Wednesday, October 2, 2019
Dr. Linus Pauling - A Model of Courage Essay -- Argumentative Persuasi
The Strength of Character of Dr. Linus Pauling When it comes to moral courage, no one thinks of scientists. Moral courage brings to mind the Chinese protestor who leapt in front of a tank in Tiananmen Square, the conductors of the Underground Railroad who led slaves to freedom, and the freedom fighters of the Warsaw Ghetto, who fought to their deaths against the Nazis. The Chinese protestor, the northern conductor, and the Jewish resistance fighters were common people transformed by extraordinary times. Their moral beliefs led them into danger that was immediate, terrifying, and tangible. Some forms of moral courage are less obvious. In fact one of history's greatest examples of moral courage comes from a place no one would ever expect - the field of science. It may not seem possible to compare a man who worked in a laboratory to a man who guided slaves to freedom. After all, the Underground Railroad conductor physically risked his life day after day, but the danger that one brave chemist faced was just as real. A brilliant chemist, and a man of unshakeable moral convictions, Dr. Linus Pauling protected the human race from the unparalleled danger of nuclear war. Pauling's moral stand is a model for morality in science. During World War II the United States employed scientists on the top-secret atomic bomb program. Desperate for a weapon to use against Germany and Japan, the government recruited all the best American scientists. One of the few scientists to refuse to work on the bomb was Linus Pauling. It was a difficult decision because the Federal government was exerting a lot of pressure on him. In addition to the pressure, the project itself was hard to turn down. A scientist lives for a proj... ... will be responsible for using science morally. And that is why Linus Pauling is so important to me. In the face of great pressure and danger, he took a moral stand for his beliefs. He is my role model for his moral courage. Pauling's moral stand was not glamorous. It was not the glorious heroism of the movies. But if moral courage is supporting one's beliefs no matter what, then Pauling clearly was a hero. He was threatened by the atomic bomb no more than anyone else was but he alone decided to take responsibility for it. He knew the devastation of the bomb, and as a scientist, an American and a human, he refused to dodge his moral responsibility. Pauling is a role model and a moral hero because he bravely stood for morality on behalf of the human rare. 1 "Interview with Dr. Linus Pauling", Regents of the University of California, Berkley, 1996.