Actual Pacifist

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"With God as my witness, I swear on name and my life, that I shall do no harm, that I shall place the saving life and easing of suffering above self, above family, that my duty is not to my people, or to my nation, but to all of humanity."
—Version of the Hippocratic Oath

"Don't worry; I won't hurt you."

That's an Actual Pacifist, in a nutshell.

He's philosophically opposed to using physical violence to any degree, for any reason. On television, he or she is in contrast to the far-more-common Technical Pacifist, who is fine with punching, stabbing, shooting or maiming people as long as they survive the experience.

If an Actual Pacifist is forced to use violence, expect Angst or even Wangst to result. Such a situation is usually a Matter of Life and Death. If this happens too often, they will be forced to become a Reluctant Warrior.

Certain religious figures and practitioners of White Magic are personally bound to be an Actual Pacifist, by reason of their dedication: they may support, bless, and succor those who fight, but they will not take up arms themselves. The Medic is also prone to be an Actual Pacifist, despite his common association with armies (although this is for a different reason—a Combat Medic COULD fight, but if he does, he's not under the protection of the Geneva Convention).

Trying to raise a child as an Actual Pacifist because his father was violent or loved to be In Harm's Way usually fails, although the child may at least be less violent than his father and willing to try peaceful means.

Some Actual Pacifists are able to circumvent their restriction via mind games, such as Shaming the Mob. Every rule has a loophole, after all.

See also Perfect Pacifist People, for societies where everyone is an Actual Pacifist; and Sheathe Your Sword, where the only way to succeed is to avoid provoking a fight. Taken to its logical extreme, this becomes Suicidal Pacifism; elevated to awesome -- Badass Pacifist.

Examples of Actual Pacifist include:


Anime and Manga[edit | hide | hide all]

  • Bleach:
    • Chad used to be a real thug when he was younger. It wasn't until his one in his abuelo (grandfather) took a beating for him without flinching or fighting back and told him that his powerful fists were not meant for hurting people that Chad took his Actual Pacifist stance. As the series progresses, however, he changes again, this time vowing only to ever use his strength to protect others and never himself.
    • Orihime is also this, if only subconsciously. Being gentle-natured to the core, she can't muster up a full commitment to even wound anybody, no matter what. This causes Tsubaki (the holder of her offensive ability) to keep getting Worfed every time he's used.
  • Mobile Suit Gundam 00's Marina Ismail is a pacifist to the core. At one point when she and her friends are escaping from the secret police, she refuses to take a gun even to protect the children she's looking after.
    • Relena Darlian-Peacecraft from Mobile Suit Gundam Wing, born to one family of pacifists and raised by another, struggles continuously with her wish to bring about total pacifism during a time of war. In the Endless Waltz movie/OVA she realizes that peace is something you have to earn yourself and abandons the "passive" part of pacifism, urging the Muggles to stand up for themselves rather than just Holding Out For A Heero.
      • The original Heero Yuy (not to be confused with the pilot named after him) actually created the "Total Pacifism" philosophy; people like King Peacecraft and Quatre's father Zayeed Winner adopted it themselves.
  • Kitano from Angel Densetsu. Most people, however do not know he's one. Being a bit scary however, actually helps him avoiding fights.
  • Tenma from Monster. Both played straight and deconstructed, as his belief that one human has no right to harm another is constantly challenged by the antagonist, starting with the fact that his main goal is to kill the antagonist.
  • Nekki Basara from Macross 7. He doesn't angst, but instead gets quite angry when he is compelled to use force.
  • Maya Ibuki in The End of Evangelion. She refuses to defend herself against the JSSDF troops invading NERV HQ on the basis that she cannot bring herself to kill other humans.
  • Kintaro from Golden Boy. He's been beaten up several times without fighting back, except for one instance where he unleashed his Kenpo training. He berated himself angrily for it immediately afterwards.
  • Yugi Mutou. And he's a Badass Pacifist, too.
    • His Split Personality, on the other hand has little problem with killing people (one early manga story has him blowing up a school bully with nitroglycerin and in another he sets a gang of toughs on fire), though this becomes less prominent as the series goes on.
  • The title character from Kimba the White Lion started out as this before becoming a Martial Pacifist.
  • Despite his significant skill in martial arts (which he uses purely to break up fights with minimum force), Simon Brezhnev of Durarara!! sticks very firmly to pacifist ideals probably to atone for his past both in the KGB and The Mafiya. He doesn't even like talking about fighting.
  • Rebirth the Lunatic Taker 's Renji is completely unwilling to fight... Too bad no one else in this sick game agrees with him.
  • Gennosuke from Basilisk is an interesting example of this. He never starts a fight in the whole show and even orders his own people not to kill the Iga ninjas. On the other hand he eventually decides he has no choice but let the Kouga annihilate the Iga. The few times he does fight (quite brutally in fact) his power means that he never has to engage in any actual violence.

