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Pacifism is the rejection of violence and war on moral, religious, or philosophical grounds. Pacifism may be understood as a merely negative critique of violence. But pacifists are also often positively committed to peace and nonviolence. Pacifism can be grounded and expressed in a variety of ways. Pacifism has important political implications including both at the level of international relations and at the level of individual choices regarding military service and support for war. This entry explains several ways of conceiving, grounding, and acting upon pacifism.

Overview

Pacifists develop and apply their critique of war in various ways. Some pacifists are merely antiwar: They oppose international warfare and violence in its largest and most destructive manifestation. Some pacifists also reject violence at the level of the individual, ...

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