Kerry Walters, William Bittinger Professor of Philosophy and Peace and Justice Studies, wrote about the use of chemical weapons in Syria in his latest work on the Huffington Post, A Demonology of Chemical Weaponry.
For nearly a century, ever since the Germans used chlorine gas in the Second Battle of Ypres, the specter of such weapons has haunted the western imagination even more than that of nuclear ones. We're frightened of the havoc conventional bombs can wreak, and chilled by the thought of mushroom clouds. But the terror chemical weapons evoke is in a class of its own, freezing our blood in the same way that belief in demons and devils panicked our ancestors. And that's the clue for understanding why we so fear them. They've become the repositories of our most ancient and deep-seated fears. Chemical weapons are our demons, the sum of all that's evil. Chemical weaponry is demonology.