Comics[edit | hide]

  • Doctor Leslie Thompkins in Batman.
  • Juggernaut in Age of Apocalypse is a monk named Cain. When Damask and Dead Man Wade launch an attack on Avalon he refuses to fight. Eventually the internal struggle of whether or not to help people by inflicting physical damage to others causes him to have an aneurysm.
  • Amusingly used in the French comic Captain Biceps: the hero Pacific Man is incapable of doing any harm to another person/animal/object (including the bad guys, yogurt and his own tooth cavities), but when he goes into his wimpy Alter Ego, he is held up by the Terminator, starts giving him the nonviolent speech, then realizes what he's saying and suddenly punches out the goddamn Terminator in a single blow before running away. Then he says "Whew! I barely escaped being recognized there!"
  • Orient Men, in the beginning of his appearances, was the kind of superhero who attempted to combat crooks by waxing poetic to them about the error of their ways. Later on, when the superhero status became The Artifact, many his adventures involved helping epople solve their conflicts peacefully.
  • Reese from Knights of the Dinner Table. In real life she is an ER nurse and so refuses to take part in any act of violence, even in game. She plays a cleric of a pacifist god.


Fan Works[edit | hide]

  • The four in With Strings Attached, probably making this the only heroic fantasy with Actual Pacifists as protagonists. They never initiate fights—in fact, they avoid conflict when possible—and while three of them do deal some minor damage to people in revenge for having been badly abused (the polar opposite of Disproportionate Retribution), none of them would dream of seriously hurting any living thing. (When Paul comes close to doing so, he suffers a Heroic BSOD.)
    • Though they do make exceptions to protect one another. And John has more of a temper than the others and does open a can of nonlethal whoop-ass on a few people, always while protecting one or more of the others.
  • In Ponies Make War, Twilight Sparkle becomes one after being freed from the Sliver of Darkness (or to be more accurate, her dominant personality, Sparkle, does), to the point that she can't even fight Puppets, even thought they're not even sentient or really alive. This lasts until her personalities fuse back together, and she starts kicking ass.


Film[edit | hide]

  • Brother Gilbert of Dragonheart displayed this trait early on, but when war with Einon became inevitable he unwilling agreed to use his previously undiscovered (but historically justified) archery skills. Even then, he kept all but one of his shots non-fatal and was reciting biblical lines as he did so.
    • (Shoots an enemy in the ass-cheek) "Turn the other cheek now, brother."
    • Worth noting is that even when he was set up as an archer he couldn't bring himself to actually fire his bow until he realized that NOT shooting it would cause immediate pain and death to good people.
  • In The Angel and the Badman (1947) Quirt Evans (John Wayne) falls in love with Quaker Prudence Worth (Gail Russel) and foreswears his violent ways and quest to avenge the murder of his adoptive father. He almost backslides, but in the final confrontation with the man responsible, Laredo Stevens, Prudence convinces Quirt to lay down his gun. Stevens then attempts to shoot Evans, who would have been killed if not for the timely intervention of the sheriff (Harry Carey, Sr.). Some critics say that here Prudence Worth succeeded where her coreligionist Amy Kane (Grace Kelly) would fail in High Noon. The pacifist theme this Western is a bit unexpected given John Wayne's popular image, but he not only played the lead, but also produced it.
  • The Friendly Persuasion (1956), based on the book by Jessamyn West, shows how the absolute pacifist creed of a Quaker family in south Indiana in the 1860s is put to the test when their home community comes under attack by a Confederate raid.
  • The White Queen from Alice in Wonderland. The fact that her arms are always uptight don't let her injure things, too.
  • In High Noon (1952), the marshall (Gary Cooper) has just retired and married a pacifist Quaker (Grace Kelly) -- which is sort of a problem 'cause a gang of indignant baddies has just come back to town and they want revenge. This makes for extra drama when his Quaker bride, after protesting his heroics and leaving him because of his choice to stay and fight, comes back just in time and kills a man to save her man.
  • Terrence Mann in Field of Dreams. When he's reminded so by Ray, he stops short of "beat[ing Ray] with a crowbar until you go away" and drops the crowbar.
  • Mahatma Gandhi in Gandhi, obviously.

