If you will check the article, you'll see that it's neither the "atomic" aspect nor the "bomb" aspect that Jimmy Akin is objecting to per se. From the article,
"I am not a Euroweenie or a peacenik or a political liberal or even someone opposed to the use of nuclear weapons in principle. I can imagine scenarios in which their use would be justified."
His precise point is the one made by the Constitution on the Church in the Modern World, Gaudium et Spes, a major teaching document of the Second Vatican Council: that when the noncombatants constitute the target; when their deaths are part of the intended impact of the act; then their deaths are not justified as collateral damage.
He backs it up with this quote from the Catechism:
"Every act of war directed to the indiscriminate destruction of whole cities or vast areas with their inhabitants is a crime against God and man, which merits firm and unequivocal condemnation." The Link to the Catechism is well worth looking at for context.
It is not true that, war being bad, it's either "all" bad or it's not. The just use of military force, including lethal force, targetting military aggressors in order to force them to cease aggression, is a positive and honorable thing, however bloody it may be. It is not murder.
The unintended but foreseeable collateral deaths of civilians is likewise morally tolerable, if it is proportionate and not directly intended. (By way of analogy, this would be like the death of an unborn baby because of a doctor doing a hysterectomy on the mother's cancerous uterus.)
The intentional killing of noncombatants is murder. (Analogous to direct abortion.)
The difference between justified killing in war, and murder, is pretty well spelled out in the U.S. Army Field Manual. That's a traditional American military principle I consider essential to defend.
You need to look at the Japanese plans for civilian resistance to an invasion -- civilians using spears and such if that's all they had -- and consider who a "noncombatant" would be.
Well dandy, wasn’t vatican II implemented AFTER WW II??
140,000 people died in Hiroshima & 80,000 in Nagasaki. The radiation later caused the deaths of thousands more. Its estimated that over 300,000 Japanese died from the bombings until today.
60,000 may have died in the firebombing of Dresden the figures are not really known.
32,000 died in the Blitz and 87,000 seriously injured.
When we speak of proportionate, the people of England were targeted because they were civilians. The people of Dresden were also targeted civilians. Dresden had no military presence or munitions. Some think this was a means to tell the Russians the West was doing all it could to help their advance into Germany, or it was a warning to Russia and the first salvo of the Cold War.
In any event it was disproportionate. Can we say that the civilian deaths are justified if they back their government? Isn’t that what the Islamists use as their reason for targeting civilians?
The Japanese put their munitions and armament plants in those cities with predictable results. If any are to blame for the deaths of so many, it would be those in the Japanese Imperial Army and the Emperor himself for placing targets within civilian housing.
Who is truly the innocent? The 17 year old conscript wearing a uniform, or the politician who made the decision to go to war? How about the industrialists who profited from the war and advocated its continuation?
The best enemy target is the spirit of the people who decide to continue the war.
The late (not-so-great) Pope John Paul II had a hand in the writing of Gaudium et Spes, the Catechism of the Catholic Church, and the Gospel of Life. All are flawed by his insistence on the seamless garment position of the late (Cardinal of Century City) Bernardin. This has caused great confusion in the ranks of the prolife movement because the gospel of life muddies the waters by not distinguishing between justifiable homicide and murder.
What the Church needs to adopt is not the “culture of life”, but the “culture of justice”. Anyone with even a smidgeon of a classical liberal education would know that Justice is cardinal among the moral virtues, and the proper light in which to judge these issues.
Being for or against life is meaningless without regard for rendering to each his due (justice).
Under the “culture of justice”, the righteous can be against sins which cry to heaven for vengence, while being for the punishment of those who commit capital crimes and those who commit unjust aggression.
About 99% of the posts on this thread understand this concept, but are entirely confused by what masquerades as official Church teaching.
True happiness consists in living the life of virtue, regardless of the cost.