons is not prohibited and it is a subject of serious contention. The use of biological and chemical weapons is prohibited under three international Humanitarian law instruments; Geneva protocol (1925); Biological weapons convention of 1972 and 1993 convention on chemical weapons.

The use of nuclear and bio-chemical weapons raises serious ethical concerns. This is because their use can be associated with the use of “poison ’in ancient times, a technique which has been modified by technology and the result is the creation of weapons of mass destruction. The ethical issues in the use of nuclear and chemical weapons are generally classified into two; Jus in bello, which raise ethical issues on how the war is fought and Jus ad bellum relating to the morality of engaging in war. It has been argued that the prohibition of use of weapons of destruction do not impact on the causalities in a war but just reflect a set standard of morality accepted generally by humanity.

Nuclear and bio chemical weapons are arguably weapons of mass destruction. On nuclear weapons, the amount of energy within atoms is tremendous. A single blast of nuclear bomb can destroy a city and cause high intensity radiations whose effects can be felt for more than a 50 years. A proper example is the Hiroshima and Nagasaki, where effects of radiations from a nuclear bomb are evident in a number of children who are born with undeveloped limbs. On other hand, bio-chemical weapons are not considered as lethal as nuclear weapons. During World War I very few people died of bio-chemical attacks. However, recent advancements in technology have resulted to the production of more lethal bio-chemical weapons which can such Sarin which can kills thousands in a minute.

There exists a gap between theory and practice in the regulation and concern given to nuclear and bio-chemical weapons. Production of these weapons is expensive and only few countries can afford to engage in such enterprise. Bio chemical weapons can be produced by majority of developed countries but for them to be effective they have to be administered by experts in ideal conditions. Thus the classification and prohibition of such weapons should take into conditions such factors.

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