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The difference between nonviolent resistance and pacifism - Essay Example

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The difference between nonviolent resistance and pacifism

lds of human action and interaction. On the other hand, where some who have less understanding of nuance sees that nonviolence is the absence of violence in all its forms and has a unitary meaning, there are those who differentiate among different forms of nonviolence basing the classification of different types on what motivates the actors in nonviolent action, and how those actors behave in the arena of human action (Sharp 41-43). On the other hand, Sohail Hashmi relates pacifism to the actions of Gandhi and makes use of the term Gandhian pacifism to brand the kind of an absence of violence as a means to achieve peace....
thics of pacifist and nonviolent actions and their conceptual formulations have special significance in Islam that warrants making the distinction, for instance (Hashmi and Lee; Sharp). Discussion To take the question into perspective, there are non-Muslim perspectives that make distinctions between nonviolent resistance and what is termed in the literature as modern pacifism. Nonviolent resistance or simply non-resistance refers to the phenomenon where people shun violence and acting to shun all forms of war on the basis of religious beliefs that such actions are disallowed by God on a fundamental level. This is in contrast to modern pacifism, which in comparison has a broader footprint and includes justifications for not going into war and supporting war from non-religious perspectives. Pacifism, as discussed here, is a larger umbrella term of which non-resistance or nonviolent resistance is a part. This distinction allows for a proper discussion, for instance of pacifism in different ideological, political and even religious contexts, with religious here in reference to all kinds of religion, not just Islam and not just Christianity. One can talk for instance of Gandhian pacifist stances, where the roots are political and partly includes references to Gandhi’s Hindu religious leanings and philosophical stance (Sharp 42). On the other hand, in the literature too, there are discussions that interchange the use of pacifism with nonviolence and nonviolent resistance, alluding to the overlaps in the definition and the contexts of use of the two terms. Such is the case in discussions on the political contexts of the attainment of freedom as shifts in the political affairs of states from dictatorships to democratic and free nations. Sharp himself interchanges the use of ...Show more
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This paper differentiates between nonviolent resistance and pacifism. It also explores why nonviolent resistance is justified in the ethics of Islam, but not pacifism…
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