Precisely. I actually typed up something that I find pretty interesting back in December. I didn't post it on this site though, but on another... Since it is sort of on our off topic topic, I guess I will post it here.
If someone flames you, and you retaliate, then how wrong were they to flame you? When you retaliate, you are just putting yourself on their level. If you think they are stupid for flaming you, then why flame them? Wouldn't that just make you just as stupid? A retaliation is just as bad as the flame that provoked it. If you retaliate, a flamer has succeeded in his mission. He has done more damage to you than his words could have ever done. As Boba Fett says in the Bounty Hunter Wars Trilogy, "The one that angers you owns you." If you retaliate, you would be warned just as he would be warned. But if you do not, the flamer will be warned but you will not.
Just replace the word "flame" with attack, and "warned" to "punished". Yes, I know it still doesn't translate to "attacking" perfectly, but you get the idea.