I claim to be a pacifist (or: like the idea of it and have not yet had the chance to express it), and honestly do not care for violence or confrontation.
I have also been thinking of moments where violence would provide me with a safe route out of a situation:
Let's say I am walking the streets with my girlfriend, everything is fine and the sun is just setting. All of a sudden a crook runs up and tries to rob me and my girlfriend.
Now, being that I claim pacifism, I would think not to take any physical action towards the crook, but being a good boyfriend I would think to protect my girlfriend with my fists if need be.
What would be my options to a situation like this?
Would fighting the crook off with violence make me a hypocrite?
Would not fighting off the crook make me a bad person/boyfriend for not protecting my girlfriend?
I understand that what Mohandas Gandhi did throughout his life would make many consider him a true pacifist, but if he were to be in this type of position and he just sat...
An interesting question on a number of levels. In answering the question much depends upon how one defines "pacifism," "good," "bad," etc. So, if we were to have an extended conversation about the question I'd explore with you some definitions. I also think we should look at a few of the specific words you choose. (Philosophers are picky, I know.) It seems a bit misplaced to say that the "crook" (I really like that word) would "rob" you of your girlfriend. Robbery it properly speaking involves the unlawful or morally wrong taking of property, not persons. We must all guard against the tendency to treat or conceive of women and girls in ways informed by the way we conceive of and treat property. Perhaps "kidnap" would be a better word. And take a look at the question itself. I find it interesting that typically questions like this are posed as men defending women from assault, not men defending men or women defending men. In fact, I'm not sure I can think of any case like this where I...