What is the purpose of the Center for Global Nonkilling (CGNK)?

Based on extensive research and concrete evidence, CGNK believes it is possible to create societies where killing is significantly reduced, and eventually eradicated. This begins with cherishing the value and potential of each human life, and addressing the human conditions that lead to killing. We are committed to the realization of a world where killing is not taken for granted, and where the elimination of killing is a goal broadly embraced by people of all religious, cultural, ethnic, racial and political backgrounds.

What is meant by nonkilling?

The term nonkilling encompasses attitudes and actions intended to prevent or stop intentional acts of taking human life. Nonkilling is used in the Oxford Dictionary along with nonviolence as the definition of ahimsa. Nonkilling is a clear and practical measure of human progress.

What is the difference between nonkilling and nonviolence?

Nonviolence is a nonaggressive approach to effect change. It involves working against any type of physical or emotional violence exercised by one person or group against another, which may or may not lead to the loss of life. Nonkilling differs in its laser-like focus on the issue of killing and how to eliminate it.

Isn’t it naïve to believe it is possible to reduce and eventually eliminate killing in the world; doesn’t human nature make that impossible?

Research indicates that less than one-half of one percent of people throughout history have killed another human being. So it cannot be argued that the propensity for killing is a dominant human quality. Furthermore, the World Health Organization World Report on Violence and Health (2002) concluded that violence is a preventable disease. Since killing is simply an extreme result of violence, it too can be treated as a preventable disease.

What if someone tries to kill me or my loved ones?

In case of personal danger, every effort should be made to defend or protect without killing. One aspect often overlooked when considering the alternative is that even killing someone considered a threat has lingering impacts on the person who has killed, the families involved and the community in which it occurs. No killing ends simply with the act itself.

What about stopping genocide?

The concept of “responsibility to protect” suggests that, if necessary, killing those who are killing innocent people is acceptable. Yet “nonkilling” strategies, such as diplomacy and peacekeeping, have been used successfully in multiple situations. To attain killing-free societies, the global community must learn to identify and deter the underlying and precursor conditions which lead to mass killing.

What about abortion?

What makes this complex issue particularly challenging is the debate about when life begins. Nonetheless, in recent years advocates across the spectrum have come to agree on two basic tenets – there should be (1) fewer abortions and (2) more options provided for someone considering an abortion. The basis for creating killing-free societies is valuing human life and making choices based on that core value.

What about the military and the police?

The nonkilling premise does not automatically rule out the need for police or military. During recent decades, a wide range of life-affirming initiatives within the security community have gained increasing relevance and begun to alter traditional approaches to community and national security. This includes joint efforts with other professionals and institutions and a greater emphasis on prevention. Indeed, traditional military and police values – such as discipline, honor and sacrifice – are helping to develop a new vision of life-affirming security institutions.

Are there or have there ever been societies without killing?

Anthropological studies demonstrate the existence of numerous cultures, past and present, where killing is considered unacceptable and where killing is extremely rare, if not nonexistent. For more information see Encyclopedia of Selected Peaceful Societies.

How was CGNK established?

CGNK builds on two decades of work by Glenn Paige, a former soldier and now Professor Emeritus, University of Hawai`i, who published Nonkilling Global Political Science in 2002. CGNK was established as a global nonprofit organization (501(c)3) in Honolulu, Hawai`i, in late 2008 by a major grant from Humanity United. Our Leadership Team and Governing Council come from several countries and continents.