/r/Pacifism

Photograph via snooOG

Discussions and articles on peace, pacifism, non-violence, and just war - from religious and secular perspectives.

Check out our reading list.


NOTE: This is an actively moderated subreddit.

  • Be civil. Be polite. Be respectful.

  • Personal attacks will not be tolerated here. Play the ball, not the player.

  • Opposing viewpoints are welcome here; trolling is not.


Some related subreddits:

/r/AnarchoPacifism

/r/AntiWar

/r/ChristianPacifism

/r/Compassion

/r/FoodNotBombs

/r/GunControl

/r/Humaneness

/r/Nonviolence

/r/Peace

/r/PeaceStudies

/r/TrueGunControl

/r/Positive_News


/r/Pacifism

3,192 Subscribers

12

Facts or bs?

1 Comment
2024/01/22
21:37 UTC

10

Has anyone ever had genuine homicidal ideation which led them down this route?

I have cptsd and I learned very early to solve my answers with violence

Homicidal ideation runs on both sides of my family so I was set up to fail

I think seeing and deeply fantasizing about it mqde me see how messed up violence is in our world

3 Comments
2024/01/22
04:19 UTC

15

New to Pacifism

Hi, I’m looking for book suggestions regarding pacifism. Also any other materials you find are useful.

8 Comments
2024/01/09
21:51 UTC

14

But violence is fun tho.

As a pacifist I respect those who may disagree with my philosophy on the grounds of it being impractical to fight against human evil. Of course, I disagree, nonviolent resistance has been proven to be twice as effective in fighting against tyranny, bigotry, and oppression, but that’s besides the point.

However, there’s one sub-section of detractors that makes my blood boil. The the kind of people who rejects pacifism and nonviolent strategies because they unironically think war is fun. I have meant them, one of my cousins literally said he only joined to military so he could get a chance to shoot people. These people tend to see violence and war as a sport, rather then life or death situations. They also possess a naive “Hollywood” view of violence, where if your skilled and strong enough your guaranteed survival. In reality fights are messy and unpredictable, they are completely different from the well-choreograph and rehearsed fights you see in the movies. (I say this as a kid who was beat up in a school bus, was physically abused, and have been in fights before). A fight can be over in one blow, faster then it started! Even if your physically stronger and have years of MMA training, all of that will fly out the window with one shot to the head. Not to mention, people also have this “action-movie hero” idea that you can fight large groups of people at a time. And this is not true. Even MMA fighters need breaks in between matches, and this is after years of training. So people should really drop this idea of war being fun, violence is not a sport and it’s nothing like the movies.

16 Comments
2024/01/07
20:13 UTC

5

Henry Kissinger & The Politics of Grief

0 Comments
2024/01/04
17:16 UTC

10

Silence is the Enemy of Peace

Silence Is The Enemy of Peace

Before we become aware

Little eyes spot a flare

Who will take the lead?

In seeing humanity succeed

Certainly not those who bomb

Little fingers and his mom

That he tries to grasp

As mom struggles for a gasp

We should find our way to the side of peace

Realize that we do not hold the lease

To little fingers’ right to life

Be the one who starts to drive

Towards peace for ALL

We are the reason for the fall

Of peace, justice, and freedom

Bring yourself to fathom

That silence is the enemy of peace

That we do not hold the lease

To tiny fingers’ right to life

He rots away under the rubble

And we keep existing in our naïve bubble

Will you be the one to make the choice?

That it’s time to stop being the one who exploits

It’s time to say that we are done

Allowing death and chaos for wealthy fun

0 Comments
2024/01/03
19:08 UTC

15

guilt from telling workers to “f*** you” after being potentially profiled and denied services at a supermarket… need advice

recently went into a supermarket/grocery chain that’s local to me and was refused alcohol because they did not believe my id was me, i’m on of the ethnic minority-people n my area and i tend to get profiled a lot, this was a first however.

i returned around 20 mins later with my passport alongside my ID and my bank card which had my name and they still refused to serve me to which i responded with a “what the f*ck, fuck you”

ever since i’ve taken up pacifism i’ve felt guilt for acting out in anger in general on the rare occasion i do, but this feels different

i’m feeling conflicted, confused, any advice ?

8 Comments
2023/12/31
20:40 UTC

9

What do pacifists of this sub think of weapons?

A weapon is a device primarily used to cause harm or injury to others. Weaponry can range from traditional arms such as guns, ballistic missiles, military aircraft, tanks, and submarines, to more everyday objects like sticks, rocks, umbrellas, knives, baseball bats, pepper spray, and vehicles.

Some pacifists are closer to absolute pacifism and would refuse to use weapons.

However, what do you think of the ownership of weapons? When you take into account that a weapon can be used for another reason than murder, do you find it morally permissible to own a weapon?

