The Moral Fallout of Hiroshima

The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, so why was there such a gulf between the wartime generation – “the greatest generation” – and the anti-establishment counter-cultural ethos embraced by their children?

In my latest article, this time on the ABC Religion and Ethics portal, I examine how the seeds of the counterculture that dominates our present era were planted and nourished by the popular wartime and Cold War repudiation of classical moral theory instantiated in the intentional targeting of civilians.

What could be more indicting of the establishment, the “traditional” institutions of Western civilisation, or the moral precepts and values of the wartime generation than the glaring reality of widespread support for a utilitarian ethic that, taken to its logical conclusions, threatened to destroy the world?



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