Sabio Lantz wrote a great post on a person’s violence policy (even had a survey). I loved the post so I figured I would use my comment from there state my opinions on violence/non-violence.
I see it this way:
No violence is the absolute ideal – and should be the way I live my life all the time. Based on – I would not want someone to punch me – why would I punch them? I see no need for violence.
However, the standard can be broken to ‘save life’ (since life is of more importance than a stupid ideal). In cases like these, helping someone out, I would step in but non-violently at first. If this cannot be resolved in this manner, I would then use violence as a defence but not to ‘threatens one life’ (if it went to that level). Always seek peace, but if peace cannot avail, you have to help how you can.
It’s kind of a intricate stance to take – but it makes sense (to me). It’s also quite realistic, since life in the West can be lived quite non-violently. There will be small skirmishes here and there, but even then it does not have to lead to furthering the pattern of violence.