Gandhi: In this cause, I too am prepared to die. There's no cause for which I'm prepared to kill.

  • The title aliens in the 60s film The Monitors They are driven from Earth when they realize that the only way to pacify humanity would be to use violence themselves.


Literature[edit | hide]

  • Animorphs: The Pemalites were examples of this trope until they met the Howlers, Crayak's shock troopers. Their android creations, the Chee, have pacifism hardwired into them - given how powerful they are, this grates on the main characters from time to time. The one time Erek (the main Chee character) was able to override his pacifism, he effortlessly wiped out a Yeerk force that would have slaughtered the team, but couldn't cope with the idea of doing that all the time and willingly returned to normal. Not even Marco could really blame him.
    • The Hork-Bajir originally had no concept of violence. When the Yeerks - parasitic slugs that infest the brain and thereafter control the body - started conquering them, it didn't occur to most of them to fight back. Dak Hamee, the Hork-Bajir equivalent of Einstien, wasted several minutes in his first-ever fight trying to figure out how it had been possible for the other Hork-Bajir to cut him.
  • Wanderer in The Host, who won't even harm the guy who repeatedly tries to kill her.
    • Even going so far as to try to save him, instead of letting him die of his own stupidity.
  • The Tinkers in The Wheel of Time series. Broken Tinkers tend to be... rabid.
  • In the New Jedi Order, Jacen Solo at one point becomes one of these. While all the other Jedi and the New Republic and the Imperial Remnant are fighting the Yuuzhan Vong. ...It was rather annoying. When he comes out of pacifism, he goes quickly into Messiah Mode, and later becomes evil.
    • Also in the Star Wars Expanded Universe, there's one sect of Force-Sensitives that is so incredibly anti-violence that they won't defend themselves or anyone else, consider anyone who does fight at all to be dangerous and deluded at the least, and act like wariness is a moral outrage on par with assault. The Black Fleet Trilogy deals with someone of this sect telling Luke Skywalker that his mother was another member of the sect and repeatedly chewing him out and telling him that he's as bad as Vader or the Emperor. And Luke standing around, taking it, because he half-believed her and wanted to hear about his mother.
      • Considering this was after his turn to the Dark Side and during the period Luke was still very much "Must use Force for everything, no matter how trivial or invasive!"(like wiping memories from innocents...)? Well, let's face it. She was on to something, as Mara pointed out to him years later.
      • Of course, they apparently have no problem with lying to Luke about his mother.
  • In Dan Abnett's Warhammer 40000 Gaunt's Ghosts novels, Dorden, The Medic, has only fired a gun once despite serving in the Imperial Guard for years. That time, he shot a man about to kill Gaunt.
  • Jessamyn West's novel Friendly Persuasion is about Quakers in Southern Indiana during the American Civil War.
  • In Larry Niven's Known Space The goal of Arm was to turn all of humanity into such, as it was the only way we'd survive. It was working pretty well using mandatory drugging and population controls to breed out much of the violent tendencies. Some violent folks are kept inside ARM to react to situations as they come up, but can't leave the building until medicated. Then we meet the Kzini and pacifism is a trait that becomes a luxury...
  • In Tim Powers' Expiration Date, Sullivan is forced to become this when the hands of Harry Houdini's ghost become permanently bonded to his own hands. The ghostly hands refuse to wield weapons or even play violent video games.
  • Brutha in Pratchett's novel Small Gods. The totality of his violence is one punch near the end of the book to a man who almost started a war.
    • Likewise, Moist von Lipwig is a con man and oftentimes Magnificent Bastard who is nonetheless much more comfortable with being threatened by violence than the other way 'round. He never physically attacks anyone, and becomes extremely nervous when put into the position to freely do so.
      • He is so against violence that he's profoundly disturbed when his parole officer, the logical golem Mr. Pump, calculates his white-collar crimes have indirectly killed 2.338 people.
  • In the Star Trek Novel Verse, the Halkans insist there is no violence of any kind in their hearts. As a result of this, anyone capable of violence cannot be truly Halkan. In Star Trek: The Lost Era, Halkan character Lojur is even exiled from the planet for using violence in defense of his village. It was under attack by murderous raiders, but even then the majority of his people found fighting inconceivable.
    • The Caeliar from Star Trek: Destiny. They would rather die in the millions than harm another being, or even allow harm to come to another if they can prevent it. When the human characters they're holding captive rebel, they're convinced to co-operate when a human shoots his own colleague.
  • Anne Shirley's middle son Walter is absolutely opposed to fighting, and hates the idea of violence. All well and good, until the beginning of World War One.
  • Matteo in Someone Elses War. Granted, as a forced child soldier, he has killed before, but once he realizes how much he hates violence, he dedicates the rest of the novel to freeing his fellow child captives without any violence.
  • Phule's Company had a recruit nicknamed "Mahatma" included in the last batch of unfit recruits dropped into The Omega Company. Why he joined the mercenary corps was never explained, but when their drill sergeant got to "you'll have to shoot back" part, he tried to ask something that obviously bothered him, but was was told to hold it for a while and... never brought up his problem again, the next part being a demonstration of Zenobian stun-ray the company got for rent-a-cop job. The sergeant was left to puzzle over why they were given a recruit who acts slightly strange, but physically is in better-than-average shape, shows neither uncooperative attitude nor crippling mental problems and diligently studies the weapon issued to him.


