Weak arguments are often thrust before my path; but although they are most insubstantial, it is not easy to destroy them. There is not a more difficult feat known than to cut through a cushion with a sword.
When a thing is said to be not worth refuting you may be sure that either it is flagrantly stupid -- in which case all comment is superfluous -- or it is something formidable, the very crux of the problem.
I will name you the degrees. The first, the Retort Courteous; the second, the Quip Modest; the third, the Reply Churlish; the fourth, the Reproof Valiant; the fifth, the Countercheck Quarrelsome; the sixth, the Lie with Circumstance; the seventh, the Lie Direct.
Argument is conclusive... but... it does not remove doubt, so that the mind may rest in the sure knowledge of the truth, unless it finds it by the method of experiment. For if any man who never saw fire proved by satisfactory arguments that fire burns. his hearer's mind would never be satisfied, nor would he avoid the fire until he put his hand in it that he might learn by experiment what argument taught.