A New Approach To Biology
Today, October 22, 1983, with several million people throughout Europe taking part in demonstrations in support of United Nations Disarmament Week and protesting against plans to deploy yet more nuclear weapons in Europe, it is impossible not to be aware of the increasing danger with which we are faced. It seems to me that unless we change the way we think and feel, the chances of our own survival and the survival of countless other living organisms on this planet are remote. I hope that we can reflect a little more about this question of our attitudes and the influence they have.
I assume that at the site of a nuclear blast people would know literally nothing. One moment they would be living breathing human beings and the next moment they — and the landscape they inhabited — would not even be dust. Would there be any warning at all for such people? Does a missile even from far off make some sound that would warn them of their imminent death? (These are rhetorical questions. I really don’t care to know.) Of all the possibilities in a nuclear war, that has always seemed to me the most fortunate, to be at the site of the blast without warning and never know what hit you. Similarly, not to be at the exact site of the blast, but caught in the firestorm or the gale-like winds that surround it, might be a comparatively fortunate death in nuclear war.
It is time to go beyond the usual parameters of the nuclear debate. It is time to begin asking ourselves how The Bomb has affected the human soul itself. By exploring The Bomb as symbol, we can penetrate more deeply into the amazing mirror nuclear weapons have created. Extraordinary changes in society, in attitude and in values have emerged world-wide since Hiroshima, changes that show us a thousand ways in which The Bomb has become the guiding metaphor of our time.