Nonkilling refers to the absence of killing, threats to kill, and conditions conducive to killing in human society. Even though the use of the term in the academic world refers mostly to the killing of human beings, it is sometimes extended to include the killing of animals and other forms of life. This is also the case for the traditional use of the term "nonkilling" (or "non-killing") as part of Buddhist ethics, as expressed in the first precept of the Pancasila, and in similar terms throughout world spiritual traditions. Significantly, "nonkilling" has also been used recently in the "Charter for a World without Violence"  approved by the 8th World Summit of Nobel Peace Laureates.
In analysis of its causes, nonkilling encompasses the concepts of peace (absence of war and conditions conducive to war), nonviolence (psychological, physical, and structural), and ahimsa (noninjury in thought, word and deed). Not excluding any of the latter, nonkilling provides a distinct approach characterized by the measurability of its goals and the open-ended nature of its realization. While the usage of terms such as "nonviolence" and "peace" often follow the classical form of argument through abstract ideas leading to passivity, killing (and its opposite, nonkilling), it can be quantified and related to specific causes by following a public health perspective (prevention, intervention and post-traumatic transformation toward the progressive eradication of killing).
On the other hand, nonkilling does not set any predetermined path for the achievement of a killing-free society in the same way as some ideologies and spiritual traditions that foster the restraint from the taking of life do. As an open-ended approach it appeals to infinite human creativity and variability, encouraging continuous explorations in the fields of education, research, social action and policy making, by developing a broad range of scientific, institutional, educational, political, economic and spiritual alternatives to human killing. Also, in spite of its specific focus, nonkilling also tackles broader social issues.
In relation to psychological aggression, physical assault, and torture intended to terrorize by manifest or latent threat to life, nonkilling implies removal of their psychosocial causes. In relation to killing of humans by socioeconomic structural conditions that are the product of direct lethal reinforcement as well as the result of diversion of resources for purposes of killing, nonkilling implies removal of lethality-linked deprivations. In relation to threats to the viability of the biosphere, nonkilling implies absence of direct attacks upon life-sustaining resources as well as cessation of indirect degradation associated with lethality. In relation to forms of accidental killing, nonkilling implies creation of social and technological conditions conducive to their elimination.
In a broad conception, nonkilling opposes aggression, assassination, autogenocide, contract killing, corporate killing, cultural genocide, death penalty, democide, domestic killings, ethnic cleansing, ethnocide, femicide, feticide, gendercide, genocide, honor killing, ritual killings, infanticide, linguicide, mass murder, murder-suicide, omnicide, policide, politicide, regicide, school shootings, structural violence, suicide, terrorism, thrill killing, tyrannicide, violence, war, and other forms of killing, direct, indirect or structural.
In his book Nonkilling Global Political Science, Glenn D. Paige estimated that less than 0.5 percent of all humans that ever existed actually killed other humans. Also, anthropological evidence points out that in certain societies and cultures killing is down to statistically insignificant levels. As humans lived exclusively as hunter-gatherers — a form of existence that epitomizes the attributes of a nonkilling society — for 99 percent of their existence, it is also apparent that levels of violence and killing have also been very low during most of the history of Homo sapiens sapiens.
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- Glenn D. Paige, Nonkilling Global Political Science. Center for Global Nonkilling, 2002; 3rd ed. 2009, page 1.
- V. K. Kool and Rita Agrawal, "The Psychology of Nonkilling", in Toward a Nonkilling Paradigm, edited by Joám Evans Pim. Honolulu: Center for Global Nonkilling, 2009 .
- Stewart McFarlane in Peter Harvey, ed., Buddhism. Continuum, 2001, page 187. Buddhist Scriptures in Pali language have explicit reference to nonviolence and nonkilling: monks should not only themselves abstain from killing but should also refrain from encouraging other people to kill themselves (Vinayapitaka III: .71-74)
- See http://en.wikiversity.org/wiki/School:Nonkilling_studies#Program_on_Nonkilling_Spiritual_Traditions
- 8th World Summit of Nobel Peace Laureates, Charter for a World without Violence. Rome, December 15, 2007.
- "To address all forms of violence we encourage scientific research in the fields of human interaction and dialogue and we invite participation from the academic, scientific and religious communities to aid us in the transition to nonviolent, and nonkilling societies".
- "Nonkilling Global Society", in Peace Building, edited by Ada Aharoni, in Encyclopedia of Life Support Systems (EOLSS), Developed under the auspices of the UNESCO, 2005, Eolss Publishers, Oxford .
- Antonino Drago, "Nonkilling Science", in Toward a Nonkilling Paradigm, edited by Joám Evans Pim. Honolulu: Center for Global Nonkilling, 2009 .
- World Report on Violence and Health, 2002. Geneva: World Health Organization .
- Glenn D. Paige, Nonkilling Global Political Science. Center for Global Nonkilling, 2002; 3rd ed. 2009.
- Glenn D. Paige, Nonkilling Global Political Science. Center for Global Nonkilling, 2002; 3rd ed. 2009, page 40.
- See online Encyclopedia of peaceful societies, .
- Leslie E. Sponsel , "Reflections on the Possibilities of a Nonkilling Society and a Nonkilling Anthropology", in Toward a Nonkilling Paradigm, edited by Joám Evans Pim. Honolulu: Center for Global Nonkilling, 2009 .
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- Glenn D. Paige, Nonkilling Global Political Science, 2002; 3rd ed. 2009.
- Glenn D. Paige, Joám Evans Pim, editors, Global Nonkilling Leadership, 2009.
- School of Nonkilling Studies at Wikiversity
- Center for Global Nonkilling
- Center for Global Nonkilling Channel on YouTube
- Charter for a World without Violence