Do you think that the world would be a better place if all weapons suddenly vanished from existence?

What do you think of using weapons for sport?

18 Comments
2023/12/29
07:14 UTC

1

Jehovah witnesses

What do y'all think on Jehovah's Witnesses' stance on pacifism?

2 Comments
2023/12/29
00:32 UTC

33

Got called a coward for being a pacifist.

I was on Christian sub talking about pacifism. One of the commenters couldn’t comprehend me being an absolute pacifist. They went down the usual line of questioning.

  1. what would you do if you do if you saw someone being harmed by another?

I’d speak up and try to scare them off.

  1. what if they didn’t get scared and still kept hurting the other person.

Then I’d use my body to shield the person being hurt.

3)what if they said they were going to kill you and then the other person.

Then I’d die shielding the person.

It was then I was called a coward for some reason…

16 Comments
2023/12/28
17:54 UTC

26

No one "wins" in a war

Title. Stop using this terminology if you didn't already.

The ones who lost their lives lost, regardless of their side. Even the "bad guys" who initiated the violence were still humans and still deserve some empathy. For innocent people, it's even worse, obviously.

The ones who didn't lose their lives lost as well, for witnessing such a traumatic event, for having poor access to food, shelter, and safety.

The only ones who "won" are the ones who refuse to go to war and condemn the atrocities of all wars.

5 Comments
2023/12/26
19:50 UTC

4

Seeking peacekeeping memes

Hi, I’m looking for memes and short articles about nonviolence, peaceful conflict resolution etc. It all just isn’t present enough on social media. Definitely not as heard as war. Thanks.

1 Comment
2023/12/13
23:10 UTC

6

I do not believe that violence is inherently wrong

If I challenge someone to a martial arts match in say... boxing or mma, few people would say that any of us are doing anything wrong, even though we are literally punching ourselves and conducting violence. Why? Because we both consented to it.

Initiating violence towards someone isn't wrong because it is violence. It is problematic because initiating violence towards someone who didn't consent to it is morally wrong. This is why walking on the street and punching a random civilian is morally wrong.

However, if I walk down the street and someone tries to punch me, then they are consenting and agreeing to a fight. In this case, giving them the fight that they want isn't morally wrong. If you take into account the fact that fighting and defending myself may improve my safety and you see very well why giving someone something they consented to is well more than justified. If you do not want to get punched and hurt, do not initiate violence upon others, otherwise you are consenting to be treated the same way as you are treating others.

War is defined as a state of armed conflict between two or more governments, involving troops and weapons. It's perfectly consistent to be anti-war and against all wars, yet not believe that violence is inherently wrong. You can believe that violence is not inherently wrong, but still be against all wars because they involve larger scale violence that often results in significant loss of life and suffering. While the participants in wars may consent to engage in violence, innocent civilians and non-combatants often become victims and suffer the consequences of these conflicts despite not giving their consent. Drafted soldiers also often cannot consent to going to war.

Furthermore, wars are often driven by political aims rather than a noble humanitarian goal.

Whereas in the case of direct personal self-defense, the amount of force used is much more justified and the goal of trying to prevent harm to yourself without harming innocent bystanders is much more understandable.

12 Comments
2023/12/13
10:44 UTC

2

How do you deal with protecting loved-ones?

If a pacifist man witness a criminal threatening his pregnant wife with immediate bodily harm, is he supposed to:

A) Watch him have his way and harm or even kill both

B) Try to react "peacefully" by trying to restrain him without punching or kicking him, which may prove to be ineffective against a physically bulky opponent with machetes

C) Use physical force to neutralize the threat, even using deadly force if necessary, which may go against his absolute pacifist ethos.

It's interesting, because the defense of others is in my opinion the biggest dilemma and problem to face for pacifists:

  1. If you believe in absolute pacifism for the man, then you may believe that they don't have a duty to protect their own children.

  2. If you believe that they do have a duty to protect their own children, then you must acknowledge that there are situations where resorting to physical force becomes necessary, albeit contradictory to their pacifist beliefs.

Where do you stand on the defense of others?

24 Comments
2023/12/12
10:33 UTC

4

Love is a weapon?

Loving your enemies is a good way to win against them? Or just convince them not to be an enemy?

What are meaningful ways to love your enemies?

3 Comments
2023/12/10
13:30 UTC

0

Pacifism and nonviolence doesn't work for dealing with violent attackers

If someone was guaranteed that you wouldn't physically attack him to defend yourself, then there is nothing to dissuade them from mounting attacks against you. You need to be a physical threat to dissuade attackers.

If someone is confident that you won't fight back, they can spend a long time unlocking your front door and then harm you and steal your valuable items.

