I think it quite useful to evaluate guiding principles based on whether or not they actually yield benefits and how much harm they cause. Though that might not be particularly satisfying from a philosophical or moral judgement perspective.
"Help" or "harm" are difficult to measure, especially in a public community like this which allows anonymous posting as well as anonymous reading (and anonymous search indexing).
What's the right balance between not feeding the trolls—especially the very subtle ones—and challenging behaviors which one perceives to continue to drive good people away from the community?
On my own sites, I quite happily delete personal attacks and unredeemable rudeness. Here, that's not an option.