Self-defense is a complex topic. Between skills, philosophy, and legal issues involved one could write an entire encyclopedia on the subject and not even begin to scratch the surface.
I’ve written quite a few posts talking about the idea of appropriate responses. That is how much force, if any, is proper in specific situations. But today I feel like writing about something a bit different. Consider this video. The video started off, supposedly, as one of those YouTube pranks where somebody acts like a raging asshole at random people and laughs at the response. In this case the person acting like a raging asshole slapped another person in the face with a piece of pizza. Unlike most of the YouTube pranks you see this one did not end well for the prankster since he got punched in the face.
I’m not going to lie, I rather enjoyed watching the prankster get slugged. If you play stupid games you will win stupid prizes and I’m rather tired of these YouTube pranks that more resemble assaults than fun and games.
But a worthy question to ask is whether the person who slugged the prankster was defending himself. As I obtained this link via Reddit I already read through a length debate over whether incident was self-defense or not. Assuming one considers it self-defense (I don’t but bear with me) the next question that comes to mind is, was the guy who slugged the prankster defending his physical person or his ego?
This is something to consider. Some self-defense situations seem to more accurate reflect an individual with hurt feelings retaliating against the person who hurt his feelings. Situations where one individual shoved another only to be punched in the case for doing so, in my opinion, is an example of ego defense than self-defense.
Self-defense, in my opinion, involves defending your physical self. Ego, on the other hand, has no place in a self-defense situations (again, in my opinion). My reasoning is that physical harm can lead to potentially long-term negative side-effects or death whereas a bruised ego can lead to butthurtness and whining. When you enter into a physical confrontation the risk of injury or death is always there. Therefore, in my opinion, is best to avoid physical confrontations at all costs. A hurt ego won’t lead to injury or death unless it turns into a physical confrontation. Do you really want to be the one to turn a situation that resulted in you being butthurt into one that may result in you actually getting hurt?