The Jainist interpretation of Socrates’ principles of non-retaliation does not conform to the facts about Socrates' life or his notion about what constitutes harm. For if Socrates were to endorse the Jainist interpretation, he would be compelled to repudiate his earlier service in the Athenian army, which he never did. Moreover, the Jainist interpretation appears to deny the Socratic account of harm by assuming that in all circumstances one harms the attacker. Yet, if the attacker is facing the ruination of his psyche by committing an injustice, it is not at all clear that preventing him from doing so, even at the expense of injuring his body, is harming him.
Another view is that when one uses physical force against an unjust attacker, it is not harm since the force is just. This just force interpretation picks up where the Jainist interpretation runs into problems. It claims that when physically defending oneself, one is not harming the attacker, even when physically damaging the attacker, as long as the attacker is trying to do an injustice or harm. Thus, one is not doing anything unjust by physically defending oneself, nor is one harming the attacker.
Two objections could be made against the claim that Socrates' actions would be inconsistent with his principles if he used physical force during war. It could be argued that Socrates never actually had to fight to distinguish himself in war; he might have distinguished himself without fighting, such as by saving lives. However, it this was true, Laches would probably not have praised Socrates since, if other soldiers had behaved in this manner, the defeat of the enemy at Delium would have never occurred.
Socrates could have developed his belief that one should not use physical force after military service ended. However, Socrates claimed to have held these principles for a long time. Alcibiades describes Socrates as a thoroughly ethical man long before they served at Delium.