London: talk on the morality of nuclear deterrence

 Michael Quinlan, who held senior positions in the Ministry of Defence on nuclear weapon policy and has written often on the ethical questions it raises, will discuss the issues in 'The Morality of Nuclear Deterrence', the second talk in the Farm Street Talks series, on Thursday 14 February. Peter Hennessy, Attlee Professor of Contemporary British History at Queen Mary College, University of London, will be chairman. In the past year the Government and Parliament have decided that steps should be taken towards maintaining Britain's nuclear-weapon capability in the long term. This has revived ethical debate not only about British policy but also, more widely, about the underlying morality of any possession of nuclear weapons by anybody. The Catholic Bishops of Scotland have re-affirmed their longstanding judgment that possession is in all circumstances immoral, and have further argued that this is not just their own view and that currently held by the Holy See but the definitive and consistent teaching of the Church. The Catholic Bishops of England and Wales have taken a less absolute position, while making it clear that they would prefer to see Britain withdraw from possession. The Jesuit Church of the Immaculate Conception, in Farm Street has a long tradition of eminent speakers. In this series of events prominent Catholic lay people address major issues of social and political concern, of interest not only to Catholics, but to anyone concerned with the moral dimension of public life. The talks are followed by an open discussion. The talk will take place in the church hall on 14 February at 1pm. For further details, e-mail

Share this story