Pacifism Information

Pacifism is the opposition to war or violence as a means of settling disputes or gaining advantage. Pacifism covers a spectrum of views, including the belief that international disputes can and should be peacefully resolved, calls for the abolition of the institutions of the military and war, opposition to any organization of society through governmental force , rejection of the use of physical violence to obtain political, economic or social goals, the obliteration of force except in cases where it is absolutely necessary to advance the cause of peace, and opposition to violence under any circumstance, even defence of self and others.

Pacifism may be based on moral principles or pragmatism . Principled pacifism holds that at some point along the spectrum from war to interpersonal physical violence, such violence becomes morally wrong. Pragmatic pacifism holds that the costs of war and inter-personal violence are so substantial that better ways of resolving disputes must be found. Pacifists in general reject theories of Just War.

Pacifists follow principles of nonviolence, believing that nonviolent action is morally superior and/or pragmatically most effective. Some pacifists, however, support physical violence for emergency defense of self or others. Others support destruction of property in such emergencies or for conducting symbolic acts of resistance like pouring red paint to represent blood on the outside of military recruiting offices or entering air force bases and hammering on military aircraft. However, part of the pacifist belief system is taking responsibility for one's actions by submitting to arrest and using a trial to publicize opposition to war and other forms of violence.

Wikipedia, Pacifism, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pacifism (as of Apr 1, 2010)

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