It stands opposite to the word violence. The word was first coined by French peace campaigner and lawyer Emile Arnaud. It was later adopted in 1902, at the tenth Universal Peace Congress held at the Glasgow city in the United Kingdom. In India, it is known as ‘Ahimsa’.

As per John the Apostle through the verse 14.27 it is mentioned “Peace I leave with you: my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.”


Pacifism leads to Pacifist and they are formed due to various reasons:-

  • Believing that war is ineffective and wasteful.
  • Strong religious faith.
  • Believing in the safety of the human race irrespective of religious faith.

The list is huge but mentioning some of the eminent pacifists from across the world are:-

  • Albert Einstein
  • John Lennon
  • Mahatma Gandhi
  • Oscar Wilde
  • Martin Luther King Junior
  • Hellen Keller
  • Leo Tolstoy
  • Tenzin Gyasto, the 14th Dalai Lama
  • Malala Yousafazi

Types of Pacifism

Absolute Pacifism:

This type of pacifist believes that it is not correct to take part in the war and not even in self-defense. They give high value to human life and believe that nothing can justify the killing. They stick to the principle that even an innocent person who is attacked and killed will not be rescued. Rescuing the attacked person is considered unethical. They are following strong moral principles and it makes them unaware of the results of war or violence. They argue that violence leads to worse results than non-violence.

Conditional Pacifism:

They are also against war and violence but they accept the fact that in certain circumstances war will be less destructive. They generally follow the Utilitarian principles where the consequences are considered worse than war.

Selective Pacifism:

This category of the pacifist is a bit different and they oppose war involving nuclear or chemical weapons and mass destruction. They consider that these types of weapons lead to devastating consequences. This type of war causes after-effects and for which the human race needs to pay a huge cost.

Active Pacifism:

Active pacifists are highly involved with political activity and promote peace and argue against particular wars. They actively take part in reducing the harm of war and renders supports to the country during this time. Most of the democratic countries are following this path of pacifism.





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