When Is Violence Justified? Is Violence Ever Justified?

What does that word “violence” mean to you? Have you ever used violence against someone? If so, when is violence justified? Or… Is it ever justified? Well, this is tough one and I’m going to say: “it depends”.

Today’s post is anything but politically correct. Having said that, you’re welcome to skip this post if you find the subject too “sensitive”. Now, back to our first question: what does the word mean to you? There are many ways you can hurt someone. However, today we’re going to stick to physical violence (to keep this post “short and sweet”).

Are Humans Inherently Violent?

violence in kill bill vol. i

As I see it, physical violence has many “shades”. For instance, it can be described as someone taking “it” or two people (or more) going at each other. Now, why would individuals sort to physical force when there are other ways to solve conflict? Sometimes, I think we’re more primitive than we would like to admit. In addition, there’s also a lot of ego involved. Nobody wants to appear “weak” by walking away. Oh no, that would hurt their egos too much…

Getting physical with someone because of pride is silly. But whether we like it or not, it happens in our everyday lives. Though, it’s legitimate to say violence is never okay, it’s not wise to deny its human nature. That’s right. As human beings we’re capable of the most incredible things because of love. However, it’s also in our nature to destroy or hurt the things or people we hate. Having said that, the challenge is to acknowledge that and do better.

Being human is conflicting. On hand, many of us know and agree that violence should never be the answer. Yet, we seem to completely forget that when our emotions take over.

When Is Violence Justifiable?

ripley from alien

Now that we’ve acknowledged that violence is human nature. When is it justifiable? Right now, I can only think about two main reasons why it would okay to hurt someone: to save yourself or save someone else. As I said before, it’s possible (most of the times) to walk away from conflict. However, what if someone is trying to hurt you and you’re trying to escape but you can’t? At this point, there are two options: fight or flight. I’ve even heard of a third option: freeze.

What about revenge? I would not advise anyone to use physical violence to “get back” or “get even”. If it’s something illegal, let the Law take care of it. It’s true when they say “violence leads to more violence”. Therefore, try not to put yourself in that nasty vicious circle.

As I said before, violence should always be the last resort. Honestly, when people fight, that means they’ve failed to reach an agreement. Having said that, it’s a lose-lose situation for both. In other words, the “winner” of the fight is still a loser. Why? Because you couldn’t find a better way to walk away from the conflict. By the way, there’s only one place where violence is justifiable: films.

Glorification Of Violence In Films

violence in john wick

Why should violence in films be acceptable? Because it’s not real. There’s nothing wrong with stylized action sequences, but you’re in the wrong if you’re trying to apply them in real life! Just like romantic comedies, you should never take advice from action films. Bad idea!

What about the children? Doesn’t violence in films affect the younger generation? It might, but it shouldn’t. As I see it, art tends to imitate life. Having said that, if you censor art, then you might as well “kill it”. In mean what’s the point? In addition, people are responsible for their own decisions. It’s always easier to blame someone or something else.

Children, teenagers are impressionable people (in general). It’s the parents’ job to teach them better. Yes, I’m calling parents out on this matter. Whatever your children become, it’s on you. By the way, think about it for a second… If exposing your child to violent material causes them to be more destructive, wouldn’t the opposite hold true as well? There are tons of non violent films with great messages, are they learning anything from them?

That’s all I have to say about today’s topic. As you can see, there are many different ways to look at problem and all of them are legitimate. However, the more honest we are with ourselves, the better we’ll be able to handle this type of situations.