Milan Vodicka: Nuclear war? Don’t even think about it
I trust that my Nevada County neighbors agree with me that there are different ways to see the world. If you look through green-colored sunglasses the world appears to you heavily shaded green. With yellow lenses the world will be yellow. And with the red ones, it will be red.
Now, what lenses do we use to see and form our ideas within our mental world of beliefs, concepts, interpretations, and language we use? Perhaps the lens of Fox News or the lens of MSNBC? The lens of Mr. Trump’s tweets or other utterances? How do we see this talk about the possibility of a nuclear war?
All those inputs into our mental bodies, commonly known as “information” — more recently as “fake news” — become a basis of who we are, manifested by our actions in the physical world. The world shared by all of us. Why is it important what lens or lenses we use? Well, because, for nuclear war, it involves the question of life and death. Because there is a chain of causality, simply stated, “from thought to intention to action.”
Let me illustrate. In my childhood, if either I or my brother made a hand gesture indicating we would hit our mother, my father’s response was “do not even think about that.” I came to appreciate the wisdom of this. Not thinking about hitting anyone eliminates the possibility of a willful violent act.
In the current context, are we, or our “leaders,” raising the threatening hand by thinking and creating the intention of a nuclear war, with North Korea or some other country? As someone who has significant experience with the nuclear disciplines I feel a need to qualify the question by this: (1) Any nuclear confrontation will not be a local affair — it will be a global event; (2) any nuclear confrontation will have a catastrophic effect on an untold number of innocent civilians — welcome to terrorism; and (3) it appears that a lot of people are expressing opinions based on a total ignorance of what consequences a nuclear confrontation will or might cause.
Yes, in the past I have heard some radio talk show lunatic proclaim “we should make a parking lot from Iran.” Now I hear from Mr. Trump, “fire and fury,” and media discussions of a possibility, even jokes about, nuclear war. “Parking lot,” “fire and fury,” in distant far away places? This is not how it works.
There is no way to contain the radiation resulting from ground level or above the ground level nuclear explosions. For living beings, there is no natural mechanism to detect nuclear radiation field. You and I, or a deer, can walk through it and feel absolutely nothing. Yet the effects are devastating. As a peacetime — not warfare — illustration, please check the Chernobyl nuclear power plant disaster data. Just a simple quote: The Russian author of Chernobyl: Consequences of the Catastrophe for People and the Environment (en.wikipedia.org) states that “among the billions of people worldwide who were exposed to radioactive contamination from the disaster, nearly a million premature cancer deaths occurred between 1986 and 2004.” Note the keywords “billions of people worldwide.”
Yet, apparently, the use of nuclear weapons is “on the table.” Which brings another aspect of discussing the subject — the morality imperative.
Morality affects how we live, through laws and other norms of the society. “Owe no one anything, except to love one another; for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law” (Romans, 13:8). Killing is immoral — except in wars. Wars, of course, need “justifications.” It should be clear and obvious to everyone that there is no justification whatsoever for thinking, talking about, contemplating, or intending to use nuclear, chemical, or biological weapons. The proposition of nuclear war against anyone, anywhere, anytime is absolutely insane, in a true meaning of the word.
My message, regarding the use or potential use of nuclear weapons, to Mr. Trump, Mr. Kim Jong-un, and others on their page, is “do not even think about it!”
I am aware of my paradox. I state “do not even think about it,” while writing about it. Yet, we have to start somewhere. Perhaps with, “what don’t you understand about no?”
And, please, wear the correct (preferably clear) mental lens to see the world next time you vote. For any position, local, state, or national. It may affect your and my survival.
Milan Vodicka, Ph.D. lives in Nevada County.
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Before I tell you about my Darling, I want to follow up on my column from two weeks ago.