— Bernard Lown American cardiologist developer of the DC defibrillator and the cardioverter, as well as a recipient of the Nobel Pea... 1921
Context: Throughout human history, when confronted with what was deemed a deadly enemy, the fixed human response has been to gather more rocks, muskets, cannons, and now nuclear bombs. While nuclear weapons have no military utility — indeed they are not weapons but instruments of genocide-this essential truth is obscured by the notion of an "evil enemy". The "myth of the other", the stereotyping and demonizing of human beings beyond recognition, is still pervasive and now exacts inordinate economic, psychologic, and moral costs. The British physicist P. M. S. Blackett anticipated this state of paranoia: "Once a nation bases its security on an absolute weapon, such as the atom bomb, it becomes psychologically necessary to believe in an absolute enemy". The imagined enemy is eventually banished from the human family and reduced to an inanimate object whose annihilation loses all moral dimension.