Pacifism is the principled rejection of war and the ideology that peace should be achieved without the means of violence. It covers a spectrum of views ranging from the belief that international disputes can and should be peacefully resolved; to calls for the abolition of the institutions of the military and war; to opposition to any organization of society through governmental force (anarchist or libertarian pacifism); to rejection of the use of physical violence to obtain political, economic or social goals; to the obliteration of force except in cases where it is absolutely necessary to advance the cause of peace; to opposition to violence under any circumstance, including defense of self and others.
Principled pacifism holds that at some point along the spectrum from war to interpersonal physical violence, such violence becomes morally wrong. Pragmatic pacifism holds that the costs of war and inter-personal violence are so substantial that better ways of resolving disputes must be found. Pacifists in general reject theories of Just War. Pacifists follow principles of nonviolence, believing that nonviolent action is morally superior and/or pragmatically most effective.
Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi was a pacifist.
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