Live Action Television[edit | hide]

  • Doctor Who:
    • The Argolins from "The Leisure Hive" and the Dulcians from "The Dominators" wore this hat. The Thals from the first Dalek story, "The Daleks", as well, though they later dropped this stance rather than having the Daleks exterminate them all. All three races had previously survived a Nuclear War, making them all three, in effect, a species-level example of The Atoner.
    • Also, the Ood, who (prior to being neutered and enslaved by the Second Great and Bountiful Human Empire) are born with secondary brains that they hold in their hands. Therefore, they have no choice but to be peaceful and docile and hope other species return the favor, despite looking like Lovecraftian squid-monsters.
    • In the Made for TV Movie, the Eighth Doctor is definitely like this. However, he's a Kleptomaniac Hero, and steals whatever the hell he thinks he needs (and stealing Gorgeous Period Dress from someone's locker probably counts as just stealing whatever he wants). As he needs to get someplace in a hurry, he steals a motorcycle from a cop. It's possibly the most endearing armed robbery ever:

"Now, would you stand aside before I shoot myself?"

  • Frank Black of Millennium seems to have at least some elements of True Pacifism. Black shows a clear distaste for firearms, and never carries or uses them, with a few noticeable exceptions. He even takes this distaste to the extreme of potentially endangering himself, as in the Season 3 episode "TEOTWAWKI", when he leaves his weapon at home before going to investigate a dangerous end-of-the-world cult. It is remarked once by his wife that he could no longer harm a prisoner under his care than he could harm his own daughter. In only two cases is he pushed to outright violence and rage: At the end of Season 1, when he kills the man who kidnapped his wife (an act so shocking to his wife that it leads to their separation), and in the series finale, when he discovers that the Millennium group sent a man into his house to videotape his daughter sleeping, sending him to violently break into Watts' house with the intent of killing him.
  • Arguably, Penelope Garcia from Criminal Minds. When the officer guarding her house is shot, Morgan puts her in a corner and gives her a gun. Her first reaction (when there's a killer breaking into her HOUSE) is, "I don't believe in guns." (Morgan replies, "Trust me, they are very real.")
    • She could be more of a Technical Pacifist; she's not opposed to the team kicking bad guy butt, but she doesn't like to do it herself.
      • She doen't really condone them hurting the bad guys, just catching them.
  • Several examples in Star Trek:
    • The Organians in the original series episode "Errand of Mercy".
    • The Halkans in the original series episode "Mirror, Mirror" are so pacifist that they won't trade with the Federation because they might use the dilithium to harm someone.
  • In Firefly, Simon Tam tries to be this, and most of the time is successful, but occasionally is pressed into Technical Pacifist ("Did he just go crazy and fall asleep?" "I told him to sit down...") and rarely into Reluctant Warrior, although usually to save another member of the crew. He typically never fights to protect himself.

Simon: I've never shot anyone before.
Shepherd Book: I was there son. I'm fair sure you haven't shot anyone yet.


Tabletop Games[edit | hide]

  • GURPS has two levels of this: Self Defense Only and Total Nonviolence. With Total Nonviolence you can only even defend yourself against things that aren't sentient.
  • Dungeons and Dragons
    • Eldath, a goddess from the Forgotten Realms setting forbids her clerics from violence (in self-defence they aim to subdue).
