Do you believe in fighting fire with fire?

Do you think if someone has wronged you, you should fight back the same way? Do you believe in the principle of an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth, or do you believe that even when wronged, one should turn the other cheek, and take the high ground?


Under what circumstances of you feeling wronged would be OK for you to fight back? I don't think being 'wronged' is a broad term. It literally means you feeling that you're being unjustifiably attacked or harmed. Obviously it depends on each person, but my question is, when somebody feels that way, should they fight fire with fire, or turn the other cheek.

Update 2:

So you think it's better to just sit and do nothing while others attack you?

Update 3:

How do you defend yourself against a psychological attack? If someone tries to put you down non-physically, how do you defend yourself other than by attacking them back so they can stop attacking you? 

30 Answers

  • 1 month ago

    i believe fighting fire with fire will burn everything on earth up eventually. i believe when someone is using fire on you use purified water to put their fire out.

  • garry
    Lv 5
    1 month ago

    only if your not scared of being burnt ..

  • 1 month ago

    I could go on and on over this question and your updates....

    First of all, I do believe that in the justice system,that killers should be killed and people who break the law should be punished.

    But, you seem to be talking about personal every day experiences. 

    If being attacked physically, sure, I would fight back. Human nature dictates that we protect ourselves from a threat. Without even thinking, when we fall, we extend our arms to break the fall. If something come flying in the air at us, we raise an arm to deflect it. Those are normal ingrained reactions to protect us from harm.

    Learning to deflate a situation to avoid physically fighting would be a good skill. That is what self defense classes are for. Legally carrying a gun is also another way to protect oneself.

    But mind warfare is a whole other issue. Typically when there are those who play mind games, they are either bullies or someone who just wants to control you. I had a psychotic neighbor who did everything to try to crack me. At first, I reacted, to his delight. Then, when I began to totally ignore him, he upped his bullying. It infuriated him that I was not showing him any reaction. Howsoever, the police were called a few times and he was warned and finally backed down.

    Revenge and getting back when one feels wronged gets you nowhere but on the same low road as the idiot that offended you. Karma will take care of bad people. That little thing called "The Law of Attraction" is very powerful. It rears it's ugly head to ruin things that are important to offensive people, and they do end up paying the price of being an assaholic. Yes, assaholic...a word I made up especially for my neighbor.

    My footprints are still on the high road.

  • Anonymous
    1 month ago

    I believe in staying away from people. Then you don’t have to fight them as much...nor do you have to experience self-loathing and humiliation if you choose not to fight back. Solitude is highly underrated.

    I used to be able to pursue solitude on a more regular basis in my younger years before I took on the responsibilities of being a parent. I would just spend as much time as possible in the woods, taking my dog with me as my only companion, sleeping in my tent at night, running and hiding if I saw other people coming down the trail towards me so I wouldn’t have to interact with them. 

    Sometimes I’d make an exception if there was an attractive woman coming down the trail and she was by herself. But even then I kept my distance. Those were some of my best times. After all, “hell is other people” as Jean-Paul said.

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  • Git
    Lv 5
    2 months ago

    A person's decisions are usually ruled by emotion, logic, and ego.

    In your context, emotional decision is about revenge. Someone did something to you or someone you cared about, so you do it back to them. It is more often than not carried out without regards for the consequences of your actions.

    In logical decision, you do it to teach the person a lesson. Perhaps so that he doesn't dare do it to you again in the future. Logical decision is done out of necessity rather than for revenge. A person might decide not to carry out the action if the result is not justifiable.

    In egotistical decision, the action taken is purely selfish. You do it to restore your self-worth arising from a perceived insult to your ego.

    The boundaries of these 3 type of decisions may overlap to a certain extent. But the best decision would be by using logic to arrive at your decision.

    As to your question on how to fight back in a "psychological attack", that requires another long answer.

  • 2 months ago

    Yes, in some cases. For others, it's better to get creative in how you fight back.

  • 2 months ago

    Those are not the only two choices.  You can also fight fire with water - which in practice means, for instance, calling the cops or suing someone who wrongs you.

  • 2 months ago

    Actually, it is practicing in fighting against serious wild fires. In addition, by accelerating the burning, fire will be put off due to lack of fuel.

  • 2 months ago

    You should defend yourself against being attacked, and take security measures to prevent others from attacking you, but it is better not to retaliate.  Retaliation leads to more violence and it's outcome makes both parties angry and injured.  It is better to ignore the other person and move on with your life.  Don't waste time on them.

  • j153e
    Lv 7
    2 months ago

    Your question's metric is "victory."  That may be fungible.  Your definitional understanding ~  ---> cost/benefit analysis.

    HH the XIVth Dalai Lama was giving a lecture.  Someone asked him ~ the "fight or turn the other cheek" question.  He responded (paraphrasing), if a mosquito were buzzing him during meditation, he'd wave it away; if it returned, he'd wave it away again; if it returned a third time...he made a flicking gesture with thumb and forefinger. 

    Leaving aside the example of Jesus driving money-changers out of the place of worship, this 1939 quote of Mahatma Gandhi during the "height" of confrontation with a comparatively civilized colonial power:  "For I cannot in any case tolerate cowardice.  Let no one say I taught the people to be cowards.  I would far rather that you died bravely dealing a blow and receiving a blow than died in abject terror.  Fleeing from battle is cowardice and unworthy of a warrior.  Cowardice is far worse than violence because cowards can never be non-violent."

    If one turns the other cheek, victory for that one consists in part for the striker to realize she's struck against Love, e.g. looking at Jesus' visage, then repenting before she errs again.  If that's the moral high ground you are able to demonstrate, excellent.  Otherwise, consider fighting the good fight (against "mosquito").

    For example, defending an "innocent Nazi" from some unjustly enangered "Anneliese Franks" by "fighting" them with a lie as to the Nazi's temporary hiding place may be the moral high ground, especially if there are "only two" options ("We have good reason to believe you may know the location, and we have infallible ways and means of extracting this information").

    A more true-to-life example of ethics:  the decision by British planners and Norwegian personnel to sink the key heavy water shipment from Norway to Germany during World War II.  (The factory making the heavy water had been blown up by Norwegians, then rebuilt, and the first, large shipment of heavy water from it was then targeted.)  The only place to do so was as the barrels were transported across a lake on a ferry.  Some innocent Norwegian families' lives were ended during that operation, which was considered to have ended progress by the Third Reich on their atomic weapons development program.

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