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.
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.
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.