Paul's Perambulations a personal blog

October 8, 2009

Pacifist Realism and Pacifism

Filed under: Peace,Religion — admin @ 11:34 pm

Pacifist Realism holds that unless there is radical change in our understanding of, and dependence on, war in our modern technologically-advanced world, there will be wars of ever increasing severity, resulting in our eventual extinction. Pacifism is a conscientious and practical response to this threat. Removing this threat of suffering and extinction does not require that the world become pacifistic, but realistic pacifism can lead the way toward the consideration and adoption of other more accessible methods of establishing peaceful relationships.

Pacifism is the refusal, for reasons of conscience, to participate in war.


  1. A pacifist is not a passivist. For those etymologically inclined, pacifist comes from Latin pacificare (a peace maker – pax ficare), while the Latin root of passive is passus (suffering, allowing).

    “Mankind must put an end to war, or war will put an end to mankind… War will exist until that distant day when the conscientious objector (pacifist) enjoys the same reputation and prestige that the warrior does today.” John F Kennedy

    Besides relying on statecraft, justice, and the like, there is also a systematic alternative to a military defense. Gene Sharp has spent a life time developing the principle of Civilian Defense. Google these words to learn more.

    Comment by admin — October 9, 2009 @ 9:01 pm

  2. Pacifist Realism and Mother Theresa.

    1. Realistically, we can’t all be called to act like Mother Theresa and thereby save the world.
    2. Realistically, in order to save the world, it is not necessary that we all be called to act like Mother Theresa.
    3. Realistically, we can all be called to improve ourselves in her direction and thereby we can save the world.

    Comment by admin — October 22, 2009 @ 2:43 pm

  3. This post is based on material I presented at a public lecture/debate that occured earlier this month. My friend Joe Betz supports a position somewhat different from mine, and I enjoyed this opportunity for us to discuss our views publically. There were twenty-five in attendance.

    Center for Peace and Justice Education


    A Discussion

    “Just War Theory and Pacifism: Opposites, Alternatives or Complements?”

    Discussants: Dr. Joseph Betz, Philosophy & Dr. Paul Sheldon, Psychology

    7:30 to 9:30 PM
    Wednesday, October 7, 2009
    St. Augustine Center, Room 300

    Can there be such a thing as a just war in today’s world of weapons of mass destruction and high civilian casualties? Is pacifism a reasonable alternative, or is it too “unworldly” to be relevant?

    Comment by admin — October 23, 2009 @ 5:01 pm

  4. “No. 1, there is no morality in warfare — forget it,” Mr. Tibbets, 80, said in an interview in New York. “No. 2, when you’re fighting a war to win, you use every means at your disposal to do it.” New York Times August 6, 1995 published report of interview.

    Comment by admin — November 6, 2009 @ 11:37 pm

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