megatons of nuclear explosive powder in existence and with more being added

Megatons of nuclear explosive powder in existence and

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megatons of nuclear explosive powder in existence, and with more being added every day, we haveentered into the zone of uncertainty,which is to say the zone of risk of extinction. But themere risk ofextinction has a significance that iscategorically different from, and immeasurably greater than, that of anyother risk, and as we make our decisions we have to take that significance into account. Up to now, every risk hasbeen contained within the frame of life, extinction would shatter that frame.It represents not the defeat ofsome purpose but an abyss in which all human purposes would be drowned for all time. We have no right to place thepossibility of this limitless, eternal defeat on the same footing as risks that we run in the ordinaryconduct of our affairsin our particular transient moment of human history. To employ a mathematical analogy, we cansay that although the risk of extinction may be fractional, the stake is, humanly speaking, infinite, and a fraction of infinityis still infinity. In other words, once we learn that a holocaust might lead to extinction we have no right togamble, because if we lose, the game will be over, and neither we nor anyone else will ever get anotherchance.Therefore, although, scientifically speaking,there isall the differencein the world between themerepossibilitythat a holocaust will bring about extinction and the certainty of it, morally they are thesame,and we have no choice but to address the issue of nuclear weapons as though we knew for a certainty that their usewould put an end to our species. In weighing the fate of the earth and, with it, our own fate, we stand before a mystery, andin tampering with the earth we tamper with a mystery. We are in deep ignorance. Our ignorance should dispose us towonder, our wonder should make us humble, our humility should lead us to act without delay to withdraw the threat wenow pose to the earth and to ourselves. 40 Last printed 9/4/09 7:00 PM
Impact Work Dartmouth 210 41 Nuke War Impact Calc

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