Compare and contrast two interesting links:
- Siderea's The Asshole Filter
- Cormac Herley's Why do Nigerian Scammers Say They are from Nigeria?
- Karl Popper's "The Paradox of Tolerance"
(Note that I've not read the latter two and should. I've only read digested versions of them).
In general often the right way to judge an action is not actually on its immediate effects, but on what long-run effect they will have on the sort of people you will surround yourself with. This can make seemingly good actions harmful and seemingly bad or nonsensical ones quite useful.
I think about this a bunch in the context of codes of conduct: Often the benefit of the code of conduct is not whether it is ever enforced, but that it filters out people who don't like codes of conduct.