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Eliminating Nuclear Weapons – Not Later, but Now

Rodney Richards | Nov 29, 2022

PART 2 IN SERIES Preventing Mutual Assured Destruction

The views expressed in our content reflect individual perspectives and do not represent the official views of the Baha'i Faith.

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Rodney Richards | Nov 29, 2022

PART 2 IN SERIES Preventing Mutual Assured Destruction

The views expressed in our content reflect individual perspectives and do not represent the official views of the Baha'i Faith.

How about this: what if humanity adopted these three future laws, like Isaac Asimov’s Three Laws of Robotics, that might have a chance to make us safe from nuclear weapons? Here they are:

First law: Because their destructive power is unchecked, all nuclear weapons are threats to humanity.

Second Law: Humanity cannot allow nuclear threats to its existence.

Third Law: Any government or entity that develops or maintains nuclear weapons will be cut off from all global undertakings, including trade, political, social, and technological systems until its weapons are dismantled.

RELATED: Ending Nuclear Proliferation: What Happens to the World Happens to Us All

Established systems and methods are already in place for verifying the dismantling of nuclear weapons. These systems, overseen by agencies of the United Nations, have been effectively used in the past to defuse and dismantle thousands of weapons. If we followed the third law of nuclear disarmament, funds otherwise spent on the costs of the development and possession of those weapons of mass destruction would be diverted to their dismantling. Gradually, the nuclear nations could draw down and finally eliminate their nuclear bombs and missiles, vastly reducing the threat of mutual assured destruction.

Baha’u’llah, in the messages he wrote to the kings and rulers of the world in the mid-1800s, called for this kind of disarmament:

O Rulers of the earth! Be reconciled among yourselves, that ye may need no more armaments save in a measure to safeguard your territories and dominions. Beware lest ye disregard the counsel of the All-Knowing, the Faithful.

Be united, O Kings of the earth, for thereby will the tempest of discord be stilled amongst you, and your people find rest, if ye be of them that comprehend. Should any one among you take up arms against another, rise ye all against him, for this is naught but manifest justice.

In a 1912 interview with a Canadian newspaper reporter, recounted in the book Abdu’l-Baha in Canada, Abdu’l-Baha outlined the process of disarmament that must take place:

As to the question of disarmament, all nations must disarm at the same time. It will not do at all, and it is not proposed, that some nations shall lay down their arms while others, their neighbours, remain armed. The peace of the world must be brought about by international agreement. All nations must agree to disarm simultaneously …

… no one nation can by itself start in upon such a policy and it would be folly should one power attempt to do so … it would simply invite destruction ….

Disarmament is surely coming, but it must come, and it will come, by the universal consent of the civilized nations of the earth. By international agreement they will lay down their arms and the great era of peace will be ushered in. In this and no other way can peace be established upon the earth.

RELATED: Step by Step to a True World Peace

These Baha’i principles of disarmament show us all a path we can take to a safer and saner world.

Perhaps, if these three laws were voted upon and passed by a body or bodies like the U.N. or the European Union, or a dozen others, and the Three Laws instituted, that the recalcitrant nation would feel the effects of ostracism, especially on its economy, and toe the line. To do that, at least in the U.N. today, would mean ending the veto power wielded by any of the five permanent members of the Security Council. 

Some voices have called for this already. Severe problems exist in the world which a U.N. resolution backed by policy and peacekeeping forces could ameliorate, but because it may be against the interests of any one of the five permanent members, those resolutions are often defeated. It’s been over 70 years since WWII ended, yet the world is held hostage by any one of these five governments, when 193 sovereign states make up the U.N.’s ranks. 

Currently, governments have spent near trillions of dollars on the research, development, and installation of nuclear devices meant to kill humans and destroy property wherever and however detonated. That has to stop. In reality though, even if millions of voices were raised, it wouldn’t be enough, because the military industrial complex is an ingrained system propping up huge global industries. 

This means that a twofold plan is necessary. One, governments must stop the development and acquisition of all weapons of mass destruction. We can only achieve peace if all abide by the same rules. Two, the brainpower, labor, and manufacturing of weapons must be converted to beneficial, safer, and clean efforts, such as producing electricity or removing carbon from the atmosphere. Every dollar or ruble that goes into weapons manufacturing steals our future, producing nothing but more fear and potential destruction.

The mechanisms exist to change the current destructive, threatening paradigm. The will to do it, and agreement, must be reached, which is harder than physically dismantling any nuclear bomb. Will we come to our senses?

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