Don’t argue with people when you’re trying to convince them to change their minds.
Oftentimes, we resort to arguing with people when we want to sway them to our line of thinking. If you hold an entirely rational point of view, however, and your opponents ideas/beliefs are rooted in irrationality, what would lead you believe that being reasonable with them would persuade them into your specific belief? If they were reasonable people, they would already believe what you believe.
Sometimes the best way to be persuasive is to make the other person realize that it would be more advantageous for them to believe what you’re saying, rather than to believe it for sake of being logically consistent (most people, by the way, have no desire to be).
EXAMPLE – Person A is pro-choice, Person B is pro-life. Person A firmly believes that they hold the more rational argument, however Person B is incredibly religious.
Person A: Women should be able to choose what they want for their own bodies, it’s wrong for any government to tell them what they should or shouldn’t be allowed to do.
Person B: It doesn’t matter, abortion is wrong, it’s killing! The Bible says that killing is wrong, God created you from the moment of conception!
Person A: So you think women shouldn’t be allowed to have sovereignty over their own body?
Person B: Not when it comes to killing a child!
Person A might be correct, and they might feel totally justified in their position, but Person B has no desire to talk about a woman’s rights. They’re focused on two things: what the bible says is right/wrong, and whether or not you’re going to allow someone to be involved in the act of killing.
A better approach to the topic would be this -
Person A: Women should be provided the choice for an abortion, should they desire one.
Person B: Abortion is wrong, it’s killing! The Bible says that killing is wrong, God created you from the moment of conception!
Person A: These children might end up in homes where their lives would be terrible, though. The parents who aren’t ready for the children could become incredibly abusive, maybe to the point to where they would kill a young child anyway. Even worse, the children themselves, raised in such conditions, might even grow up to become killers themselves.
Regardless of whether or not the person ends up agreeing with you, at least you’re trying to counter the points that they’re actually making. Person B clearly has no interest over body sovereignty or anything of the sort, so harping on about that point is a waste of both of your times.
Try to ask yourself “why is my person holding a position that I find so unreasonable?” If you can answer “why”, attack that “why” when you argue.