IMHO, the principles of Aikido (connection and nonviolent conflict resolution) are content and context free.
You can apply them strictly to the physical practice on the mat or you can incorporate and integrate them into other contexts such as spiritual growth.
This gets my vote. I think it's possible to say that aikido is based on principles of connection and nonviolent conflict resolution without making assumptions about why
it does so: one can pursue nonviolent conflict resolution out of highly altruistic motives, or for purely pragmatic reasons of wanting to avoid hassles. Neither is implied, and furthermore, neither is better than the other -- not in the context of aikido.