The Thomas Merton Center at Bellarmine University

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Author QuotedRalph E. Lapp
Title QuotedKill and Overkill
Date (Year/Month/Day)1962/11/30
ImprintNew York : Basic Books. 1962
QuotationThis is a rather hasty note to bring to your attention a most important book. It is by a nuclear scientist, and is factual, but with a deep moral concern. It is called Kill and Overkill, by Ralph E. Lapp. I will ask John to send you a copy of this most important book. The reason for its importance is not of course that it makes any kind of theological statement, but on the contrary, that it reveals crucially important facts about the whole status of the question. As you know, the real issue about nuclear weapons is not so much the matter of moral principle, which after all does not change with the megatonnage of weapons, the principles are clear. But in applying these principles, there are enormously important problems and questions of fact. These facts totally alter the circumstances and even essentially change the very rationality involved in the use of these destructive weapons.
JournalThe Hidden Ground of Love: The Letters of Thomas Merton on Religious Experience and Social Concerns.; Selected and edited by William H. Shannon. / New York : Farrar Straus Giroux. 1985, p. 328
Link to Merton's Copy