Most humans act rationally most of the time: this is the foundation upon which democracy, the free market and the rule of law are all built. Our society flourishes under the assumption that other human beings generally have reasons for their actions. If Coca Cola, for example, notice their sales dropping then they will investigate pricing, availability, advertising and competition: they won’t just write it off as people behaving irrationally.
For the same reason, if I am attacked by another person, I will ask myself: “Why has this person made the decision that I deserve an ass-whupping, and what were the reasons for this decision?”
Firstly, it’s not impossible that I may deserve it.
Secondly, they may be doing it because they’re afraid of me and feel the need to strike first. Again, backing off is the right thing to do here, as responding with self-defence would only make it worse. I’ve written before about people being afraid of me and I may well do so again.
Thirdly, they may be doing it because they feel the need to violently express dominance. This probably needs an essay to itself, but suffice to say that if someone is so pitifully small that they feel ennobled by being able to impose their will violently upon another person, then they’re welcome to it.
Finally, they may be following orders. Anyone who follows an order to hurt another human being deserves my contempt, not my pity; and I have no intention of making it easier for them by allowing them to feel that they were defending themselves.
In no case do I see a situation where self defence is justified.