    • Book of Exalted Deeds has "Vow of Non-Violence" And "Vow of Peace", the first makes you into a Technical Pacifist, the latter into an actual one, though the Vow of Peace does allow for non-lethal damage to be dished out to living enemies, which moves the feat out of the area of this trope depending on how willing a particular character is to use this loophole.
      • The Apostle of Peace Prestige Class requires characters to take both the vows above as well as the Vow of Poverty (foregoing material wealth and possessions save for plain clothing, a day's worth of food, and a simple weapon). The class gives you abilities such as turning undead (who are exempt from the Vow of Peace as non-living), the power to instantly pacify anger with a touch, and the power to tell fiends to go back to hell (and have them listen). The class also includes a spell list comprised of non-offensive spells that might help you wage peace. It is noted that Player Character Apostles of Peace would be difficult, but not impossible given the right kind of party. Otherwise, they make good spiritual advisor NPCs.
  • Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay has the priests (usually priestesses, actually)) of Shallya, whose precepts bar them from wearing armour and using any weapons apart from quarter staffs. They are also banned from killing, even in self defense, and will lose their place in the priesthood if they violated this rule. The only exceptions to this rule are Daemons, The Undead, and followers of Nurgle, and even then the two former only in self-defence. In the 2nd edition, Shallyans even had a unique spell designed purely to kill Nurgle-followers and daemons.
  • The Brazilian setting called Tormenta has two goddess (one of life and other of peace) that impose just that restriction, the life goddess however does allow you to "heal" the dead.
  • Karn, the Silver Golem, from the Weatherlight Saga in Magic: The Gathering. Karn adopted his pacifism when he tried to help his crewmates and accidentally killed an innocent bystander. He essentially poses as a statue when an altercation occurs. This is later used against him by Volrath who tortures Karn by placing him in a constantly shifting room with many disposable mooks. The room causes Karn to constantly fall on the mooks crushing and killing them. Later he recanted his vow of pacifism during a war, when he realized that his inaction led to innocent people dying.
    • There are also spells that can force creatures to become this, the most obvious being Pacifism. Although the right creature, such as the Prodigal Pyromancer can still hurt people, they just don't do so through combat. A more complete method would be Faith's Fetters, as it stops creatures from attacking, blocking, or using abilities that do anything except add mana to your mana pool. Even then, there's always a way.
  • At least in the Warcraft RPG (Shadows & Light manual), it's stated that Elune, the goddess of the night elves, is a pacifist (and in the stats she has no attack bonus, only grapple bonus). She has abilities like a song that will make everyone that hears it to drop its weapons and cease to fight.
  • In Fading Suns, Sanctuary Aeon (followers of Saint Amalthea) focus on compassion and healing. Which is why normally they don't need to care about defending themselves: everyone from serf to Brother Battle will, if someone is mad enough to threaten an Amalthean in the first place - as Introduction put it, "so beloved by the commoners are they that when one was once accused of witchcraft by an Avestite, the Avestite was seized by the populace and burned at the stake instead". According to Lifepath supplement, the downside is that they are somewhat gullible (vulnerable to fast-talking) - they aren't used to people trying to exploit them.