An entire pacifist society would have no recourse to prevent violent attackers from taking over.

Trying to hide, run, and using tools to protect yourself like shields can help you gain some time, but it ultimately won't be enough to prevent an attacker from eventually finding you and causing harm.

In a society where physical defense is completely off the table, there will always be individuals who exploit this vulnerability and seek to prey on others.

25 Comments
2023/12/06
19:19 UTC

17

Leaning towards pacifism but struggling

I support Ukraine since Russia was the one attacked. However, I refuse to see all Russians as sub humans and in the end, I just want peace.

My dad is reading so much information that it feels he got radicalized in the western narrative and stopped seeing any gray in the conflict

He asked me to send a letter to my congressman to keep financially supporting Ukriane

As I want peace and I am leaning towards pacifism it didn’t sit right with me. I don’t want to be responsible for any money going towards guns but doing nothing as a country when being is not good

So for countries like Ukraine that is being attacked, what does the pacifists think we should do? Just surrender?

I am struggling because both options (keep fighting and kill Russians or surrender and be part of Russia) just seem bad.

11 Comments
2023/11/27
17:10 UTC

9

we need to stop war guys.

actually nvm. I don't have that kind of power. i will instead join the army and give war such a bad name by committing war crimes that we will have no choice bug to never fight again :)

3 Comments
2023/11/21
20:15 UTC

7

Do pacifists believe it’s unethical for other people to violently resist oppression?

I understand some of the varied reasons people believe in pacifism and how these inform pacifists’ personal responses to violence, such as martyrdom, conscientious objection, non-violent methods of resistance, peacemaking roles, or passivity.

However, I struggle to understand why some pacifists object to other people exercising self-defense or resistance to oppression that involves violence. I believe these are decisions only an individual can make for themselves, and it is deeply unethical to demand people whose own lives are at risk or are being oppressed follow what people not in that situation with different beliefs and values have to say. Pacifists who do condemn people wanting to live and be free as unethical seem to lack empathy and inescapably side with oppression.

17 Comments
2023/11/21
17:55 UTC

10

Curiosity from a former violent offender turned pacifist.

As someone who grew up in a violent area and was forced to use violence as a form of survival, but then turned to pacifism, im genuinely curious of everyone's thoughts on where life long pacifists would draw the line and resort to violence as a form of survival?(if at all) I fully understand both sides of this coin but given my upbringing and most of my friends not being pacifists, I'm just curious about the mindset of a lifelong pacifist. Thanks in advance

10 Comments
2023/11/09
20:45 UTC

5

Is it too much to ask people to view Palestinians as humans? Apparently so | Arwa Mahdawi

0 Comments
2023/11/07
23:03 UTC

20

Israel-Palestine conflict and neutrality

So being a Buddhist, I am also a pacifist, war brings a lot of suffering. I do not want to pick sides in this conflict. Innocent people are dying in Israel. Innocent people are dying in Palestine. That needs to stop. I've seen so many videos saying that by staying neutral, I am a bystander so I'm supporting Israel commiting a genocide. Surely if I'm staying neutral all I want is peace? Would I technically be letting this happen by not choosing a side?

8 Comments
2023/10/28
19:44 UTC

7

What type of Pacifist are you?

According to this article there’s actually five types of pacifism. And I was wondering which type best represents this community. Make sure to read the definitions from the source before answering. Also please explain your reasoning in the comment section. And if you feel like you're a mixture of two or three also mention that as well.

View Poll

13 Comments
2023/10/28
09:25 UTC

8

Is war the only way to bring peace?

Like before this isn’t a gotcha. I’m genuinely asking. In the case of the Napoleon wars and World War 2 some historians say they did bring temporary peace for some time. So I’m wondering are their sources, studies, or any type of research that disproves the notion that war is sometimes necessary and brings peace? Or should we accept a more conditional pacifist approach?

• thanks in advance.

5 Comments
2023/10/23
13:57 UTC

30

What is the pacifist response to genocide?

This isn’t a gotcha, I’m a pacifist, I hate violence and war. But I’ve been thinking, if there was an active genocide being committed, either to you or someone else, what would be an effective way to respond?

8 Comments
2023/10/20
11:15 UTC

13

Modern American Pacifist movement?

Hi all:

The rhetoric around Israel/Palestine is really putting to a boil many things that have been simmering for a while: most importantly, overwhelming acceptance of militarism and military violence.

Is there any structure for organizing pacifists? Any effort to educate the masses? Broad ways to push back?

Life is sacred and we take another step in the wrong direction ever day. My own money gets siphoned off to fund aircraft carriers and the NSA. Why does nobody care? What can be done?

1 Comment
2023/10/20
02:38 UTC

Back To Top