Pacifism and Self Defense: Mutually Exclusive?

Pacifism and Self Defense: Mutually Exclusive?

This is a discussion on Pacifism and Self Defense: Mutually Exclusive? within the Off Topic & Humor Discussion forums, part of the The Back Porch category; this topic came up on another forum i belong to, though it's a question i've asked myself for a long time. can one adhere to ...

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Thread: Pacifism and Self Defense: Mutually Exclusive?

  1. #1
    Ex Member Array jahwarrior72's Avatar
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    Pacifism and Self Defense: Mutually Exclusive?

    this topic came up on another forum i belong to, though it's a question i've asked myself for a long time. can one adhere to the priciples of pacifism, yet still be able to apply violent action to save oneself and/or loved ones?

    i already know what my answer is; i want to hear your opinions.


  2. #2
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    Well, I'm a 'peaceful' kind of a guy...I don't go looking for trouble...I choose to get along with others...I let a lot of 'things' go (that used to get my dander up)...but I'll defend myself and my family in a heartbeat...with my life if the need arises.

    I'm probably not a pacifist in the accepted connotation of the term......do I follow principles of 'non-violence'? Sure, up until you attempt to ruin my peaceful trek through life!

    Stay armed...think peacefully...stay safe!
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    Restricted Member Array SelfDefense's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jahwarrior72 View Post
    this topic came up on another forum i belong to, though it's a question i've asked myself for a long time. can one adhere to the priciples of pacifism, yet still be able to apply violent action to save oneself and/or loved ones?
    Interesting topic.

    The short answer is no. Pacifism precludes self defense.

    The long answer I will save for later.

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    Senior Member Array Jackle1886's Avatar
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    Pacifists are against violence and the use of war to solve disputes. So, by defending yourself you are essentially being against violence. So, aren't we all pacifists then?
    Better to die on your feet, than to live on your knees.

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    Member Array chuck brick's Avatar
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    OK, You asked :

    Self-defense is an obligation to "The Creator" (however you choose to believe). To me, this is God. The greatest gift He could, and did, bestow on me is my Life. To not protect this gift would be disrespectful to Him. (This is why suicide is considered a sin - recklessly discarding this ultimate gift.)
    Some of the most dangerous people in the world are pacifists. The vast majority (I hope!) on this forum are pacifists; they don't want to hurt anyone if it can be reasonably avoided, they will not instigate an incident, will in fact try to avoid or even retreat from such, but they will defend what is dear to them by any and all means available if they must.
    Most seasoned LEO's and soldiers are pacifists, but with strong loyalties. Their fondest wish is for peace.
    "To fight with another is wrong, but to lose a fight over principles you deem honorable is worse...."

    Stay safe,

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    It depends upon how you are defining "pacifism." Webster's New Collegiate Dictionary defines it as opposition to war or violence as a means of settling disputes. By that definition, I am a pacifist, but I don't believe it thereby necessarily follows that I am thus required to stand by and permit myself or my family to be killed or injured by an aggressor.

    It means, IMO, that I should make every reasonable effort to resolve the "dispute" peacefully, but once that fails, and I am faced with no other alternative, pacifism does not demand I permit my family to be slaughtered.
    "It does not do to leave a dragon out of your calculations, if you live near him."

    J. R. R. Tolkien

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    VIP Member Array ccw9mm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jahwarrior72 View Post
    can one adhere to the priciples of pacifism, yet still be able to apply violent action to save oneself and/or loved ones?
    I strongly believe that any defensive action I take is specifically to avoid the violence about to be inflicted. If that can be done without any damage to anyone, great. If not, not. But the goal remains the same: avoidance of violence, damage.
    Your best weapon is your brain. Don't leave home without it.
    Thoughts: Justifiable self defense (A.O.J.).
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    Senior Member Array jeephipwr's Avatar
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    Executing a violent course of action when the time is right is good tactics in my mind, not pacifism. I dont go looking for trouble and I live a peaceful life, treat others with respect. But if trouble finds me, I play to win.

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    Member Array airbornerangerboogie's Avatar
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    If you are a true pacifist (turn the other cheek), then any violent action you take even in self defense would be contrary to your belief. I don't believe in pacifism and I think it goes against nature. In actual practice pacifist depend on non-pacifists for protection, else they would become extinct or always running.
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    VIP Member Array ccw9mm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by airbornerangerboogie View Post
    If you are a true pacifist (turn the other cheek) ...
    Perhaps. Perhaps not. Depends on one's point of view.

    Consider the distinction between "thou shalt not kill" and "thou shalt not murder." Two entirely different things.

    I believe the original Commandment was to not commit murder.

    In similar fashion, I believe that the proper lesson of "turn the other cheek" is not one of absolute pacifism. Rather, I think that avoiding retaliation and vengeance is the correct reading.

    That is the sense in which I defend. IMO, nothing is absolute, and no proscriptions against violence ever intended to disallow anyone from defending against attack or crime.
    Your best weapon is your brain. Don't leave home without it.
    Thoughts: Justifiable self defense (A.O.J.).
    Explain: How does disarming victims reduce the number of victims?
    Reason over Force: The Gun is Civilization (Marko Kloos).
    NRA, SAF, GOA, OFF, ACLDN.

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