For the chunk of my life up to 24 hours ago, I took this idea as a given — arguments are always worth it. Why? My assumption was that the more arguments I had, the more likely I was to change my mind, and therefore see reality, be smarter.
But, I think arguing, at least verbally, may have an opposite effect. When you argue with someone, you’re invested in being right. It’s painfully to be wrong in a social context, and perversley it’s like a competition. I imagine it’s similar to what gorillas or teenagers do when they see a woman.
The second effect that can be argued, the noble act of changing another’s mind for the better, is also nil. I don’t think I can think of a time where an argument helped change a person’s mind. Why is that? Well, the first idea that people get emotionally intrenched applies, but also I think changing your mind is immensley difficult, and therefore requires something of equivelant weight. Arguing isn’t good enough. It needs to be more visceral, to be seen.
So, how should you approach it? I think writing essays to convey your thoughts might be a way. I also think showing with action is a much stronger way. In anything I’ve been good at, no one listened to me at first, but when results showed, it became easy to speak my thoughts.