Theatre[edit | hide]

  • The title character of Johnny Johnson.


Video Games[edit | hide]

  • In Planescape: Torment, you can meet a warrior-monk of the Erith-Agge; an order that has foresworn the use of violence until the day of the last battle when they will help decide the fate of the universe. Thus, despite being an extremely accomplished warrior, you need to help him recover a necklace he lost in a mugging—he has no problems with you mopping the floor with them.
  • Star Wars Galaxies Pre-NGE featured Crafting, Medical, and Entertainer professions that actually made for a variety of non-combat roles you could mix and match. Post-NGE enforced this on Traders and Entertainers at first, then later gave them combat levels.
  • Patinias, the Arcana of Love from Arcana Heart, was this in life, criticizing violence and spreading compassion in the middle ages when Europe was covered in war. She got burned as a witch for it. Now she spreads love in the form of pink Energy Balls and pink beams of destruction.
  • William McCall, the youngest of the McCall brothers in Call of Juarez is a pacifistic and religious individual who is generally against his brothers' violent ways, constantly trying to get them to repent. He ends up Taking the Bullet for Thomas as he and Ray have a shootout and his death leads Ray to become the Badass Preacher Reverend Ray of the first game as well as Thomas and Marisa naming their child after him.
  • Ricky Johnson of Backyard Sports. He is only violent when committed to the rules of the games (such as tackling in football).
  • In the Halo series, Huragok - better known to humanity as the Engineers - a Covenant member species that views killing of even pests as wrong. Ironically enough one of them, called "Lighter Than Some" was the first Covenant species to kill a human; Said human was trying to kill its best friend Dadab, a grunt, after the party had assaulted his ship in search of Forerunner artifacts. It was of course horrified of what it done. Huragok are a member species of the Covenant only by circumstances as they enjoy repairing and inspecting Forerunner technology, but are indifferent to nearly everything else and in fact have helped humans on numerous occasions by repairing their technology, including Master Chief's MJOLNIR -armors' shield system.
  • Silent Hill: Shattered Memories has as its hero Harry Mason, whose most violent action a player can do in the game is a shove or elbow to a monster's head that is grabbing him.
  • Ciel in Mega Man Zero is also an Actual Pacifist, forming a Resistance to house the Reploids scrapped by Neo Arcadia but being intensely unwilling to fight anyone and slaving herself away day in and day out to find an alternative energy source that eliminates the energy shortage, which is what created the conflict in the first place. This would have ended badly were it not for Zero, though, because the Neo Arcadian ruler was more than willing to order annihilation strikes on the Resistance himself.
  • Professor Layton fits the description since, although the games show him to be an excellent fencer and in overall remarkably good shape for an academic, he firmly espouses the mindset that "a gentleman does not seek violence." He's only willing to get into a fight if he doesn't have much of a choice, either to defend his own well-being or that of someone else, and on those occasions when he does fight he does so as non-lethally as possible. In the swordfight from the second game, he only crosses blades to defend himself, and stops as soon as his opponent shows signs of failing strength. In the third game, his response to being shot at is to rig together a machine gun made out of a slot machine, and use it to shoot his antagonists with coins!
  • Cream The Rabbit does not physically engage in combat in Sonic Battle; all of her moves are done via her partner/pet Cheese. This pacifism comes to a particular head in her story mode: Neither Cream nor Cheese will fight their captors, leaving all of the combat duties to Emerl.
  • The Liir from Sword of the Stars are nearly an entire race of actual pacifists. They consider being willing to harm another creature a form of dangerous—if sadly sometimes necessary—insanity. The few Liir willing to take the step to hurt and kill to protect other Liir, meanwhile, take things to the opposite end. They've already broken the greatest taboo by harming another, so at that point any question of 'scale' and 'methodology' becomes a purely symbolic distinction.
  • It is possible to play an actual pacifist in both Fallout 1 and Fallout 2 by maxing out all of your social traits. You can even talk the final boss to death.


