We physicians have focused on the nuclear threat as the singular issue of our era. We are not indifferent to other human rights and hard-won civil liberties. But first we must be able to bequeath to our children the most fundamental of all rights, which preconditions all others; the right to survival.
The security provided by a long-held belief system, even when poorly founded, is a strong impediment to progress. General acceptance of a practice becomes the proof of its validity, though it lacks all other merit.
The International Declaration of Human Rights says the right to housing, health, education should be guaranteed to everyone. The moment these things are provided, we will have a different world order and nuclear weapons will become less of a threat.
We must convince each generation that they are transient passengers on this planet earth. It does not belong to them. They are not free to doom generations yet unborn. They are not at liberty to erase humanity's past nor dim its future.
Martin Buber suggested that evil prevailed because of the inability of man to imagine the real. Yet human beings do have that capacity. Lord Byron, a poet favored by Alfred Nobel, captured the stark essence of a post-nuclear world in his poem Darkness: