Becoming Nonviolent

Sociobiological, Neurophysiological, and Spiritual Perspectives

Authored by: Andrew Fitz-Gibbon

The Routledge Handbook of Pacifism and Nonviolence

Print publication date:  February  2018
Online publication date:  February  2018

Print ISBN: 9781138194663
eBook ISBN: 9781315638751
Adobe ISBN:


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Writers on pacifism and nonviolence share an implicit assumption that to become nonviolent, as societies, groups, or individuals, is actually possible. However, the dominant narrative of human history has focused on violent actions—what historian Francisco A. Muñoz termed “violentology” (Gay 2016). This dominant historical narrative is unremittingly deterministic. In other words, that humanity might choose a pacifistic or nonviolent future is unlikely based on human history. As with all deterministic ideologies—whether religious, biological, sociological, or historical—free will, the ability to make choices that might result in differing future outcomes that are not predetermined, is a chimera. If the narrative is true, and if it can be demonstrated that the human animal is, in fact, determined for violence rather than nonviolence or pacifism, then the work of nonviolent philosophy and activism is futile.

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