Webcomics[edit | hide]


Web Original[edit | hide]

  • Doc from Red vs. Blue abhors violence in every way, even having joined the army as a conscientious objector. For this reason, he is a medic... and his extreme pacifism has earned him the undying hatred of both teams. For maximum hilarity, the Omnicidal Hyper-Aggressive AI O'Malley hijacks his body and attempts to use him in his ultimate goal of taking over the universe, and "crushing every living soul into dust!"
    • This pacifism is so extreme that when the Blues and Reds are in the middle of another fight, Church resorts to shooting Caboose in the foot to get him to cross to the other side, as even pretending to help the Blues against the Reds seemed too "aggressive" to Doc.
  • Amaranth from Tales of MU is an example.
  • Folder, of the Whateley Universe. He accidentally destroyed the arm of his best friend when his powers first manifested, and he was so traumatized that he still refuses to fight. Even to defend himself from bullies. Even to defend himself from a superpowered bully who keeps putting him in the hospital.
  • Mario from Melee's End decides that he's tired of spending all his time fighting (this despite being a character in a fighting game) and refuses to use violence, even when Ganondorf is in the middle of kicking his and his team's ass.
  • Raven, from the Global Guardians PBEM Universe is a mystic martial artist with minor darkness powers. She absolutely refuses to cause harm to another person, even in self-defense. However, she's a master of aikido, fast on her feet, and perfectly willing to let her opponents injure *themselves*. For instance, by punching walls when she ducks out of the way. She has perfected the art of "fighting" defensively.
  • The main character in the short interactive fiction "The Life of a Pacifist" is one of these. Unfortunately, they're a video game developer, and they're currently working on a third person shooter and find the scenes within it horrifying. In the end, they either quit, continue working despite themselves, or decide that nothing is wrong with it at all.
  • MSF High Forum:Both Alexis and Arella. (Or anyone else who has the pacifist disadvantage.)

Western Animation[edit | hide]

  • In Transformers Generation 1, Beachcomber took it to the level of allowing Decepticons to take a powerful MacGuffin in a pretty area of forest rather than mention it to the Autobots and allow a fight to take place. In a later episode, First Aid allowed Swindle to get away with a component necessary for Metroplex to transform rather than shoot back.
  • In The Boondocks episode "Return of the King", in an Alternate History universe Martin Luther King wasn't killed by an assassin, but put into a coma for 32 years, waking up significantly aged in a hospital bed on October 27, 2000. After the 9/11 attacks, King appears on TV, stating that his Christian faith teaches him to "turn the other cheek", even with respect to enemies such as Al-Qaeda. His commentary receives severe scorn from the White House Press Secretary, CNN and Time magazine, and causes his popularity to plummet.
  • The Duchess Satine of Madalore in Star Wars:The Clone Wars. In the episode "Voyage of Temptation" she even hesitates to shoot someone threatening to blow up her ship.
  • Dove, the character in Justice League Unlimited (and associated comic books) - the only superhero to take an entirely non-violent standpoint and get through his entire starring episode without throwing a punch. It keeps up in later appearances, and even when he does fight, it's with things like judo throws and holds rather than punches or kicks.
  • The Monks of Teshuva in Futurama episode "Godfellas". When challenged they first appear to be Martial Pacifists, but quickly back down when their bluff is called.

Leela: "Your order may be famous for its marital arts, but I've never met a holy man I couldn't clobber."
Monk #1: "Actually, we only practice martial arts as a form of meditation. We are a strictly non-violent sect."
Leela: "Oh. Then get in the laundry room or I'll kick your butts!"

  • Lifeline from G.I. Joe refused to employ violence. On one occasion, he wouldn't even touch a rifle, even though it was being held out for him to grab and pull him out of a trap.
    • Which is a nod to the comic continuity, in which Doc Greer was an actual pacifist, who was killed trying to protect his injured colleagues in the field.
    • Lifeline even gets mad at other people for using him to help them be violent, like when Roadblock told him to talk to a cobra agent. While he was talking, Roadblock snuck behind the agent and knocked him out.

Lifeline: Hey! You used me for violence!

  • Zeta from The Zeta Project would only use force to save human life, and only when it was the only option available. He refused to use guns to any degree and even though it's implied he was strong enough to kill people, he never did much more than knock them out, if that. A common fan theory is that this approach is why the network didn't like him and the show became the black sheep of the DCAU.

Real Life[edit | hide]

  • Many governments, even some of the most warlike in history, allow some people to avoid serving as a member of or contributing to violent military actions. Such people have proven themselves to be conscientious objectors, rather than merely opposed to the war in question. Many Conscientious Objectors will then volunteer for dangerous duties in wartime, such as combat medics. One group of Mormon conscientious objectors in World War II were used as some of the first Smokejumpers. As in "parachuting into forest fires".
  • St. Moses the Black, at least at the end of his life. Earlier on he was an undeniable Badass.
  • Mohandas Gandhi: stopped the first Indo-Pakistan war by going on hunger-strike. And that's just the tip of the iceberg. Philosophically, however, he leaned towards the Martial Pacifist, and considered violence preferable to passive acceptance. His ahimsa demanded that its followers actively work to counteract violence, and espoused the use of force in the immediate defense of others.
    • In Gandhi's case, it was more that he was never capable of acquiring the weapons necessary for the revolution through force that he initially wanted, so a peaceful one was the next-best thing for him.
  • Martin Luther King, Jr, who took inspiration from Gandhi.
  • Under the Wiccan Rede, "harm none" is the law placed on all Wiccans. This means both physical harm and psychological harm...and is sometimes interpreted to include self-harm.
  • Buddhism has the reputation of being a pacifist religion, because a major theme amongst Buddhist teachings is not harming others in any way—be it physical (stealing, violence, selling booze or meat) or mental (gossip, insults, etc). As with any large group, however, there have been groups within it who let that ideal slide.
  • Christianity was originally innovative because, regardless of the reason violence is committed, it's thought of as an inherently bad thing for which one must atone. This was a radical concept a couple of millennia ago.
    • Some sects of Christianity, typically ascetic ones such as the Quakers (Religious Society of Friends), are absolute pacifists.
  • A impressive military actual pacifist was WWII veteran Desmond T. Doss, who refused to bear arms or drill on Saturday due to his Seventh-Day Adventist beliefs. Doss was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor for single-handedly rescuing 75 of his fellow soldiers from an escarpment under fire from the Japanese on Okinawa. From his medal citation, "As our troops gained the summit, a heavy concentration of artillery, mortar and machine gun fire crashed into them, inflicting approximately 75 casualties and driving the others back. Pfc. Doss refused to seek cover and remained in the fire-swept area with the many stricken, carrying them 1 by 1 to the edge of the escarpment and there lowering them on a rope-supported litter down the face of a cliff to friendly hands." Truly a kick-behind pacifist.
  • Jains. Jainism includes the precept of "Ahiṃsā"; the absence of the desire to harm any life. How strictly this precept is adhered to varies, but all Jains observe it to some degree.
  • The now-extinct religion of Manichaeism took this to an extreme. While lay members were permitted to live their lives normally, members of the clergy were forbidden to harm any living being. Strict vegetarians, they were expressly forbidden to prepare their own food, as cooking and chopping vegetables was believed to harm the spirit particles residing within the food.
  • As the page quote implies, doctors are ideologically against harming others, but in modern medicine this is sometimes easier said than done. For example, chemotherapy (used to treat many cancers) is basically the use of poisons, chosen to kill cancer cells faster than they kill the rest of the patient. This is why cancer patients lose their hair (among other problems). So, doctors are sworn to do no harm, but in an effort to treat their patients' cancer, they must harm them with the chemo drugs.